Hey Supermoms! I don’t know about you, but I’m in my car a LOT. I’m also a big fan of being prepared. It’s no fun being caught off guard without the things you need in an everyday life situation, much less in an emergency situation. In an effort to spare you the same “ARRRGGGGGGG” moments I’ve experienced, I’ve come up with a list of 25 things every Supermom needs in her car.
This list might seem extensive (Hey – that’s me – a tiny bit of OCD with a side of overkill!) I’m the child of an engineer. Being prepared is in my DNA. And honestly, there is not one thing on this list I haven’t needed at some point. I don’t mean I needed them as a convenience… these are things I NEEDED to have with me. Occasionally the needed item was in the car. Several other times I wasn’t so lucky and definitely learned my lesson.
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Daily Life Items
- Big Umbrellas – You can count on it. The second you are walking into preschool with your child, that’s when the hardest rain of your life will start. Because you are lucky that way, you probably have your other kid too, in a stroller. All now soaking wet. I keep a huge golf umbrella (I mean, offensively HUGE) in my car that will easily cover me and my little one – and even the stroller too if the little guy is with us.
- Hand Sanitizer – It’s just good sense! Use it before you eat in the car, after the playground, for the grocery cart – anything you want to be germ-free. The outside world is gross. You need sanitizer. These sanitizers have loops on them. You can attach to anything so you always have them!
- Toy/Entertainment Bag – I have a basket I keep in between the kids in the backseat with kids games, crayons, clipboard with paper, books, and a few toys. It comes in handy when we are in the car rider line, waiting for an appointment or need a little something to entertain us for a long drive.
- Snacks – I try to keep these rotated out to make sure the snacks stay fresh. But I usually have a few packs of fruit snacks, a box of graham crackers and some peanut butter cracker packs.
- Bottled Water (with sippy cups if necessary) – There’s always a few bottles of water in the car. Actually, if I’m honest, there’s probably a case or two in the back that I’m procrastinating getting out of the car and putting in the fridge. (That’s one of my most dreaded chores. What’s that about??). I usually have a sippy cup or two as well. Our little guy hasn’t quite mastered drinking out of a water bottle yet – so we still need the sippy cup.
- Tissues – Runny noses, tears, out of control sneezes. It’s always better to be prepared. I’ve warned you.
- Sunscreen – I usually have some in the baby bag, but it’s just easy to carry a back up in the car. I use the Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby. I can’t recommend it enough. Both of our kids have eczema and very sensitive skin. This has never broken them out NOR have they ever gotten sunburned.
- Cash – I like to keep some $1’s and an emergency $20 stashed in the car. You never know if your debit card might not work or you find yourself in a parking garage that only takes cash.
- Change Jar – our downtown is full of parking meters that take change only. So, I keep a change jar in the car. When we go through the drive-through it’s also handy to make exact change without having to dig through my wallet.
- Notepad and Pen – Your next genius idea or the one thing you need at Target, will come to you while you are driving or at the car wash. Just have a notepad nearby. Try this nifty console side pocket for storing all the little stuff and keeping it in place!
Diaper Situation Containment
- Wet Wipes – This works for anything from a dirty diaper to a sticky steering wheel. I just keep a pouch of baby wipes in the console as my wipe of choice.
- Diapers and/or undies – If you have kids in diapers or are potty training – it’s a MUST. Because the day will come that you used your last diaper in the diaper bag, but thought you had plenty extra, but you don’t and now you have poopy diapers and… uh oh. Your extra stash in the car to the rescue! I can’t tell you how many times this has saved me.
- Full Extra Set of Clothes (including socks and shoes) for everyone. Even Mom. Especially Mom. Consider this your public service announcement. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. The chances are excellent that whatever bodily function betrays us, mom gets it all over her too. Don’t make yourself have to drive home in clothes covered in barf. Or poop. Or whatever bodily fluid came out of your tiny humans. I carry a bag with old shoes and clothes for all of us. Just in case.
- Plastic Grocery Bags or Zip Lock Bags – The poopy and barfy clothes need somewhere to be contained. The bags will contain the mess and the smell. They are also stellar barf bags if you have any car sickness.
- Old Towels (clean!) – I can’t tell you how handy these are if you are caught in a rainstorm and are soaking wet. Or if we have a potty accident in the car or someone gets sickly – you can always throw a towel in the car seat to help make it home.
