How am I going to get around while on holidays? Can I take an Uber with a baby or toddler?
As baby travel experts, we get asked a lot of questions about how to get around with a baby while traveling. Parents naturally want to keep their baby safe while traveling, but bringing your own car seat and understanding foreign car seat laws isn’t always easy. This is where taking Uber with a baby comes into the equation. Wouldn’t it be easy to just Uber with your baby while travelling? Read on for everything you need to know about how to Uber with a baby while traveling.
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Ridesharing with a Baby or Toddler
Ridesharing services such as Uber, Lyft and Grab make it super easy for most people to get around while traveling, but traveling with a baby is a little harder. Car seat laws for ridesharing services and taxis are different in every location around the world, but as a rule of thumb, rideshare companies always require the use of a car seat for a baby passenger.
It’s a bit shocking to learn that in some cities around the world you may bring an infant in a taxi without a car seat. While this may be tempting to leave your car seat at home, traveling with your baby or toddler in a taxi without a car seat is a huge safety risk, which we do not ever recommend. There are safer alternatives to consider to get around with your baby while traveling.
Below you will find a summary of the baby-friendly services currently offered by the Uber, Lyft, Bolt and Grab ridesharing services. Unfortunately the baby-friendly ridesharing services offered are currently limited in nature, but the general trend seems to be expanding.
If taking an Uber with a baby is not an option at your destination, don’t despair; you can still get around with your baby on your trip. Learn from our own baby travel experiences in our complete guide to “Traveling With Car Seats”.
How to Uber with a Baby or Toddler
Uber is the world-leader of ridesharing services, operating in over 10,000 cities worldwide. The ease of use and widespread availability of Uber drivers makes it our go-to ridesharing app around the world.
Uber with Your Own Car Seat
To travel in an Uber with a baby or toddler under 2 years old, you must bring your own car seat and you will be responsible for installing it. This may sound intimidating to parents as Uber drivers have a reputation for being in a hurry, but don’t let this dissuade you. In our experience taking an Uber with car seats, every single Uber driver has been very patient and supportive while we installed our own car seats.
If you are wondering if your child can ride in an Uber without car seat, be aware that your Uber driver is required to (and very likely will) refuse your ride if you don’t have the proper restraints for your baby.
Using Uber Without Your Own Car Seat
If you are taking an Uber with a toddler over 24 months old, you can get an Uber with a car seat in a few select markets around the world. For an extra $10 USD per ride, the Uber Car Seat program will send an Uber car with an approved forward-facing car seat. Depending on where you are, the Uber Car Seat program is sometimes referred to as the uberFAMILY, UberKids or Uber ChildSeat.
Criteria for the Uber Car Seat Program
The criteria for parents to use the Uber Car Seat program are:
- Children must be over 24 months old, and
- Weigh between 22 – 48 lbs, and
- be between 31-52 inches tall.
In other words, if your baby is under 22 lbs or shorter than 31″, they are too small for the Uber Car Seat Program. Likewise, if your baby is over 48 lbs or taller than 52″, they are too big for the Uber Car Seat Program.
Where Can I Use the Uber Car Seat Program?
When we first published this blog post about taking Uber with a baby, the Uber Car Seat service was only available for parents traveling to NYC with a baby or toddler. The great news is that the Uber Car Seat program has been expanded to several locations.
We’ve been able to confirm the Uber Car Seat program operates in the following markets:
- New York City
- Orlando (Options: Uber X Car Seat and Black Car Seat)
- Washington D.C. (Options: Uber X Car Seat and Black Car Seat)
- Istanbul (called UberFamily – info may be outdated)
- Most major cities in Taiwan (Taipei, Taichung, Kaohsiung and more)
- Brussels, Belgium (called Uber ChildSeat)
- Several cities in Chile – service is called UberKids (Puerto Montt, La Serena, Concepcion, and more)
- Montevideo, Uruguay
I have heard reports that Uber Car Seat is also available in Philadelphia, but so far the Uber website does not list this option. Please email us if you see the Uber Car Seat service available anywhere else and we’ll add it to the list.
How to Find Uber With Car Seat Service
Unfortunately, the Uber Car Seat webpage doesn’t provide a master list to know where Uber Car Seat services are currently available. To find if Uber Car Seat is available in your area or destination, simply go to the list of cities Uber operates in, click on your destination city and see if Uber Car Seat, UberFAMILY, Uber ChildSeat or Uber Kids are listed as an option.
Just to reiterate, even if your baby does not meet the size requirements, or if Uber Car Seat isn’t available in your area, you can still Uber with a baby, but you’ll need to bring and install your own car seat.
Lyft with a Baby or Toddler
A rapidly growing competitor to Uber, Lyft operates primarily in the major markets in the United States and Canada.
Lyft Car Seat Mode
Lyft offers a similar program to Uber Car Seat called “Lyft Car Seat Mode“. Although Lyft Car Seat Mode is only available in New York City, they make it sound like they are expanding the service to new markets, so watch for Lyft Car Seat mode when you book your ride.
