• Separator
  • Separator

Pinteresting…car seat covers

A couple weeks ago I shared my new addiction to Pinterest. The days have gone on and I continue to find amazing outfits that I wish were in my closet, great ideas for future birthday parties and inspiration for my dream home.  These social media and sharing sites are really incredible – you just never know what you are going to find!

Being the self-proclaimed car seat nerd I decided I would search on Pinterest for car seats.  Little did I know, although I shouldn’t have been surprised, there is a whole DIY world out there for amazingly handy and talented ladies (I’m assuming) recovering their children’s car seats. Search on “car seats” and you’ll see what I mean…

This immediately reminded me of a car seat check I was at a few years ago when I was checking the seat for recalls and labels and realized that the car seat pattern was unfamiliar (I tend to have the car seat designs somewhat memorized). I commented to the mother about the new pattern and she said, “Oh – I made that!” And after a little closer look I realized that she had – she created a pattern with the original car seat cover and then recreated it.

Unfortunately I had to tell her the same thing I want to tell Pinterest world – the craftswomanship is incredible but you’re messing with the integrity of the seat. Most (if not all) car seat manufacturers will agree unregulated or after market products should not be used with their seats – and this would include homemade covers.

Why? I mean really – some of those patterns aren’t too cute. Car seat manufacturers have to adhere to certain regulations not only on the types of fabric that they use but also labeling – and many of those labels come on the seat cushions themselves.  What if you accidentally cover up something that tells you at what weight your child should move into the next seat?

My hat goes off to the DIYers – I envy you!  But this is one area where I would use caution.  Happy pinning!

Visit Dayton Children’s on Pinterest

How a children’s hospital is using Pinterest to reach moms


  1. Reply
    Amy Tyler February 27, 2012

    Terry, the people that sold you your seat at bru are morons.  I’m sorry, but it’s true.  I love to make a special trip down to bru to see what is new and try out seats and strollers but I can tell you from experience, time and time again, they have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.  There is no such thing as the “best” seat.  The best seat is the one that you can install correctly in your vehicle and fits your child and budget.  I have 4 kids in seats and probably upwards of a dozen or more seats and while I do have a couple of the same seats it has nothing to do with how safe they are, certain seats just have features I happen to like and work well in my vehicles.   To answer your houdini question though, it has absolutely nothing to do with the seat.  Any and every time she gets out you need to pull over and tell her no and buckle her back in.  It might take a while but she will learn that if she wants to go she has to stay in her seat.

  2. Reply
    Jessica Saunders February 27, 2012

    Thank you ladies for your comments.  Terri – you are not alone!  Many times little ones tend to be houdini and get out of their seats.  This isn’t really one of the criteria that car seats are tested on for safety – the ability for little ones to get out of the seat! Amy’s suggestion about stopping until the child is buckled in is a good suggestion – as long as the child is old enough to understand that concept. Also – if your little one is under 2 years old and less than the rear-facing weight limit of the seat you may try to put the seat rear-facing (check the manufacturer’s instructions if this is allowed) – that extra angle may make it a little harder for your little houdini!

  3. Reply
    Amy Tyler February 28, 2012

    To add to Jessica’a coment about rear facing, the AAP now recommends rear facing to a MINIMUM of age 2.  However, safety experts and carseat manufacturers alike agree that they should rear face as long as possible if your seat allows.  There’s no magic age where rear facing stops being more safe than forward facing, height and weight are much more of a deciding factor.  Manufacturers now are making seats that rear face to 40-45 lbs and they aren’t any more expensive than a seat with a lower weight limit.  In fact, a toddler is safer in a rear facing $40 cosco scenera from walmart than a forward facing $300 britax boulevard.  It has nothing to do with the seat itself, it’s just physics and how a crash works.  And just to add some perspective, I have a 37lb 3yo rear facing in a sunshine kids radian and a 21lb 15mo rear facing in a britax boulevard.  My extra seats for them are a safety 1st avenue and an evenflo momentum.

  4. Reply
    Jessica Saunders February 28, 2012

    Amy – are you a car seat technician?  If not you should think of becoming one – thanks!

