Aging Expectations

Traveling with a Booster Seat

To start with, I already wrote this post once. It was brilliant, entertaining, interesting, awesome, fabulous – I could go on and on but let me summarize: it was probably my best writing ever. You would have loved it! But, guess what? When I went to add the pictures to the post I lost all the copy. Yes, devastation – all my beautiful words gone! So this is the second writing – clearly not as good as the first, but I hope you think it’s a little brilliant or at least semi-entertaining…

Leah is finally over 30 pounds!

This is a big deal because we have moved up from a car seat to a booster seat. I haven’t done this in our everyday cars yet, but was excited to switch to the lighter booster seat for traveling.

Her first trip was at five weeks old to Hawaii. For that trip (and a long time after), we used the baby seat car seat carrier. What I refer to as – the good ole’ days.

With that seat, it attached right to the stroller. So we just wheeled the stroller with baby, car seat and filled diaper bag piled underneath. Down the jetway, we checked the stroller, took the car seat out, and strapped her into the plane. Once there, we went right to the car and belted her in – no problems!

Then she got bigger. Ugh!

We had to move up to a “real” car seat. We used it the Gogo Babyz attachment. This worked well for two years. Gogo Babyz is an attachment that fits right to the car seat so you can wheel the baby through the airport, it fits through the security belt, and pops into the overhead or under the seat in front of you, while the car seat gets strapped into the airplane seat. One of the best parts is the baby can ride along in the car seat through the airport – fun and convenient!

Awesome. Then we lost a screw on for the attachment. Ugh!

For a while we used the “bungee cord on travel cart” method. This is where you bungee the car seat to a portable travel cart. It does work but takes some effort to make sure it’s secure and is sometimes tough to get in the overhead. To be honest, I felt quite “hillbilly-ish” in the airport trying to get that thing secured. Not to mention, the baby has to walk.

Now she’s over 30 pounds! Yippee!

So, I did some research on the best booster seats. I settled on three mid-ranged seats. As you probably know, some of these seats can get extremely pricey! Leah and I went to Target and she got to choose from the pre-selected three. Everybody wins!

Here’s what she picked:

Not sure I have to say this but green is her new, favorite color.

From the research, “people” said you can take off the back of the booster seat and pack that in your luggage then take the bottom portion on board and stow it in the overhead. To note: you can’t use a booster seat on the airplane.

Now, I’m not sure what type of luggage these “people” are using but the back of that seat didn’t come anywhere near fitting in my luggage. Plan B. I worked with the seat and the tried and true bungee cord. I came up with a way to hook it all on the suitcase while still being able to pull it easily.

Here’s the seat with the bungee cord:

Here’s the seat on the suitcase:

The first time we used it (on our trip to Houston), it worked great. No problems, at all. We hooked it on the suitcase, got it through security, and stowed it in the overhead. Awesome.

On the way home, my husband wasn’t with me – just Leah and me. As soon as we boarded, the flight attendant told me I’d have to put the booster seat under the seat in front of me or check it.

Well, we were in bulkhead seating (that’s where you can’t stow anything under the seat in front of you – because there isn’t any). I told her that and she said the flight was full so, I couldn’t use the overhead and would have to check it.

What?

I tried to tell her it was “bungeed” together and didn’t think it would make it underneath. Guess what? She didn’t care. She took it from me and checked it.

I was so mad! Especially mad when I saw plenty of space in the overhead compartments right by our seat! Also, for the record, we only had one carry-on bag, a handbag, and a small kid’s backpack – certainly not the limit. I felt we were within our “right” to have the booster seat as our last bag.

Who am I to argue though. I just sat there steaming for a while. When the flight was over, I waited in the jetway for my brand new, mangled car seat. But guess what? It came up quickly and was completely fine!

I was thrilled. We’ve used the car seat since and it’s worked well.

Any car seat or booster seat advice?
Do you have ideas I might have missed?

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