It's too cold to walk so I've been taking taxis with my child. Do I need to use a car seat?
YES! Although it is not illegal to hold your baby in a taxi, it is extremely dangerous.
How can I keep my baby warm in the car seat?
Obviously its important to keep the baby warm, but many products marketed for use with car seats are actually UNSAFE. Make sure you buy a product that goes over the baby, not under the baby or under any of the car seat's straps. Anything that goes underneath the baby--even if it has room for the car seat straps to fit through--is not safe to use in the car (and often voids the manufacturer's warranty). Here's why: The car seat is designed to have a specific amount of fabric and padding underneath the baby. In a crash, this padding will compress but a properly tightened harness will keep the baby tight in the seat. Any additional padding that you introduce will also compress--but because the extra padding is there when you put the baby in the seat, you won't be able to get the straps as tight--which means the possibility of injury in a crash. Also, the shoulder strap slots on products that go underneath the baby may not line up with the strap slots on the car seat and end up displacing the straps off the child's shoulders, which might lead to the child coming out of the seat during a crash. Safe alternatives that go over the baby include blankets and products specifically designed to go over a car seat.
Can my baby wear a snowsuit in the car seat?
It's unsafe for a baby to wear a snowsuit or heavy winter coat in a car seat. Heavy clothing puts too much padding between the child and the 5 point harness. This adds too much slack to the harness straps (you can't pull them as tightly as you would if the child wasn't wearing the heavy clothes) and could lead to the child coming out of the seat during a crash. Kids also overheat easily. You probably don't wear your winter coat in the car! Put a blanket over the child and after the car warms up, pull the blanket off.