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Babies Archive

How to Keep Your Baby Warm This Winter

Snow is falling and parents everywhere are thinking about how to keep their kids warm this winter. Some climates are milder than others where in others, your nose falls off from frostbite the second you step outside. There are good and bad ways to go about keeping your kid warm in a carseat and I’ll show you how to do it the safe way here. First, let’s memorize this important tip: nothing goes between your child and the carseat or the harness. What does that mean? You shouldn’t put anything under your child in the carseat that didn’t come with the carseat out of the box nor should you put anything between the child and the harness, like a blanket. Why? Compression. Padding compresses leaving the harness loose and a loose harness means an increase in chance of injury. So, keeping this tip in mind, puffy snowsuits are great in the snow, but not in the car.

 

puffy snowsuit

 

You might think, “OK, so I won’t use the one that has all the puff and fluff behind it. I’ll use the one that has the thin blanket behind it instead.” Guess what? I tested that one too. And guess what? Oy. I was truly surprised because I thought it would be OK. After all, it was a very thin layer, but it also left the harness loose AND take a look at the pictures to see what truly shocked me.

See how my doll’s chin is pushed all the way forward to his chest? I can’t begin to tell you how much that scares me. The KeyFit that I’m using isn’t a big seat, but it is a rounded seat on the backside, so the Lite Bundleme may fit a different infant seat more favorably. But it still is going to leave slack in the harness. Adjusting the elastic that holds the Lite Bundleme to higher up on the back of the infant seat does affect the fit of the doll. The product instructions don’t specify where to place the elastic on the infant seat, simply to place it over the back of the seat. So, it’s quite feasible that a parent could over-stretch it as in the first picture in the hopes of keeping it from sliding off. Hopefully common sense comes into play and the parent sees the chin-to-chest of the baby and knows that’s not a good fit of the product.

 

Instead, if your baby must wear a warm suit, use a fleece bunting over a long-sleeved onesie. Fleece will keep your baby warm, especially with fleece blankets layered on top. Using several thin layers allows you to adjust your baby’s temperature more easily as you go from one environment to another so babe doesn’t overheat or get too cold. Some fleece suits have fold-over flaps for hands and feet coverage too. Carters and Old Navy are good places to start for fleece jammies and brands like Columbia and The North Face have the more heavy duty fleece buntings. Infant seat shower cap-style covers are pretty plentiful and come in all different colors and designs (including some really cute ones!), so you have plenty from which to choose. Remember, to be safest, when your baby is in the carseat, always keep her buckled securely and use layers for comfort. Here’s a list of shower cap infant seat covers:

JJ Cole Car Seat Cover

Jolly Jumper Sneak a Peak Infant Carseat Cover Deluxe

Jolly Jumper Arctice Sneak a Peak Infant Carseat Cover

The First Years Carseat Cover

Snugaroo Fleece Infant Car Seat Jacket/Cover and Matching Baby Hat

Babbaco Babbacover Snuggle Fleece

Kangaroo Infant Car Seat Fleece Cover

NoJo Double Zipper Baby Cover-Up

These are the JJ Cole Bundleme products I tested. The Urban Bundleme and the original Bundleme are the same, but the Urban has an upgraded outside fashion. If you’re going to use a Bundleme product, I’ve marked the safe one.

As you can see from the list above, there are lots of covers from which to choose and you can even make your own. For older toddlers and big kids, there are ponchos. The key is to make yourself aware of the dangers of loose harnesses and to know that during the most slippery driving time of the year, it’s especially important for our kiddos to be buckled up properly. Drive safely and warmly!

 

CarseatBlog’s Updated List of Recommended Carseats for Preemies & Multiples!

We’re happy to announce that we’ve updated our list of Recommended Infant Carseats for Preemies & Multiples! Our original list of Best Bets in this category included the original Chicco KeyFit & KeyFit 30, Britax Chaperone & B-Safe, Safety 1st onBoard 35 & onBoard 35 Air. Since we posted that list of recommendations over a year ago we’ve reviewed several new or updated infant seats that we feel comfortable adding to the list.

