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  1. #1
    CPS Technician CDNTech's Avatar
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    How to SAFELY wear a winter coat in carseats...

    We are constantly asked about winter coats in our climate. Here is a safe way to wear a winter coat in the carseat. It's important to always test to make sure the harness is snug enough.

    Put your child in the seat without a coat on and adjust the harness correctly. Now take your child out of the seat and do *not* loosen the harness. Put the coat on and put the child back in the seat. If you do not have to loosen the harness to make it fit, the coat is fine. If it is too bulky, read on to learn the coat trick. The coat trick allows you to keep your jacket on without compromising the tightness of the harness.

    Okay, confession time...

    The coat is an "on the thinner side" one from Walmart... I think it cost me $30. It is his winter coat that he wears outside to play in the snow with.

    It is slightly too big for him, but I didn't want him to outgrow it half way through winter.

    He is also wearing both inner and outer layers in that photo.

    Did I mention this was confession time?

    This is why the coat trick works... even with all those no-no's the harness is still the exact same snugness as it is with him just wearing a t-shirt.

    You can see one side of the coat pulled through the harness...


    Both sides pulled through the harness with the buckle done up...


    Coat zipped up over the harness...
    Jen, Former CDN CRS Tech
    DS1 /02, Seatbelt and starting to drive in a few months!
    DS2 /05, ParkwaySG

    DS3 /12, Peg PVC
    DD1 /15, Britax B-Safe

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  3. #2
    CPST/Firefighter Judi's Avatar
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    Re: How to SAFELY wear a winter coat in carseats...

    Or you can have them wear it backwards, over the harness!

  4. #3
    CPS Technician CDNTech's Avatar
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    Re: How to SAFELY wear a winter coat in carseats...

    You absolutely can wear it backwards over the harness.

    However that is not always practical here in Canada where it can frequently get down to -40 degrees celsius with/plus the windchill. This offers a safe alternative so that you never have to take the jacket off.
    Jen, Former CDN CRS Tech
    DS1 /02, Seatbelt and starting to drive in a few months!
    DS2 /05, ParkwaySG

    DS3 /12, Peg PVC
    DD1 /15, Britax B-Safe

  5. #4
    CPS Technician Jewels's Avatar
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    Re: How to SAFELY wear a winter coat in carseats...

    Quote Originally Posted by aidensmom02 View Post
    You absolutely can wear it backwards over the harness.

    However that is not always practical here in Canada where it can frequently get down to -40 degrees celsius with/plus the windchill. This offers a safe alternative so that you never have to take the jacket off.
    brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, today is a whopping -24C (-13F) not including the wind. Last week it was +8C (46.6F)

  6. #5
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: How to SAFELY wear a winter coat in carseats...

    That is a really great idea! I've been trying to find a trick for J's jacket. It is the thin LE Marinac, but since he is small even the smallest size (4) is big on him. It bunches up and makes the harness really tight and hard to buckle. I've been pulling the bottom part of the jacket up so that the bottom of the harness is against his shirt instead of the jacket, and that helps some. I didn't think of actually pulling it through the harness strap though.
    6.25 yo, 42 lbs., 42 in., Britax Regent (Marina) and Graco Nautilus (Bravo)

  7. #6
    CPS Technician
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    Re: How to SAFELY wear a winter coat in carseats...

    I tell parents to take it one step further - pull the jacket off the SHOULDERS so the harness is a close as possible. (It's not usually -42 around here, but it does hit in the negative numbers, especially the windchill)

    You'd still be able to zip it most of the way up.

    This goes for adults, too.

  8. #7
    CPS Technician
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    Re: How to SAFELY wear a winter coat in carseats...

    I do that, but I never thought to zip it up afterwards. lol
    Jennifer, Special Needs CPST, peds nurse, and CSFTL Admin mom to:
    AJ-13 (five steps), Evan-11 (nbb),
    Ilana-9 (nbb) ,
    Olivia-7 (hbb), and
    Unity-3 (rf and ff)

  9. #8
    CPS Technician
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    Re: How to SAFELY wear a winter coat in carseats...

    Coats that have snaps/velcro in addition to zippers work even better: faster than zipping the zipper and you only really need 1 or 2 to cut the draft to the tummy or neck.

  10. #9
    CPS Technician
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    Re: How to SAFELY wear a winter coat in carseats...

    THANK YOU for posting this "trick"! I have tested our harness and I squish my toddler, wearing her coat normally, into the harness at the correct tightness, but it takes time and effort. The hood is up and the coat is smoothed all around, any bunching in the coat and it is nearly impossible to buckle the harness. The backwards trick does NOT work for us unfortunately, my toddler just takes off the coat and throws it off. Temps here are in the teens, not as cold as some of you are suffering, but still too cold for no coat!

    I'm so glad I noticed this post. I'll be trying your trick next time we get in the car. Thanks again for such useful information!

  11. #10
    CPS Fanatic Mama!'s Avatar
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    Re: How to SAFELY wear a winter coat in carseats...

    K, not in a super cold climate, but does this not create airspace between child and the back of the carseat?
    DD-11, adult belt/ nbb
    DS-9, Vivo
    DD-2.5 ~24#, 33", RF in RA 55

  12. #11
    CPS Technician CDNTech's Avatar
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    Re: How to SAFELY wear a winter coat in carseats...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mama! View Post
    K, not in a super cold climate, but does this not create airspace between child and the back of the carseat?
    This is why you double check by putting the child in the carseat (without a jacket) and doing up the harness. Then, without loosening the harness, take the child out and try the coat trick. You should have no issues with putting the child back into the carseat without loosening the harness.
    Jen, Former CDN CRS Tech
    DS1 /02, Seatbelt and starting to drive in a few months!
    DS2 /05, ParkwaySG

    DS3 /12, Peg PVC
    DD1 /15, Britax B-Safe

  13. #12
    Senior Community Member CarSeatPoncho's Avatar
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    Re: How to SAFELY wear a winter coat in carseats...

