Reader Franci F. writes in today:

“I can’t figure out how to keep my 18 month old daughter warm in a convertible car seat…. Are there any bundle me-type products?  I don’t want to put her in a bulky jacket for safety issues.  Any suggestions?  I’ve been putting her winter jacket on backwards but that is truly a pain to put the jacket on/off every time we get in the car!”

Great question! In case you weren’t aware, car seat techs warn parents that using a thick coat in a car seat can be dangerous. Why? the thick material can compress in an accident causing a space between your child’s body and the straps. Hence, all a toddler should wear when using a car seat is a thin fleece coat. That might work for those December nights in Miami, but what if it is really cold outside?

We found a company, H. Barry Boo, that offers a great solution. The Car Seat Poncho (, pictured) sells for $35 to $45 in a wide variety of fleece options. The idea: keep your child warm while walking to the car then flip the poncho up and over the seat. Okay, not an elegant explanation but here is a picture.

Do you have any other ideas or products you can recommend to keep toddlers warm in a car seat? Let us know.