As someone who has traveled much and often and, more specifically, as someone who has flown with a child on my lap - yes, including internationally, I have some very strong opinions about what works and what doesn't work for us when we travel.
When preparing for traveling with small children, our thoughts usually turn to surviving the trip - that is, surviving the trip without going bonkers. This post isn't about that particular aspect of airplane travel with little ones (however, I do have lots to say about that so will post on that in the near future as well). A post on Delicious Baby got me thinking so this particular post is about surviving serious turbulence.
The FAA suggests holding your infant in front of you as you lean forward over her. Here is what Transport Canada advises on the subject and it sounds ok but potentially difficult to execute.
What's interesting to me is that I've never heard of anyone doing what we do while we're on a plane. I don't know if it's because it hasn't occurred to anyone else (I doubt that) or if it's because I just haven't happened to read about anyone doing it, but it makes sense to us and it feels safer than trying to hold a baby in our hands.
I wear my baby in the Baby Bjorn during plane travel. Yes, usually for the entire trip. It just feels SO much safer than anything else (with the possible exception of purchasing another seat and lugging along the infant car seat, but since I will soon no longer have the option of NOT paying for that extra seat, I'll opt not to for now, thanks!). I doubt that any studies have been done to determine whether or not using the Baby Bjorn (or another similar carrier) is safe during plane travel, but it has to be safer than trying to hold my baby in what sounds like a pretty similar position with no assistance while we're both jostled about in turbulence, right?