Burley Baby Snuggler
Here at Cycle Sprog we often get asked "what is the youngest age can I take my child in a bike trailer?"
To use a standard kids bike trailer your child needs to be able to fully support their head (and for the duration of the ride, not just for a few seconds!)
This can typically happen between 9 and 12 months, but this is something only you, as a parent, can really make a call on, and can't be rushed. (If in doubt ask your GP or health visitor for advice)
For those keen to get their baby out cycling with them ASAP there is the option of using a baby sling specially designed to allow younger children to ride in a trailer safely.
We spoke to kids' bike trailer experts Bike Trailer Hire about the Burley Baby Snuggler trailer insert, to find out whether it's any good for cycling with babies and young toddlers.
So, what is the Burley Baby Snuggler?
The Burley Baby Snuggler is a very soft, padded, cosy insert for a standard bike trailer using a five-point fixing system.
The harness passes through special cut-outs in the Snuggler to allow you to cinch the harness up while keeping your precious cargo all snuggly and secure.
It can be used in trailers designed for strolling, jogging and cycling, but there are different age recommendations for each activity (see below).
If your baby is nearing the upper age limit of the Snuggler it's worth considering a rental (of up to 12 weeks) from Bike Trailer Hire, rather than buying new.
What are the key Features of the Burley Baby Snuggler?
The entire Snuggler is machine washable - useful for any mishaps en-route!
Thick side padding offers comfort and support to your little one, especially when combined with a lumbar support pad designed specifically for an infant’s back.
The Sunggler is compatible with all child trailers that have a 5-point safety harness.
All materials are phthalate-free so no nasty chemicals putting your child's longer term health at risk.
What age is the Burley Baby Snuggler recommended for?
The Baby Snuggler is perfect for those wanting to get out with their precious cargo as soon as is possible.
Below is some guidance on baby's age, sizing and recommended use.
- Recommended age: 3 – 12 months
- Approximate height: 64cm - 79cm (25” – 31”)
- Approximate weight: 6.8kg - 9.5kg (15 – 21 lbs)
- 6 months and under: Snuggler should be used for strolling only on fairly smooth terrain.
- 6-12 months: Snuggler may be used for jogging or strolling in a Burley trailer or stroller if your child is able to sit upright unattended.
- 12 months and above: Snuggler may be used for towing your child behind your bicycle if your child may sit upright unattended while wearing a bicycle helmet.
Warning: each child’s development is unique, so it is important to be sure they are ready to participate in these activities. If you're in any way unsure please consult your GP.
Why isn't the Burley Snuggler's recommended use with a bike trailer until 12 months?
Did you spot the problem? Burley don't recommend using the Baby Snuggler if you're cycling until your child is over the age of 12 months - when most children will be starting to grow out of it!
And as most people buy a Burley trailer to cycle with, this does seem a bit strange and annoying.
As with everything to do with raising children you - as the parent - have to make a decision about if, how, and when you do something.
You have to remember every reputable product will be tested to meet all the safety standards for every usage - and that these standards keep shifting.
A brand certainly can't take the risk of claiming something is safe if they've not conducted all the most up to date testing for every safety authority in every country their product is sold in.
No surprising that it's sometimes easier, cheaper and less risky to just say it's not suitable for use, and pass the decision on to us, as parents?
And obviously it's worth pointing out they have covered themselves in case of complaints if something did go wrong - Burley are an American company and operating in a highly litigious environment.
Is the Burley Baby Snuggler safe for 3 - 12 month olds in bike trailers?
Now, I've no proof that Burley haven't tested this Snuggler with younger babies in a bike trailer and found it wanting.
BUT I'd expect big warning stickers and product recalls if they knew it was genuinely unsafe for the activity they know many people are using it for.
Another factor is that there's so many different types of cycling and cyclists, that they can't control how the product will be used.
I'd suggest that using it at high speeds on really uneven surfaces is not a good idea (so no copying Danny MacAskill in Danny Daycare!)
The ironic thing is that Burley say you can use it jogging from 6 months with no other guidance. This means someone could potentially go jogging on very bumpy and remote terrain, or be up and down curbs in an urban area for hours at high speeds.
Yet a short, slow cycle ride along a smooth, flat path in a local park is not allowed!
I know some parents have made the decision that using the Burley Baby Snuggler in a bike trailer when riding on smooth terrain at a leisurely pace is an activity they are happy to do with their baby.
I know other people who have decided they're not happy going against the written instructions and wait until their child's 1st birthday.
Both approaches are correct for the people who choose them.
You're probably learning by now that parenting involves a myriad of risk based decisions every day. This is just one more such decision you're going to have to make for yourself if you're thinking of using the Snuggler before the official recommended age.
Should I hire or buy the Burley Baby Snuggler?
Buying a Burley Baby Snuggler is a great idea if your baby is towards the lower end of the age limit, and you know you're going to get a lot of use out of it.
If they're nearing 12 months however it's not going to be long until they can sit unaided, so you may prefer to consider a rental instead.
Other articles you might be interested in:
- 7 ways to cycle with a young child, toddler or baby
- The best bike for a 1 year old toddler; 2022
- The best front bike seats for toddlers and young children 2022
- Can I cycle with my baby in a sling, papoose or baby carrier?
- Advice on cycling while breastfeeding your baby
- Buying a balance bike for your toddler? 10 things you need to know in 2022!
- Kids bike trailers that cost less than 2 tanks of fuel
- The best balance bikes as recommended by parents 2022
- Choosing the best balance bike for your child; 2022
- How I started cycling with my 5 week old baby in a cargo bike
- Best bike helmets for babies and toddlers
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