  5. Reply
    Amy Tyler February 28, 2012

    Unfortunately, no.  With all my kids and I have a couple with sn I don’t have time.  I am a long standing member of car-seat.org and I posted there looking for a good tech to help a mom I met on CL who was interested in extended rear facing and I was told you were the go to girl in Dayton.  So I was looking for your contact info online and found this and voila, here I am.  For me it’s always exciting to meet someone new who isn’t letting their baby jump around in the backseat.

  6. Reply
    Lisa March 2, 2012

    I am a big DIYourselfer, but I have never, ever thought about making a car seat cover until now.  The main reason being my 20 month old son gets car sick.  This has been going on for over a month now.  He pukes EVERYWHERE just about every other time we try to go some where.  I feel trapped in my house on a regular basis because I don’t want to risk going to the store and having a puking episode on the way there.  We can be in the car for 2 minutes or 30 minutes and he will throw up.  It can be on the way to the store or the way home.  I keep the van cooler than I would like it to be and I have stopped playing movies while we are moving, but he still gets sick.  I am thinking about just making something similar to a blanket that I can just put under him and over the sides of the seat (not anything that will replace the manufacturers seat cover, just something thin to go over it).  I have also tried to find a pattern to make strap and buckle covers, something that velcros around them, that can easily be removed after he throws up, but I think I will have to figure out how to make my own.  I have made him strap covers that go up by his neck to protect him from the straps rubbing, but I will have to make some longer to go over the full length.  It is no fun trying to clean the buckles and straps after he gets car sick.  Do you have any tips, advice, or any thoughts on any of this?

    • Reply
      Dayton Children's March 2, 2012

      Lisa – my heart truly goes out – do you think your little guy has motion sickness? I would definitely ask the doctor if there is anything that can be done on the medical end. In any case – from the safety end – the big thing is that whatever you use/make you don’t interfere with the harness system and go under the baby (because you are adding space between the baby and the seat possibly making the harness not tight enough). A thought – the manufacturer of “The Car Seat Poncho” (http://www.carseatponcho.com/index.html ) after reading the blog sent me a sample of her product – it would work similar to a coat or a blanket over the baby but could possibly “catch” any of the sickness. Her product is interesting because it doesn’t interfere with the straps but it seems to cover them. While I can’t recommend a specific product – something like this might be helpful. I know it’s a super tough dilemma – just the few times Mary has dirtied her seat (for a variety of reasons) washing the cover was somewhat challenging. Best of luck and let us know what you decide! I hope that is helpful!

    • Reply
      Lisa March 2, 2012

      Something like that looks perfect!  I just feel like I can never get the straps clean enough after he gets sick.  And we can’t go in the store after he pukes all over himself.  My husband told me today to just take him in the bathroom and clean him up, then do my shopping.  That wouldn’t be a problem except then I have to put him back in the nasty car seat and his coat was completely covered.  Thank you very much and I will talk to his dr. at his next check-up :)

      • Reply
        Rachel October 16, 2012

        Lisa, I too was going to suggest the Car Seat Poncho since it would virtually cover him, like a giant bib and hopefully catch most all of his sickness.  I’m not sure but maybe you could make something similar using a PUL material on the underside so it wouldn’t soak through to him.  I have a daughter, who on occasion will get car sick as well and I know how it is not fun.  I too feel like you can never get the straps clean enough.  Hopefully something like this would help you out.  One other thing, which wouldn’t be very convenient but might help, especially if he was covered with a Car Seat Poncho, put him in his seat in just a diaper so that if he would get sick it would be easy enough to clean off the little bit that might get on him.  Plus he would stay a little cooler since he’d have a CSP covering him (it could make him extra hot with clothes on and we all know being hot in a vehicle can make you more sick).  Now I’m not sure where you live so this might not be something possible if you have very cold weather, but it might help at times.  Then you’d just have to dress him before you go in anywhere – which is where the inconvient part comes in to play.  Good Luck.

  • Comment
  • Rate this article
    An error occurred!

eGrowing Together

is a monthly e-newsletter of child health, safety and parenting tips from the pediatric experts at Dayton Children's.

Subscribe to the blog

We have created this blog as a way to communicate key childrens' health and safety issues to parents and other child advocates. It is managed by Dayton Children's department of marketing communications. Comments can be sent to rodneyg@childrensdayton.org.