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Flying with a Toddler: Mom Migraine Stopper

As many of you know, the Toddler and I traveled to the Pacific Northwest for two weeks of family time recently.

The dreaded solo-flight with a Toddler.

8 Months Pregnant.


More importantly we THRIVED!


Chalk it up to planning…planning…planning- parenting 101(know when a break down is about to occur and thwart that little breakdown beast with-you guessed it something from your magic bag of planning), and the C.A.R.E.S Safety Seat Belt.

Need a refresher of my Flying with a Toddler checklist? CLICK HERE

As I was freaking out the night before we were set to leave-as I normally do-I did some research on just how much room our car seat was going to take up on the plane.  As we all know, those seats are getting smaller and smaller and car seats are getting larger and larger! Low and behold our fancy schmancy car seat is not even approved by the FAA to be used in an airplane- some are- just not ours.  Didn’t even think there would be car seats made that would not meet the specifications of the FAA- MOM FAIL.  
So what does any rational human do upon learning this valuable information?
Yes, I was completely irrational and went about asking GOOGLE what on earth I was supposed to do with a 36 pound toddler- MY 36 POUND TODDLER- who wiggles and wriggles and can scoot out of the little lap belt on the plane.  For this time- even though he is only a year and a half- he has his own seat-this belly being 8 months pregnant with a 36 pound toddler as a “lap” child would just be ridiculous and dangerous to all those involved.
Well, Google made it’s Momma proud.  I found the CARES Seat Belt- found a store that carried them and then sent my husband(my lovely husband) out at 9PM at night to knab that sucker because our flight was at 7AM the next day and I JUST HAD TO HAVE THE SEAT BELT.  Seriously- read some of the hundreds of comments from thankful parents who have flown all over the world.  TRUST those reviews. I DID. And gosh-almighty am I glad that I did.
The seat belt was easy to use- looked like and fit like the exact same harness that our car seat uses and the Toddler got to sit in the window seat-like a big boy-the BIG boy that he is-and just relax.  Felt right at home in the harness.

CARES Safety Seat Belt Overview: 

CARES Child Aviation Restraint System is designed specifically for aviation use for children age 1 and older who weigh between 22 and 44 pounds. CARES is the first and only seat belt approved and certified by the FAA as an alternative to a car seat.
Is it a cure all? No.  If you have no control over your child and can not discipline them at home then this extra step just saves the people around you from being trampled-climbed on and kicked- but if you plan accordingly with books, healthy snacks, “new” toys(ones they haven’t seen in awhile), and are an able-bodied parent who knows how to discipline-then this is the icing on the cake!
Tired? Yes. BUT WE MADE IT!
Please note that all opinions are my own- I was not contacted by the company-I just TRULY think this is a life-saver for parents and am hoping that this information helps parents on flights with their little ones.  
For the first time in 12 flights- 12 solo flights- I felt calm on the plane with my little one.  
And that my dear friends is PRICELESS.

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