Car seat covers serve a variety of purposes. When it’s cold out, blankets and covers can help to keep your baby warm. Additionally, it can assist in naptime by dulling the distractions available to baby’s wandering senses. Lastly, a light cover can help shield baby from the sun on especially bright days. If you’re looking for the right car seat cover, we can help. We’ve collected ten of the market’s best below for you to peruse. Enjoy!
The Best Baby Car Seat Covers & Blankets Reviewed
Criteria Used in Evaluation of the Best Baby Car Seat Covers & Blankets
We have investigated hundreds of products looking for what is the most convenient, affordable and safe items for you and your family. Ultimately, the final choice is yours. We balance between giving you the most variety of styles to choose from and giving you the best information that’s out there.
Car seat covers are safe otherwise no one would buy them! They keep babies warm and protect them from flying debris, bugs, and they even provide privacy when it’s time for your little one to nap while you’re out shopping. The covers stretch over the top of the car sear and seem to be the most secure choice that parent’s make-–protecting all surroundings of your baby while you’re out. In cold weather climates, the bag style of covering might work a bit better for you and your baby. Of course, there’s conflicting information out there about this so we can’t exactly make that decision for you.
We have read many, many customer reviews for each item on our list and always update our list making sure that we always have the highest-rated and best products on the market. Of course, people write reviews based on the heat of the moment and what they are feeling at that time to fit their circumstances, but we choose our products whether or not the product worked for them.
In many industries, customer service is a thing of the past, so when people say that a company has great customer service, we listen and take that into consideration. We try to find a wide range and variety of products from different manufacturers with solid reputations. We check their websites to see how much information they release to customers. We check for a customer service number, product reviews and of course, company history. We try to choose well-established companies, and sometimes like to support newer companies, especially if we think they’ll have a more fresh, current idea.
Babies like to feel wrapped and enclosed in a safe, warm place, similar to their mother’s womb. One best practice is to keep baby close to mom some of the time. This can be done by carrying the baby with you in a sling. It is said that the mom-baby bond becomes stronger through doing this.
Another good practice is to allow the baby to be on the floor when at an appropriate age. This way, as the baby grows she can move her arms and legs freely, building up the muscles that will eventually support her as she learns to roll, crawl, and walk. It also helps the spine to develop properly. Kids who are always kept in their car seat or other seats/stabilizers like a bouncer, swing, or even a nursing pillow, may not grow or develop correctly. That’s not to say spending a little time in these seats is bad. Babies need to experience varied positions for their spine to grow properly.
We know that we need car seats to protect our babies. It’s the smart thing to do, and in most places, it’s the law. We must use them. But allowing our babies to always nap in those seats is detrimental to the growth of your baby’s spine and muscles. Babies who are in the carriers for too long get stressed, their airways may be compromised, and their bones and muscles may not grow properly. They need changes in position and the exercise that comes from playing on the floor so they can move and walk properly when they get older.
Sometimes, it’s nice that a baby can sleep in the car seat, and if they are in a moving vehicle, it’s a must. Choose a car seat cover that can shade the baby and give her a comfortable space to be sleepy. But realize that the cover may be too heavy so that it restricts air flow. That is not what we want. The best practice is to not cover the baby’s face.
Car seats and covers – Do’s and Don’ts
- Check on your baby often to make sure her head is in the right position and she is breathing.
- Take the baby out of the car seat every hour or two so he doesn’t tip his head forward and compromise his airway.
- Make sure the car seat harness is tight and not interfered with by the car seat cover.
- Read the directions for your car seat to see what the manufacturer allows.
- Make sure the car seat cover is properly installed.
- Never leave a baby unattended in a totally covered car seat, especially if the canopy fabric is heavier. You have to make sure they can breathe and they are not too hot.
- Don’t leave your baby in the car seat too long or allow him to nap for extended periods as they may get choked by the harness or not be able to keep their head straight.
- Never let your baby sleep in the car seat carrier overnight.
Safety with Car Seat Covers
There’s a difference between blankets and close-fitting car seat covers. Infant covers that are fitted around the car seat tend to be a little bit safer as baby can neither kick them off nor get tangled in them or cover their little mouth with them. Loose-fitting blankets and drapes are wonderful for summer weather, but we recommend using those when you are out and about with baby and have their seat hooked into a stroller, or within easy reach for you, just in case they manage to get tangled up. (Think about the advice that applies to babies sleeping with blankets. Apply similar concepts to them in the car; if there’s an immediate danger of suffocation or entanglement, you can’t always pull the car over right away to properly respond.) The fitted covers (sometimes called ‘boots’) can be used while the vehicle is in motion if, and only if, there is a visible hole for you to see baby’s face, the cover does not wrap between baby’s body and the seat, and the design allows for you to easily secure the seat in your car with no obstruction. If your car seat cannot click safely into place during installation, the cover should not be utilized while the vehicle is in motion. If you’re looking for a car seat cover that will help keep baby cuddly but won’t require you to slip it off and on consistently, consider the Cozy Cover (#9 on our list) which is made to be usable both in and out of the car.
If you’re wondering what the fuss is about when it comes to covers being used in-vehicle, many families live in colder climates and want to keep their babies toasty through the winter while the car heats up. Children should not be strapped into their seats wearing winter coats, however, as most winter jackets contain puffy materials and air. Even when strapped tightly into their seat, these coats cause some slack in the harness and could result in serious injury during a collision, as baby is not truly, securely buckled into place. Average winter coats leave roughly four inches of slack. Consider wearing pants that are four inches too big in the waist–that’s enough slack to do damage should a crash occur. As a result, parents may opt to try to find a compatible (and safe!) car seat cover that will help trap heat and keep baby warm while the car’s climate system adjusts and brings the temperature to a more reasonable level.
Always check to make sure that your baby’s car seat is securely installed first, and then also double-check their harness or straps. If both of those have clicked securely into place and the car seat cover isn’t obstructing either, you may have found yourself a winner for the winter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How can I use my stretchy car seat cover in other ways?
A: With some, there are infinite possibilities. Most have a hole in the top so you can check the baby and access the carrier handle. You can use these as a high chair cover to catch flying food, as a stroller cover to protect the baby from the weather and prying eyes, as a cover in a shopping cart to keep germs off the baby, or drape loosely over the baby so that you can nurse him with some privacy.
You can even use it to change the baby in an inopportune spot. You can also use these canopies as clothing for yourself: a scarf, a skirt, a blouse, a belt, a head scarf to wear in lousy weather, or anything else you can dream up.
Q. How do I wash my baby’s car seat cover?
A: Your best practice is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Many are machine washable and dry on low heat or air dry.
Q: Can face flaps be left in the down position safely?
A: That would depend upon your car seat size and how far away the cover is from the baby. Also is the airflow good in your particular car seat cover? The face flap should not be left down for an extended period of time nor while the baby is unattended.
Q: Will a baby car seat cover void my car seat warranty?
A: You will have to check the labels on your car seat and the cover. Some manufacturers will void the warranty if you add any accessories to the car seat.
Q: I live in a place where the winters are harsh and the summers tend to be hot. Should I buy one car seat cover for each season?
A: You should probably make your decision based on the current weather conditions and over the next few months. Many car seat covers can be used year-round. Your baby may grow like a weed over the next months, so you may end up wanting to change the style from fitted to wrapped or vice versa.
Q: I’m getting a cover with a full flap in the front so I can make sure my baby has air. Are zippers or snaps the best closure?
A: Zippered covers seem to have fewer complaints than those that snap. On some covers, the snaps sometimes break.
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