Important Winter Car Seat Safety

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Parts of this blog post were published in 2016.  This information is so important to us and to the safety of your child, we update and share it each and every year. 

By Lindsay Pinchuk, CEO + Founder, Bump Club and Beyond

This week many parts of the country saw record low temperatures.  While it’s likely many of you  stayed indoors, as we climb out of the freeze, life is going to resume to normal.  It is still winter, and your kids still need to be dressed appropriately for going outside.  Do you know the ONE BIG MISTAKE so many parents make both with their babies and toddlers in their car seats?  I know it sounds hard to believe, but make sure there is no FLUFF AND OTHER STUFF IN THE CAR SEAT. This one simple rule can save your child’s life.

It is not safe to put your baby inside their infant seat with a fluffy snowsuit OR with other blankets and accouterment which interfere with the straps of the seat itself.  It is also unsafe to put an older baby, toddler or even a small child in a giant puffy snowsuit in their car seat.  The extra stuff and fluff can in turn lead to your child not being strapped in properly or tight enough.

NEW PARENTS AND OLD, THIS ADVICE IS FOR YOU! I know it seems crazy because it’s cold outside, but please do not put your baby in their infant car seat in a puffy jacket or snowsuit.   IF THERE IS ONE PRODUCT YOU NEED FOR YOUR WINTER BABY IT IS THE The Car Seat Cover from JJ Cole Collections.   Save the BundleMe and other buntings for their intended use: your stroller.

So you may ask, HOW DO I KEEP BABY WARM?  Here are some of our favorite products:

For the car seat: (please note, these all fit OVER the car seat so that you can buckle your baby in correctly and there is no strap interference)

  1. JJ Cole Car Seat Cover, $29.95
  2. Britax B-Warm, $49.99
  3. Skip Hop Stroll and Go Car Seat Cover, $35

For the Stroller:

  1. JJ Cole Collections Polar Bundleme, $119.95:  This is a newer version of the Bundleme which also grows with your baby.  If you go with the original version get the toddler size as you will use it on your stroller when your baby is a little bigger.  Then you won’t have to buy two as the newborn size has a short shelf life. 🙂
  2. Skip Hop Stroll and Go Three Season, $100
  3. Depending on your stroller, many brands make their own foot muffs.  Some of our favorites are the Bugaboo Footmuff ($129.95) and the UPPAbaby CozyGanoosh ($129.99).  Check your stroller brand’s website for more details.

*Just a reminder these stroller accessories are NOT to be used with the car seat*

TO KEEP WARM IN GENERAL:

I know it’s hard, especially when you live on the tundra (like us Chicagoans).  But if you follow these tips and are smart, it will be a lot safer for your baby.  When my kids were babies, I always put them in their onesie, an outfit with long pants and long sleeves and then a fleece top layer (before putting a hat on them and putting them in their car seat under their JJ Cole Car Seat Cover).  Here are some of my favorite top layers (my kids wore all of these all winter long):

  1. The North Face Fleece Oso Romper, $70
  2. Columbia Snowtop II Bunting, on sale now for $17.90
  3. Patagonia Micro D Fleece Bunting, $79

For older kids, OneKid makes a car seat safety coat that is tested and approved by CPSTs.

For more information:

One of our favorite experts, The Car Seat Lady, shares the Dangers of Fluff here.  Take a minute to read this.  It’s important.  While this post only addresses infant car seat usage, the FLUFF rule applies for convertible car seats too.   My kids take their puffy coats off  and put them on over themselves every single time we get in the car. (Yes, for real.  You can ask anyone who sees me at drop-off.)

I am not a Car Passenger Safety Tech.  But I have been around MANY of them throughout the eight years Bump Club and Beyond has existed, and ALL of them share this information in their seminars and on their blogs.  Car seat misuse is at an all-time high.  Please take a minute to consider these safety tips and read your car seat manual to make sure you are using it properly.  Doing so could protect your baby or child in the event of a car accident.