We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Lap baby

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
31 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Lap baby

We will be flying to Amsterdam in mid-May with a lap child (1-year-old baby), raising a few questions, not to mention some anxiety:

1) Some advice-givers suggest the 2 parents should book aisle and window seats rather than 2 seats next to each other ... the idea being that the stranger you're sandwiching will be thrilled to move, and you'll get that seat free. BUT the last few times we've flown, the flights seemed seriously booked full. Is the aisle/window trick an unsafe gamble?

2) assuming we do indeed keep baby in lap during sleeping hours (it's an overnight flight), what's the best wearable baby pouch/carrier/doodad for a parent?

Thanks all.

k

Fredericia, Denmark
Level Contributor
37,532 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Lap baby

Why not just request a bassinet seat?

Madrid
Level Contributor
3,211 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Lap baby

I agree with Hans,get a bassinet seat,even if you have to pay extra for seat reservation.Your aisle and window seat trick may backfire,and end up with you spread about the aircraft,as the airline now knows you do not wish to sit together.

Charlotte, North...
Level Contributor
1,884 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Lap baby

Depending on the airline and the child, a one year old may not fit in a bassinet. Check the airline website carefully. The aisle window trick will probably work, i think most people will gladly move from the middle to the adjoining aisle seat, but if the plane is full or near full, do not count on getting a seat for free. The hope is that if the plane is not full, everybody will get a window or aisle, but that is unlikely.

Some airlines will try to put families in bulkhead seats, but we found that once our son was to big for the bassinet, which was before he turned one, seats with raisable armrests were better than bulkhead seats.

If you book seats together, and their are available seats, I think there is a good chance the third passenger will move seats. If there are no available seats at least you will be together.

Salisbury, United...
Level Contributor
7,992 posts
136 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Lap baby

I'm sorry to say but if you want three seats pay for them. You seem to have a concern about having your child on your lap for the whole journey so pay for the seat. That way you should be able to use a car seat and junior will be much happier. Or try for a bassinet as suggested.

If you try your aisle/ window ploy and some one is allocated the middle seat it will most likely be a full flight. It puts the passenger in a difficult position and the staff then have to sort the situation.

To have a child on your lap for a long journey is hard work. Try it at home, take a chair, sit close to a wall and see what it's like. An extra seat/bassinet will help you arrive at your destination more refreshed.

London, United...
Level Contributor
27,178 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Lap baby

I agree, if someone is allocated the middle seat, odds are the flight is full and they will have no where to move to, no matter how much they wanted to. In that situation, you could simply offer them the window seat, so they are not disturbed by you moving about with your child, howevr if they want out it may be when your child is sleeping, so tough either way.

A bassinet seat is seldom suitable for a child much over 8 months old. Personally I would pay a child fare and have the middle seat for my child. It's a tough journey as it is, without trying to do it with a one year old on your lap for several hours. Honestly try it at home, spend the night on a kitchen chair, up against the wall, with your child in your lap, and you might come to the conclusion that paying a child fare is worth every cent. Thr child on your lap for frree is really only good on short haul trips, long haul and its very tough. However if it's not financially possible, then you are either going to get lucky with available seats ( up the back is usually freest) or not and it's not easy but doable.

atlanta
Level Contributor
4,179 posts
43 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Lap baby

A few years ago the try for an empty seat might have worked, but over the past years the airlines have dramatically reduced capacity so they could sell seats at a profitable price so don't count on the trick working

Bassinets are generally requests so even if you ask for one, there are no guarantees

I assume you have let the airline know you have the child. There will be a charge and it is cheaper to pay it earlier. (it is based on the current fare). This is not like a flight to Orlando or Chicago where you can just show up with the child and waltz on.

Chicagoland
Level Contributor
20,466 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Lap baby

There are other advantages to buying a seat.

Use the child's accustomed carseat in that seat. Even very small children have learned that they stay in their carseat to the end of the 'ride'.

When do you hold him on your lap? It's probably only long enough to read "Pat the Bunny". How often does your child sleep while being held?

This is the first long trip you'll make on a plane with your child, not the last. It's good to establish a pattern. This expectation is also a boon after a child is walking. ( You can have NO trips up and down the aisle, or you can be begged for a stroll for every waking minute if you've permitted ONE.)

Carry him onto the plane and strap him in his carseat. Carry him to the lavatory to be changed (and just for some time out of the seat). Carry him off the plane.

Don't forget his usual carseat toy or 'pal'.

albuquerque
Level Contributor
972 posts
33 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Lap baby

Add to the above the safety factor. Holding a child during turbulence or a rough take-off or landing is much more dangerous than having the child in a car seat or child safety harness in their own seat. While adults walk away from these things children can be seriously injured.

If you must avoid buying a seat then I would get one of the wraps designed for bigger babies so you can secure the baby to your body. I find the wraps work better than the carriers. But, if your baby isn't used to being carried on your body then he may object, so be sure to work on this before leaving home.

Whatever you do DON"T even consider any medication to make the baby sleepy. Dangerous and often backfires.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
31 posts
1 review
Save Reply
9. Re: Lap baby

Believe me, I understand the advantages of buying the third seat.

Which is $1,000.

And Delta/KLM gives no discounts for children.

Flying business class would have lots of advantages, too. Also unaffordable.

So on to next question ... what is the best wearable equipment for the child?

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
35,753 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Lap baby

While I can appreciate the $1000 around 10 days ago I met someone who flew across the country. They flew at the same time as the Tornados in Texas and they had loads of turbulence. People were having a next to impossible time holding their babies! As the plane jumps, your arms just naturally want to move The longer you are holding tight the harder it is for your muscles. There was another flight that had to divert because a number of passengers were injured. Please try to find a way to get the baby a seat.

Also, check and make sure the airlines will allow the baby to be carried tied to your body!