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I need a car seat/stroller solution for the airport!

Just read on your site about taxis and car seats. I’m having real issue trying to figure out how to get my nine-month-old around when traveling. He has outgrown the Snap ‘N Go, and it seems the only alternative is to get a lightweight stroller and a car seat and the wheels to transport the car seat through the airport. Why can’t they just invent a Snap ‘N Go for toddler seats, i.e a base on wheels (not the ones low down to the ground, but a base that can act as a stroller), and then you can click your toddler seat into the base? Isn’t this an obvious invention? – Lighten My Load

Dear Lighten,

We would have thought so too. As city dwellers without the convenience of car ownership, as soon as our kids outgrew the portable infant seat, we found ourselves musing on the obvious hole in the market. When we talked to a friend, the designer of this fantasy inflatable car seat, he gave us his theory on why this niche may not be filled any time soon. Before something can be sold as a car seat in the U.S., it must be approved according to government standards. This process is at the intersection of child safety and bureaucracy, which as you might imagine, is a rather tough intersection to cross. Many genius ideas have been squelched at some point along this road, often, probably, at the “imagining how hard it might be to get approval” stage, and we encourage some hardy inventors to forge ahead and change the car seat landscape.

In the meantime, there are some newer products available that could meet your needs.

The Tote a Tot will actually allow you to affix your child to your rolling luggage, an odd-looking but possibly convenient solution. Here’s a simpler solution from Go Go Babyz. It’s not quite a Snap N’ Go situation (your child will effectively become a piece of rolling luggage), but it’s a start. Then there’s the good old Sit N Stroll, a car seat that grows wheels and becomes a stroller; this product has dominated the market in this area for awhile. It’s a great concept, but the actual design is pretty clunky: it’s an okay carseat, but its strolling capabilities leave something to be desired. And finally, there’s the Baby B’Air vest. This takes care of the airplane part of the equation; you may be able to rent a carseat at your destination and get away with a lighter load.

It would be so nice to have an easy solution to reduce the formidable logistical hassle of traveling with children. We’re surprised sometimes that some parents don’t seem to mind dragging multiple ginormous toddler seats through the airport along with their army of rollie bags. So it may be that we are in the whiny minority who won’t just grit their teeth and schlep. But, hey, if it weren’t for complainers, would there ever be any progress?

Have a question? Email beingpregnant@babble.com

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