By The Flying Pinto

We are traveling on Monday and this is big news because Lucy is two and this means she can no longer be a “lap” child. It is also big news because it means, new travel gear! Specifically, the
CARES child aviation restraint system, it is a safety harness for kids. As you can see in the picture you use the seat belt and the seat to create a harness.(I will post a pic of Lucy using the harness after we travel) It is approved by the FAA, and most airlines. (check with yours before you fly) The airplane seat belt alone does not protect small kids who cannot brace themselves. It only weighs one pound which makes it super easy to bring in your carry on.

Another change for us…something I never thought would happen……is we will be checking our luggage! Yes, you read that right. We have to check Lucy’s car seat anyway, and Lucy’s clothes no longer fit in my suitcase so we bought…gulp…a large suitcase. Something else I never thought I would do! I still say if you are traveling alone, with an infant (love the sling!), or with people who can lug their own luggage then by all means “carry on!” But, for those of you with toddlers, checking is going to cause less stress. There are a couple of very important points to remember when checking:

  • Get to the airport earlier
  • Do not put valuables in your checked bags
  • do not put you meds in your checked bags
  • tell whoever is picking you up that you checked your bag, if you arrive on time, have them add 45 minutes to your arrival time….this should give you enough time to get your bags and be out waiting for them, that way they shouldn’t have to circle the airport.

I am actually looking forward to going through security with a lot less stuff! I will let you know how the harness works for us. I have read nothing but good reviews so I am anticipating a smooth flight: )



  1. Oh the joys of travelling with young kids!

    We usually travel to Australia once a year and the 26 hour flight is a nightmare, until they brought seat back entertainment in to help ease the journey

  2. Happy Birthday to Lucy !

  3. The Flying Pinto @ 2009-04-07 06:26

    Mr-Stu….yikes! 26 hours? I hope you stay a few weeks once you get there: )Yes, seat back entertainment has helped us all!!!!!

    Albert, Thank You: )

  4. The Flying Pinto @ 2009-04-07 06:28

    mr-stu, one more thing….I would love to hear some of your secrets for traveling on long flights with little people…any advice for us?

  5. OConnellFamily @ 2009-04-15 21:02

    Why not just install the carseat on the plane? I’ve used the CARES – they are ok. It would be really cool if the airlines provided them. But I find my kids sit so nicely in carseats – and they don’t fidget – they can sleep nicely (the cares still allows them to wiggle out, and they have trouble sleeping). Also – as a carseat tech, I never recommend checking carseats (from a different prospective i guess!) – they can become damaged being thrown around. Then you could be really in trouble when you get to your destination and the carseat is broken! They have a special back strap that you can use – you can also get the little stroller attachment to put the carseat on (for convertibles). Anyhow – just thought I’d mention it!

  6. The Flying Pinto @ 2009-04-15 22:07

    OConnell Family, Hi welcome to The Flying Pinto! I used to love bringing the car seat on the airplane. I carried Lucy in a sling until about a year and a half and I had the stroller attachment for it, after that we used to attach the car seat to our suitcase and have her sit in it while being pulled…it was great! Now that she is bigger, I find the car seat is too big on the plane….Lucy can’t stretch her legs out straight and on a long flight that’s a lot to ask of a toddler: )

    Good point about the car seat possibly getting dammaged, we have a good cover which keeps it clean? Hmmm?? Not sure what could be done to keep it from getting damaged?

    As far as the CARES…we haven’t tested ours yet….no-reving….ughh! Anyway, I still will use it until a better alternative comes out, I think it is important to harness a kid…even a kid too big for a car seat. I totally agree with you, the airline should provide them! That would be great!

  7. Marc Cote @ 2010-09-30 22:09

    I wanted to thank you for this info and the traveling with two under two. We recently took our 14 month old granddaughter on her first airplane ride. My wife and I bought three seats from MCI to BWI roundtrip to show up unannounced at her mother's retirement party with her great granddaughter! We used the car seat on the way there and let me tell you, it stunk. I had to sit next to it and it intruded into my seat-space due to the side impact safety features. When we arrived in Baltimare, I found a shop in Fairfax VA that sold CARES harnesses and we bought one for the trip home. I love it! The FA's on the return trip loved it.We will never use a car seat again on the aircraft. CARES rules! Thanks again for such valuable info.