Monday, April 5, 2010

car seat blanket tutorial

I have been wanting one of these all winter for my baby, she always kicks her blanket off when I am carrying her around in her car seat. I finally figured out how to make one, but since winter is ending, I decided not to make one for her. I did make two for my expecting sisters though. I hope these steps make sense, let me know if you have questions
I started with two coordinating flannels, one yard of each. I folded each in quarters so I could trace and cut my pattern (make sure you have the folds in the right place)
I do not have a printout of this pattern, but I am hoping you can see the measurements when you click on the picture to enlarge it, and use the measurements to make your own (I just taped pieced of 8.5 by 11" paper together). Make sure your folds are in the right place, and trace the pattern on each piece of flannel

unfold the fabric and mark where the strap holes should be cut (enlarge the two above pictures to see where to measure and cut for the strap holes) mark it on each piece of flannel. Or, if you have a carseat handy, you can put the fabric in your carseat and mark it yourself

cut and press where you will need to sew around the strap holes (do not sew yet!). Pin the fabrics right sides together and sew around the blanket, leaving a gap for turning it right sides out)

pin in place the pressed holes together and sew (if you try to sew them before the previous step, you will not be able to turn the blanket right sides out)

top stitch around the blanket, sewing the gap closed

place blanket in carseat and strap baby in

then swaddle

here is the second one I made

Thank you Heidi for informing me of something I did not know (check comments)


it does state that the warranty may be voided (you could call your carseat company)
it also gives guidlines for you to check yourself if your baby is safe in his/her carseat

"Check All Winter Coats for Car Seat Safety
It's easy to check and see whether a baby's winter coat or infant snowsuit is too thick to be safe in a car seat. This test will show you how thick the coat is and how much the coat will compress during a crash.

  1. Take the car seat into the house.
  2. Put the winter coat or snowsuit on the child.
  3. Put the child in the car seat and buckle the harnesses as you normally would before car travel. Adjust the straps to the appropriate fit for your child.
  4. Take the child out of the car seat without loosening the straps at all.
  5. Take the coat off your child.
  6. Put the child back in the car seat and buckle the harnesses again, but do not tighten the straps.
  7. If you can fit more than two fingers under the harness at the child's shoulder bone, the coat is too thick and is not safe for use with the car seat."
it also says, near the bottom, "

However, there are no federal guidelines governing after-market car seat accessories. These extra car seat covers and buntings could interfere with the function of the car seat harness, and many car seat manufacturers will void your car seat warranty if after-market accessories are used. "

It could still be useful for a carseat that is strapped into a stroller, rather than a car. Or with any five point harness device, such as a stroller itself, or a swing or a bouncer


Heidi said...

You must have a lot more energy than me! Everything turned out so cute! I hope you don't take this offensive, but I didn't know if you knew that if you use a blanket like that in a car seat it will void the warranty and increase the risk of the baby getting injured/ejected in an accident.

Anonymous said...

You're kidding, right? As long as the straps are just as tight as they would be without the blanket, it's fine.

Thanks for the tutorial. I love these!

rafa said...

Hello, I live in Brazil and loved the blanket. I wonder if you could send me the steps ... I confess that my English is beyond terrible, I'm starting to sew now! For I have two babies and I would do for them!
thank you

Britney said...

Just found this tute and made it last night! Thank you so much! Great instructions and easy to adapt to the fabric I had. Thanks! Great job!

Summer said...

I have also been reading about this online, but it says nothing of the homemade ones.. the manufactured ones come with thick padding so I see how those could be of hazard, but this is really not very thick, but it would keep your baby warm. I am making one right now (a little diff than yours). As long as you make the slits for the shoulder straps so that it is a good fit but not a TIGHT fit I think these are fine. Great tutorial

Heidi said...

I too am not super worried about the safety issue, but I appreciate my friend Heidi for informing me and my readers, that way everyone can make an informed personall decision, I am glad some people are still excited about this tutorial. Thanks for all your comments

Haven said...

I know at the hospital, the nursing staff tell you not to swaddle the baby first and then put the straps around the child, thus making the 5-point harness useless and endangering your child.

But this blanket with the holes for the straps to come through to buckle and THEN swaddle shouldn't be a problem for warranty issues, especially if the blanket is not too thick.

I wouldn't suggest using fleece or put batting between the layers, but two layers of baby flannel are still thin enough. It's really about common sense. :)