The Car Seat Poncho b y H B a r r y B o o L L C
We get so many happy messages from parents who say that their child loves wearing the poncho, doesn't want to take it off, and likes to call it his/her "Super Poncho" or "Princess Cape." Once in a blue moon, though, a parent will call in dismay, because his/her child resists wearing the poncho. A few noted that their children got upset when the poncho was put over them, or that they "couldn't find their hands."
Most of these children were roughly between 9 and 18 months, right in the range when object permanence, separation anxiety, and the "terrible twos" can start (this last one is a total misnomer, because the stubborn-ness and drama usually start way before the second birthday). Even minor decisions (about sliced cheese, choice of pajamas, etc.) can turn into major battles. Parents who tell us their child doesn't like the poncho also concede that their child doesn't like coats or blankets either.
Practically all of these children became happy and enthusiastic poncho wearers. Based on what their parents told us, we have collected some helpful suggestions:
- Encourage Familiarity: Before putting the poncho on your child for the first time, let your child get to know the garment. Let him or her unfold it, inspect it, play with it, use it as a cape or a blanket. This will give your child a sense of ownership and trust. NOTE: The worst, worst thing is when a parent is so excited to try the poncho that he/she rushes to put it on the child, without any warning or permission from the child.
- Gradual Introduction: The first few times your child wears the poncho, you might want to put it on more like a cape: open the zipper completely, separating the left and right sides, and lay the poncho on your child's shoulders. Then, zip the zipper as you would for a regular jacket. Your child will see that the poncho goes easily on and off, that it opens and closes, and that it is not permanent. (Make sure the zipper insertion pin is completely clicked into the zipper "slot" before you pull it up, so that the zipper teeth stay in sync.) As the child accepts the poncho, you can just keep it zipped and put it on him/her over the head (which is what I did all the time with my own son).
- Help them "find their hands": Once your child is in the car seat, with the poncho, open the top zipper a few inches, so that he or she can raise her hands and make sure they are still "there." You can also fold the bottom of the poncho into his or her lap for the same effect.
- Smooth the Transitions: With kids of a certain age, any transition can be a minefield. If you sense your child will resist leaving home or your current location, give him or her several minutes notice. What some moms first thought was resistance to the poncho turned out to be resistance to the idea of any change or interruption whatsoever.
If you have any additional questions or would like to discuss further, feel free to call us at 866-282-0751 between 10:00 a.m. and 9:00 PM EST, or click here to send an email.
The Car Seat Poncho & Your Child
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