As a new mom, I have been in so many situations where I've panicked because I forgot something when I'm out and about! With kids, this can sometimes be a really BIG problem. This year, I was determined to make sure that I never let myself get into these sticky situations so I created an emergency car kit!
The first thing every emergency car kit needs is a reliable battery and jumper cables. My in-laws gave us a really nice battery that you can use to jump a stalled car all by yourself. Meaning that if I were to be stranded on the side of the road, I could charge my battery without having to track down a stranger to help me. I definitely think this is something that every woman should consider having in their car!
Two more super important items that everyone should have!
1. Change. For tolls or parking in the city. It's rare, but there are still situations in which you can only pay with change, so I always keep a roll of quarters in my car.
2. Phone, camera and iPad chargers. These days you can't go anywhere without these things!
First Aid Kit
Two years ago, my daughter threw up in the car and I had absolutely nothing but a few wipes to clean her up. About a year ago, my daughter fell and skinned her knees and elbows up pretty bad at the park.... and for some reason I had never thought to carry band-aids in my bag. Thank heavens in both of these situations I had someone to turn to for help. But what if I hadn't?
Having a basic first aid kit is important for just the little day to day bumps, bruises and unexpected ailments. You always want to be prepared. I know I frequently have some of these things in my purse, but occasionally I forget and having an extra comb and hair ties in the car has definitely been super helpful this summer... as well as some of the other things listed below!
- Wet Ones
- Band-Aids of all sizes
- Gauze Pads
- Infants Pain Reliever
- Children's Pain Reliever
- Extra Dropper
- Hand Sanitizer
- Antibiotic Ointment
- Safety Pins
- Cough Drops
- Finger Nail Clippers
- Nail File
- Tylenol or Pain Killer
- Lip Balm
- Comb and Hair Ties
In addition to all of the above, include a change of clothes for each child including socks, underwear, jackets, etc. You never know what the weather will be like. Make sure to keep these updated for their current size and season!
"Snack please!" is something I hear all too often. And while I usually am prepared, or my kids can just learn a little patience, there have been a few times where having extra snacks in the car has been a life saver!
Having extra food is always a good thing. You never know when errands might take a bit longer than planned or if you want to make a spontaneous trip to the park. Or maybe you just forgot to pack food as you were running out the door!
I am on the go a lot with exercising, grocery shopping, park trips, etc. I definitely rotate through my snacks pretty quickly, so I just toss replacements in the top of my bag after I use them.
- Water Bottles*
- Granola Bars
- Protein (like nuts)
- Fruit Snacks
- Anything your kids will eat that is easily stored and keeps well
*I have heard that you should not keep plastic water bottles in your car in the heat because they become unsafe to drink. So I have made it high priority to always get my kids their own water bottles every morning and double and triple check that they have them when we load the car in the morning. Water is essential.
Extra Summer Essentials
I find that in the summer there are quite a few extra things that you need to pack. Sunscreen is a huge one. But I have also been that mom that takes her kids to the splash pad and forgets to pack a towel. Please tell me I'm not the only one... I smartened up a bit this summer when I just decided to keep a spare towel in the back, just in case. Of course, I haven't needed it yet this summer. But that's a good thing!
These are just smart things to always keep in the car when you are out and about with kids in hot weather! Or really any time that you are out in nature. If you forget these things there can be major consequences! I have actually had a few experiences where I've forgotten some of these things and it has been trouble.
- Picnic Blanket
- Extra Sunscreen
- Bug Spray
- Pocket Knife
Kid's Entertainment Supplies
When my son was just barely a year old, he was hospitalized. It was very unexpected and I ended up staying with him in the hospital and didn't have much to entertain him and he was in a lot of pain and very unhappy. I happened to have a small thing of bubbles in my bag (from when he was hospitalized at 6 months unexpectedly). They were a huge blessing because they lifted his spirits and helped us get through a tough time with a few less tears.
You never know when you might get stuck somewhere longer than expected, like the doctor's office. Or if you forget your Sunday bag when you go to church... there have been several times where we needed something to entertain our kids so that we could remain sane and fulfill our responsibilities.
We now keep an old iPhone in our car that just has children's games on it for these certain situations. Other items to have on hand include:
- Stickers and Sticker Books
- Plain notebook
- Glow Sticks
- Anything that will entertain your child and is easy to store in the car...
For the Moms with Babies
When you have a baby, you all of a sudden need a whole lot more. And if you forget something with a new baby, even if its just a blanket... or a diaper. Things can get sticky fast!
This list could be forever long. In reality it depends on your child. If you wouldn't use it at home, you probably won't use it in the car. Here is what has come in handy from my own personal experience:
- Changing Pad
- Face Wipes
- Diaper Cream
- Baby Powder
- Baby Lotion
- Extra Pacifier
- Extra Bottles
- Baby Snacks
- Extra Blanket
- Extra Burp Cloths
- Garbage Bags for easy Disposal
- Baby Wrap or Carrier
Storing Your Car Kit
I keep the majority of my emergency car kit in an old diaper bag that is still in pretty decent shape. It has plenty of pockets to help keep things organized. The first-aid kit portion I actually keep in a tupperware that fits in the console between the driver and passenger seat for super easy access. Luckily we have a van with nice side compartments where we can store some of the other big items that don't fit in the bag.
It is such a relief to know that you are prepared for almost any situation and it definitely allows you to have a little more freedom!
Can you think of anything else to add to the list?