November 2, 2009

Airplane Travel Made Easy – Ditch the Carseat for a CARES Harness

bump.  "Excuse me! Oops – so sorry! Oh my gosh – Raines, no kick!  So sorry about that!"

bump bump.  "Excuse me! Oops – so sorry! Yes, it IS hard to fit through."

bump.  "Was that your toe?  I'm so sorry!"

bump bump bump. "Oh!  I'm sorry.  Oops! Yes, I do have a laptop in this bag."

bump.  SIGH. 

IMG_0730 Raines was in the Ergo, my diaper bag weighed about 50 lbs (it was stuffed full of dipaers, wipes, clothes, a laptop and various toys/dvds/non-messy art supplies), and I was attempting to wheel the car seat to the very BACK of the airplane, where the stewardess had so very helpfully assigned us two seats.  THANK YOU, UNITED.  And it turns out that while our car seat DOES indeed fit down the aisle of the plane, it only fits by INCHES.  THANK YOU BRITAX.  Or maybe, THANK YOU BOEING.  Not really sure who to blame for this one.  But one thing was clear:  never again would I bring a car seat on-board an airplane.

 Once at our destination, I ordered a CARES harness (pictured at left) and used it on the return trip home, as well as all on all of our subsequent trips.  Instead of wrestling the ridiculously heavy car seat down the aisle, the CARES harness weighs roughly 1 lb, and fits into a 6" stuff sack.  It's completely easy to install on the plane and Raines has spent many a flight snoozing in his harness. 

The only two downsides are that the harness isn't as comfy as his car seat, so we've tried to induce him to sleep by flying during naptimes or at 6AM.  Also, CARES is only for kiddos who are over a year old.  

This product is officially approved by the FAA as a car seat replacement on an airplane. It retails for $75.

So now, travel is easy.  I check the car seat with my luggage (virtually all airlines check it for free), throw the little man in the Ergo, and off we go!  Now the only thing I end up apologizing for is my singing.

ps.  To the dude in 16C on Frontier Flight 652 last week, I am especially sorry for the many, many, MANY renditions of the hokey-pokey you had to endure.  But trust me – it was still better than the alternative.



By November 2, 2009 9 No tags Permalink
  • Mo'mama
    November 2, 2009

    For younger kids, check out the Baby B’Air vest. Please note that it is not an FAA-approved replacement for a car seat, but in the event that you plan to travel without your younger infant’s car seat or if you think you may hold your child frequently during flight to soothe/nurse, this is absolutely better than nothing and very comfortable for both parent and child.

  • Tegan and Tage
    November 3, 2009

    Great suggestions! Now, anything for a family who is about to drive 1800 miles across the country with a 9 month old? Input appreciated!!! (

  • Medela Symphony
    January 24, 2010

    Thank you for the tips, they are certainly going to be helpful big time! thank you once again.

  • Holiday Park Breaks
    February 27, 2010

    The design and content of the site impress me so much. I will recommend this site to many users.
    Find the different type of Holiday Park Breaks in Norfolk with standard Lodge Holidays with Hot Tubs and relaxed environment. We offer ideal holiday parks and log cabins for you.

  • air jordans
    March 8, 2010

    I like it very much.Where can I get it?

  • S
    March 9, 2010

    You can get the CARES harness at

  • lodges with hot tubs
    March 16, 2010

    Great suggestions! for traveling

  • Bandhav Madivada
    June 30, 2011

    These are great suggestions, they are going to be helpful big time! I like it very much and I would love to know if you can give me more suggestions how to travel with my 7 month old baby across the country??

    November 24, 2011

    I tried the wheel of the car seat in most of the rear of the aircraft where the flight attendant was so kindly gave us two seats.

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