Baby, It's Cold Outside...

Winter Safety & Car Seats

a helpful guide to winter attire that passes the (pinch) test

🚗❄️🧥❄️🚗


Baby, it's cold outside! Low and behold, it’s that time again. Time to start planning ahead for the frigid temperatures that we have all come to expect. And while the mercury might still be climbing in your area, we live in a country where for many months the temperature drops below freezing more days than we care to admit. As such, we are accustomed to bundling up in layers and heavy winter gear in an attempt to fend off Mr. Freeze. Yes, winter coats and snowsuits are our best friend when enjoying time in the fresh air, however they can be a child restraint's worst enemy. The classic winter coat or snowsuit of which we are all familiar is not only bulky, it is also unsafe when worn in a child restraint, or under a seat belt. Why, you ask? The short answer is, that after a few moments the bulk of the coat/snowsuit compresses under the weight of the harness/belt thereby introducing slack (space) between your child's body and the harness/belt itself. In the event of a crash, this will create enough slack (space) in the harness so that your child could be injured by excessive movement, or ejected entirely from the seat. And this goes for all stages of child restraints - up to and including boosters, 5 steppers, and even adults! Yes, adults too.


Remember, the goal is to keep your child WARM and SAFE in the car - don't give safety the cold shoulder.


Most winter coats and snowsuits are like air-filled plastic bags, and no matter how tight you think you've tightened the harness/belt, you CANNOT remove the air from these items.

When shopping for a coat/snowsuit or outfit that is 'car seat safe', the goal is to select one that won't compress further under the forces of a collision or abrupt stop, and introduce slack in the (static) harness.


Tips and tricks for selecting ‘car seat safe' winter attire:

When choosing winter attire that is 'car seat safe', you want to take the time to test it out with your child in their child restraint.


Pro Tip: it's always best to do this before you remove the tags and lose the receipt!! 🏷


Here’s how:

➡️ To begin with, place your child in their new attire and buckle them in to their child restraint, making sure that their harness straps pass the pinch test.

** (see below for Pinch Test)

➡️ Next, unbuckle your child without loosening or adjusting the harness in any way, and remove their attire.


➡️ Then, buckle him/her back into his/her restraint without adjusting the harness.


Is the harness still tight enough? Does it pass the Pinch Test? If you answered yes, congratulations, you've got the right attire! If the harness is now too loose, you'll need to find something thinner. But don't worry, i've got you covered; scroll down for my list of tried and true 'car seat safe' winter attire recommendations.⬇⬇️


Pinch Test:


To know if a car seat’s harness is tight enough, it must pass the Pinch Test.


Here's how:

➡️ After tightening the harness and removing any slack from the hip area, try to pinch the webbing horizontally at the child’s collarbone.

➡️ If you can grasp any material/webbing and pinch and hold it, it’s too loose. Your fingers should slide right off the webbing when it is tight enough.


Remember, tight means safe! Every ride. Every time. Don’t slack off!


Properly fitting wool, fleece, packable down attire, or even sweatshirts, do add a bit of bulk to the child's body and will often require a small harness adjustment. The key is that the harness length remains appropriate to the child's compressed clothing, compared to the dangerous amount of extra slack introduced to the harness via an uncompressed puffy jacket or snowsuit.


Here are some recommendations for tried and true winter attire that has passed the 'car seat safe' test. That said, even though this list has been tested, it is still necessary that you, personally, test the attire on YOUR child in his or her child restraint (as described above) to ensure that the fit is good and the coat/attire is safe.


➡️ Click on the links below to view each item and read the descriptions.


Pass it on: If you have an item that you think is missing and should be added to the list, PLEASE send me a message directly so that I can check it out for myself and include it in an upcoming edit. This list is not exhaustive and is ever-changing and ever-growing! Sharing is Caring, so pass it on. Welcome to the village. 🤗



Keep your eyes peeled for COUPON CODES shared below!



Infant Car Seat Covers:


Note: Covering a baby's face makes it impossible to monitor a child's breathing,

in addition to cutting off their access to fresh air flow which can lead to

overheating and suffocation. Rather than breathing fresh oxygen, the baby is

rebreathing the trapped air and expelled CO2.

Infant Car Seat Covers cannot be used in the vehicle or

for any extended amount of time.


These products are intended for strolling and transporting a child outdoors only. ALL Infant Car Seat Covers MUST be removed from the carrier while riding in a vehicle.


