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I hate to say it Shawn, you can take a calculated risk with your baby, for mine I'll pass. Things happen all the time, you just don't hear about them. Did you know the US Airways crash that went down in the Hudson river narrowly escaped one fatality. It was the life of a lap baby. The mother couldn't hold him, and thankfully there was a man next to her that could. That was luck. There is a United flight attendant that has retired and committed her entire life to lobbying for this cause. She was on an aircraft that went down in '89. United was running special fares for families that month, and as a result a majority of the 282 passengers on board were kids. 112 died, and sadly, the lap babies never stood a chance. Those are sensationalized cases. Turbulence happens every day. You ask any flight attendant you meet how many of their coworkers they know who have sustained crippling injuries because they were unrestrained in the cabin when turbulence hit. If it isn't deeply personal to them, they know more than a few that it is, I promise. Do you want that to be your baby? The FAA requires that you take better care of your bag than your kid, what's wrong with that? Aborted take offs and hard landings happen every day, and sometimes they are horribly violent. They aren't advertised. Calculated risk and child safety really ought not be used in the same sentence. If that's what we've stooped to in this country it makes me very sad. If you can't afford your child's seat, then you can't afford to go. If it's important, if they are important, then make it a priority. How would you feel if you walked on an aircraft and you were shown to your seat, but their was no seat belt? Would you sit down and not say anything, or would you get up and demand a belt? Just because they have no voice, don't deny that for your child.