Ever wondered if all the other moms have as much stuff packed into their cars (or more likely, their vans) as you do? Chances are you aren’t alone in feeling like you could run a successful garage sale out of your vehicle.
Seasoned parents know that when it comes to transporting tiny humans, you have to be ready for anything, anywhere, anytime! Meltdowns, accidents, messes, missed meals, changes in weather, canceled plans… you never know what you’ll need to have handy.
Here’s a list of the top items we’ve had packed and ready over the years. How many of these are in your vehicle right now?
1: Snacks. All of them.
A lot of people will say things like, “I would never feed my kids in the car, that sounds like a mess waiting to happen!” …until they have kids. Whether you’re a busy mom running kids from place to place or your toddler just hates car rides, car snacks might need to be involved. As long as it’s not a choking hazard, go ahead and toss them all the snacks. Vacuum cleaners exist for a reason, right?
2: Diaper? Check. Wipes? Check.
If your little one is still in diapers, you probably have stashes all over the place to make sure you never find yourself in an unpleasant situation. Keeping a few extras in the car just makes sense. If you’ve started potty training, you might even be a part of the elite parenting group who keep portable potty chairs in their trunks for potential roadside emergencies.
3: Clothing for any occasion. Plus sunscreen.
Sudden downpour? Spilled juice? Carsick kids? Heat wave in October? You’ve got this! Between jackets and rain boots and extra pairs of pants, you might feel like you could open your own store. But you never know when that extra pair of socks or that bottle of sunscreen hiding under the backseat will save the day.
4: Activities, tablets, and toys, oh my!
Keeping small children entertained during long drives isn’t always easy. Toys get thrown, snacks get eaten, and tempers can sometimes grow short. Most parents find that drive time gets a bit easier when their little ones get old enough to stay interested in activities, books, or tablets for more than thirty seconds at a time.
5: More snacks, somehow?
Fruit pouches might graduate to french fries, but snacks seem to always be a staple in Mom cars. Maybe it’s because kids who are busy eating snacks can’t ask a hundred questions as easily. Or maybe it’s just because Moms also need snacks to get them through the day sometimes.
Whether you somehow keep a clean car or have a minivan disaster zone, this is your reminder to restock your travel essentials. Go see if the extra diapers are still the right size, fish the sunscreen out from under the seat, or throw an extra sweater in the trunk. And whatever you do, don’t forget the snacks!