Let’s be honest. When it comes to kids, accidents happen all the time. As a mom, I carry supplies everywhere I go. My diaper bag always has extra diapers, wipes, snacks and clothes. However, no matter how prepared we are, there will be instances when we wish we had extras lying around in the car. Take for instance last week, we went out for our usual grocery run, and did an impromptu stop at the playground. My little one had a blowout, not once, but TWICE! I went to change her, but only to realize that I had used my last diaper, and I do not have anymore extra clothes for her. We had to cut short our play time and head right back home. My poor baby had to sit in dirty clothes the whole way home.
Does this sound familiar at all to you?
As prepared as I try to be, sometimes I would forget something. If you are a mother, I’m sure you can relate to what we call a mom brain. So, I have decided that I would put together what we call a “Mom Survival Kit For The Car”. Because when it comes to kids, we need to always have a backup ready.
I present to you my version of the Mom’s Emergency Car Kit!
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- Diapers for the little one
- Pull-ups for my older kid. She just got potty trained and cannot hold her pee for too long. For this purpose, we always carry a pull-up with us. If she really needs to go, we just let her wear the pull-ups. You may want to opt to bring a portable potty seat instead but this takes up space in the trunk.
- Wipes. This is a must-have when you have kids. Aside from wiping baby’s butt during a diaper change, I use wipes to clean my kids’ dirty hands and face. These are not only for kids. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve used these wipes for my own mess too. Check out my other post here where I talk about the best baby wipes to buy.
- Extra clothes including underwear and socks
- Extra pair of shoes for each kid. I’m talking about cheap backup shoes here that are totally functional and they could wear just in case their shoes get dirty from walking through mud or a puddle of water.
- A few hair ties. I don’t know about you, but my daughter’s hair is long and messy. It drives me nuts if it is not tied up! However, for some reason, she manages to lose her hair tie no matter how tightly it is secured, so it’s always nice to have backups.
- Hand sanitizer
- Clorox Wipes (because with COVID-19, everything needs to be wiped down)
- Pack of tissues
- Small plastic bags for throwing out diapers if there’s no trash can nearby
- Snacks for kids that’s not messy to eat. We have the apple pouches, granola bars, animal crackers and trail mix packed. Just make sure to pack what your kids will eat. If your children are anything like mine, you need to have plenty of snacks ready no matter the distance. For us, just 5 minutes into the car ride and my kids would be asking for food already. Just remember, a well-fed kid is a happy kid.
- A Tupperware for storing leftover food items if your kids cannot finish them
- Sunscreen for the summer. You might want to make an impromptu stop at the playground and this will come in super handy.
- Lotion and chapstick for the dry skin and dry lips
- Some ziplock bags for storing items (pack various sizes for different uses)
- Mess-free coloring book for entertainment. You can pick anything else that works with your kids. Recently we bought this LCD writing tablet that is great for kids. They can write or draw anything, and with a click of the button, everything on the screen erases immediately and they can start all over again.
Check out my other post where I talked about the LCD writing tablet as one of the highly rated toys that are suitable for 3 year-olds.
Notice I did not include water in here because I don’t think water kept in plastic bottles are good to keep in the car for so long. They might go bad with heat or under extreme cold weather. My suggestion would be to pack them in reusable bottles before you head out everytime.
As I was putting this list together, I thought it would be a good idea to throw in some more items just in case we get stranded somewhere for a day or two. In my world, this is totally a possibility. It is not unusual for us to have various appointments in a day (dentist’s appointment followed by doctor’s appointment, and then a field trip somewhere). As moms, we always want to make sure that we are ready for all kinds of scenarios.
Here are the things that I am adding to the mom’s car survival kit:
- First-aid kit stocked with band aids, antibiotic and pain relieving cream for children, Tylenol and Benadryl.
- Tampons or sanitary pads because you never know when Aunt Flo is going to pay you a visit
- Change of clothes and underwear (weather-appropriate)
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- A small bottle of shampoo and soap
- Emergency blankets
- Glo-sticks that could be a source of entertainment to kids and a light source too
- Umbrella or ponchos
- Small towel
- Disposable cutlery for takeout food
- Some trash bags
- Multi-purpose pocket knife that comes with some basic tools. The Rover Tac Pocketknife is something I would recommend.
- Extra masks (this is especially important with the pandemic)
- Bungee cord for tying down things
- Cell phone charger but we usually already have one at the front of the car
Now to store the things, I just put them in a medium-sized plastic bin that you can easily get from Target or Walmart. Everything stays organized in the bin and it goes right at the back of the car in the trunk. With a lid in place, it helps keep everything together even when the vehicle is moving.
I wouldn’t recommend keeping extra cash in the car for emergencies because people can break into your car to steal it. With modern day technology, even if you cannot find an ATM to get some cash, you can always fall back on your credit card, or utilize apps like Venmo and Cashapp to pay for your purchases.
Putting together this homemade emergency car kit was actually pretty fun. If you don’t have one made already, I would recommend that you put together one (even if it’s just bare bone essentials). You never know when these things might come in handy, and when they do, you will thank yourself in the future.
Before I end, I’d add that I’ve had this kit in my car for a few days now, and it has come in pretty handy – my clumsy kid had a boo boo the other day, and of course she was crying for a band aid (which I had in this mom’s survival car kit). Having this gives me a peace of mind knowing that even if we get stuck somewhere unexpectedly, we’ve got the basic essentials in the car. I’m so glad that I finally put this together!
Do you have a Mom’s emergency car kit in your car too? Leave a comment below to share anything that you think I’ve left out and might be useful!
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