Never Swaddle in the Car

There’s recently been a lot of chatter online about the practice of swaddling children in car seats, so we wanted to take a moment to talk about why it’s so dangerous, and why you should never do it.

Some people suggest wrapping or swaddling an infant before putting them into a child restraint. By wrapping a child prior to putting them into a child restraint, the shoulder straps can be rendered ineffective, as they no longer have the arms or shoulders of the child to locate on. This can lead to the ejection of the infant, causing serious injury or death.

This isn’t a hypothetical, either. Tragically, in the December of 2011, an infant girl in Queensland was thrown from her capsule after being wrapped in a blanket prior to being strapped in, and passed away as a result of her injuries.

It was this very incident that lead to the 2013 version of the Australian Standard requiring all child restraint manufacturers to include warnings and advice against wrapping or swaddling in every rearward facing child restraint instruction manual.

Think about that – manufacturers are unable to certify or sell a child restraint under the new standard if we don’t expressly warn against swaddling / wrapping in the car seat.

If friends, family, or celebrity ‘experts’ suggest swaddling in the car, we beg you – ignore the advice. They’re wrong, and you’ll be exposing your child to an immense (and unnecessary) risk.

Leave a comment


  1. ANNAMARIA says

    How would you like to be swaddled in a car seat. How hot would the child get. That is chid abuse. Let alone not following instructions ,We’re do some of these ideas come from ? And we’re is common sense going. .

  2. Alyssa says

    Hi, I use a zip love to dream swaddle up suit. It is a very thin firm suit with wing like arms that allow the baby to keep arms out near their head when sleeping. The arms are outside the shoulder straps and the harness goes on like normal.
    Would this still be recommended against?

    • says

      Hi Tanya! It’s our understanding that the Houdini Stop is actually designed to break away in an accident, so it wouldn’t help. Regardless, the Australian Standards Working Group deem this kind of thing unsafe in any configuration, and should not be done under any circumstances 🙂

  3. says

    so glad ive been informed !!! ive become a first time grandmother in 2015 on 2seperate occassions a girl & boy!!! They are without a doubt everyones future & happiness!!!