As mentioned before in Part 1 (see Pre-Travel Considerations…Tips on Booking Flights), planning is everything in regards to traveling successfully with a young toddler under 2 years of age. One important consideration is whether to get a bulkhead seat with a bassinet or get the child his/her own row seat. On our recent trip to Asia, we had the chance to experience both, so here in Part 2 are some thoughts and considerations on getting a row seat for your toddler.
Pros: There are quite a few benefits to getting your child his/her own seat in a regular row. One advantage is that you can keep some needed items stowed under the seat in front during takeoff and landing. The middle armrests between seats can be pushed up, so a child will not only get his/her own seat, but he or she can also lie down quite easily across your laps. Also the video/entertainment screen is right in front of your child so it is up close and available for touch screen fun. Having your toddler have his/her own pull down tray also means all 3 can have meal trays and eat at the same time.
Cons & Considerations: When we had a row to ourselves, we were surprised to see that our toddler found it more difficult to sleep on the harder seat cushion. She would wake up every 10-15 min when she turned, then scream for 5-10 minutes until she went back to sleep. Finally we had to get her deeply asleep first on a breastfeeding pillow on our lap and then transfer the whole pillow and her body to the seat itself. After that she slept beautifully for the next 6 hours. Another disadvantage of getting your child his/her own seat is of course the cost. However, generally the fare of a seat for a child under 2 years of age is not the full adult fare. Finally, having a row seat could mean the possibility of annoying passengers in the seat in front, especially if you have a fidgety toddler who loves to kick things like the back of seats!
Stay tuned…next up is Part 3 of this series where we examine the pros and cons of getting a bulkhead seat for your child. Of course the best case scenario is if you get the bulkhead seating with bassinet AND an empty seat next to you as well, but this has only happened once during our 3 flights with assigned bulkhead seating!