Winterizing Our Babies - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 30 Old 09-23-2010, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, I live in the midwest, and am anticipating a pretty cold, windy, and/or snowy winter. Seeing as this is my first baby, Im just curious to see how you plan on keeping your little one warm for those few minutes at a time s/he will need to be outside. (ie coming home from the hospital, doctors appointments, etc).


Ive heard mixed reviews on baby buntings. I think its great that they can be warm and cozy, but Ive heard that its not so safe to use in a carseat, as the belts wont be as snug on baby. Any truth to this?


My original thought was to just dress baby warmly, buckle her into her seat, and then snuggle some blankets around her, then of course using a Bundle Me car seat cover over the top (like this)

Do you seasoned mamas think something like this would be sufficient? Any other suggestions/feedback? Im curious to know what you all plan on doing for our wintry babies.

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#2 of 30 Old 09-23-2010, 10:03 AM
 
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Subbing. I'm in the same boat!

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#3 of 30 Old 09-23-2010, 10:26 AM
 
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Ive heard mixed reviews on baby buntings. I think its great that they can be warm and cozy, but Ive heard that its not so safe to use in a carseat, as the belts wont be as snug on baby. Any truth to this?
I am a first-timer too, but I have definitely read that this style of bunting is really not safe because you can't get the straps as tight and a newborn could get ejected from the seat in an accident. However, there are other companies that make covers that fit completely over the seat (they look kind of like shower caps, with elastic along the bottom), and my understanding is that those are safe.

Here is an example of that style of cover: http://www.amazon.com/NoJo-Baby-Cove.../dp/B0000A9Y9W
You can't really tell that well from the picture, but it just stretches over the top of the carseat and doesn't go under the baby at all. You could put a blanket over the baby and then have a cover like that on top, and it would be really warm without interfering with the safety of the carseat.

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#4 of 30 Old 09-23-2010, 11:44 AM
 
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Out and about we used "hug a bub" sling under our ski jackets (if I wore DH's jacket I could do it up all the way and bub had fresh air at opening). In the car we used layering of merino wool underwear and blankets for bub which is nice and warm and non itching but also breathes so they don't overheat. The "hug a bub" was a great sling for winter cause they are so close to your body so it is easy for them to stay warm plus less cold to do feeds when out and about.

Luckily our bub loved the cold (Although Australian snow country where we are definitely isn't as cold generally). We've got video of an emergency nappy change in the car boot where he was happily kicking around bare butt surrounded by snow. He was about 8 weeks by then though. Hope that helps.
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#5 of 30 Old 09-23-2010, 12:02 PM
 
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Lurking from another ddc.

I'd say get a good baby wear item, sling, wrap, etc. When in the carseat, dressed warmly but without a heavy coat or anything, just blankets over buckle. Then get wrap situated on you before getting baby out, then quickly uncover and get baby into your wrap right up next to you, warmest place ever! And put your coat on over you both, or a blanket arou d the back of baby.

I can't imagine any place is happier and warmer than snuggled right up next to mama! Hey that's where they've been the last 9 months anyway.

Ok, sorry for barging in...

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#6 of 30 Old 09-23-2010, 12:03 PM
 
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We had an infant carseat and we brought it into the house every time so it wouldn't get cold in the car. Then we did what you said - dressed him warmly, wrapped him in blankets, and often lay a fleece blanket over the top of the carseat to protect him from wind on the way to the car. If we were going shopping or something I'd wear my sling and try to get him in it while I was still in the car, then lay the fleece blanket over him until we were inside. It seemed to work well. But don't worry, I still had old ladies in the grocery store telling me that my baby wasn't dressed properly and he would freeze to death.

ETA: x-posted with the PP and said pretty much the same thing, sorry

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#7 of 30 Old 09-23-2010, 12:04 PM
 
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This is my 3rd winter baby. What I do is use a bucket carseat and start the car to get it warm. I then put baby in the seat with normal winter clothes on, cover with a licht cotton blanket and tuck that in, then layer another 1 or 2 heavier blankets over the baby, covering their head (over the whole carseat, not tucked around their head) right before we walk out to the car. Once in the car, I remove the heavier blankets or fold them down at least so the baby doesn't over heat in the car. I then either cover and pull the bucket back out or open my coat, toss the sling on, stick the baby in and wrap in my coat and cover with a blankent to go in where ever. If I were going in the store, I'd use the sling as I don't like putting a carseat on the carts, if I were going into a friend's house, I'd grab the bucket and take the baby out when we got inside. Also, at the store, I'd rarely be gone long enough that the car would get too cold again so I'd just put baby back in seat and cover with blankets and get car going. At a friends, I'd start the car to warm and put baby back in warm bucket seat, cover, and go bak out to the car.

