Rookie mom mistake: Winter coats and car seats

I’m a first-time mom, which means I make mistakes. Lots of mistakes. Some of which are hilarious, others idiotic. I’d like to discuss one of my recent mommy mishaps in hopes of bringing awareness to other rookie parents who, like me, just don’t have a clue.

Let’s start off with a good old Bubba Sparxxx quote, which I’ll explain later.

“Get it right, get it tight.” 

I took to Instagram last week to ask my followers a simple question: what type of coat should I put my daughter, Brooklyn, in when riding in her car seat? The coat I had been using was on the thicker side with a hood. Both my husband and I felt bad putting her in it because she clearly hated wearing it while riding in the car, but we didn’t want her to get sick. So, that’s why I turned to Instagram because surely other parents would know of a better coat option for B to wear during the winter months. [WATCH INSTAGRAM STORY]

It didn’t take long before I started receiving dozens of direct messages.

“You NEVER put a baby in a coat in the car seat!”



I immediately turned to Google to confirm what my followers were telling me, and I felt like the biggest dumbass. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), too much bulk can create extra room in the harness, causing a loose fit. If you were to get into a car wreck, you’d be putting your child at risk of getting hurt.

My first thought was to delete my Instagram story because I felt so stupid. Then, I started getting messages from other new moms who also had no clue. Instead of deleting, I turned it into a highlight on my feed in hopes of helping other first-time parents. It’s called “car seat safety” and can be viewed here.

If you didn’t know this little car seat safety tidbit either, do NOT feel dumb. How are we supposed to just know these things? [Side note: I also didn’t know babies shouldn’t nap in their car seats unless they are actually in the car. We’ll discuss this one another time.]

Back to dressing your child properly for car rides… The NHTSA recommends light layers, such as a thin fleece, instead of puffy materials. This ensures a snug-fitting harness.

If you’re worried your little one won’t be warm enough, you can put a coat on backward over the properly fitted harness or a blanket. Some companies even sell car seat covers for extra warmth.

Now, to that Bubba Sparxxx reference. For unknown reasons, Ms. New Booty pops in my head when I’m fastening Brooklyn in her car seat. “Get it right, get it tight!” I know Mr. Sparxxx probably wasn’t referring to a car seat harness when that was written, but just go with me on this. K? Thanks.

 “Booty, booty, booty, booty, rockin’ everywhere.”

  • Puffy material = loose-fitting harness… UNSAFE
  • Lightweight = snug-fitting harness… SAFE

Just remember, LIGHT and TIGHT, baby!

Yes, I made my own graphic. I’m really committed to this one, y’all. I also made this video to highlight how loosey goosey a harness can get with a coat on:

Also, check out this video shared by the TODAY Show. It’s a great example and showcases the dangers of strapping your child into a car seat with a coat on. The consequences could be deadly.

“If you don’t know, now you know.” – Notorious B.I.G., “Juicy”

I hope someone out there reading this has found this information helpful. I also hope at least one person has enjoyed my rap references.

Light and tight, baby… light and tight.


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