Please join me in welcoming the Safety 1st Comfy Carry Elite Plus, the new Graco SnugRide 35 (specifically, the newest model rated down to 4 lbs) and the Evenflo Embrace 35. All of these seats have a minimum weight rating of 4 lbs, fit our preemie doll well, are easy to use correctly and are relatively easy to install properly in a variety of vehicles.  We have links to the full reviews for each of these seats as well as other important information on our page dedicated to preemies and carseat issues.

Additionally, we’re very pleased that three of the seats on our new expanded list are priced under $100! The Safety 1st Comfy Carry Elite Plus, Safety 1st onBoard 35 and Evenflo Embrace 35 are all what I like to call “budget-friendly”.  And let’s face it – price and value are always important but those factors take on special meaning if you’re operating on a tight budget and/or if you’re faced with the reality of having to buy two, three (or more!) of everything.

Here at CarseatBlog we really appreciate the fact that CR manufacturers are paying more attention to the needs of preemies and low birthweight babies. With eight infant carseats now on our list, in all different price ranges, this is a giant leap in the right direction. Hopefully we’ll be able to recommend a few more options (including convertible seats) in the near future!

 

Our Favorite Car-Seat.org Links

CarseatBlog.com is the official blog of www.car-seat.org. Car-seat.org is a group of forums designed to help parents and caregivers find answers to carseat dilemmas. We have a Canadian/International forum, a technical forum, and a forum for vehicle selection to name a few. Many of our blog readers found us through CSO, as we lovingly call it. If you found the blog through Google, you probably don’t know of some of the many helpful threads found on our forums. Following is a list of our favorite threads.

 

Have you tried to find a technician local to you but been unsuccessful? Try this link for a partial listing of CSO techs.

http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=59135

 

I know we have environmentally conscious readers (hey, I’m green too!) who would rather recycle their carseats than throw them out with the garbage when they’re at the end of their useful life or have been in a crash. This thread lists recycling centers—maybe you’ll find a center close to you!

http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=156221

 

Need to get 3 carseats across your back seat? Not sure if you can do it in your vehicle? Try searching this thread for help.

http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=33226

 

Do you have a special needs child? We have a forum for you!

http://www.car-seat.org/forumdisplay.php?f=36

 

Here’s a thread that shows booster comparisons for a thin child.

http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=213218

 

I know it’s getting warmer out now, but maybe I’ll plant a seed for next winter. Coats and carseats don’t mix and here’s a picture tutorial.

http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=151522 and a somewhat updated version, http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=200355

 

Hopefully this gives you a taste of what a goldmine CSO truly is. We have lots of techs and knowledgeable regulars who are willing and able to answer your child passenger safety questions.

Now for your role: do you have a favorite “upstairs” thread that you’ve found particularly helpful? Please post the link in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

Carseat Click Tip

Do you have an infant seat that you’re pulling out of storage for another child? If so, flip the bucket over and check out the harness. Some infant seats (and convertibles too!) have 2 harness lengths from which to choose—a newborn setting and a setting for larger infants/toddlers. If you’re like me, as soon as your child is done with the seat, you promptly stick it in the closet and forget about it without adjusting the straps; but, that means that that when you’re ready to use it again for a newborn, it’s set up for a larger child.

The following picture is from a Graco SnugRide manual (but it’s generic enough to work for other carseats) and it shows the 2 different loops where you can attach the harness to the metal splitter plate on the bottom of the carseat. Working on one side at a time, take the harness off the splitter plate and reattach it using the inside loop to shorten the harness. If you have one of the SnugRide models with a higher harness weight (this doesn’t apply to the SR with a 22 lbs. weight limit), you’ll also be able to adjust the harness length at where the leg straps are attached at the back of the seat. Doing this will mean you’ll be able to tighten the harness properly on a noob.

A Glossary of Common Carseat Terms

How many times have you been looking at carseats and come across a word that you didn’t understand? In this specialized field, we have lots of terms that are important to you as a consumer and parent. Hopefully this list will make reading labels and manuals a bit easier! These terms apply to TYPICAL situations and are terms you’ll see mentioned often here on the blog; however, child passenger safety is a field of exceptions. Read your owners’ manuals for further clarification on your setup.