Hope that helps, this is something I have lots of expereince with! I'd use a convertable carseat if I had spring or summer babies, but with these little ones I just like a bucket seat better for keeping them warm when traveling.

ETA: cross posted with both of the previous posters who said the same things!

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#8 of 30 Old 09-23-2010, 12:13 PM
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We bring the infant seat in all the time so it's warm. This will be our 5th wintery baby and we've found the Bundle me to work the best. I just dress them in what I normally would and between the Bundle me and a hat they stay perfectly warm when traveling outside. The side are easy to unzip so the top part can be pulled down while in the car. I'd usually just bring the bucket seat in and once inside transfer the baby into my sling. It gets too cold outside to try to do it in the parking lot. Now our van is so big I could probably do the transfer in the van though.

For walks, I have a Suse Kinder babywearing coat that is fantastic. Just put the baby in their sling and put the coat with front insert on. Both of us stay nice and cozy for trips outside.

 
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#9 of 30 Old 09-23-2010, 12:55 PM
 
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ETA: cross posted with both of the previous posters who said the same things!
Great minds, right???

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#10 of 30 Old 09-23-2010, 01:40 PM
 
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The only winter car seat additions I feel safe with are the shower-cap style. Nothing goes under the baby or the straps so it doesn't interfere with the harnessing. Ours has a little flap for the 'face hole' but it has velcro to keep it open when we aren't outside.

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#11 of 30 Old 09-23-2010, 01:46 PM
 
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Great minds, right???
definitely!

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#12 of 30 Old 09-23-2010, 02:37 PM
 
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This is my first winter babe and I am opting for a cover that goes over the car seat, too, nothing between babe and carseat. I am not sure what kind yet, but definitely the way to go, IMO.

With DD, we didn't even have the removable infant car seat, we had a 3-in-1 so she always went straight from carseat to carrier, it will be weird carrying this one around in one of those infant car seats I never liked that option but just while it's bitter cold I think that's my best bet, although a coat that accomodates a carrier sounds good, if I can avoid hauling around one of those heavy infant seats, I definitely will!

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#13 of 30 Old 09-23-2010, 03:08 PM
 
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Maybe I'm a bad mom, or maybe babies are tougher than we think. My son was a February AK baby (not in the bitter cold part of the state, but gets to zero sometimes). I just had him in a convertible carseat, usually in a fleece footie suit (which was most of what he wore), didn't worry about the temperature of the seat at all. Threw a blanket over the baby once he was in. Car trips were rare and short, though (usually 3 miles each way, once or twice a week). There are no highways or traffic here though, and people will put kids in carseats in their snowsuits too. The rest of the time I wore him in a moby wrap, under an overlarge coat zipped up not quite all the way. Never quite figured out a perfect way to do diaper changes in the snow though. I usually just threw a pad on the ground, draped a blanket over most of the baby, and worked quickly. He was always perfectly happy again as soon as we got going.
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#14 of 30 Old 09-23-2010, 03:23 PM
 
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This may be my 5th baby, but it's my very first winter baby! We live in the Pocono Mountains, which certainly isn't the most extreme cold in the world, but I am not a cold-weather kinda person. And the wind chill can be pretty huge on our "hill". Our growing season starts a good 4-6 weeks after the people 10 miles down the road, so it's a long winter, too!

I'm not a fan of bucket seats, but I'm getting one for the winter, along with one of the elastic covers (regular clothing underneath). With 4 other kids piling in through multiple doors (and no garage), there's no keeping the car "preheated".

We used the cover for my niece when she visited from GA and it was great. But we did learn that it has to be unzipped as soon as the car is up to a good temperature. She was starting to boil in that thing within 5 minutes or so.

Typically, babies should be dressed no heavier or lighter than we would dress ourselves. And I'd definitely go out in jammies and a car seat cover in the winter, if it were socially acceptable, lol.

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#16 of 30 Old 09-23-2010, 10:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all of the replies, everyone!

