Part 1 of a 3-part series, Gearing up for Winter
Baby, it’s cold outside!
Depending on your weather situation, getting out of the house with your kiddo may be looking less and less attractive [pajamas all day? sure why not].
It need not be this way, m’ladies (and gents). A few snuggly winter items for your baby will make this winter tolerable; nay, downright fun!
Thus, we begin…[clears throat]
Car Seat Warmth
For infant seats, the key to keeping your baby warm is simply to cover the seat itself with a “shower cap” style cover. Unlike footmuffs that go inside the car seat [i.e. between baby’s back and the back of the car seat], these covers do the trick without interfering with the crash dynamics of the car seat.
This is the same reason we recommend against wearing thick or squishy coats or snowsuits in a car seat. While it may look allll squishy and safe, it’s not. In fact, if you take baby’s thick coat off and re-buckle him with the straps in the same position, you will notice all the empty space between him and the harness [shown left].
So much slack, even, that he could be ejected from the seat altogether. This hypothetical situation is illustrated here.
I totally get it: putting your kid in a freezing cold car WITHOUT a coat on is completely impractical for people in cold places, so try one of these instead...
1. JJ Cole Collections Car Seat Cover ~ $29 - $36
This machine washable infant seat cover from JJ Cole is made of weather-resistant nylon with soft fleece on the inside. You can zip down the flap (or remove it altogether) to control the temperature.
Available in black, grey, khaki or pink.
Buy On Amazon for $29-$36
A step up from the regular Sneak-A-Peek, this Canadian company makes an ULTRA-warm infant car seat cover that has an additional blanket underneath, shaped perfectly to keep baby extra snug.
Cold-weather mommies who’ve owned many seat covers swear by this one. It’s thick, fleece-lined water repellent fabric protects baby from rain and snow and dual zippers allow easy in and out.
**Note: Does not fit the larger Graco SnugRide models, the 32 and 35 lb’ers
Comes in black and grey.
Buy on Amazon for $39
3. The Car Seat Poncho ~ $39
Created by a car seat technician in 2005, the car seat poncho is the darling stay-warm product of the car seat tech community. Simply put the poncho over your child before heading out to the car, drape the back of the poncho over the back of the seat as you seat him, fasten your child in, then zip it down. Great for convertible or combination car seats (i.e. any seat with a harness).
Available on their site only for $39
** I was warned by the company’s Founder that they are nearly sold out for the season, which brings me to...
4. The Cozywoggle ~ $79
I was so excited to find this product, recommended by Car Seats for the Littles.
The Cozywoggle is a regular, warm winter coat that conveniently unzips up the sleeves and sides when your kiddo goes into his car seat, which effectively turns it into a car seat–safe poncho. When you arrive at your destination, unbuckle your child and simply zip it back up. Click here to see the video.
The Cozywoggle is made from heavy-duty wind/water resistant polyester and is lined with fleece. It comes in sizes 12 months, 18 months, 2T, 3T, 4, 5 and 6.
Avaialable in red, pink, navy and purple [shown below].
Available only on cozywoggle.com for $74.99
There’s nothing quite like a brisk winter walk, especially when wintertime cabin fever is setting in (RED RUM… RED RUM). And while you may work up a sweat pushing the stroller around, your baby is just sitting there in the stroller. Add a little wintertime wind and… brrrr.
The solution for this is a stroller footmuff and is a must-have in the wintertime (or if you live in the San Francisco, the summertime (seriously)).
Stroller footmuffs have slits in the back and bottom, so you can pass the straps through and install it into the stroller. Unlike a blanket that will inevitably end up dragging on the ground and getting stuck in the wheels, a footmuff will stay in place for good.
Some people also use these in their car seats, but again, it’s not advised (read above). Also, I like to leave mine in the stroller all winter without having to take it in and out each time (ain’t nobody got time for that).
