From infant bucket seats to convertible options, there are so many brands and types of car seats to research. By the time you figure out which model checks all the boxes on your wishlist and fits your budget, you've spent a lot of time choosing the right car seat for your baby. And if you're shopping for a fall or winter baby, you’re probably not thinking much about how to keep car seats cool in the summer when, according to Parenting, the metal part of the car seat buckle can become painfully hot.
But now the dog days of summer are here and whenever you have to drive your child somewhere, even the shortest of distances, they are all sweaty by the time you get there. If you have a toddler, they probably whine about it, too. Luckily, there are things you can do and buy to make the car seat more comfortable for your little one.
If you haven't purchased your baby's first car seat yet, or you're in the market for a new one, look for a model with light colored fabric or one that's made of some breathable fabric. For some mysterious reason, many car seats are black or dark gray, and according to The Car Seat Lady, a black car seat can potentially get up to 192 degrees Fahrenheit while a white car seat will get up to 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Dark colors do hide stains well, but they will soak up the sun and get hotter in the summer.
You can also use a sunshade on your windshield and car seat. You know the ones — those giant reflective sunshades people put in their windshields to keep their parked cars cooler in the summer. Guess what? You can also buy one to fit your child's car seat. This extra step may seem like too much of a hassle when you're also holding kids and bags every time you get out of the car, but if you don't want to give your toddler one more reason to resist getting into her seat, a preventive cooling measure, such as The OxGord Car Seat Sunshade Cover ($13), may be worth a try.
You should also be sure that the AC is reaching the backseat. You may be feeling pretty chilly up front, but is the air conditioning reaching your little one in the back? For cars without enough vents, The Noggle ($40) connects to AC vents in the front and shoots the cold air right into the backseat. The future is now.
Still looking for a way to chill that car seat down? Add some ice. Yes, you can buy an ice pack for your child's car seat. The CoolTech Carseat Cooler ($40) promises to cool down the seat in 10 minutes so you can put it on while you're still getting ready to leave, or use it while running errands to keep the car seat cold until you get back. If that doesn't work, you can also hand your child a personal cooling object. Frogg Toggs makes a variety of personal cooling objects including the Chilly Pad ($13) and the Chilly Sport Cooling Neck & Head Band ($10). Many kids love to hold a blanket or stuffed animal while riding in the car, so why not give them something that can double as a cooling and a soothing object?
Unfortunately, there's not much that can be done about the heat, but with these products and ideas, you can try and give your child some comfort in the backseat. If all else fails, keep a light towel in the car to cover the metal parts of your car seat when you aren't in it, and try as much as you can to park in the shade.