(c) 2008 Ms. Huis Herself at musenmutter.blogspot.com
This is a public service announcement for those who may ever be flying with young children. I saw this over at Cool Mom Picks. (Which is a good site to visit often, because most every day they have a give-away contest for one of their picks.)
Check it out - this "CARES" thingie basically turns the airline seat into a 5-point harness, like most car seats, but without the hassle of trying to carry on a heavy, bulky car seat itself. (And trust me, we did that when we first moved over to Ireland. It was a hassle!) However, I was a bit put off by the price - $75 for some straps?! I know it's been run through the FAA approval process and all, but still!
(Here's the Cool Mom Picks review for it.)
Now, when I knew I was going to have to travel alone with Pumpkin, I got a Sit'n'Stroll, which worked well, except that it's FAA approved, but not internationally approved, so I got some guff about it on some flights. *coughAerLingusdependingontheflightattendantcough* Also, it's a tad bit wider than some aisles, so that's not great. However, when Pumpkin fell asleep in it on one of our LONG layovers in Chicago, we were able to just keep wheeling her around in it as needed, and transferred her in it into her seat and out again after the flight with her still asleep.
It's not like the Sit'n'Stroll was chump change either; it runs just over $200, which is sizable if you're not going to be using it a lot, or if you don't NEED it 'cuz you're traveling alone. Granted, it is BOTH car seat AND a stroller, so you don't have to worry about needing a car seat at your destination, but it's not the bestest at either (have to buckle the child into the car seat, then put the car's seat belt over them both and the stroller rides a tad low to the ground).
Ooh! I just had a thought! You know how you don't have to buy a seat for a child under the age of 2? (They can be a "lap baby" and ride in your lap.) Well, sometimes I flew with Pumpkin that way, but if they had a extra seat near by, or could move us around to two empties, we did end up with her having her own seat. The CARES would be a super option for traveling that way - if you end up with a spare seat for your lap baby, then you can just pop the little carrying bag with the restraint out of your carry-on and Voila! Child is safer plus less able to try to wiggle out and run the aisles.
So there you have it - maybe another time when Mr. Kluges gets sent over to Ireland on a business trip, when we feel rich enough to pay for 3 extra tickets and like dealing with two small kids on a transatlantic flight, we'll use both the Sit'n'Stroll and get a CARES and do a side by side use comparison!