Up, up and away
If you don’t pay for baby’s ticket (often a reduced fare until age 2), there’s the chance she’ll be sitting in your lap, which is not necessarily safe or comfortable. For safety’s sake, buy your child her own airplane seat and secure her car seat in it. According to Alison Duquette, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration, the car seat should be certified for aircraft use; check the label to be sure. Also check the car seat’s width; one wider than l6 inches probably won’t fit properly in the airplane seat. For more information call the FAA at (800) 322-7873 or visit www.faa.gov
Another safety option is the Baby B’Air turbulence-protection vest, a safety device approved by the FAA for infants and toddlers ages 6 weeks to 2 years who are held in a parent’s lap. When properly secured, the vest helps protect a child from injury during sudden air turbulence by securely attaching the child to the adult’s lap belt. It is available through The Right Start stores, catalog or Web site (www.rightstart.com
Other tips: Book a nonstop flight if possible, and ask about off-hour, midweek travel, as the rates are often cheaper and the planes less full. Also try flying when baby is sleepy; some parents swear by red-eye flights. Finally, nurse your child or give her a bottle during takeoff and landing to relieve ear pressure.