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How To Keep a Car Seat Cool in The Summer

Keeping your baby cool while they are in a car seat is essential. Not only can babies overheat easily, which can lead to dehydration, they can also get pretty uncomfortable.

A baby that is too hot will scream for hours in the car while you attempt to run errands. If your little one is in a car seat while you’re enjoying a day at the beach, you’ll need to find another way to keep them cool.

You’ll also need to remember that the straps and buckles on car seats can get extremely hot if exposed to direct sunlight for a long period of time.

This can not only be uncomfortable, but it can be unsafe for a baby. Fortunately, there are plenty of options to help you keep a car seat cool, and to help you keep your baby cool during those hot summer months. 

Keeping The Car Seat Itself Cool

Keeping the straps and buckle of a car seat cool can help prevent both burns and discomfort.

If you tend to leave the car seat in the car, as most parents do when their little one can sit up in the car, you’ll need to make sure that the seat is protected against becoming too hot so it’ll be safe when you put your little one back in it. 

Car Seat Covers Can Help Prevent Burns

When you place a cover in your windshield, you never have to worry about the leather seats in your car or the steering wheel getting too hot no matter how blistering hot the rays of the sun are.

This works the same way with a car seat cover! You can pick up a lightweight car seat cover designed for spring at a cheap price. 

Canopy style car seat covers like this one are great for keeping the straps and buckles cool during the hot summer months. Simply put it down when you need to, and then fold it up when you don’t want it over your baby.

Make sure that you do not completely cover your baby during hot weather. This can trap hot air inside, leading to your baby overheating. Instead, car seat covers during summer should be used when the car seat is not in use. 

Blankets Or Towels Are Also Great Ideas

Small blankets, like the receiving blankets every parent seems to have a pile of, will also suffice. This budget-friendly idea isn’t as convenient as a canopy style car seat cover, but they’re not a complete pain either.

Simply keep a receiving blanket, or a towel if you don’t have a blanket, in the car. When you take your baby out, lay it down on the car seat to cover the straps and buckles.

Make sure to remove the blanket or towel before placing your baby back in the car seat. The material these are made out of is typically not breathable. Instead, the material will get hot. This can lead to irritation and heat rashes. 

Park In The Shade

Making sure that you park your car in the shade will also go a long way in helping keep both the car and the car seat buckles cool.

The buckles will not get too hot because they will not be exposed to direct sunlight. The car will still get hot and a bit humid due to the weather outside, but it will not be as bad as it normally would be, thanks to the shade. 

Window Covers Will Keep Your Baby And The Car Seat Cool

Window covers that stick to the window are a great way to keep both the little one and their gear, cool on hot summer days. These window-covers stick to the window.

This is convenient because you can move them as you move where your baby sits. They provide the perfect amount of shade to protect an area from the sun.

Some of these pull-down and suction in place like the shade on your windows so you can cover as much of the window as you need to. Others come in a predetermined size and are not adjustable. 

How To Avoid Overheating

It’s important to keep the car seat itself cool, and some of those tips can also help keep your little one cooled down.

However, you also need to make sure that your baby doesn’t overheat, which can be dangerous. These tips will help your baby stay both safe and comfortable during next year’s heatwaves. 

Cool Down The Car Before Putting Your Little One Inside

If it’s possible, such as when you’re at home, give the car a minute to cool down. Just like you would give it time to warm up before leaving during those cold winter months.

Get in the car, start it up and roll the windows down. Then, crank the AC. It will take the air conditioning a few minutes to get cold, so you’ll need to leave the car running for 2-3 minutes.

While the AC is getting colder, the humidity will leave the car via the rolled down windows. 

Always Crack A Window

When you’re in the store, make sure to leave your window down a crack. This will make sure that the heat doesn’t get trapped inside.

Granted, your car might still be hot once you get back in it, but it won’t be as humid or as hot as it would be if you had not cracked a window. Make sure to check the weather so you don’t leave a window cracked when it’s going to rain!

How To Cool Down The Car Before Leaving A Parking Lot

When you’re leaving the store to head home, you can’t leave your little one in the store while you wait on the AC to get cold. However, you can still help the car cool down before leaving.

Put your baby in the car, and buckle them in. Then, leave the door open. Get in the front seat, turn the car on, the AC on, and leave your door open.

This will help push some of the hot air out of the car while you wait on the vents to start blasting ice cold air your way. 

Take Off Strap Covers

mother adjusting strap of infant car seat

It makes sense that these might help keep the straps cool, but certain materials can get hot when exposed to direct sunlight. They can also make a baby too hot because they sit so snugly up against the skin.

Your little one might develop a heat rash where the covers on the straps are. Materials like fleece are more likely to make your baby too hot and sweaty in these areas, but it can happen with any material. 

Keep Little Ones Hydrated

When a person is dehydrated, they tend to get overheated easier. If your baby is still drinking from a bottle or breast, make sure to bring feeding supplies if you need them.

Try to time errands around feeding times. You can also bring a little bit of bottled water with you in case your baby sweats a lot. 

For older babies, bring a sippy cup and bottled water with you. An insulated cup or portable cooler is ideal to keep drinks cold on hot summer days, to prevent dehydration, and to make sure little ones do not overheat. 

Invest In A Portable Fan

We picked up a portable fan like this one for my grandson. You can wrap the legs around the car seat, position it perfectly on a stroller, etc. to help keep your little one cool on those hot days.

Please keep in mind that it’s not recommended that you use these when the car is in motion. In the event of a car accident, it can cause injury if it comes loose. 

Dress Little Ones In Appropriate Clothing

As moms, doctors make it a point to preach to us that babies cannot regulate their own body temperature. It’s important to keep them warm because they can get hypothermia from being out in the cold and not being dressed properly.

This, along with motherly instincts, instantly makes us want to bundle our babies. At the very least, summer calls for cute summer dresses, sun hats, and diaper covers. However, this is not ideal during the hot summer months. 

Instead, dress your baby in the bare minimum. An onesie is fine during hot weather. Make sure that the clothing you put on is made of breathable fabric.

Material such as wool and fleece will trap heat inside, making your baby hotter. Other material, such as cotton and other lightweight fabrics, is breathable. It will help keep your baby cooler when it’s hot outside. 

In Conclusion

To keep your baby safe during hot weather, it’s essential to protect them from both burns from car seat buckles and from overheating.

Make sure that the car seat is not exposed to direct sunlight to avoid potential burns. Dress your baby appropriately for the hot weather, and take extra precautions to avoid overheating.