So am I right in understanding that if I do get one of those Bundle Me cover things, there would be no other layers of blankets needed between the cover and the baby as long as she were dressed warmly? (ie undershirt, socks, footed winter outfit, possibly a thin fleece suit over that)

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#17 of 30 Old 09-23-2010, 10:28 PM
 
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Thanks for all of the replies, everyone!

So am I right in understanding that if I do get one of those Bundle Me cover things, there would be no other layers of blankets needed between the cover and the baby as long as she were dressed warmly? (ie undershirt, socks, footed winter outfit, possibly a thin fleece suit over that)
I think you're right in that. We never used a Bundle Me covers. I've always wanted one, but it never happened. If we had one I'd be afraid to put too much stuff under it and make the baby hot instead of just warming her up.

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#18 of 30 Old 09-24-2010, 12:11 AM
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I've never needed more than just the bundle me. I had an older style that was fleece outer and I did worry alitle about that since the wind chill here is so darn cold sometimes. But I think the newer styles have a windblocking outer which is super nice when the wind feels like -10 degrees.

 
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#19 of 30 Old 09-24-2010, 12:21 AM
 
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we dont get too cold here, but i love wool. We have the snugglewool car seat cover for the bucket seat, its supposed to also fit fine on a convertable. Then a bunch of wool clothes, hat etc.

THe snugglewool is basically like a sheepskin that goes on the seat, i put it on right over t he foam, meaning took off the normal seat cover. maybe not the safest thing if youre really worried about safety as far as warranty etc. but I would rather not have the yucky polyester, flame retardant cover touching my baby's skin.

DD ended up spening a lot of time in her bucket, well nto a lot she was in my arms most of the time or in a sling out, but i did bring her in, in the carseat and use it as a place to put her like after a bath, while I was on the toilet, mostly I think i kept it in the bathroom when not in the car, just to have somewhere to put her, she also ended falling asleep in the car a lot and would not transfer out of the carseat so i would let her sleep in it until she woke up

so i think i will also keep ds in the bucket in and out of t he house, it was very helpful for unpacking the car, dd, groceries, sweaters etc. you'd be amazed at the amount of stuff i have to carry in from the car each day and if i can just take ds in, leave him strapped in there, put him on the porch and then go get dd and all the baggage, put baggage away and then get him out of bucket, assuming he is happy in bucket and not screaming... it just seems easier and for winter people warmer to get baby in the house first t hen go unload
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#20 of 30 Old 09-24-2010, 12:25 AM
 
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Thanks for all of the replies, everyone!

So am I right in understanding that if I do get one of those Bundle Me cover things, there would be no other layers of blankets needed between the cover and the baby as long as she were dressed warmly? (ie undershirt, socks, footed winter outfit, possibly a thin fleece suit over that)
DDCC!

I think it might depend on your baby as well. I had a summer baby last time but mine would have very easily overheated if I had all that on him and then the car got warm (he couldn't do fleece hardly at all though except when we were outside in the cold). That would probably be good if you were going to be outside for more than a few minutes and/or weren't getting in a warm car for very long. I think you'd be ok with what they were wearing inside plus a hat, mittens (to cover exposed skin), and then the bundle me or blanket.

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#21 of 30 Old 09-24-2010, 12:32 AM
 
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With my dd we had a snowsuit type of thing, but it was very fitted so I don't think that the staps were an issue. We also had a carseat cover. If the new babe-due the same time of year-is a girl she'll use the snowsuit as well. If not we have a sleep sac with holes for the carseat to be attached through it somehow (I'm not sure how to explain it). We'll be trying it out before going on the road with it. And of course, hats, warm sleepers, and blankets help a lot.
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#22 of 30 Old 09-24-2010, 04:44 AM
 
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As a Child Passenger Safety Tech, I want know that a "bundle-me" type product when used with a car seat is considered an aftermarket product, and anything that impedes the straps from tightening is illegal (not to mention unsafe). The Bundle-Me does seem to work nicely -- for strollers. But in car seats, it seems to affect the straps and the buckling and I will not use it.

From a Canadian tech:

The preferred and safe method for keeping baby warm in the car is to dress baby in normal clothes, with the addition of a thin sweater in the bitter cold, then buckle baby and tighten harness, and place blankets over top of baby and follow up with a shower-cap style cover. The shower cap covers have elastic around the edges and go over top of the seat - basically trapping the heat in, but do not touch the straps in any ways.

hth!

ETA: As an aftermarket product, the use of one VOIDS any car seat's warranty and releases the car seat manufacture from any liability should you get into a crash.

