Oh the frustration of dealing with car seats and winter weather. Living in Canada, winter gear is a must and unfortunately my kids don’t want to hibernate like I would like to all winter so we have to leave the house daily too. Puffy, heavy, winter jackets can post a real hazard for infants and toddlers when strapped into a car seat because the thing is, those jackets keep the straps from being snug against the child like they’re supposed to be.
Here’s a great quote on the subject from pediatrics.about.com:
Instead of putting your child in a car seat with a heavy winter coat, the Texas Department of Public Safety recommends that you ‘keep your child in the clothes they will be wearing when they are indoors. Place the child in the infant seat or car seat, making sure the harness straps are snug over the shoulders and that they lie straight and flat down to the buckle.
Wait what? Same clothing as indoors? Did you note that the quote came from Texas? If I lived in Texas this would be a non-issue! Unfortunately, I don’t live in Texas during the winter months so I have to figure out a way to keep my toddler safe, yet not frozen, this winter.
When babies are little and still in the bucket-style seat, parents have the luxury of putting baby in the seat while still inside, then carrying it out to the vehicle. Blankets work for covering baby but I always felt like I was packing my kids in like a sardine because I’d stuff blankets all around them to keep drafts out.
Once toddlers are in their big-kid car seats, this all changes. If you take along blankets, they can keep a child warm but the car seat itself is freezing when you get into the vehicle!
One great solution is an Urban Bundle Me by JJ Cole Collections.
We’ve just experienced our first snowstorm of the season and already jackets have become a problem. If I put my toddler in a warm coat to keep her cozy when we first get into a cold vehicle, the straps have to be adjusted (I know, I know) and then by the time we drop off her older siblings at school, the van is toasty warm and she’s overly warm.
So, I decided to give the Urban Bundle Me a try on her car seat. My husband was able to install it in a matter of minutes and all the straps easily came through the back. A quick zip and my toddler is snug as a bug in her car seat with the straps close to her chest and a cozy zip-around blanket of sorts around her keeping her warm.
In our case, the back of the Urban Bundle Me doesn’t go around the entire back of the car seat (likely due to the protective sides around the head) but in a bucket-style car-seat and a stroller, it would. Still, it keeps her toasty warm with just a light fleece jacket on instead of a big bulky jacket.
If we were more outdoorsy this would be a really great stroller addition for three season use. Parents wouldn’t have to worry about blankets being kicked off and tossed on the ground and the baby would stay cozy warm while mom and dad are being far more active than us!
The JJ Cole Collections Urban Bundle Me is available in two sizes: infant (up to 21 lbs or 1 year) and toddler (1 to 3 years) for $49.95 and $59.95 directly from JJ Cole Collections, or you can use the handy Store Locator link on the site to find a store that carries JJ Cole Collections products near you.