It’s been cold here lately. And not just “wimpy Southern complaining” cold, but “cold by any standard cold.” It’s a lot of work bundling up the kids to keep them warm, but comfortable and safe in this weather. It’s especially hard for the toddler, who is still in a car seat with a 5 point harness. If you weren’t already aware, bulky coats and car seats don’t mix. In a collision, the bulk of the coat can compress, leaving the child improperly secured and protected. (See this relatively recent article from Consumer Reports). I’ve been putting baby girl in a warm outfit, a warm hooded sweatshirt, and then covering her with a blanket. But, the other day, she CRIED from the cold when I got her out of the car to run her into daycare. We needed another, warmer solution. Stitch Upon A Time’s Kids Riding Hood Poncho to the rescue!
This pattern is great because, when made out of two layers of fleece, it’s really quite warm…but it allows you to safely buckle the child’s care seat straps UNDER the poncho, next to his or her clothes. The designer feels so strongly about car seat safety that she also made the pattern FREE on the website, which is amazing!
(Car seat safety hawks: rest assured that I moved the fastener up to armpit level after I took this picture. I was moving quickly with the photos because it was COLD!)
It does seem to keep her very warm and comfortable in the car. Tonight she was so toasty that she fell asleep on the way home AND stayed asleep halfway through changing into her pajamas. She’s a light sleeper, so that’s a rare occurrence. Anything that helps her SLEEP in the car is a winner as far as I’m concerned!
I made the poncho out of two layers of blizzard fleece from JoAnn’s. She’s an average size 17 month old, and I made a size 2. It has just enough growing room with out being overly big on her. I decided to go ahead and add the pockets in case we decided keep her mittens in them. The poncho can fasten with a separating zipper, but since I already had KAM Snaps on hand I went with the snap option. There is even a snap on each wing of the poncho to make “sleeves” if desired!
I’m 100% sure I’m biased, but I think she looks pretty stinkin’ adorable in it. Most importantly, I’m thankful that I can keep her warm AND safe this winter.