ETA2: Here are two safer options for keeping babies warm in a cold car: Car Seat Poncho, or shower-cap type cover.

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#23 of 30 Old 09-24-2010, 01:18 PM
 
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So am I right in understanding that if I do get one of those Bundle Me cover things, there would be no other layers of blankets needed between the cover and the baby as long as she were dressed warmly? (ie undershirt, socks, footed winter outfit, possibly a thin fleece suit over that)
Honestly, because I run so col (hypothyroidism) and my first son is such a sweaty furnace, I would dress him in one LESS layer than I was wearing. I had people running up to me and telling me to put more clothes on him and the child was sweating at the time!

I just put a cap on his head and check his skin temp under his clothes (which he was not particularly fond of since my hands are always cold).

Watch, this one is going to run cold and I will have to dress him in 10 layers or something

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#24 of 30 Old 09-24-2010, 05:11 PM
 
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I thought the shower cap covers were bad but it looks like I was wrong according to the thread on them in Family Safety. I still think I will take it off while driving to prevent the baby from over heating.

I made a hat, booties and bib overall set out of felted wool so it's nice and thin.

I plan to use a wrap pre tied under my coat just like I did w/ DD. Worked great!

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#25 of 30 Old 09-24-2010, 05:17 PM
 
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can share my experience with a Feb baby in Interior AK...the land of -50 or colder at times!

We did use one of those covers that went over the seat but not under the straps...but not consistently...I liked it better when I could see her more.

I dressed her in a long sleeved/legged onesie, a warm sleeper, padraig booties and a wool toque (pilot cap) with a fleece suit over top. Everything was fairly snug fitting so I don't think there was a concern with any ejection...but I could be wrong. Then I used two blankets, a wool and a quilt to cover her up once in the seat. I didn't ever carry the seat anywhere and left it buckled into the car at all times. I took her out and put her in a sling/wrap each time we left the car, under my parka. More often than not she was hot and needed less layers...but never cold. I always felt like a sheepskin under her in the seat would be great, but read in a few places that it wasn't considered safe.
All this said, if it was 40below or more...we tended to just stay home by the woodstove!

With this one, we are in Canada, so it's still cold, but not that cold. We will be using a convertable seat and won't again take it out...but I'm happy always to warm up the car and then put baby into the car with something similar to this set up above. Just need to find a good babywearing parka for our climate here...the one I had for Alaska is certainly too overkill for here!

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#26 of 30 Old 09-25-2010, 05:03 PM
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Another CPST (child passenger safety technician) here. I just went to my continuing education classes on Thursday, and they again stressed that even here in Alaska nothing should be added to the seat that goes behind the straps-the Bundle Me was on the slide specifically because it is such a common product. They do interfere with the straps but there is no regulations or safety testing requirements for them, so they can put whatever they want on the packaging. So basically you are assuming all the risk for them if you choose to use them and there have been instances of babies being ejected from car seats from straps being too loose using snowsuits and bunting type products.

Personally, for my last baby I used a shower cap type that had a zipper up the front to make it easy to get to the baby. I'm with the previous poster about having warm babies as all my kids have been too hot if they had more than a light blanket over them in the car since I was keeping the temperature at a comfortable level for me. My plans for this one are convertible seat that stays in a garage that we keep at 35F (not attached), so I will use a wrap and keep her under my coat to the car. She'll wear wool longies, thin jacket and hat. If she's different from my last three and is cold then I will consider a infant seat and shower cap type cover, but I'm hoping to save the money since my babies tend to be large grow fast.

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#27 of 30 Old 09-25-2010, 08:01 PM
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After reading all this at the Bundle Me, I ordered one of these to use this time. It from the same maker of the Bundle me but it just goes over the top and not behind the straps (shower cap style). I also liked that I can almost completely unzip the top to keep the baby from overheating.

 
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#28 of 30 Old 09-25-2010, 08:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Does anyone know of brand names for the shower cap style covers? Im having difficulty finding any.

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#29 of 30 Old 09-26-2010, 09:14 AM
 
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Does anyone know of brand names for the shower cap style covers? Im having difficulty finding any.
Target and Amazon carry Cozy World covers.

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#30 of 30 Old 09-26-2010, 07:23 PM
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I have a Kiddopotamus one for my last baby and I see they still have it listed on Amazon, but not through them.

Connie-mom of DS 7, DD 5, DD 3, and new one coming in December
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