Winter & Holiday Travel Tips for Babies, Toddlers, and Kids in Car Seats


I know I know, you think you’ve heard it all before and anyone who reads my blog knows that I am so very passionate about car seat safety! I promise I’m just trying to educate parents and caregivers who MAY not know everything about car seat safety. I’m not judging you or looking down on you, I’m trying to help you! Our children have one life and it’s OUR  job to protect our littles, that’s why car seat safety is one of the most important topics.

See, back 7 years ago when I had my first child, I didn’t read my car seat manual, I just thought it was common sense, you just put the baby in the seat, and hook up the harness and you’re good to go. I didn’t know that the chest clip should be at nipple/armpit height, I didn’t know the straps shouldn’t be twisted, I didn’t know that the straps should be snug as a hug, etc. A dear friend brought it up to me and I was SO THANKFUL for her telling me these things, and that’s when I started researching car seat safety. I wanted to know everything about it, and then I felt I should educate others about it, the ones who were like me when I didn’t know the dos and don’ts of car seat safety. You can read some of my prior posts here:
Quick Tip Guide for Car Seat Safety
Important Car Seat Safety for Babies and Toddlers
9 Simple and Common Mistakes Parents Make When Using Car Seats
Choosing the Right Booster Seat for your Older Child
…but now this post is about Winter and travel, because it’s an entirely different topic with a few different points that aren’t always brought up, so that’s what I’m hear to educate you about today!

Here are some quick tips you will want to remember about car seat safety, no matter what car seat you use. When traveling on long road trips, it’s even more important that our children are the safest they can be. During Winter there are also some very important tips you must keep in mind and follow too!

1 – Find a car seat that fits your child well, whether that is rear facing, forward facing, or a booster.

2 – When using a harness, the straps may NEVER be twisted.

3 – When using a harness, the straps must ALWAYS be tight, snug as a hug, with no extra slack.

4 – When rear facing, straps must be AT or BELOW the shoulder for it to fit properly.

5 – When forward facing, straps must be AT or ABOVE the shoulder for it to fit properly.

6 – A chest clip must ALWAYS be at nipple/armpit level. It is a chest clip, NOT a belly clip.

7 – Do NOT allow your child to wear puffy jackets in their car seat, this will compress in the event of an accident, and your child could fly out of their seat. (We will be elaborating on that in this post, so read on below!)

8 – A car seat MUST be installed correctly for it to keep your child safe. Install it using LATCH or a seatbelt, but not both. The car seat should NEVER be able to move more than an inch side to side. If forward facing, make sure you tether the car seat to an anchor point as well.

9 – Car seats DO expire, make sure you check your seat and know when you need to replace your seat. Most are good for 6 to 8 years depending on the manufacture. Car seats also need to be replaced after an accident, your insurance will cover it. If they give you a hard time, push them to cover it.

10 – State laws are the minimum of what’s required for your child, please do the maximum for your child. They only have one life and it’s your job to keep them safe.

Now since it’s colder weather and Winter is coming up, and I don’t see many blog posts promoting a very important topic, or parents following a very very important rule that must be followed when putting your baby/toddler/child in a car seat, I wanted to elaborate on it here at Everything Mommyhood. Car Seats and Winter Coats. They DO NOT mix together! Your child should never ever have on a bulky Winter coat/jacket/clothing while buckled in a car seat.

I know what you’re thinking, my baby will freeze, or that’s not right to treat my child that way, etc etc. There are many ways around it, to keep your child safe AND warm, that’s why I’m here to help!

I did a little comparison here to show you why, so keep on reading!


As you can see in the first image, my daughter has on a bulky Winter coat over her clothing in her car seat, and you can see her straps are nice and snug with the chest clip at armpit level, just like it should be. So what’s wrong?

What’s wrong is this – In the event of an accident, that bulky jacket/coat/clothing will compress which will make extra slack in the car seat straps and your child could very possibly be ejected from their seat. That’s very scary, and something that can easily be avoided. We want to protect our children!

Now in these images, the big bulky coat was removed, and the straps were not moved/tightened/loosened. My daughter is actually wearing a fleece pullover jacket instead.


Just look at how the straps are hanging, the chest clip is hanging and how much room there is in there, which your child has enough room to quite possibly fly out of in the event of an accident. This can all be avoidable, very easily!! Refer to the tips up top on keeping your child’s straps snug as a hug, chest clip at armpit level, etc. Please do not place a bulky coat/jacket/clothing on your baby/toddler/child in their car seats.

