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 (CarSeatPoncho.com, 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.
You can put the coat on the kid UNZIPPED and then buckle the straps tightly, then zip the coat around the outside of the straps. If the coat is really really bulky it won’t work, but it does work in a lot of instances.
Usually, though, we just put our toddler in a fleece hoodie and that’s typically plenty warm for a quick jaunt into a store or from the day care door to the car. If we’re going somewhere where she’ll need a heavier coat, we just bring it with us and put it on when we get to the site. Kids can overheat in a heavy coat in a car anyway!
I usually carry a blanket in the car, she loves to snuggle up in it for long or short drives. As soon as she warms up off it goes. She has the control.