This summer, millions of parents will be packing their bags (and their kids) and flying to their destination of choice for a summer getaway. On Friday's The Early Show, consumer correspondent Susan Koeppen discussed some helpful products and tips to make flying with your child a little easier this summer.
Lap-babies are a frequent air travel concern. "If you hit turbulence, (babies) could fly up in the air," Koeppen said.
The Baby B'Air flight ($34.95) vest is one solution to safely flying with a baby. You put the vest on your baby and then feed your seatbelt through this loop in the back of the vest. If you hit turbulence, the child will not go anywhere. These are only usable while in the air, not during take-off and landing.
If your child falls within the "car seat" age (1 year-old and up) and size (22 to 44 pounds), don't think that lugging the car seat onto the plane is your only option. CARES ($74.95) can be used as an alternative. It's convenient because it's small and only weighs a pound, so you can throw it in your purse. CARES (Child Aviation Restraint System) gives you the added protection that your child will remain stable throughout the flight.
For those looking for the all-encompassing solution, consider the Sit 'n' Stroll ($219.99). This product is both a car seat and a stroller. You can take it out of your car and turn it into a stroller — wheel it right onto the plane — and change it back to a seat. Like any permissible aircraft car seat, the Sit 'n' Stroll is FAA-certified.
Koeppen noted an interesting way to keep your baby's formula cold during a flight. Ask the flight attendant for some ice, put the ice into the air-sickness bag and put the bottle right in there. It'll keep it cold for a long time and be ready whenever your baby wakes up. It's like your own mini-fridge.
There's nothing worse than waiting out a delayed flight with restless children. Call the airport or airline ahead of time to see if your children can look forward to a delayed flight. For example, O'Hare Airport in Chicago has a few areas for kids — one is called Kids on the Fly where kids can climb into model airplanes and interact with a control tower and helicopter. Logan Airport in Boston also has an area they call Kidport. It includes hands-on exhibits like a climbing sculpture, a slide, and an infant and toddler area.
Always seem to have a child kicking the back of your seat? Koeppen suggests sitting in the row in front of the emergency exit because children cannot sit there. You may also want to book an aisle seat, as kids typically enjoy sitting by the window.