Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Why Is the Bundle Me Bad in a Car Seat?

This questions comes up several times a year on parenting and safety boards across the internet:  Why do safety people tell you NOT to use the Bundle Me in a car seat?

The answer is that the portion that goes behind the child's back is too fluffy and thick, and does not allow you to properly secure your child in the car seat.  Fluff and bulk in FRONT of a baby and under the harness would compress in a collision, but fluff between the BACK of a baby and the car seat prevents the harness from being sufficiently tightened. 

While a Bundle Me does allow the harness to be directly on the child's chest, it provides only the illusion of security because of the extra "air space" in the back. In order for the harness to completely compress away that air space, it would have to squish down on all the baby fat, flesh and bone to an obviously ridiculous level.  No one would ever do that to her baby, so the extra space remains.  And THAT'S why the Bundle Me is bad for car seats.

To really illustrate the point, I want to highlight the excellent Bundle Me thread on BabyCenter's "Car Seat Questions" board that was posted early in 2009, by lullabymama.  She tested a real Bundle Me, a real car seat and a real baby to see if the fluffy back panel really made a difference, and took photos to document each step:
  • Step 1: Put Bundle Me on car seat, seat child and fasten harness to appropriate tension.
  • Step 2: Remove child, remove Bundle Me, re-seat and re-fasten child.
  • Step 3: Test harness tension by pinching harness straps above chest clip, near shoulder.  If more than 1" of strap can be pinched, the harness would be too loose to safely restrain a child in a collision.
Even I was surprised that the amount of slack!  I am going to bookmark that thread and refer to it whenever the question arises.  A picture is worth a thousand words, as well as the safety of your child.

1 comment:

  1. I've linked to your excellent post from the foundation blog.