Summer is just around the corner, which means is about to get really hot, and for us here in the DC area, really humid too. As much as we all enjoy sunny days and warmer weather, it can get extremely hot inside our cars, especially when they’re parked under direct sunlight.
I do not like the extreme heat and I’m always worried about my kids, especially my baby, overheating in the car. It get so hot here that there are days that my 5 year old refuses to get into the car seat and I’m sure she’s not the only one.
I’m going to share some tips and tricks to keep your babies and kids cool in the car seat without compromising the safety of the car seat. In the first part of the post you will find tips to keep your car cooler and on the second part I’ll tell you about products that keep your kids cool when riding in the car seat.
I found that as kids get older they can communicate if they’re too hot but babies can’t so these tips are even more important if you have babies in the car.
Tips to keep your car cooler in the summer:
Park in shaded areas: This is not always possible but whenever you can, park in a shaded area so your car doesn’t turn into a sauna. It’s worth it to walk a little extra in order to keep your car out of the sun.
Leave all your windows slightly open: Heat gets trapped in the car, especially if you’re parked under direct sunlight so leaving the windows slightly open will help the heat escape and you won’t return to an overheated car. Leave all windows in your car slight open to help the heat escape.
Open all windows as soon as you turn on your car: This is important to do if you’re turning on the A/C as there is evidence suggesting that if you turn on your A/C immediately when you get into your heated car harmful chemical might be released. Although there is conflicting information on this, it is better to be safe than sorry. Plus opening your windows for a few minutes will allow the heat to escape, thus making the A/C cool the car faster.
Use window shades: If the car seat is right next to a window it probably gets really hot during the summer so the window shades help to keep it cooler. They’re also great to avoid the sun rays from hitting your kid’s faces when they’re in the car. You can get a shade that covers most of your window (we have this one because my toddler loved the giraffe) or one that covers your entire window.
Use a car seat cover: If you live in an area where the fabric in your car seat is constantly getting really hot and the window shades are not helping, you can use a car seat cover to keep the sun rays from heating the car seat. There are different ones you can get according to the size of your car seat:
- this car seat cover is for high back booster seats
- this one is for convertible car seats
- this one or this other one are for infant car seats
These covers are meant to be used when your child is NOT using the car seat. Alternatively you can just put a towel over it and that will protect it too. There have been times where I couldn’t put my kids in the car seat because the fabric was so hot so this has really helped to avoid that.
Products designed to keep your baby cool in the car seat:
First of all, I want to clarify that in order to avoid compromising the safety of your car seat you should not put anything between your child’s back and the car seat. Any product that suggests you doing that is not adhering to safe car seat practices.
Britax cool-flow car seats: If you’re looking for a car seat and you live in an area that gets really hot during the summer, I would invest in a cool flow car seat. They use a special mesh fabric that keeps the car seat cool, and it helps to keep your child’s back ventilated. Plus these car seat are made with the ClickTight technology, which means they will always be installed correctly.
Get a Noggle: This is my #1 option when it comes to keeping your baby cool during hot days and the most effective way to keep them cool. It’s an attachment that goes from your A/C vent to the car seat. It can be used for rear facing and forward facing.
You can get 10% off your Noggle purchase by buying it from my referral link here.
Get a cooling towel: We love to use these for babywearing but they also work for kids in car seats. All you have to do is wet the towel, twist it to remove excess water and it starts cooling without making them wet.
You can put it on top of your baby to keep them cool. I usually put them on top of my baby’s hips and legs so she won’t chew on this.
Get a spray fan or regular fan (with soft blades): This is better for toddlers and older kids. They can hold the fan towards themselves and stay cool. However, keep in mind that it is not recommended for kids to have anything that can move during an accident and cause them harm. I recommend using the fan as soon as they get in the car and taking it away when you start driving.
Use a car seat cooler (this one works too): This is like a special ice pack that you can put on top of your car seat after you’ve taken out the child. This will keep the car seat cool even if the the temperatures inside your car get really high. When you get back to your car, simple remove the cooler and place your child in the cool car seat.
Your child does NOT sit on top of the cooler, so please be sure to use this properly.
Above all, make sure you keep your kids hydrated during those hot months. The best way to do this is to constantly offer them filtered water or hydrating drinks like coconut water and homemade water-based fruit drinks. If you’re going to keep bottles next to the car seats, I recommend you use this car seat caddy because it attaches to the lap seat belt, which will prevent the bottles from moving and possibly hitting your child during an accident.
Those are my recommendations to keep your kids cool in the car seat during those hot summer months but I’d love to hear if you have any other recommendations. Leave a comment down below.