This post contains affiliate links, through which I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to my readers.
Winter Car Seat Safety Tips
Here it comes – the first snow of the season! Here in Colorado, our weather is unpredictable. It can snow overnight and then reach 70 degrees by noon! But in the middle of winter, we do have some pretty cold days. Even with cold temps, I make sure to be extra careful when we are on the road – especially with my babies in car seats. Here are some important winter car seat safety tips to help keep your kiddos safe.
Ditch the coat
No matter how cold it is outside, a coat or snowsuit is a huge safety hazard in the car seat. In a crash, the force of impact will cause the straps to compress a puffy coat. This creates extra room where a baby or kid can be ejected out of their seat.
If you want to use a coat for warmth, put it on your child’s arms backwards – AFTER they are buckled into the seat.
Dress in layers
A onesie or thin T-shirt covered with a thin hoodie, plus a blanket over them is perfect. Remember, your car will warm up and you don’t want them to overheat. Make sure they aren’t wearing too many layers, especially if you will have the heat on. Dress them as you would dress yourself.
Fleece jackets are usually pretty thin but are actually really warm! My kids always wear snug-fitting fleece jackets in the car. As long as they are thin and not bunched up, fleece jackets are a safe option to wear in the car seat. They are also a safe option for mom and dad as well!
Rear face as long as possible
Make sure you check your local car seat laws to make sure you are in compliance with state guidelines. Many states recently increased the age of rear facing to two years old, although most car seat safety experts and pediatricians recommend rear facing even longer – until the child outgrows the height and weight limits for rear facing. Depending on your child’s size, that could be a while! Aren is currently 2 years old, about 25 pounds and 34 inches tall. She has to bend her knees or cross her legs, but she’s perfectly comfortable and much safer than if she were forward facing.
I’ve found The Car Seat Lady to be a great online resource for all things car seat related. There is also a helpful group on Facebook called Car Seats for the Littles that aims to help educate parents on proper car seat safety. Make sure you read about these 5 important car seat safety tips as well.
Choose the right seat
Finding the right seat for your child and your vehicle can be an exhausting and overwhelming process. But it doesn’t have to be! I have two great recommendations for both an infant seat and a convertible car seat.
When Rowen was born, we received a new Britax B-Safe Ultra infant seat to try out. I could tell as soon as I unboxed it that it was an excellent product. It is a little heavier than other infant seats I’ve tried, but that is due to the steel frame that will keep my baby safe in the event of a crash! It is super easy to use, with one simple click to attach the seat to the base. It’s also very easy to adjust the straps, which comes in handy for a fast-growing babe!
Because I loved Rowen’s seat so much, I decided to buy a new Britax convertible car seat for Aren as well! We needed an extra seat anyway so we didn’t have to move hers when Arien and I switch vehicles. But I’ll confess: I gave the old seat to Arien and kept her new Britax Boulevard Click Tight for my van! Again, it is so easy to use. One of my main complaints about her other car seat was how easy it was for her to get out of the straps. The straps on the Britax Boulevard are designed in a way that she can’t easily push her chest clip to an unsafe position. Her straps are easily adjusted to the perfect tension as well – and a click lets you know when you’re in range for the right fit! The structure and sturdiness of the seat is beyond any I’ve seen in other brands we’ve tried. I can relax knowing my littles are as safe as possible in the back seat while I drive!
Need help installing a car seat without losing your mind? Read how HERE!
And for those of you who are potty training and venturing out of the house without a diaper – Britax has a waterproof seat liner that is safe to use with their car seats. I bought one of these as well because I don’t want to deal with a wet seat! We’ve only just started using it, and so far no accidents so I can’t quite speak to its effectiveness. But it does give me some peace of mind and a little courage to let Aren feel like a “big girl” without a diaper.
What are the ways you keep your babes safe in their car seats during winter? Do you have a favorite jacket or cover that you use? I’d love for you to share in a comment!