"If we hope to create a non-violent world where respect and kindness replace fear and hatred, we must begin with how we treat each other at the begining of life. For that is where our deepest patterns are set. From these roots grow fear and alienation or love and trust."
Suzanne Arms

Monday, November 21, 2011

This is how we do it - Winter Coats and Car Seat Safety

A friend of mine posted this video on facebook and it got me thinking about why I don't like winter coats and what we use for alternatives, so I thought I would share.

Now, I am not as anal about car seats as some people online are (though I actually am more than many people I know), but I figure . . . if you are going to go to the trouble, time, and expense of using car seats, then  it is pointless if you are not using them correctly!!  Education and a little bit of common sense go a long way.

As you can see in the video, those padded kids coats can cause safety issues, which is why you are supposed to take them off your child before you buckle them in their seat.  But I have never even had to think about that because I have always hated those type of coats. They are bulky (take up so much space, and I have very little extra house and car space), ugly (sorry, but they are . . . well, 'most' of them are) and often they are loud!!

So if the kids don't wear the typical bulky ugly padded coats then what do we do? 

This is how we do it.

Most of the time when we go out we are heading from the car to the  store or house etc.  so we are only out in the cold for a few minutes at the most.  We are in VA so average temps in the winter are usually around 30-40's (though we get plenty of nights down in the teens or even lower).  We live on a mountain, so we will often have weeks where the temp doesn't get above freezing up here.  If we were up in Alaska or something I may have to re-think my objection to bulky coats, LOL.  Bottom line though . . . my kids are not used to being bundled up like that so they are used to getting a bit chilly on the way to and from the car, in fact I sometimes have a hard time getting them to wear their jackets!!

Instead of wearing think padded coats we like to use layers to keep warm.  In the winter we rarely do a long sleeve shirt without a t-shirt underneath (they like the option of being able to take their long sleeve shirt off if we are someplace where they are warm).  Then, on top of the long sleeve shirt we will do a sweat shirt or hoodie or something like that.  I keep a bag of jackets in the back of the car as well, in case we get caught out and it is colder than we anticipate (or we end up outside for any extended period of time).  If we are going out and I know we will be outside where the kids will want to play, I'll either dress them in a sweater and a jacket and/or take along hats and gloves.  Even if we are going out to play in the snow, a t-shirt, with a long sleeve shirt and then a fleece hoodie etc. over that (with hat and gloves) is enough to keep them warm.  A few layers go a long way (especially paired with a hat, gloves, scarf etc.)

I also try to warm up the car before we leave the house, so that they are going from warm house to warm car (duh, I think everyone does this, LOL).  I often keep a few blankets in the car too for times when I can't warm up the car ahead of time.  It is super easy to make a warm blanket (the perfect size for covering up in the car seat) out of a double layer of flannel.  JoAnn often has flannel on sale for 50% off (and they always have coupons).  We have made several of these and they are great for the car.  Throws work well too.  So if I am unable to warm the car up before we get in, and it is extra cold, the kids can just grab a blanket to keep them warm till the heat kicks on.  And if you insist on keeping them in that bulky coat and having them take it off when they get in the car, then you can just throw that over them after they are buckled.

I wish I had a picture of all the kids in their seats on a cold day but usually, when it is cold, snapping a pic is the last thing in my mind (maybe if I had a smart phone it would be easier, but alas . . . maybe for Christmas ;0)  Here is a picture though of newborn Dagyn buckled in and ready for his first outing (before I threw the blanket over him).

Anyway, I am sure everyone has their own way of doing these things that works best for their family, but this is just how we do it ;0)

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