Dear Parent I Don’t Know,
Hi there. Is it cold enough for you? I know, it’s been crazy cold. I’m not sure I can take much more of this 0-9 degree weather nonsense, either. I totally made the rookie mistake of not switching out my windshield wiper fluid and now it’s a frozen brick and I’ve got salt three inches thick on my windshield. I know, hahaha, welcome to Buffalo, Ashley!
Hey, I wanted to talk to you for a minute. I know you’re crazy busy. This will just take a second. I noticed you don’t take Jane out of her coat when you put her in her car seat. You know how bad that is, right? I mean, you’re an amazing parent and I know you do everything you can to keep your child safe. We all do. And we all make mistakes. Lord knows I make a TON of mistakes when it comes to parenting. The good thing is we can learn from our mistakes and do an even better job.
Please, please, please take your child out of her puffy coat before putting her in the car seat. Please. I know. It’s cold. But I promise she won’t freeze to death or end up with pneumonia because she was out of her coat in the car. I freeze my ass off going to start up our car every morning and let it run. I put the kids in the car, shut the doors, and climb into my seat where I use contortion skills Houdini would be proud of to wrestle the kids out of their coats and into their seats. I drive a tiny Toyota Camry. It’s not like we have a huge SUV or minivan where we all have room to move around in the back. It’s a tight squeeze, but we manage.
What about when I can’t start the car and let it warm up? Well, that’s simple, too. I take them out of their coats, put them in the seats, and then put the coats on backwards, so they have a nice, warm cover until the car warms up. The American Academy of Pediatrics agrees: Ideally, dress your baby in thinner layers instead of a bulky coat or snowsuit, and tuck a blanket around your baby over the buckled harness straps if needed.
Even our car seat owner’s manual says it:
• In cold weather, DO NOT dress the child in bulky clothing like snowsuits if the child is riding in a child restraint. Bulky coats/snowsuits make it difficult to properly tighten the harness to the child which may allow the child to be ejected from the restraint during a crash. If necessary, place a blanket over the harnessed child without interfering with the child restraint harness system.
I’m not making this up.
Is it a pain? Sure. I end up sweating and cursing everything to do with winter every morning. But you know what would be an even bigger pain? My child being ejected from his car seat because the straps couldn’t do their jobs with a bulky coat in the way. Yes, I still have Bunny in a 5-point harness. She’d be in that seat until college if she was within the height/weight requirements, even though it’s so tempting to get her into a car seat she could buckle herself. It takes us a little extra time to get ready in the mornings, sure. Totally time well spent.
Ok, I gotta go. Bubba has started eating the dirty snow off of my car. No rest for the mamas!
Good chat. See you at pick-up!
Need more information on car seat safety?