Using Car Seat Covers to Keep Newborns and Babies Warm

Since we’re nestled here in the Pacific Northwest where our biggest complaint is rain, I can’t quite imagine toting my newborn home in sub-zero weather. We’ve hit a patch of chilly days here lately and it had me wondering what mothers in cold climates do to keep their infants warm on winter walks. After all, part of maintaining the motivation to live a green lifestyle is simply getting outside and connecting with nature–which can be challenging in places like Northern Alaska. Finally, I can across an image of a car seat cover.

So just what is this contraption? It fits around the outside of the car seat to provide a cozy cocoon for a newborn or infant. The one pictured above is a JJ Cole Carseat Cover and costs just under $30.

The Jolly Jumper Sneak-a-Peak Infant Carseat Cover keeps baby entirely enclosed within the car seat, providing just a tiny window for peering out. It’s also water repellant and is elasticized for a snug fit with any car seat.

Babbaco’s Babbacover Snuggle Fleece Beepbeep wins the prize for being being utterly adorable, but it’s also one of the pricier covers at $61.00. It’s nice that it does have a flip down window so that you can cover baby if she’s napping.

Are car seat covers really worth buying? It depends entirely on your geographic location and your personal values. If you live in an incredibly cold climate and are feeling desperate to get outside, it might warrant the cost. You can clip the carseat into a travel system stroller with the cover and take baby out for a walk on a freezing day without feeling like you’re risking her health. (Would you then need to put the stroller on skis? Hmm….)

Or you may just want to purchase some ultra warm baby clothing and skip the car seat cover altogether. Of course, if you only experience severe winter cold for a few weeks out of the year, it’s probably not worth worrying about car seat covers or extreme winter clothing for baby.

Have you ever even seen an infant car seat cover in use? Are they common where you live? Do you use one?

Comments

  1. I live in New England and I found a car seat cover to be absolutely worth it! I could bring the car seat into the house, zip baby into the cover, and once we arrived at our destination, I’d carry him inside still in the seat, enabling me to forgo a full-body snowsuit. The top half of the cover could be unzipped and removed on warmer days, zipped back on on cold days. This was at the infant age, when he was hanging out in a car seat much of the time anyway, so for us it worked well.

  2. I live in the Midwest and car seat covers are the norm here; especially since bulky snowsuits/jackets are not safe in car seats in accidents as the straps have to be loosened to allow for the bulk. And car seat covers are easy, no trying to get an uncooperative baby into a snowsuit!

  3. I live in Canada and they are frequently used here. Only problem is I see far too many of them that go under the baby and can interfere with the seat belt.

  4. We just used blankets and a warm hat. (I can’t see that I would ever spend money on one of these when I can use what I already have.) Placed the blanket(s) over lil girl of course. As Manya accurately points out, it’s extremely important not to interfere with the straps’ tightness- not worth compromising security for warmth.

  5. Have any of you ladies come across on toxic options for the car seat (winter) covers? I’m considering the Skip Hop Stroll and Go. However, I see JJ Cole and Jolly Jumper AAre also popular.

    Thanks!

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