I tend toward the paranoid when it comes to safety, so ever since hearing a story about how a plane hit some turbulence and everyone who wasn't buckled in hit the ceiling, I've been worried that my lap child -- first Cash and now Catcher -- would bounce around like popcorn in an air-popper if I didn't have a firm grip the entire flight. That meant I had to stay awake and on alert the entire time. As a perpetually sleep deprived parent, I'd find myself nodding off and loosening my grip and I'd startle back to my post.
When I used to fly with Cash on my lap, I used one of those leash harnesses to attach him to my seat belt. It was never that comfortable and I had to undo it when he slept. And now that I think about it, there is a chance, it would have strangled him if he flew up violently. Oops. Anyway, recently when we were preparing to go on vacation, I saw a posting on the Golden Gate Mothers Group list serve for a Baby B'Air Flight Safety Vest for $1. While my husband rolled his eyes and said, "Do you really have to have everything?" I figured a little peace of mind was worth just a little more than we paid for our lattes at the airport. It costs about $35 new.
It is a cute little vest that you put on your baby or toddler with buckles on the sides and bottom and attach to your seat belt with a loop in the back. It even allows enough slack for the baby to lie down comfortably. While the vest is not FAA approved for take-off and landing, the FAA regulations allow it during the cruising portions of the flight. The vest has a tag on the back listing the FAA regulation that allows its use in case you are challenged by a flight attendant. But from what I've heard from other parents, it depends on the flight whether anyone will question your use. No one said anything to me when I strapped Catcher into it as soon as we sat down — on any of our three legs on our flight across the country. And we both slept like a baby as the plane bounced along through a few storms.