    Also, the weight of the child will compress the back of the coat somewhat.

    www.CarSeatPoncho.com
    Keeps children safe and warm -- without a hassle!

    DEMONSTRATION OF COAT COMPRESSION (Video) ..... PONCHO COLORS MATCH YOUR CAR SEAT(Click)
    Donna, CPST/Inventor, DS7 SK Monterey (Snug 22, EFT, Apex 65)

  14. #13
    Carseat Crazy Momto3Divaz's Avatar
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    Re: How to SAFELY wear a winter coat in carseats...

    Mommy to 3 girls 10,8,5 and 2 stepsons 6,5 Wife to Anthony Big Guy Normally in the drivers seat

  15. #14
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    Re: How to SAFELY wear a winter coat in carseats...

    This is really great advice. Even my DH, who is usually more lax about following all the carseat safety decrees around here , has taken to using the unzipped-jacket-pulled-under-the-straps trick, after I described it to him. I am in the long-term habit of walking around the car and double-checking harnesses after anyone else buckles the kids in (a habit which DH puts up with very patiently), and the other day I found nothing to adjust and nothing to tighten. We've also taken to not loosening harness straps between uses (DH's preference all along), because it eliminates the uncertainty about whether the harness is tight enough (and because the harness adjusters on both the Wizard and the Radian are such a PITA on that last bit of tightening).

    Thanks again for posting this, and I'm glad I finally tracked down this post again (wasn't it posted somewhere else initially?) so I could leave rep...

    Katrin

  16. #15
    CPS Technician CDNTech's Avatar
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    Re: How to SAFELY wear a winter coat in carseats...

    Quote Originally Posted by singingpond View Post
    Thanks again for posting this, and I'm glad I finally tracked down this post again (wasn't it posted somewhere else initially?) so I could leave rep...

    Katrin
    I had responded to a thread on how to safely wear a winter coat and then thought I should really make it an article so that it's easily accessible. Glad you liked it!
    Jen, Former CDN CRS Tech
    DS1 /02, Seatbelt and starting to drive in a few months!
    DS2 /05, ParkwaySG

    DS3 /12, Peg PVC
    DD1 /15, Britax B-Safe

  17. #16
    CPS Technician crunchierthanthou's Avatar
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    Re: How to SAFELY wear a winter coat in carseats...

    Has anyone been able to use this method successfully rf?

    Ds has a light coat (one layer of thin fleece with a canvas outer layer) that we use in the car. I can squeeze him in without loosening the harness any further than plain clothes (we rarely loosen the harness before buckling). I've tried Jen's method a few times and can't get the harness buckled. I gave it another try yesterday. I ended up loosening the harness just a bit and then tightening it back down, thinking I got a decent fit. Ds was yawning by the time I got him buckled, retightened and zipped so I decided to take him to the bathroom before we drove home. We just left his coat in the car and ran back in. I was surprised when I rebuckled him coatless that I had to tighten it at least another inch.

    I think the angle of the straps coming from below the shoulder coupled with bulges in the coat near his collar bone to route the coat to the outside just doesn't leave enough webbing to work with.

    anyone else?

  18. #17
    Carseat Crazy mommyto2angelgirls's Avatar
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    Re: How to SAFELY wear a winter coat in carseats...

    i can't get it rf either. i have dd2 in a ma. no matter what i pull where i can't rebuckle the harness.
    DD1~5yrs~43.5lbs~42 inches~14.5inch torso~FF in a MA, Nautilus and Apex 65
    DD2~23 months~26lbs~33inches~RF in a MA and EFTA
    Little girl I babysit~3yrs~30lbs~35inches~FF in an Evenflo Triumph
    Baby #3 due in Dec~infant seat TBD~any advice??

  19. #18
    Senior Community Member CarSeatPoncho's Avatar
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    Re: How to SAFELY wear a winter coat in carseats...

    If the coat has a hood that is not detachable, that might make the flaps of the coat not "spread" enough. Maybe?

    www.CarSeatPoncho.com
    Keeps children safe and warm -- without a hassle!

    DEMONSTRATION OF COAT COMPRESSION (Video) ..... PONCHO COLORS MATCH YOUR CAR SEAT(Click)
    Donna, CPST/Inventor, DS7 SK Monterey (Snug 22, EFT, Apex 65)

  20. #19
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: How to SAFELY wear a winter coat in carseats...

    WAY back in the day, Monika back on the PP board posted about this trick.

  21. #20
    CPS Advocate Kat_Momof3's Avatar
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    Re: How to SAFELY wear a winter coat in carseats...

    I always did it rf... just have to make sure that you either use a coat without a hood or that the hood won't interfere.

    pull the sides completely free of the harnesses (not tucked in at all), which requires a hood that is narrow at the neck area.

    it helps if you loosen the straps first to put baby in (if doing the check, just don't loosen when you unbuckle to take baby out, then put baby in without the coat), but it definitely works.

    I have pics of Ruthie and this trick in her Nautilus, but not as thorough. I'll have to get some more when it gets cold again next winter.



    Check out my new hair blog - Ruthie-dos

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