getting uncoated kids into the car? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 25 Old 01-02-2010, 09:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For those of you who live where winter temps are sub zero...how do you get your kids in and out of the car w/o puffy coats? Yikes! even a minute or two outside at -20F w/o a coat feels like torture to me.

Also, how do you keep yourself organized such that you are sure your kids have all their appropriate gear with them if they don't leave the house with all this stuff on?

No debate please?! I'm looking for logistics suggestions on how to make this work.
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#2 of 25 Old 01-02-2010, 09:43 PM
 
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I hear you. I have three little ones, and you need a bit of a master plan

Coats are hung up by the door, boots under the boot rack, mittens, hats and scarves are tucked into the arm sleeves. We get fully dressed inside the door, make a mad dash to the car (during which my 4 year old whines that she is cold and I shout at my five year old to PLEASE zip up his danged coat!).

I try to preheat the car. If it's not preheated, I turn it on, get the kids IN the car, out of the wind, which makes a difference. Then, it what is admittedly somewhat cramped circumstances, we QUICKLY strip off the outer layer of the 3-in-1 jackets, (leaving on the hats, scarves and mittens, and polar fleece under-layer), buckle in, and then put the shells backwards over their arms.

I have an assembly line set up, and they know if they cut up, they're just going to get colder, so they're generally pretty cooperative. Well, except for the two year old.

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#3 of 25 Old 01-02-2010, 09:49 PM
 
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I made panchos that I put over there fleece coats. They were hats then when I buckle I lift the pancho so nothing is between them & the straps. This has worked best for us. We have tried the coat on off thing & blankets. This is easiest.

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#4 of 25 Old 01-02-2010, 09:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Katie T View Post
I made panchos that I put over there fleece coats. They were hats then when I buckle I lift the pancho so nothing is between them & the straps. This has worked best for us. We have tried the coat on off thing & blankets. This is easiest.
What are your ponchos made from? Do they wear the ponchos into stores and such while you are out and about? Also, aren't the seat backs freezing cold? I find that the Radian memory foam isn't doing us any favors at -30.
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#5 of 25 Old 01-02-2010, 09:54 PM
 
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It's not that cold here...but I put coats on backwards inside. Zip to the car, hop up into the seat and unzip when they're sitting. Arms out buckles on quick and then arms back into the coat.

It's not a perfect method, but it works.

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#6 of 25 Old 01-02-2010, 09:57 PM
 
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Interesting question. Today was below zero for us with the wind chill (unusual in Maryland). I bundled my son up in his regular winter gear and sat him in the seat. Took the coat off (hat still on), buckled, then covered him with a blanket that I had carried out with me (so it was warm unlike the blanket I leave in the car). We carry a backpack with his gear in it (extra clothes, blanket, etc.). It worked pretty well, but then I think if it ever got 20 below here we'd never even try to go out.
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#7 of 25 Old 01-02-2010, 10:18 PM
 
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I pack blankets and coats in the car, put on their fleece, hats and gloves, then carry them out one at a time and put them in, and bundle them in blankets. It helps that the car is ten feet from the front door.

Mom to DD 8 and DS 6.
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#8 of 25 Old 01-02-2010, 10:28 PM
 
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We leave the house in Coats to get to the car... the kids get in the car, the door is closed and then coats come off and they get buckled in and put their coats back on backwards... we sometimes do the coat trick but they need more help doing that and with the pregnant belly I just can't do it right now...

They just slip their coats back on when getting back out of the car...

(It gets cold here, no preheating allowed in my town and the car is in the driveway)

 
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#9 of 25 Old 01-02-2010, 11:37 PM
 
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I have a thinner jacket (fleece with a nylon outside - not a 3-in-1) that is for in the car. I put him in a long sleeved shirt, a sweater (depending on just how cold it is) & then the jacket. As quickly as possible into the seat & then a blanket I keep in the car overtop. We keep our snowsuits in the car as most of the time we are commuting at least 30 minutes on the highway & if we got stuck we'd be out for awhile. I do worry his backside will get cold from the seat but he never seems to complain about it.

