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The one mistake many parents will make this winter…

By Lindsay Pinchuk

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

The temps are down and winter is in full effect. Without fail, I can’t leave my house without seeing the BIGGEST MISTAKE new parents make with their baby in the winter time:  FLUFF AND OTHER STUFF IN THE CAR SEAT.

Whether it’s an infant car seat with a JJ Cole Bundleme under the baby, or a baby in their huge, giant puffy snowsuit, strapped in to their car seat, I feel like shouting from the rooftops (and often feel I do!) that this is isn’t safe.  There are many amazing products for keeping your kids warm AND safe throughout the winter months in their car seats.


I know it seems crazy given the temps outside, but please do not put your baby in their infant car seat, or toddlers in their convertible car seats, in a puffy jacket or snowsuit.   It simply is not safe.  For babies, THERE IS ONE PRODUCT YOU NEED: The Car Seat Cover from JJ Cole Collections.   Other products have come out to keep your toddlers safe in their car seats too.  Check out One Kid for a warm, car seat safe coat. Save the BundleMe and buntings for their intended use: your stroller.  And save the down coats and snow suits for the cold days playing outside.

Keeping Baby Warm

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. This 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 Denali One Piece (now on major sale!)
  2. Columbia Snowtop II Bunting (it has separate legs) on sale now for $14.99
  3. Patagonia Micro D Fleece Bunting, $79 now 30% off
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, $32.99
  2. Britax B-Warm, $64.99
  3. Skip Hop Stroll and Go Car Seat Cover, $29.99
For the Stroller:
  1. JJ Cole Collections Toddler Urban Bundle Me, $59.99  Regardless of which version you choose, go with the 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.   Check your stroller brand’s website for more details.

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

Keeping Toddlers Warm

Again, it’s not safe to put your child in their car seat in a big puffy down coat.  The puff and fluff between the straps and your child can cause for the straps not to fit properly.  In a car accident your child can be thrown from the vehicle.  If you don’t have one of the “car seat coats,” it’s best to dress in layers.  Buy a thin fleece jacket to wear under a down coat or jacket.  The put the down coat ON TOP of your child and backwards so that they can buckle their seat properly.
A few of our favorites for a safe ride in the convertible car seat:

  1. Buckle Me Baby Coats
  2. Columbia Girls’ Benton Fleece Jacket, currently on sale starting at $14.99 (can be worn as a layer for under a puffy jacket.)
  3. Columbia Boys’ Steen Fleece Jacket, currently on sale starting at $17.90(can be worn as a layer for under a puffy jacket.)
  4. The North Face Glacier Hoodie, now only $28

The Experts Agree

One of our favorite car seat safety experts, The Car Seat Lady, shares the Dangers of Fluff here.  Please take a minute to read this because it’s important information to know as a parent.   My kids are older now, I only have one in a booster.  My kids used to 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 saw me at drop-off.)

I am not a Car Passenger Safety Tech, but I have been around MANY of them throughout the decade that Bump Club and Beyond has existed.  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.

For more car seat safety tips, visit bumpclubandbeyond.com. 

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