I know many people prefer to bring strollers, either simple umbrella strollers or larger strollers for infants and toddlers, on flights rather than bringing a carrier. It's a personal choice, with pros and cons whichever option you choose. (You can read more of my thoughts on and tips for strollers on flights in this blog post: Flying with kids: all about strollers.)
Some of my reasons for preferring a carrier to a stroller on board are:
- A carrier is more portable, and can be brought inside the plane. Usually a stroller has to be checked, either with the luggage, or at the gate.
- Because the carrier is with you, on the plane, you don't have to wait around for it to be brought out, either at the gate (if you checked it at the gate), or on the luggage carousel.
- A carrier frees up your hands when you're going through the airport so you can use them to find travel documents, hold another child's hand, or carry luggage or carry-ons, etc. An infant carrier can also be used on board to hold your baby comfortably, while still leaving your hands free.
|Another kind of child carrier... basic mom-style.|
I loved our carriers and we got a lot of use out of them, using them on flights, hikes in the woods, and when heading out for sightseeing or shopping trips. How much you'll end up using one will depend not only on your preference of course, but on how much your baby or child likes being in the carrier. For example, my son liked sitting in the back carrier and just enjoying the scenery for a lot longer than our daughter did: she was much more into wanting to walk and run around on her own at an earlier age.
There are lots of different brands of child carriers. Here are some examples of quality carriers that would all be good choices when you're traveling by plane, train, or automobile, if you're going for a walk around town or hiking the great outdoors:
Baby Björn - This was the infant carrier I used for both my kids. I found it really comfortable to wear for them and me.
Boba - Boba offers both carriers and wraps. I've never tried the Boba products myself, but the wrap looks very easy to wear, lightweight, soft and comfortable for a baby. It also looks like a good choice for an infant when you're traveling by plane since it's light and easy to pack. Their carriers also look both comfortable and durable. Boba offers soft carriers that can be used to carry a baby either on your back, or on your chest.
Snugli - Another brand offering a variety of soft baby carriers that can be carried on your chest or on your back. I have lots of friends and family who used this brand and loved the carriers.
Baby slings/wraps - Two other brands of sling-type baby carriers are the Moby Wrap, and the Maya Wrap. Just like the Boba wrap, these are soft, and basically all fabric (no hardware, like straps and buckles), making them light-weight and easy to pack.
Deuter back-carriers - This is the brand of back-carrier we used when our kids got too big for the baby carrier. We liked ours a lot, and it made it easy to go for hikes, or get through airports. I found ours to be very durable and comfortable to carry.
Kelty carriers - This is another brand of back-carrier, and they look like a good, versatile, and easy to bring-along type of carrier.
Piggyback Rider - The Piggyback Rider is a different type of back-carrier from the ones I've seen and used before. Instead of sitting, the child is securely harnessed and stands on a bar rather than sitting in a seat. It does look very easy to use, functional and safe, and also looks like it would be really easy to pack and bring along if you're traveling by plane.