I heard about this concept a couple of years ago, and assumed I was the only person who couldn’t come up with it on my own.  I have since been informed that few parents have heard of this idea, so I thought I would share.

If you have children, you have undoubtedly, at some point in time, faced a dreaded crisis in the car or while out and about.  It never fails that during such a crisis you need some commonly used item, but don’t have it.  The crisis can be anything from a diaper blow-out to car sickness to a cold child.  Fortunately, I have found an wonderfully easy and low-maintenance solution!  You simply pack a small bag in the trunk of your car with all the items that could make your life easier.  There is, of course, no limit to what you may decide to put in this bag, but the following is a list of what I currently pack, or have in the past (and I have, at some time or another, needed every item!)

  • Spare diapers (for the forgotten diaper bag) 
  • A cheap travel bag of wipes (handy for older kids too!)
  • Spare baby bottle and a can or pack of formula (for those unexpected delays)
  • Changes of clothes for each child, including underwear (for oops! moments while eating or when they just can’t “hold it” any longer).  The exception is if you have several children, and some that wear clothes within 1 or 2 sizes of each other.  You can get away with having only 1 set for 2 children in this case. 
  • Snacks (for those delayed lunch times)
  • Baby burp cloths or hand towels (for whatever mess could happen)
  • Gallon ziploc bags (for wet or messy items, or just to serve as a trash bag)
  • Back-up Toy (you never know!)
  • Lightweight jacket for each child (we use these all the time, even in the summer since most places we go have the A/C blasting!)
  • Anything else you can think of.  I have been known to occasionally have hand sanitizer, disposable bibs, and even lotion.

I pick lightweight items, so I can fit all the above for all my children into 1 backpack or tote.  It’s not in the way, but is there if I need it.  In addition, I have learned to carry a first aid kit with basic supplies like ointments, cleaners, and bandaids.  We have a seperate one in the car, but if you don’t, then definitely add it to your emergency kit.  The only maintenance that is required is to make sure you refill whatever you use, and go through it when the seasons change (warm/cold) to put appropriate clothing in.  That is also a good time to check on expired baby formula, dried out wipes, or expired snacks. 

This is well worth the few minutes you invest to get it setup!  You will be thankful many times over that you did!