Friendlier skies for jet-setting toddlers


Traveling with small children is a sherpa-like experience that tests not only strength, endurance and patience, but also creativity and negotiation skills. Nowadays, it has now also become expensive, thanks to the new baggage fees airlines are charging.

In the past, frazzled families checked luggage under the plane leaving "hands free" (haha) to tote diaper bags, backpacks of books and toys, 20-lb car seats, jackets, a purse, snacks -- and, oops, the kids! Amazing Race contestants have nothing on parents traveling with toddlers. But Thanks to ever increasing baggage fees, frugal families now have to carry on their luggage as well. It just adds to the hell of traveling with small children. What can you do?

Louise Stoll, a former Assistant Secretary within the Department of Transportation, and grandmother of nine, did something about it.

She remembers her "Aha moment" like this: "My daughter, Miriam, came to visit us and stepped off the plane carrying a 2-year-old toddler, a 20 pound car seat, a diaper bag, and she was 7-months pregnant! I thought there had to be a better way and I went home and started to draw pictures of what I though a child safety device designed for airplanes -- not cars -- ought to look like. My husband, an attorney, looked at the sketches and sent me to a patent attorney."