- Stroller – I have a really big car, so I actually have 3 strollers in my car all the time. An umbrella stroller, our single jogging stroller, and our big double stroller. It’s a complete luxury to have all 3, but I use them all for different situations and I use them all almost every day. The big double stroller is crazy expensive, but I’d easily pay double the price to have that stroller. It’s an absolute delight to put the kids in and wheel around. We’ve had one for nearly 4 years now and it’s absolutely priceless to me!
- Your OLD Sneakers – Keep a pair of old, but still usable, sneakers in the car. You never know when you might be able to steal away 30 minutes between appointments and you can take a quick walk and get a little exercise in. Powerwalk the mall with a stroller, or make a few laps at Target (this is always hazardous to my wallet). If you get a few minutes and a chance to move – you are ready!
- Phone Chargers – I have the cords to plug into the car, and I also carry a rechargeable charger too. You don’t want to be caught with dead phone battery.
- Tire Gauge – My car monitors tire pressure – but I like to check them myself every now and then. Computers aren’t always accurate. And I grew up in a family of engineers. It’s ingrained.
- Safety Knife – This knife gives me so much peace of mind. It has a seat belt cutter and also a special tip on the other end that will shatter a window if you needed to get out the car and you couldn’t get the door open. It clips to the visor so that it will be within reach during an emergency.
- Blankets, hats, gloves – We use the blankets all the time for the park and picnics. But they could also be lifesavers if you were ever stranded in cold weather. Same for the hats and gloves. In the winter I keep the hats and gloves in the car in a little basket. That way we always have them with us wherever we are.
- First Aid Kit – You can make your own or buy an already made one. But the moment when you need band-aids and antiseptic is not the time to realize you don’t have them.
- Instant Ice Packs – The kind that doesn’t freeze until you activate them. Kids fall down. A lot. Be prepared. These are also excellent for any fear of overheating.
- Flashlights – I have a big and heavy metal flashlight. I keep it in the front with me. It’s great as a flashlight, it’s heavy enough I could break my window if we ever had an emergency or wreck, and it would totally work as a weapon, just in case of emergency. I also carry these little ones too. One in the front and one in the back hatch.
- Jumper Cables – Along with instructions on how to use them. You never know when you might need them!
- Fix a Flat Spray – This stuff is for straight-up emergencies only. It will fix a flat tire. It WILL ruin your tire afterwards though!
My Fix-A-Flat Story
PSA – Emergencies Only
Fix-a-Flat. This stuff is fantastic. But it’s not a “We’re late for a soccer game and have a flat tire” fix. Emergencies only!! It will not fix your tire permanently, in fact, it will probably ruin your tire and it could mess up your tire monitoring system (if your car has that feature). And it definitely won’t work on a blowout!
But having said all that, if you are truly in a situation, it is definitely worth it to have a can in the car. If you find yourself in a dangerous area, or in inclement weather – this might be the option you have to use. Just use it while keeping in mind, you are driving straight to purchase a new tire. I can’t say this enough – this is a temporary fix!
My Flat Tire
My situation came when I was traveling by myself (long before I had a husband and kids) and I was in the middle of nowhere in the North Carolina mountains, sitting in the middle of a horrible traffic jam. I was a few hours from home and even more hours from my destination, and about an hour from the nearest city when a very nice lady rolled her window down to let me know I had a flat tire.
We were crawling forward, so I hadn’t noticed yet. There was no chance roadside assistance was getting to me for hours with the traffic. I was able to use the can, fill the tire, and make it through the traffic to the next city and get fixed up.
The can costs maybe ten dollars and totally worth your peace of mind. It can buy you the time you need to get to a tire shop safely.
To Sum Up…
I realize this list may seem really long. And it might be overkill. Chances are you already have at least some of these things in your car right now. And you might not ever need several of the items on the list – but when you realize you need them is NOT the time to also realize you don’t have them.
Being ultra-prepared means you are ready and able to handle any situation that comes your way. It makes almost any catastrophy almost a non-event. So, if life happens, and you aren’t all stocked up in your car and your kid projectile barfs on you at the ballpark or the jump jam birthday party, come on over and find me, and we’ll go to my car and get you all fixed up.
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