How To Keep Baby Warm In Car Seat? A Few Tips to Remember

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
17 min read

When winter approaches, you’ll need to know how to keep your infant warm in the car seat, because no parent wants to see their child suffer.

Car seat safety is a problem that causes parents to go into a frenzy, but it is essential. When the question of winter jackets and car seats came up a few years ago, many parents recognized that they were doing things incorrectly, including me.

Never in our lives did anyone tell us that winter coats in the vehicle seats were a bad idea.

You start to wonder how you can keep your kid warm in a car seat, especially if you don’t have a garage, when the temperature drops to the single digits.

Here are some tried-and-true suggestions for your consideration.

Can Babies Wear Coats in a Car Seat?

In a vehicle seat, heavy coats are not permitted. Winter coats and snowsuits should never be worn under the harness of a car seat, as a general rule of thumb for parents.

In the beginning, I was perplexed. Isn’t my baby going to be chilly? My parents were convinced that if I didn’t let my child to wear a winter coat in the car, he would freeze to death.

Winter coats in a car seat are a bad idea, according to scientific evidence.

During a car accident, the cushioning under the harness flattens out, allowing for more room. Your youngster could be ejected from the car seat if there is any additional room under the harness.

Twins Trust | 5 ways to keep your little ones safe (and warm!) when driving during winter

Can Babies Wear a Snowsuit in a Car Seat?

There is no evidence to support the safety of snowsuits in a car seat. It’s impossible to remove all the air from these suits, no matter how hard you try to tighten the straps.

Slack in snowsuit straps occurs during car crashes, which pushes air out of the suit.

How to Test to See if Your Baby’s Coat is Safe in a Car Seat

You may worry if your baby’s coat is okay to put in a car seat because not all jackets have the same thickness.

This is a quick and easy way to see.

  • When you’re ready to go, put your baby’s coat on and attach the car seat’s straps. Tighten the harness until your thumb and forefinger no longer pinch the webbing.
  • Re-install your youngster in their car seat after removing their outerwear and taking off their seat belt. Make certain that the harness is properly secured by buckling and fastening it.
  • The garment is excessively heavy if you can fit your thumb and forefinger into the webbing.

12 Tips to Keep Baby Warm in Car Seat

It’s common for parents to get concerned about keeping their children warm in the car seat after learning that their children cannot wear coats in the vehicle.

Here are some suggestions for keeping your infant warm and comfortable this winter without resorting to a bulky winter coat.

1. Bring the Car Seat Carrier Inside

As a precaution in the cold, bring the carrier component of your infant car seat while it is not in use.

You can get your kid ready in the seat without them becoming cold by keeping the seat at room temperature.

2. Warm the Car First

When it’s cold outside, you can always warm up your car before you go. Prior to transporting your infant, make sure everyone is at a comfortable temperature and that the vehicle is warmed up.

3. Dress in Thin Layers

Thin layers rather than a heavy winter clothing are the best method to keep your baby warm.

Leggings or long-sleeved bodysuits are ideal bottom-layer options. Then, add a pair of slacks and a chunkier top, like a sweater.

Your baby can wear a light fleece jacket after that. Another choice is long underwear, which is safe for those who live in frigid climates.

Infants should always be dressed one layer heavier than adults. So, if you’re used to wearing a sweater, you’ll need to do the same for your infant. As long as you’re wearing a coat, your baby will require a blanket on top.

When it comes to keeping your infant warm, two to four layers of thin, tight clothing is just as effective as a winter coat filled with air.

4. Wear Hoodies

These baby hoodies are so adorable; they’re my favorite. Hoodies are more difficult for my children to remove than hats.

Your baby will stay toastier if they wear a cute, lightweight hoodie over their top, and their ears will be protected from the cold. Hoodies, on the other hand, don’t add weight to the car seat that could compromise its safety.

5. Bring Hats, Mittens, Socks and Booties

Another approach to keep your kid warm in the car seat without interfering with their car seat straps is to use hats, mittens, socks, or booties.

Little sets of mittens make sense because my babies’ hands get so chilly so quickly!

Make sure your baby wears a hat, too, because he or she will lose a lot of weight through their ears.

Winter Coats & Car Seat Safety | The University of Vermont Health Network

6. Sweaters and Light Jackets are OK!

The vehicle seat is the perfect place for a cozy sweater or a small fleece jacket. As long as they don’t have padding, fleece and sweaters are a great option for keeping your child toasty even when the straps are tight.

7. Put Your Child’s Coat on Backwards

Putting the child’s coat on backwards is another favorite trick of parents. In order to keep your infant safe, make sure they are strapped into the car seat correctly and that their arms are tucked in their coat.

It’s a no-fuss strategy that works. It’s also easy to remove if your car gets too hot without having to take your infant from the car seat.

8. Keep Car Blankets in Your Vehicle

We always keep blankets in our van since I’ll forget them at home if I don’t. After you’ve secured your infant in the harness, drape a blanket over the top of the straps.

In my automobile, I keep a tiny cubed container in the centre of the vehicle. As long as we need them, we can keep the folded blankets in the storage area.

9. Use a Car Seat Poncho

Car seat ponchos can keep your kid warm instead of blankets.

Ponchos are a favorite among children, and many of them come with stylish hoodies and materials to match. There’s nothing between your child and the car seat when you flip the back of this over their head.

10. Use Products That Go Over the Car Seat

Car seat covers, for example, can be used with a car seat as long as no additional layers are placed beneath the kid. It’s not safe to have anything below your infant if it causes you to relax the straps even a little bit.

Suffocation can occur if the baby’s face is covered.

