As a new mother I felt overwhelmed by all of the stuff I was told I needed to lug around. Between the alcohol wipes, boogie wipes, pacifier wipes, wipe wipes…It seemed like I had to pack an entire suitcase just to take a simple trip to the store. And, being a person, who in my former life never, had more than five items (lipstick, ID, phone, money and keys) in my purse, it seemed crazy to me that I would have to haul an overstuffed diaper bag with me everywhere I went. Let’s be honest, it’s hard enough to remember what I ate for breakfast, and now I had what seemed like 4726 “need to survive” items on me at all times, just so I could go to Target! (And, I usually was running out just to pick up a few more of these “need to survive” items).
Over the course of the first few months of being a new mom, I realized that carrying all this crap was ridiculous. So I made a list of the essential 10 items that I need with me at all times. These are the things I keep in my car, so even if I forget my diaper bag it’s all there.
1. Plastic bags – These are a must! They come in handy to hold dirty diapers, wipes – and like I learned the hard way… if your baby throws up, mounds and mounds of paper towels (not to mention for actually throwing up into, if you win the lottery and catch it in time.) Plastic bags are also fantastic for toting around wet or dirty clothes, whether it’s from the baby or yourself.
2. Diapers – Never leave home without at least five extra diapers in an accessible place – a bag in the car, or your diaper bag. Don’t forget – babies poop a lot! More than you can imagine. I went on an overnight trip to my sister’s and I put three diapers in my diaper bag (I had the rest of the diapers in my overnight bag). I didn’t even get 10 minutes away from my house, when we went through all three diapers and I had to rip into my luggage to get out more. Like I said: babies poop A LOT.
3. Wipes – Always have a big pack of them. Remember…babies poop A LOT! (Did I say that already?) Plus wipes are wonderful because babies are known to spit up, drop pacifiers and bottles, and have runny noses. Wipes wipe away any and all grossness that comes with having a baby – whether you’re wiping them up, the seat up, or even your own hands and face.
4. Paper towels – This is one item that never occurred to me until I needed it. My mother-in-law decided it would be a good idea to read to Mason (my son) while we were running errands; well within 10 minutes, breakfast, lunch and remnants of the previous night’s dinner were all over him, her, his car seat, and my backseat. It looked like he had a rough night out at the bar. And note to self, wet wipes (see above) do not clean-up throw-up.5. Change of clothes –It took me too long to realize that you should have keep a change of clothes for the baby in the car, and for yourself! Baby throw-up can reach places you never imagined!
6. Coat – Always carry an extra jacket or coat for the baby in the car; you never know if you’re going to have to stop someplace or your car has trouble – better to be warm than sorry!
7. Toys – As my story mentioned above, for some children, you may want to bypass the books in the car and stick with toys only! Get yourself a cloth bin and keep it in the backseat with some special car toys – preferably soft items, nothing sharp or heavy!
8. Pacifier (if you use them) – I try not to use pacifiers as an all-day treat but there are two times I find I need them; when he’s sleeping and in the car. It makes both of our lives easier.
9. First aid kit – Hopefully you’ll never use it, but as they get older, scratches, cuts and bruises are inevitable. Believe me, if your kiddo skins his knee on the playground, you’ll be thanking your past-self for stocking the car with band-aids!
10. Snacks – I make sure I keep snacks handy at all times. Just make sure you keep them fresh and safe for your little one. I make sure they are the first item I put in the car and take out of everyday. You can always keep non-perishables, like crackers or cookies in plastic bags (don’t forget a snack for mama too!)
I hope sharing my momma mistakes will help you! Good luck!
What do you think of Michelle’s survival items? Did she miss any? Let us know in the comments below!
About Michelle Wright
Michelle Wright is a freelance writer; with a 15-month-old delicious son, and a self-proclaimed pessimistic husband. She has a contagious laugh, a love of B-rated horror movies and crime-drama TV. She is currently a stay-at-home domestic engineer, who was a restaurant owner in her former life.
After she got pregnant she sold her restaurant to start a new life of changing diapers, continuously cleaning up toys, and reinventing herself.
When she realized that working in her yoga pants, going braless and bringing your baby to the office, were shunned in the workforce, she decided to go back to her real passions: writing, creating and story-telling.
Take this journey with her on twitter at @ABCsOfPregnancy