If dh & I are both going somewhere with ds then one of us runs out ahead of time to start the car as our car takes quite awhile to warm up but if I'm alone I can't do that as it's illegal to idle here plus I don't like to leave ds alone in the house - he gets into things too quickly!

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#10 of 25 Old 01-02-2010, 11:46 PM
 
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I warm the car first.

We have lots of thin fleece jackets...a good pilot cap (got mine from Hanna Andersson...dd loves it)...and a fleece quilt that her aunts made her...she stays toasty warm.

The 10-15ft to the car is cold but that's short.


She loves her quilt and will snuggle into it, otherwise I would consider making a poncho.

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#11 of 25 Old 01-03-2010, 08:00 AM
 
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Good question. I cheat a bit and our car is always in a heated garage under our building. When car is parked outside I always warm car up before kids take their places and a winter heat is also used. We use normal clothing plus a good fleece. Jackets are kept in back seat so they get a warm. This works very well but temperature here is just 15 degrees F right now;-) For someone from the Arctic Circle, like me, that qualifies as a nice summer day;-)

Sick days from school during 2009 was a total of 5 days for both kids (3.5 and 6 years old) so I feel like this works well.

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#12 of 25 Old 01-03-2010, 11:22 AM
 
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My ponchos are maid of fleese and they do wear them into stores. I made them a little longer than the size they were suppost to be so they had extra length. They ave a fleese coat on underneith and have never mentioned (the 3yo anyway, baby cant really comment) that the seat is cold but we have never worn coats in the car so they might be used to it. I got the pattern at Joanns.

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#13 of 25 Old 01-03-2010, 11:54 AM
 
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When I have the daycare girls, I do it one at a time. (I live in a trailer so the driveway is right next to the house.)

I get all the kids dressed (if they have velcro closures, I use those instead of the zipper to speed things up), and then take out G, who sits in the middle. We get to the car, I take off her coat, strap her in and put the coat on backwards. I turn the car on. (For the radio as well as the heat)

I run back in and grab either DS or A, and head back out. (Generally DS... A gets touchy if I leave her in the car without me for more than a couple of minutes!) DS has a car coat (Fleece and nylon and FITS WELL - anything even slightly too big is too much fabric for the straps), and is RF'ing, so I plop him in and strap him up.

Run back in again and get A (she's too big for me to carry, so this is the slowest part) and walk to the car. She has two coats, one is fine under straps and the other is NOT at all. If she's wearing the "good" coat, I strap her in. Otherwise, I sit her in, take off her coat, strap her in, and put her coat back on backwards. By this point the car is generally getting warmer, so she usually throws it back off. :

Takes me about 15 min.

If I needed to bring snowpants with, I would pack them in a bag and carry them out when I got A. (That's also when I lock the door and stuff like that.) They wear their hats and mitts and boots to the car. I carry DS so that I don't have to take his boots off.

I used to do the coat trick with the daycare kids, but when A got her "good" coat I realized that she was too loose in the straps, and started taking coats off.

Velcro Closures are great for coats if you are only running in and out of the house/stores/library.

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#14 of 25 Old 01-03-2010, 12:13 PM
 
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We just plan for everything to take longer. Everyone gets in the car or van with coats on and we shut the doors quick. Then the taking off of the coats begins, they buckle, we check for tightness and coats go over them like a blanket. The van (full size) is easiest becuase they have planty of room to move around. When we stop soemwhere no one opens car doors until everyone is bundled back up.
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#15 of 25 Old 01-03-2010, 05:21 PM
 
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We have several sets of coats!

One stays in my car. If the kids are getting into my car in the garage, they go to the car in their fleece coats, and when we get to our destination they put on the warm coats that are in the car. After we get out of the store I generally start the car, set everyone in their seats in their warm coats, load the groceries etc an then go around an uncoat and buckle everyone.

Another set of coats is in the house. If they are going into DH's car in the driveway, we put on coats and then head to the car.

They also have another set of coats that stays in the daycare bag, so we don't have to worry about which coats they were dropped off in, and that way we don't end up not having coats.

