Check out this list of surprising and not so surprising must have items to keep in your family car. Since becoming a mum my car has stopped being a second wardrobe and has become a portable changing table, a toy box, a snack shop, a nap area and a place for my son to store his stick collection! I keep a lot of things in my car because I like to be prepared and with a baby and a 4 year old there is always something that they want or need! These are the items I always try to have in my car:
Travel changing mat
Keep a travel changing mat in the boot of your family car full of all the supplies your baby might need. I keep spare nappies and pants, wipes, nappy bags, nappy cream and a spare set of baby clothes.
Sachets of infant paracetamol
I always keep a few sachets of paracetamol and a syringe in the travel changing mat, just in case teething starts while we are out. This has been a life saver on a few occasions when we have been visiting relatives.
Spare set of clothes
Keep a simple set of clothes for each child in a resealable bag in the boot. I keep pants, socks, thin trousers/leggings and a t-shirt. If they spill their drink, have an accident or just get wet in the park it is handy to have a clean set of clothes to put them in. The resealable bag is then useful for zipping in the wet/dirty clothes to bring home.
Useful if they are tired and want to snuggle up or if they are feeling poorly. Also handy if you need to cover a seat.
An easily accessible packet of wipes
Always keep an extra pack of wipes in the front of the car. Put them somewhere easy to grab for the sticky fingers after a snack or if there is a spillage. Also great for wiping down clothes or shoes, a quick wipe down inside the family car if it gets muddy or dirty, wiping down a car seat, wiping dirty faces…and a million other uses! I have to keep one of these in the pocket of the door because my daughter has reflux and often needs wiping down!
The first thing my son asks for when he gets in the car is a drink. I always make sure I take one with me from home as it is much cheaper than buying a single bottle of water while we are out.
Bag of snacks
If it is a longer journey I take a bag of snacks to keep them busy. I put them in a resealable bag or lunchbox to keep the rubbish contained. Snacks we like to take are a mini box of raisins, a pot of mixed cereal with some chocolate chips thrown in, breadsticks, a small packet of crisps, piece of fruit and a small packet of sweets. I don’t take anything too chocolatey because of the messy fingers or anything too sugary because of them being hyper in a confined space!
Small toy box
Both of my children have a small plastic box with their name on. It has the lid that you can click on easily, so they can open and close it themselves. They can both put a selection of toys in them to take in the car, this means they have to choose wisely because they have to fit in the box and it keeps the toys contained in the car. My son always has a small selection of Lego in his and my daughter has Happyland figures in hers.
Seat back covers
I put off buying these for a while because I wasn’t sure if they were necessary. But they make my life easier so they are definitely necessary for me. They keep the back of the front chairs clean from muddy feet which saves me cleaning time. They also have small pockets to keep in essentials like tissues and small toys. I don’t like the seat back covers with lots of pockets because they will just get filled with more stuff that I will then have to sort out.
Sunglasses and hats
Keep spares in the glove box or I put my son’s in the pocket on the seat back cover. Then he can get his own sunglasses while I am driving. I know that the second the car starts moving he will think of something he needs!
Keep one in the glove box or attach one to the car seat so they are easy to reach when you are driving. I use a silicone dummy clip to attach toys and teethers to my daughter’s seat. This keeps her busy!
Music and stories
Keep a selection of their favorite songs and also some audio book CDs. I have put them all onto my phone so I always have them with me. They are great if the children are tired or need calming down.
Reusable shopping bags
Leave these in the boot of your family car so you never forget them when you go shopping.
These are really handy if you have bigger wheels on your pushchair. Use them to cover dirty wheels before you put it back into the boot of your car.
Put one in the pocket of your door and then it is always there if you need to walk from the car on the school run and it starts to pour with rain.
As a busy parent you will already have some of these items tucked away in your car. But I hope there may have been something you hadn’t thought to keep in your car or a new way to organize something to make your life a little bit easier.