Click here for the advisory from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)



7 A.M. Enfant Cocoon Infant Car Seat Cover


Petit Coulou Winter Baby Car Seat Cover


UPPAbaby MESA CozyGanoosh Car Seat Cover


Skip Hop Stroll and Go Car Seat Cover


JJ Cole Baby Car Seat Cover


Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Igloo Cover

ONLY for use with Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 Infant Car Seat


Britax B-Warm Insulated Infant Car Seat Cover

ONLY for use with Britax Infant Car Seats



Multipurpose Covers:


Bundle Baby 3-in-1 Car Seat Blanket

note: use code SAFESEATS_10 for 10% off your purchase

Bundle Baby Car Seat Toddler Poncho

Size 12 months-2T & Size 3T-5T

note: use code SAFESEATS_10 for 10% off your purchase


Fleece:

MEC Ursus One-Piece Fleece Bunting Suit

Columbia Snowtop II One-Piece Fleece Bunting Suit


The North Face Campshire One-Piece Fleece Suit


The North Face Oso One-Piece Fleece Bunting Suit


Patagonia Infant Micro D® Fleece Bunting


Reima Myytti Fleece Overall

Hatley Fuzzy Fleece Baby Bundler



Down/Down Alternative:

Columbia Snuggly Bunny (duvet) Bunting


MEC Bundle Up Bunting Suit


MEC Bundle Up Reversible Jacket


MEC Besnow Bunting Suit


MEC Besnow Jacket


MEC Brume Reversible Jacket


The North Face Infant Nuptse One-Piece


The North Face Infant Thermoball Eco Bunting


The North Face Infant Thermoball Eco Hoodie


The North Face Toddler Thermoball Eco Hoodie


The North Face Thermoball Eco Jacket


Patagonia Hi-Loft Down Sweater Bunting


Patagonia Hi-Loft Down Sweater Hoody


Patagonia Baby Down Sweater


Patagonia Reversible Down Sweater Hoody


Gap Upcycled Lightweight Puffer

Size 12/18 months - Size 5 years

Toddler Upcycled Lightweight Puffer

Disney Mickey Mouse Upcycled Lightweight Puffer


Gap Upcycled Lightweight Puffer

Size XS-XXL

Kids Upcycled Lightweight Puffer

Kids Upcycled Lightweight Puffer


Joe Fresh PrimaLoft® Puffer Jacket

Baby: Size 3-6 months - 18-24 months

Joe Fresh Baby Boys' Puffer Jacket with PrimaLoft®

Joe Fresh Baby Boys' Print Puffer with PrimaLoft®

Joe Fresh Baby Girls' Puffer with PrimaLoft®

Joe Fresh Baby Girls' Puffer with PrimaLoft®


Joe Fresh PrimaLoft® Puffer Jacket

Toddler: Size 2T-5T

Joe Fresh Toddler Boys' Puffer with PrimaLoft®

Joe Fresh Toddler Girls' Puffer with PrimaLoft®


Joe Fresh PrimaLoft® Puffer Jacket

Kid: Size S-XL

Joe Fresh Kid Boys' Puffer with PrimaLoft®

Joe Fresh Kid Boys' Print Puffer with PrimaLoft®

Joe Fresh Kid Girls' Puffer with PrimaLoft®

Joe Fresh Kid Girls' Print Puffer with PrimaLoft®


Paradox PrimaLoft Jackets

Sold in-store at Costco (size 2T +) - seasonal


Specialty Outerwear Designed with

Child Restraints In Mind:

One Kid Road Coat® Down

Size 12 months - Size 8 years

The Road Coat® Down - Warmest Car Seat Safety Jacket


One Kid Road Coat® Arctic

Size 2 years - Size 10​ years

The Road Coat® Arctic - 100% Waterproof for Extreme Weather Conditions


One Kid Road Coat® Vegan

Size 6 months - Size 8​ years

The Road Coat® Vegan - Vegan & Allergy Friendly Car Seat Safety Jacket


One Kid Road Coat® Transition

Size 6 months - Size 8​ years

The Road Coat® Transition - Mid Season Car Seat Safety Jacket


One Kid Road Coat® Vest

Size 6 months - Size 8​ years

The Road Coat® Vest - Vegan & Allergy Friendly Car Seat Safety Vest


One Kid Road Coat® Snow Suit

Size 0/3 months - 18/24 months

The Road Coat® Down Snow Suit - Down Car Seat Safety Infant Snow Suit


Buckle Me Baby Coats Toasty

Size 6/9 months - Size 5 years

Buckle Me Baby Coats Toasty

Coupon Code: use code SAFESEATS10 for $10 off your purchase https://www.bucklemecoats.com/discount/SAFESEATS10

Buckle Me Baby Coats Toastier

Size 6/9 months - Size 5 years

Buckle Me Baby Coats Toastier

Coupon Code: use code SAFESEATS10 for $10 off your purchase https://www.bucklemecoats.com/discount/SAFESEATS10

Buckle Me Baby Coats Toastiest

Size 6/9 months - Size 5 years

Buckle Me Baby Coats Toastiest

Coupon Code: use code SAFESEATS10 for $10 off your purchase https://www.bucklemecoats.com/discount/SAFESEATS10


Please do not hesitate to ask if you have any questions at all, if you need additional information, or clarification on anything listed above. Selecting proper (read: SAFE) winter attire can seem a little overwhelming, which is why I put together this list.

I've got you!

Sean​



In the spirit of full disclosure, purchasing anything starting from any of the Amazon links above helps by contributing to an ongoing seat donation fund at Safe Seats Ottawa, and allows me to help families in need - at no cost to you.

Thank you in advance for your consideration and support.


Last Updated: October 27th, 2020


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