Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A New Phase in Parenting: Travel Booster Seats

Our family is entering a new phase in our parenting: Instead of lugging our giant carseats around the airport (using our double stroller) and needing to stop and check them at the counter, we are now making the switch to using these inflatable booster seats for traveling. These things deflate and fit into a tiny bag that can be packed in the boys' carry-on luggage.

We are now a family with just carry-on luggage. What?!?

Don't get me wrong: I am all-too-aware of how fast our boys are going to grow up and how painful it's going to be when they leave the house. I try to savor every last moment as much as I can (but parenting is really, really hard!). But I'm not going to lie that it feels totally liberating to not have to schlep so much stuff to the airport for a vacation. 

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Jennie said...

This would be a game-changer for air travel! Sadly, they're not approved for use in Canada,so we wouldn't even be allowed to use them on a plane. Bummer!

Thais said...

Do they have to be 40 pounds like it says on Amazon? It seems like they would be super convenient

Sasha-Ingenue said...

Please bear with me, as I write this out of concern and support... And yes, lugging carseats through airports totally sucks. <3
Backless boosters are generally not recommended by carseat techs until age 5, ideally (with some exceptions). I believe Tate is 3, yes? Height and weight minimums for car seats/boosters are just that - bear bones minimums. In no way do these minimums mean this seating option is "safe". In a prefect world, children should rear-face in a carseat until age 4 or even older (if the seat is designed to rear face with bigger/heavier kids). Spinal development changes drastically around age 4, making forward facing safer. There has been a lot of research about this lately and many other parts of the world rear-faces their kiddos until 4 or older. A google search or two will reveal a treasure trove of info on this topic, I wholeheartedly recommend reading up on it. My biggest concern about this inflatable booster is the lack of ability to properly adjust the shoulder strap on a child. Tate should st least be in a forward facing car seat with a 5 point harness. Henry would be much safer in a full backed booster with belt positioners. I also recommend joining the Facebook group "Carseats For the Littles". It is run by certified carseat techs and they are a wealth of information. I have especially had my eyes opened by watching crash test videos of various carseats/boosters and installation arrangements on youtube. HIGHLY informative. And since it's winter, I will add that coats should come off in car seats. The bulkyness of a coat prevents the straps from being tightened around the child properly. Ponchos and blankets are great alternatives. The coat can go in the car and be put back on the child before getting out at a destination.
Again, my intentions here are from the heart. I hope this is helpful for all who read it.

Sara E. Cotner said...

Hi, Sasha-Ingenue! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! I have friends who agree with everything you're saying and keep their older children rear-facing. Tate does meet the minimum height and weight requirements for these travel boosters (he's a BIG three year-old!). We only use these for travel. Otherwise, both Henry and Tate are in 5-point carseats and will be until they outgrow them!

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