Here are some tips on how to keep your child warm without a bulky Winter coat in their car seat:
1 – When it’s cold outside, go ahead out and start your vehicle about 5-10 minutes before you leave if you’re able to, that way it’s warm inside my vehicle and you won’t have to worry about your kiddos being cold.
2 – Put your children in thin fleece jackets over top of their clothing.
3 – Have them always keep a blanket in the car next to their car seat to place over them.
4 – After strapping your child into their car seat, put their Winter coat on backwards over top of your child.

Here’s a perfect example of how your child should look in their car seat:


Now you can place a blanket over top of your child, or even a heavy/bulky jacket on over top of the harness to keep them warm!

I really hope you take information from this informative post and share it with your friends and family, you never know, you may save a life.

Also, please if you have ANY questions at all please feel free to ask, comment below, or you can even send me an email at!


  1. Thanks for this post! I hear all the time “No heavy jackets in the car seat,” but no one offers REAL tips for how to keep your kiddo warm. My LO will only be 3 months old during the deepest part of winter here, so I definitely appreciate the suggestions of keeping blankets in the car, and putting the jackets on backwards, over top of the harness. I was already planning on starting my car in advance, but anything else I can do will ease some of my worries, too (I hope!)

    • I’m so glad to hear it!!! Just being able to help someone makes me SO VERY happy!!!! Congrats on your new little!!!

  2. Thank you for sharing this information, with pictures as well. I am not a parent but this is so important to share.

  3. Linda Manns Linneman says:

    Now that the holidays are getting near, people will be traveling alot more with their little ones. This is a great refresher course for safety reasons. Thank you so much for sharing

  4. Those are all good tips. When my daughter was born, car seats weren’t used. I would hold her in my lap in the front seat of the car. When she was around six months, I think, the law went into effect. It took quite a while for her to adjust. Boy did she scream.

  5. I will definitely share this with my sister. She has three kids who are all in car seats.

  6. molli vandehey says:

    these are great ideas, i hate travelling with my kisd but i love getting there!

  7. This is a great post, thank you for sharing the pictures, they really help. Also it’s great that you explained why children should not wear bulky jackets in a car seat.

  8. Although it may seem repetitive to some, I think it’s very important to always through the car seat safety guidelines out there. Awareness is very important, especially for a cargo that is so precious.

  9. Those are good safety tips. Especially about winter coats.

  10. Edna Williams says:

    Thanks for all the safety tips!

  11. Pauline Gorczycki says:


  12. Amber Ludwig says:

    Such important tips with the cold season approaching!! Some of these can really mean life or death!! Thanks so much for sharing!!

  13. mary gallardo says:

    I never knew that carseats actually expire. That is awesome to learn. Thanks!

  14. Winter car trips are never fun. You have some good tips posted. Make sure that they have water or juice, maybe some snacks and something to keep them busy. It’s also good, if you, to start out in the evening so they’ll sleep.

  15. Thank you for the reminder. We tend to forget as the year goes by.

  16. Edna Williams says:

    Thanks for all the great safety tips!

Leave a Reply


Ling Ling Fried Rice is Such a Time Saver – No More Take Out for Us #LingLingFriedRice

This post was sponsored by Ling Ling, all opinions expressed in my post are my own.  As a single mom it seems I'm always in a rush to get food on the table after homework and then baths and reading every single night. That's when I discovered Ling Ling Fried Rice. It comes in several delicious flavors and it's so easy to cook and only takes 10 minutes on the stove top. You can either microwave it or cook in a skillet for a crispier texture. I … [Read More...]

15 Minute Recipe: Simple Creamy Chicken Noodle Pot Pie

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Progresso. All thought and opinions are those of our own. Being a mom and always being on the go is a rough and tiring job, by the time dinner comes around I know I'm already exhausted and wanting to head to bed...but you know, kids, they want dinner. Some of those nights I draw a blank on what we should have for dinner, or I just completely forgot to thaw something out. Just recently I ran into that … [Read More...]

Lunch On The Go and Santa Fe Salad Recipe! Plus a Giveaway! – ends 9/28 #StoredBrilliantly

This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Rubbermaid®. All thoughts and opinions are those of my own. All of you who have followed my blog for awhile now, know that I was a stay at home mom. I recently started working outside the home in the past few weeks. I was separated and divorced last year while living in Georgia and I recently relocated to South Carolina for a fresh start with my kids. Along with that I knew I had to get a job. Which means … [Read More...]

%d bloggers like this: