If you live in a place that gets really cold in the winter, you've probably heard the horror in some people's voices when you say your child doesn't wear a winter coat in the car seat. Sure, that coat could interfere with the safety of the car seat harness, but the baby might get cold! Fortunately, you don't have to choose between a traditional winter coat and car seat safety anymore. The Cozywoggle, an infant- and toddler-size winter coat, has zippers along the sides that allow you to open the coat up and push it out of the way of the car seat harness.
- Manufacturer's website (watch the video for a demonstration)
- Made of water-resistant and wind-resistant polyester
- Lined with fleece for warmth
- Machine washable
- Can be used in the car seat or as a regular coat
- Sizes for 12 months through age 6
- Buy on Amazon.com
What I Like About the Cozywoggle Car Seat Coat
When worn as a regular winter coat, the Cozywoggle is warm, attractive, and durable. The polyester outer layer keeps wind and moisture away, while the fleece inside insulates and keeps your little one nice and toasty. It's not a puffy coat. The trim design allows toddlers to move easily.
All of the zippers are color-matched to the coat fabric, and there are Velcro flaps to cover the zipper ends on the sides and arms. The hood is detachable, and the entire hood zipper is covered by a flap, plus the front Velcro tabs tuck into little pockets. The designer paid attention to detail on this coat, and the details make it great.
Even as a regular coat, the Cozywoggle would be worth the price for cold weather dwellers.
When you put your baby in the car, just unzip the sides and flip the back of the coat up behind baby's head. You can either unzip the arms all the way before slipping your child's arms into the car seat harness, or leave the wrists zipped and just slide the coat cuffs off before you put on the harness.
Unzipping all the way lets your child wear the Cozywoggle like a big blanket, and leaving the wrists zipped makes it easier to put the sleeves of the coat back on like a Snuggie for the car seat. Either way, your child will be warm and cozy, with no safety issue caused by a coat under the harness. My son, who just turned 4, kept saying, "oooh, I'm so warm," as I was buckling him in his seat during an ice storm to test out the Cozywoggle. With the addition of some toddler-size mittens, the coat also passed the test of keeping him warm outdoors away from the car.
What I Don't Like About the Cozywoggle
There's a learning curve to get the unzipping and flipping and buckling done quickly. The beautifully finished Velcro flaps take a few extra seconds to undo and re-stick as you're unzipping and zipping the sides of the coat. If you unzip the wrists of the coat in the car, then you have to take an extra minute to get the wrist ends of the zippers back together when it's time to get out of the car.
That's one reason I prefer to leave the wrists zipped and just have my son slip his arms out of them while we buckle him up. This process will get faster as you get used to using the Cozywoggle, but at first it may seem like it takes ages and would be easier just to take the coat off in the car.
It's important to be able to see the car seat harness while you're buckling your baby, which means you need to check for twists in the harness, and make sure there's no slack in the harness, and just give everything a once-over to be sure baby is buckled up right. You'll either need to flip the front of the coat up over your toddler's face, or unzip the front, too. Older kids can help hold the front of the coat out of the way. It's just another step added to the buckling routine, but again, you'd otherwise have to take a regular coat on and off, or put a blanket on around the child after harnessing.
Overall, the Cozywoggle is worth a look if you need to keep your toddler warm in the car this winter. It's a great coat for any time, with the added bonus of being safe to use in a car seat since it can be unzipped so it doesn't go under the child or the harness. This is much more convenient than carrying extra products with you, such as a car seat poncho or extra blanket.
Heather Corley is a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician-Instructor.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.