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Definitely book a seat! I flew to Canada with my 20mo DS back in July. I had a long haul flight to Newark then two 'short' hops to my destination. If I hadn't had a seat it would have been a hellish journey! DS sat in the middle seat, and we were lucky to have a very nice man in the window seat. DS went to sleep for a good part of the journey (thank god!) and the cabin crew entertained him for a little while too. I bought a little wheelie bag for my DS so he could carry his toys, it was brill. Meant I didn't have to lug all his toys around on my bag! I also took some kiddie headphones, a portable DVD player and some movies on a USB stick. I put crayons, trucks and toys he hadn't played with before in his bag and loaded my iPad with toddler games. I was a little worried about our first flight, and it was just me and him haha! He was an absolute angel, thank god
I flew 4 hours with my 21 month old last weekend. He's small but we def booked him his own seat. I was tossing up whether to take the carseat on board with us (we needed it at our destination) but we ended up checking it in and that was the best decision. DS was very happy to sit in his own seat and spent most of the time playing with the infant safety belt. On my lap for takeoff and landing (leave it right to the last min to buckle DC to you if you have a squirmer!). I made sure we didn't book the front seats so we were in seats where the armrests go up. We watched a lot of mr tumble on the iPad and the biggest hassle was changing a dirty nappy in the toilets.
Two hours, I wouldn't bother. 9 hours, I would get an extra seat. I took a big 18 month old on a 9 hour flight and it was hard hard work. The only way we survived it on the way back was the cabin crew took pity on me and gave up their spare seats so Dd could have one and stretch out to sleep.
We flew this year to Majorca. I'm glad we didn't take a car seat as it was one more thing to lug around. We got very nervous before hand but with all new sights sounds smells dd was actually very well behaved. Friends have been to US and also said similar.
How tight is money? If no object, I would book a seat.
If you don't book one, unless the plane if totally full, you will probably be ok. I flew with DS aged 22 months to Dubai when I was pregnant. He was pretty well behaved (and I worked very hard to ensure he was!) and I was given a seat for him. I didn't bother with a car seat. The bulkhead seats will be good for space, but the bassinets will be far too small.
I would go with papooshka - book a seat , don't bother with a car seat unless you really need it in the US. She will need a lap belt and often when they head count I reminded the crew that dd was an infant . For that length of a flight it makes it all round easier on you all....
tbh hmmmum you have answered your own question!! 9 hours with a big wriggly bored 2 year old on your lap? not me either. book her a separate seat. you will need to take a car seat if you hire a car anyway as i dont trust the ones they provide. check with your airline and also consider paying the extra to book a seat with leg room. its not just you coping it is all the people around you some of whom are very intolerant on long flights. take lots of toys too!
I would definitely book a separate seat for her. You don't need a car seat, just turn up as you are. You may have to have her on your lap for take off and landing but the rest of the time she has her own seat and you are all much more comfortable!
Hi I know this topic has been talked about already on mumsnet but I can't seem to find an answer to my question specifically. We're planning to fly to the US with our daughter next year (9 hour flight). She'll be 21 months so as she's under 2, we wouldn't technically need to book her a separate seat and she could stay on our laps. However it's quite a long flight and I'm not sure we could cope with her being squashed up with us for 9 hours once we are trying to have meals /sleep etc. And I think she'd be too big for any carrycot the airline supplies - she is very tall for her age and big. She's 18 months now and is the size of a lot of two-year-olds. So my question is: Should we book her a separate seat? If we do, would we need to bring a car seat with us or do we just turn up as we are? Advice VERY much appreciated, i've been googling this for ages and can't figure it out! I think it's just that she's at an awkward age - she isn't a little baby but equally she won't be two or three yet.