Maxwell seems to get hot "easily." Easily is a relative term, since we live in the desert, however, when he gets hot...he is NOT happy. We realized that this was, indeed, the problem when holding him in front of the swamp cooler or fan quickly remedied the situation and stopped his crying.
However, this situation is not so easily remedied in the car. His back would get so warm against his car seat, even with the air conditioner full blast, that he'd scream and wail until he either fell asleep or we took him out. For a while, I was using ice packs under the extra padding you put in to support their head. That seemed to work well, but it didn't seem very comfortable. Especially once he got bigger, he'd sometimes arch his back to get away from the ice pack. I can't imagine that it's because he wasn't hot, but I also can't imagine that it felt that great to sit up against. He's also growing so tall/big/fast that I had to take the padding out. I definitely didn't want the ice pack right up against him, and it seemed like it would be even MORE uncomfortable without the extra layer buffering the "bump" caused by the ice pack.
I've been brainstorming and scouring the web for solutions. The best that I could find (other than the icepack behind the support padding) was getting these blanket type pads that you freeze to put over the seat while they're NOT in it to keep the car seat cool while you're NOT in the car. That's all well and good...and very well may come in handy in the future...but since we bring him wherever we are IN his car seat, it's not in the car long enough to need that.
While searching for something else, this morning, I opened the cupboard to discover one of these:
These are wine gift bags that you put in the freezer to keep the wine cold while you travel. I got one in a giveaway at an Officers' Spouses' event that I went to last year, but had yet to use it.
A lightbulb went on, and I quickly realized that THIS was my solution! A few snips later, the bag above looked a little something like this:
The next step was to figure out if and how this would fit into his car seat. Once I cut some slits in the middle "empty" section, I was able to position the mat behind the car seat padding against the styrofoam. Here's how:
I also reinforced the slits with some package wrapping tape so that they didn't end up tearing through the middle.
So, voila! A cooling mat for Max's car seat that he won't even notice is there (other than being pleasantly cool while the rest of us are still sweating our butts off :)).
(Yes, I am pretty proud of myself :)).