My son has recently adopted quite an attitude about getting into his carseat. A big attitude. A crocodile-roll plus crying plus pinching mom's arms type of attitude. I typically bring the carseat into the house to get him in and out, but there is no way to carry it when I'm running errands. I have to fight this battle every time I put him back in the car. in the cold. leaning over the carseat in the backseat. usually while singing. and acting like a fool.
Add the fact that warm (and puffy) jackets are not supposed to be worn in carseats and it's a cold pain in the rear that has kept me home much more the past month or two.
I've heard of carseat ponchos before and it seemed like a good solution for us. The premise is that a child can wear a poncho instead of a coat while traveling out to the car and then the straps can be buckled safely underneath the poncho. The kiddo stays nice and warm and no one has to fight with a warm coat along with a crocodile rolling baby.
So I stopped by Hobby Lobby and got a yard of fleece for around $8. I successfully whipped out this hooded poncho in one short nap--about 20 minutes! It is only one layer and therefore didn't need to be sewn around the perimeter (because fleece won't fray), so if you doubled up for warmth it would take longer.
A lot of people have done car seat ponchos so if you want to make your own, just google a tutorial. I made mine "freestyle" instead of using a pattern. Mine is essentially a square (with a hole and hood in the center) with the corners hanging down in his front and back, instead of being flat in the front and back like many other online poncho patterns. The other difference is that, with mine, I used a couple of the scraps to make a "pouch" on the inside of both the front and the back corners so that I can tuck in his feet in the front pocket when he is in the carseat and I can tuck in his feet to the back pocket when I'm carrying him into a store. His poor legs---the area between the top of his socks and the bottom of his pants when I'm carrying him is always exposed. Hopefully the pouch will help keep him toasty!
|A very happy poncho model with his legs covered up by the pouch!|
|His feet tucked into the front pocket. Note that the poncho isn't behind him at all and he's fully buckled in without adding bulk.|
I made this awesome paint rendering of the pieces I cut from my one yard of fabric. You can see that the hood pieces are doubled up. I just tried to replicate a hood off of one of his sweatshirts that fit him well.
I sewed this up in a very non-fussy way: just used a zig zag stitch so it was a bit stretchier and I didn't finish any seams or even hide my raw edges in the hood area. I'm sure the baby doesn't care.
|This thing is hard to photograph without it looking like a bat. My apologies.|
Just for reference, my son is 29 inches in height and these pockets and one yard of fleece fit him perfectly.
Now then, does anyone have any good tips for the crocodile roll?