1. JJ Cole Collections Original Bundleme ~ $39- $48
The Original JJ Cole Bundleme is still a mommy favorite after all these years. If your coldest days aren’t terribly cold, this is the footmuff for you. The interior lining is warm, faux shearling that you can zip down to control the temp.
Comes in infant or toddler sizes; choose the toddler size if you’re unsure (it will last longer!).
2. JJ Cole Collections Polar Bundleme ~ $119
For those in colder climates, the Bundleme Polar is the King of the Bundleme collection. Before you balk at the price, keep in mind that this Bundleme has an expandable bottom that grows with your child (from 0-4 years), so you won’t ever have to buy a larger size.
The soft thermaplush interior and the cozy hood maximize heat retention. It also has a wipeable foot area that opens completely to accommodate shoes and a removable top for easy temperature control.
Available in black, grey, moss and pink.
Buy on Amazon for $119.
3. 7 A.M. Enfant Blanket 212 ~ $167-189
Much like the JJ Cole “Polar” Bundleme, the beloved “Blanket 212” from 7 A.M. Enfant also grows with your baby through the toddler years with extendable panels. A bit more upmarket, the Blanket 212 has a more contemporary design and comes in a variety of fashions. It can also convert into a large blanket.
Available on Amazon in many beautiful colors for $168-$189.
4. 7 A.M. Enfant Pookie Poncho ~ $118
Also from 7 A.M. Enfant is the incredibly versatile Pookie Poncho. This 3-in-1 bunting bag goes on (almost) any stroller, baby carrier and infant seat. The outer shell is water repellent and windproof for chilly, wet days.
It converts from stroller mode to baby carrier mode with an interchangeable hood. When used on a baby carrier, the smaller hood attaches with snaps to the back of the cover to protect infants facing inward or outward. The larger hood zips onto the cover, adapting for use on any stroller or car seat, covering all but the child’s face. *Does not fit the Orbit or City Mini
Available on 7 A.M. Enfant for $118.
5. 7 A.M. Enfant Duo ~ $115
Got a side-by-side double stroller? Head off any turf battles with the Duo by 7 A.M. Enfant.
The bottom portion slips over the stroller frame and can be tightened with an elastic drawstring to hold it in place. A center zipper allows children to easily climb in and out of the stroller, one at a time or together. Use from 0-4 years. I’m totally buying this for our Nannyshare for Christmas…
6. 7 A. M. Enfant Warmmuffs ~ $38
Those of you pushing a stroller in a cold climate will totally appreciate these warmmuffs by 7 A. M. Enfant. These stroller-gloves stay attached to the stroller where they belong, so you can tend to bucking and zipping baby with your bare hands.
Available in a variety of beautiful colors [some colors are sold out, sorry]. Makes a great gift!
Buy on Amazon for $38(ish).
Baby Carrier Warmth
Regulating your body heat with a baby stuck to your body is quite tricky; there is a fine line between freezing and sauna-like.
Have you ever overheated when carrying your baby, then realized you couldn’t take your coat or jacket off without completely taking everything apart and starting over? Jeaah, me too. [Here, baby, lie down in the sidewalk while I take my jacket off]. No thanks.
Check out these covers and jackets that can easily come on or off as needed.
1. Infantino Hoodie Carrier Cover ~ $19
This beloved carrier cover “hoodie” from Infantino keeps baby warm at the right price. Also has a warming pocket for mom’s hands. Brilliant!
Available in light gray and navy.
2. Boba Vest ~ $55
This sleeveless solution for mom and baby works with any baby carrier and can be worn on the front or back. They're coming out with a long-sleeved version sometime in December.
Comes in Size Small, M, L and XL, in black and charcoal.
As usual, these reviews are all my own. I don’t take money in exchange for reviews; it allows me to call it as I see it. You can support me by purchasing the-stuff-you-buy-anyway on Amazon
- muchas gracias! Meg
Part 2: Keep warm at night: jammies and whatnot
Part 3: Keeping warm outside: outerwear
Part 4: Keeping warm in the elements: rain and snow gear