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Winter Car Seat Solutions

Winter Car Seat Solutions - Maman Loup's Den This post contains affiliate links.

I have previously admitted that I had no idea that snow suits and car seats didn’t mix during Cub’s first winter. If this is new information for you, or you are wondering why, definitely head over to my pal The Monarch Mommy’s post on winter car seat safety.

Thankfully, winter car seat safety is starting to make it into the mainstream media. 

Pin a reminder!

Since that first winter as a Mama, I’ve had the privilege of testing a variety of solutions that keep babies and children warm in their car seats without creating bulk that interferes with the straps. 

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Winter Car Seat Solutions for Babies

Let’s face it: it’s easier to keep bucket-seat-bound babies warm because you are carrying them out to the car from the house in their car seat. While you want to avoid bunting bag-style blankets that sit behind baby, you have other options that allow you to bring baby outside while dressed in regular clothes, meaning the car seat harness can be appropriately tightened.

The Petit Coulou Car Seat Cover is a dome-shaped, super-insulated “shower cap” cover that is rated to -25 C. As I noted in my recent review, it keeps baby very warm in her bucket seat, and lets you dress baby in just a pair of pajamas.

Petit Coulou Car Seat Cover Review ~ Maman Loup's DenAnother option, also by a Canadian company, is the Baby Parka Car Seat Cover, which doesn’t have a dome shape but still keeps baby nice and cozy. Adrienne reviewed it a year ago!

Baby Parka Car Seat Cover ReviewThe 7 AM Nido {heavier version available at Amazon.com} is a car seat-safe swaddle blanket we discovered this year. Because there is no fabric behind baby’s back, it is safe to use and keeps baby nice and snug. You can order the Nido directly from 7amenfant.com, and they ship to Canada (the Canadian distributor did not order the fleece Nido this year).

7 AM Enfant Nido

Winter Car Seat Safety Solutions for Toddlers and Preschoolers

For toddlers and preschoolers, seated in convertible car seats and boosters, getting them to the car and into their seat in the winter can be a huge pain. If you’re lucky, you have a heated garage or there’s always an extra parent to heat up the car while the other brings the kids out. Otherwise, you’re looking at removing layers once at the car, or a car-seat safe solution that can be worn by the child (if they agree) to the car.

Since it is available in two sizes (the large is listed up to 18 months), you can also use the Nido in a convertible seat, although the disadvantage is that you can’t conveniently carry the child to the car in it like you can when they’re still in their bucket seat. They’d need to be brought to the car in their winter coat or under a warm blanket.7 AM Enfant NidoThe 7 AM Pookie Poncho {Amazon.com} is a baby carrier cover, stroller blanket and car seat cover in one. You’ll still want to dress baby in a fleece on top and add a hat and scarf, but it will provide extra warmth in both the bucket seat and a convertible car seat. (The toggles at the sides and feet help you snug it up to fit tightly, and depending on car seat design, you can attach it to the sides with the elastic Velcro closures.) 7 AM Enfant also makes an option specifically for a convertible car seat or booster. The Easy Cover, available in sizes Small and Large and developed with the help of The Car Seat Lady, {Amazon.com} goes on like a backwards coat. It can be snapped around the neck, and the bottom can be snapped up to create a cozy pouch for the feet. There is also a kangaroo pocket and a hidden inner pacifier holder. We have he largest version, and it’s a bit big for Cub still. 7 AM Enfant Easy Cover Winter Car Seat Solution ~ Maman Loup's DenCanadian Baby Ponchos makes a car seat poncho of super heavy fleece which we reviewed last year, when Cub was two. Cub refused to wear his poncho because it was not a coat, so we used it more as a lap blanket. Great news, folks, a year later, he totally digs wearing his Car Seat Poncho!Canadian Baby Ponchos: Car Seat Poncho for Winter Safety in your Convertible Car Seat ~ Maman Loup's Den

The poncho goes up over the back of the convertible car seat or booster so the straps are unobstructed. 

My pal,The Monarch Mommy, also just reviewed the poncho on her 3 year old (and Cub’s buddy).

The Monarch Mommy just reviewed a new option from Baby Parka: the Toddler Coat.

Wear it like a coat or a poncho outside:

The Monarch Mommy's Baby Park Car Seat Poncho Review

And head over to The Monarch Mommy’s post to see how the coat unzips to become a 100% safe car seat solution!

Fleece Snow Suits & Jackets

If you don’t want to buy a car seat specific option, stick to a suit or coat that is a single layer of fleece. I like to dress Little Miss Cub in her Columbia Snowtop II Bunting {Amazon.com} when we aren’t going for a long car ride (so she doesn’t overheat) and when we aren’t going straight from the car to an indoors destination. If she’s already in her fleece suit, then I can put her straight into the carrier and under a carrier cover without having to add additional layers. To be sure a fleece suit is thin enough to be safe, make sure you don’t have to loosen the straps compared to when baby is dressed normally.The Columbia Bugababy Interchange Bunting {Amazon.com} is the option I bought for Cub when he was 18 months old. It has a waterproof shell that zips over top of a single-layer fleece suit. You can use them together or apart, depending on the weather. We used either layer (but not both) in the car seat with Cub.Nowadays, it’s not a long jaunt from our front door to our car, and our car is in an unheated garage, so we aren’t getting covered in snow. Cub wears a single-layer fleece with a scarf and hat, car seat poncho on top of necessary. 

 If we are going outside once we reach our destination, I bring his winter coat to put on top once we arrive. 

What’s your favourite winter car seat safety solution?

5 responses to “Winter Car Seat Solutions”

  1. Mariane L-L

    I use the MEC Coccoon for my non-walkers. It’s thin enough for the car seat, even when paired with a fleece. For the toddler, I’ve bought a real winter snow suit, that is really thin. It’s hot enough for long outdoor play when paired with a fleece and it passes the car seat test! My 7yo has a softshell coat, that also fits perfectly in her harness seat. All three are safe and warm!

    1. Lindsay

      Yay! I’m going to check out the MEC Coccoon, you’re not the first person to mention it to me! Going to MEC is dangerous… I always want to start a whole new outdoor activity and #BuyAllTheGear!

  2. I use fleece blankets over my kiddos in the car. No coats in car seats is my rule

  3. […] If you are looking for more information on winter car seat safety, you can read my post about it HERE. Want to know what solutions there are to keep kids warm AND safe in their car seat this winter? My friend over at Maman Loup’s Den has compiled a whole bunch of options HERE. […]

  4. […] seat without interfering with the car seat’s, you can check out my DIY Car Seat Poncho and my Winter Car Seat Safety round […]

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Welcome to my Wolf Pack!

My name is Lindsay and I am a 40-year-old mama of four trying to live an eco-friendly, budget-friendly life! I am a substitute teacher and Child Passenger Safety technician in Calgary, Alberta. Join me on my adventures!

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