Did you know that is NOT safe for your child to wear a super puffy coat while riding in a car seat? Keep reading this post to find out why and to see our 5 favorite car seat safe coats and infant car seat covers!
Did you know that is NOT safe for your child to wear a super puffy coat while riding in a car seat?
The reason is that the harness can appear to be secure when your child is wearing a thick coat, but in the event of an accident or sudden stop, the extra fabric can compress leaving extra space between the child and the harness causing injuries. We have compiled a list of our favorite coats and covers that your child can safely wear in the car seat.
Coat car seat check
Before we get started, you must remember to always do a winter coat car seat check with your child before driving. Below are just some of our coat suggestions, but it’s up to you as the caregiver to make sure your child passes this test first!
- Place your child in the car seat with the winter coat and and harness as you normally would. Do the “pinch test” – you should not be able to vertically pinch any excess webbing once the harness is tightened. Click here for more tips on how to properly harness your child or watch this reel.
- Unbuckle the chest clip and have your child come out of the car seat (but don’t loosen the harness). Take the winter coat off and have your child go back into the car seat again and buckle them back in.
- Do the “pinch test” one more time and if you are able to pinch any webbing on the harness, then the winter coat is NOT safe to wear during transportation.
PRO TIP: A good rule of thumb to follow is to not have your baby/child in anything thicker than a thin fleece while harnessed in a car seat. Below are some of our suggestions that follow this rule, but remember to do the test above at home first!
Car seat safe coat suggestions
- Patagonia down sweater jacket – This is Reneé’s favorite jacket for car seat use with babies and toddlers. It comes in a variety of colors and sizes.
- Amazon lightweight down jacket – This is a budget friendly version of the one above that’s only $39!
- Target fleece puffer jacket – This fleece puffer jacket is only $20 and is not too bulky! Comes in pink, blue, red and black!
- Patagonia sweater jacket – This Patagonia sweater jacket is a long time favorite and comes in sizes 6 – 18 months.
- Target zip hoodie – This simple zip-up hoodie comes in different colors and sizes!
- The North Face fleece zip hoodie – This zip-up hoodie comes in many different colors and a variety of sizes.
- Zutano thin fleece one-piece – This romper is the perfect car seat layer for babies 0-12 months. This one is Kate’s favorite!
PRO TIP for a budget friendly option: Use the winter coat your child already has and after they are harnessed in, just lay that coat over their lap as a blanket and then put the coat back on once you get to your destination to stay warm outside!
Infant car seat safe covers:
**PRO TIP: With car seat covers, it’s important to remember to NEVER have anything behind the baby’s back (other than a thin fleece or onesie that they’re wearing). We have handpicked these covers below because they either have a cutout for the baby’s back or they go around the car seat and do not interfere with the harnessing straps on the baby’s body. Just placing a blanket over baby’s lap is safe too!
Stay away from the car seat covers on the market that you have to thread the harness straps through that go behind your baby’s back to keep them warm, because these are NOT safe during transportation.
- 7AM quilted wrap for car seat, stroller & carrier – This cover is safe to use with a car seat, stroller and carrier and is SUPER warm. It’s safe for the car seat because it has a cutout in the back which allows your baby to be securely harnessed while wearing just a onesie during transportation. We love this one because it can grow with your child to be used as a blanket across their lap to keep them warm in the back seat as they get older!
- Zippered fleece car seat canopy – This car seat cover goes OVER the car seat (nothing is behind the baby’s back) and can actually be used as a nursing and high chair cover too! It is made of a fleece to keep your baby protected from the cold and wind and has zippers to open the front!
- Infant car seat cozy cover – This car seat cover also goes over the car seat so that nothing is behind the baby’s back! Here is another option from Amazon too!
Checkout this article from Today’s Parent on why kids shouldn’t wear bulky coats in car seats.
Do you still have questions? Book a consult with Renée! She is a national certified car seat technician and can help you in an email or phone consult.BOOK CONSULT NOW
Other helpful Bumblebaby resources:
- Watch this reel below on how to properly harness your child in a car seat.
- Check out our Amazon store for more of our favorite car seat safe coats and covers.
- Check out our LTK car seat safe coats post for more of our favorites.
Other helpful Bumblebaby blog posts:
- Stroller accessory must haves
- Cold weather stroller must haves
- Safe winter sleep for babies + toddlers
- How to travel with kids
- Diaper bag essentials
*Bumblebaby makes a small commission on items listed above. This post is educational and not meant to take the place of your provider.