The fact that it’s sold in stores doesn’t necessarily mean it is safe to use. We see a lot of recalls of baby gear products because of safety issues.

11. Don’t Overheat Your Baby!

Because of all the talk about layering, your infant is at greater danger of becoming overheated. We spend so much time worrying that your infant will be too chilly that we overlook the possibility that the inverse could occur.

Keep an eye out for any indicators that your kid might be overheating while in the car and be prepared to remove clothing as necessary.

12. Keep an Emergency Bag in Your Car

Keep the following items in your vehicle’s trunk at all times in case an emergency arises:

  • Blankets
  • Changing into New Clothes
  • Gloves and a hat
  • Water
  • Snacks That Won’t Go Bad

Recommended Winter Gear to Wear in a Car Seat

If you’re concerned about the safety of a certain product, here are several safe solutions that will keep your kid warm and comfortable in the car seat.

1. 7 AM Enfant Baby Car Seat Baby Wrap

The Nido is a baby wrap that can be used with both car seats and strollers, making it an excellent alternative to bulky winter outerwear.

The oval opening in the rear of the Nido allows you to slip it on after your kid is securely belted up. As a bonus, it’s compatible with both infant and convertible car seats.

2. 7 AM Enfant Cocoon Baby Cover

Cocoon Baby Cover is one of the best solutions for a car seat if you live in a cold climate. It is capable of withstanding temperatures as low as -48 degrees Fahrenheit.

An infant car seat “shower cap” style, the Cocoon is completely safe because nothing passes under your child.

A wonderful option if you need to protect your child from the elements.

3. Columbia Fleece Jackets

Columbia fleeces are a winter staple for several members of my family. A thick fleece is used to keep your child warm, yet it doesn’t cling to their body.

Even grownups can get their hands on Columbia jackets.

4. Columbia Snowtop Bunting

The Snowtop Bunting is also a safe option for car seat use if you select the correct size. It’s not too hot for your baby, but not too cold either. However, I wouldn’t wear this on a cold day; it’s just the correct thickness.

This list of baby car seat heating tips can come in handy once winter weather hits. You should always warm up your vehicle seat before you get in, and don’t rely on a thick coat in the cold weather.

Why are bulky coats and snowsuits unsafe in a car seat?

Simple padding in many winter coats and snowsuits causes too much room between the harness and your child’s body, which is why this happens. Because of this, your child’s body may be able to move unnecessarily in the event of an abrupt stop or collision due to the compression of the padding.

In order for a car seat to protect a child in a crash, the harness must be properly positioned and adjusted in order for the most effective protection. The chest clip should be at armpit level and the strap should be tight enough so that you can’t pinch a horizontal fold in the strap at your child’s collarbone when it is properly fitted.

In order to place a child in the car seat correctly, thick winter jackets and snowsuits (as well as hockey gear and bulkier Halloween costumes, for that matter) can make it more difficult to get the straps on your child’s shoulders because of their added thickness.

How do I know the clothing I’ve chosen is safe for the car seat?

By putting your child in their car seat and attaching the harness appropriately (as indicated above), and then removing them from the seat without loosening the straps, you may quickly assess if their layer is car-seat compatible.”

Re-buckle your youngster after removing the jacket or sweater and make sure there is no extra slack in the harness this time. Make sure the straps are as taut as possible around your child’s collarbone by pinching a horizontal fold in the strap.

You may need to tinker with the straps slightly after removing the layer, but if there is significant slack or noticeable difference in how the harness is positioned on your child, then that layer is probably too thick to securely use in the car seat.

That’s all well and good for in the car, but what about getting TO the car?

Your kids may always stay warm between the house and the car by wearing heavier jackets, scarves and mittens, as well as other customary winter accessories. If your child is tiny enough to be carried into and out of the car, a blanket wrapped around them can be a decent option.

Car seat ponchos, or wearable blankets, are now available for older toddlers and preschoolers, so this is another viable choice for the brief travel to and from the car.

What about booster seats?

Make sure your child’s booster seat has a properly-fitting car seatbelt, especially if they’re wearing heavier and/or warmer clothing. Remove any unnecessary bulk by lifting up the bottom of your jacket. The belt will fit more comfortably on your hips. When a winter coat is unzipped and pulled to the side, the belt can be tucked in close to the body.

Even though traveling with children might be more difficult in the winter, following suggestions and a little forethought can help you and yours keep warm and safe.



A thin fleece coat can be worn over the top by your child. Another alternative for staying warm in the cold is to don long underwear.

As a general rule, infants should wear an additional layer compared to adults, as a precaution. To keep warm, your baby will need all three of these items if you don’t already have them.

How to Keep Baby Warm in Car Seat [10 Easy Steps]


If you suspect your infant is overheating, attempt to put your hand on his neck. Remove a layer of his clothing if he is perspiring profusely. However, you should take your baby’s temperature if you suspect that he is overheating or acting strangely.


Comfortably Make sure your child is strapped into the car seat, but don’t yank on the straps too hard. If you can squeeze more than two fingers under the child’s shoulder tackle, it’s clear that the coat is too thick to use with a car seat.


As an air barrier, throw in a thicker sheet and sip finely around the infant and under their toes with the thin receiving blanket first to create an airtight transplant.


If you’re going to be wearing a big winter coat, make sure your baby is bundled up in a snowsuit or a bunting or a few blankets. If your infant is going to be spending the day inside, a few extra layers are a great idea. A fleece one-piece with toes can be worn over an undershirt or bodysuit to complete the look.

Until now, I’ve talked about how to keep a baby warm in a car seat during the winter. Please let me know if you think I’ve missed something by commenting below.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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