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#16 of 25 Old 01-03-2010, 06:03 PM
 
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We do the poncho thing. I got them last year from carseat ponchos or something. They're easy to make.
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#17 of 25 Old 01-13-2010, 04:40 PM
 
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You know, in the *summer*, when DS' seat gets hot hot hot, I run out about 10-15 minutes before we need to leave and toss a frozen icee (reusable frozen pouch) in his seat to cool it down.

If you can go out to start your engine (when I was younger, we had to idle for 5-15 min in winter, I don't know if modern models demand that, because I moved south of the Mason Dixon and no longer deal with really cold temps), you could toss pre-heated rice socks (microwave) in their seats to warm those up. Then they could hold onto the seats under a fleece blanket once they're buckled in.

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#18 of 25 Old 01-13-2010, 05:26 PM
 
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Modern cars don't need pre-warming because the fuel system is different. However, they will warm up faster if you drive them around the block then if you just let them run (one place quoted the equivalent of 30 minutes idling in 12 minutes of driving) so if you live someplace really cold, maybe an adult can do an early morning solo run to the grocery store?
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#19 of 25 Old 01-13-2010, 05:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by woodchick View Post
It's not that cold here...but I put coats on backwards inside. Zip to the car, hop up into the seat and unzip when they're sitting. Arms out buckles on quick and then arms back into the coat.

It's not a perfect method, but it works.
Brilliant!

I am going to try this!
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#20 of 25 Old 01-13-2010, 05:56 PM
 
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I don't know how old you LOs are and what kind of car seat you have, but we use a cover for our infant seat that fits on like a shower cap, and has a little flap that can open up to let them see out. I out her in the seat in her normal clothes, tuck a blanket around her and then put the cover on and off we go.

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#21 of 25 Old 01-13-2010, 09:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
Modern cars don't need pre-warming because the fuel system is different. However, they will warm up faster if you drive them around the block then if you just let them run (one place quoted the equivalent of 30 minutes idling in 12 minutes of driving) so if you live someplace really cold, maybe an adult can do an early morning solo run to the grocery store?
OT: But what do you mean by this? That the car is warm immediately? How modern are we talking? My husband has an 07 toyota, and it still takes 15 minutes to warm up on a cold day...
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#22 of 25 Old 01-14-2010, 01:22 AM
 
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My mother is a mechanic. Modern cars (as in 15 years & newer) do not usually need more than 2-3 minutes of idling to be ready to for the road - this does not mean the engine is warm enough to provide heat to the cab of the vehicle. Older engines did need time to warm up before driving or you could risk breaking things.

Old or new it will always take longer than that before you can get heat in the cab because the heat is actually taking the excess heat off of the engine, unless of course you have an independent heater - which few people do.

My car is ready to drive within 2 minutes but doesn't provide heat on really cold days for upwards of 15 minutes of actual driving (I don't know how long of idling that would be but it's illegal to idle here plus really, 15+ minutes of idling is just a huge waste of gas).

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#23 of 25 Old 01-14-2010, 01:32 AM
 
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When leaving the house, I just pile the coats in after they're all buckled - we park in the garage. When we get to where we're going, they put on coats before we open the doors. When we return to the vehicle, they take them off, buckle, and then wear them backwards or as blankets. We also keep blankets ready.
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#24 of 25 Old 01-16-2010, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is OT but some lite trucks and suvs have break locking/freezing issues at extreme temps (-30F) if they don't warm up adequately. Always do a break check before you drive!
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#25 of 25 Old 01-21-2010, 03:52 PM
 
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We have a babycape which is designed for this purpose, though now that DD is older we don't use it. I have to admit that I buckle her in with her coat on. I've tested the tightness with and without the coat and it is fine, IMO. With the straps at the same tightness I have taken her coat off and buckled her in - They are still snug.

Her coat is a down filled Gap warmest coat which isn't nearly as puffy as synthetic ones. When I tighen the straps I pull really hard on them, compressing the coat to the full extent, while I turn the handle that tightens the straps.

DH is from Alberta where it's very cold and he refuses to have DD in the car without her coat on and zipped up. We don't warm up our car in advance because of environmental concerns.

Once the weather is a bit warmer we will go back to the babycape.

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