As with Uber, babies using the Lyft Car Seat Mode service provides a front-facing car seat. In order to use this service, your child must be over 2 years old, weigh between 22 – 48 lbs and be between 31 – 52 inches tall.
Using Lyft with Your Own Car Seat
If you want to take a Lyft with a baby, but the car seat mode is not available in your destination or if your baby is under 2 years old, you must provide and install your own car seats. You will be refused service by your Lyft driver if you do not have adequate child restraints for your baby.
Bolt with a Baby or Toddler
Formerly known as Taxify, Bolt is the largest ridesharing service in Europe and have expanded to offer ridesharing services around the globe.
Bolt Ridesharing with a Car Seat
Originally, parents using Bolt with a baby, could only get car seats in Budapest. The May 2019 trial run in Budapest must have gone well, as they have made it easier to ride Bolt with a baby in more markets. That said, it’s not exactly easy to determine where Bolt offers ridesharing with child seats. In some markets, they call the service “Child”, while in others they call it “Assist” or “Kids”.
Bolt doesn’t publish a list of cities where they offer the ridesharing service with provided car seats. As of our latest update, we have found you can order a Bolt with a car seat in Budapest, Dublin, Malta, Lisbon, Rīga, Tallinn, Stockholm,Gothenburg, Jurmala, Boras, Porto, Parnu and Vilnius.
The good news is that each time we have updated this “How to Rideshare with a Baby” post, Bolt has expanded their list of cities with child seat options. Given the continued expansion of the Bolt child seat service, parents who wish to ride Bolt with a baby should look for the car seat service at their destination.
The Bolt Child programs provides a car equipped with at least one booster seat for a child weighing 15 – 36 kg (33 – 79 lbs)
Bolt Ridesharing with Your Own Car Seat
Outside of these locations, if you plan to ride Bolt with your baby, you must bring and install your own approved child-seat.
Grab with a Baby or Toddler
Grab is the dominant ridesharing service in Southeast Asia (in fact, Grab bought Uber’s SE Asia operations). Safety standards in Asia are often thought of as lower than in the US and EU, but the safety requirements to ride Grab with a baby are every bit as stringent as in North America.
If you use Grab with a baby less than 1 year old, you must provide your own rear-facing car seat – no other devices may be used, including baby carriers or harnesses.
GrabFamily Car Seats
Grab offers a baby-friendly service in Singapore and Philippines called GrabFamily. Since the original version of this “Uber with a Baby” article, Grab has expanded their GrabFamily offering into two categories:
- Babies and toddlers aged 1 – 3, less than 1 m (39″) tall. Parents riding Grab with a baby between the ages of 1-3 will be provided a driver installed forward facing car seat which meets the same safety standards as the USA, Canada and EU.
- Children aged 4 – 7, between 1 m – 1.35 m tall (39 – 53″). Parents riding Grab with children aged 4-7, will be provided a mifold booster seat. (We used the travel-friendly mifold booster seat in Colombia with our kids).
Grab drivers must complete mandatory safety training and pass an exam before being accepted to drive for the GrabFamily service.
Grab Ridesharing with Your Own Car Seat
As with all the other leading rideshare services, if you wish to use Grab with your own car seat, you must use an approved model for your child’s age & size and you must install it yourself. Your driver can refuse to transport you without an approved child restraint device.
So, Can You Uber with a Baby While Traveling?
As you can see, unless you are in a market where Uber Car Seat is offered, taking an Uber with a baby isn’t the best way to get around, unless you want to lug you own car seat around with you. Don’t despair, there are still many great options available to you to safely get around with your baby on vacation.
If you are visiting Europe with your baby (or another walkable destination), one strategy which we have used often in our travels is to arrange a private transfer from the airport to our hotel. Once at our hotel, we either walk everywhere or take public transit to get around with our baby.
A private transfer is an very affordable luxury, especially when traveling with a baby or toddler. Your driver will meet you at the arrival gate (with your name on a sign!) and will walk you to your car, then drive you directly to your hotel. Private transfers are usually comparable in cost to a taxi and are just so nice after a long day of travel with kids.
When in Europe, we use Welcome Pickups as they offer complimentary car seats if requested at the time of the reservation. For most non-European destinations, another private transfer company which provides car seats is Suntransfers.
If you are traveling to a non-walkable destination with your baby, perhaps consider a road trip with your baby, or renting a car with a car seat.
We hope that this summary of taking ridesharing services with a baby helps you get around with your little one a little easier. With parent-friendly services like Uber Child Seat, Lyft Car Seat Mode and GrabFamily, it’s getting easier to travel with your baby.
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This post was written & edited by:
Celine is the owner of Baby Can Travel. Not only does she have years of experience traveling with babies & toddlers, but she's been helping new parents travel with their babies and toddlers for over a decade.
Celine also writes about family travel on the site FamilyCanTravel.com, which she co-owns with her husband. Being from the Canadian Rockies, she shares her passion about her home and travel to Banff National Park and area on their site TravelBanffCanada.com.