Car Kit

What’s in my car kit?

First, let me tell you the story of the very first “MD Kid Adventure” outing with 3 under 3. My youngest was born on the very first day of the stay at home order in March 2020. We stayed home for months between quarantine orders and taking care of a newborn. I finally decided I was ready to venture out to a local trail to get the girls outside and get some fresh air. It was our first outing with twin toddlers and a new born – we had gotten used to the twins being “easy” and not needing to bring as much when leaving the house. We got everyone in the car and drove 10 minutes to a local pond with a trail to walk around.

As soon as we stopped the car I realized the baby had a massive blowout all the way through her clothes and all over the car seat. No biggie – just a quick diaper change, outfit change, wipe down the seat. Except I couldn’t find a diaper. Not a single one. We left the house without the diaper bag and there were NONE in my car. My husband was ready to throw in the towel but I was so determined to get out and the girls were so excited that I couldn’t bring myself to go home. This was a small pond and short walking trail so I figured I could stick it out and make it work for 30 minutes rather than giving up and going home. I went to grab the wipes to clean her up and again – NONE. No diapers, no wipes, AND no extra clothes. I cleaned her up with tissues and found a muslin blanket I thought I might be able to use as a cloth diaper. I wrapped her up and stuck her in the carrier (luckily it was super warm out) and we started out on our walk. Quickly found out that muslin blankets absorb absolutely nothing, lol.

Long story short, we made it through the walk, we all got out of the house and the girls had fun. We got home and did baths and a massive load of laundry. Then, I sat down and made a list of everything I absolutely needed to have when leaving the house. I wanted to make sure I didn’t end up in this position again (wearing a baby that is wearing a muslin blanket as a diaper and immediately getting peed on) From this adventure, the car kit was born.

Starting a Car Kit

Before starting, sit down and make a list of everything you absolutely need when leaving the house. Think of what might go wrong (nothing over-the-top, but everyday common problems you encounter with toddlers/babies – accidents, boo-boos, etc.) Think about the current weather and what you need to be safe and comfortable. Think of things that would be absolutely detrimental if you didn’t have like (like diapers and wipes!) Think about what activities you commonly do out of the house and anything you might want/need to have with you.

Organizing You Car Kit

I purchased 2 items to help organize my car kit, but you can also easily use things you already have around the house.

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First, I bought a back seat organizer with 4 pouches (technically called a kick-mat to protect seat backs from toddlers). I have a mini-van so I hooked it on the back of the 3rd row seat so I can access everything from the back. This also keeps the girls from messing with everything if I had installed it on one of the front or middle seats.

This is the one I have, comes in a 2-pack but we only use one:

Seat Back Organizer $17

I also purchased a collapsible bin for the floor of the van to store bigger items like my carrier, blankets, etc. Here is the one we have:

Collapsible Storage Bin $16

What’s In My Car Kit?

This is everything I keep in my car kit during warm weather. There are some different items I keep with me in the winter, but I’ll update about those later. Here is the full list with item descriptions and links:

Travel Potty and Potty Bags

Everyone with littles should own one – hands down one of the best kid items we’ve ever bought. It has saved us SO many times. There are different versions but we love our OXO potty. It folds small enough to throw in a backpack or under the stroller. The legs also flip out so you can use it on top of a regular potty if you’re visiting someone else’s house. I highly recommend buying the OXO bags – I have tried the hack with using grocery bags and a paper towel – but too many leaks to make it worth it. The OXO bags are thick and lined with an absorbent pad to soak everything in.

OXO Travel Potty $20

OXO Travel Potty Bags $13

Shamwow

Have you ever gotten to the playground in the morning or after a storm, to find all the slides and equipment soaking wet? I always used to try to bring a towel with me, but 90% of the time I would forget, or I would end up leaving the soaking wet towel in my car and would end up having a musty, moldy smell in the car for days. I searched for months to find a towel that was super absorbent, small enough to keep in my bag and car, but that would dry quickly so I could leave it in my car at all times without getting moldy and gross. Like most things – If I can’t leave it in my car, I’m likely to forget it.

Enter, the Shamwow! Yes, like the infomercials from back in the day, LOL. Honestly, its amazing! I ordered a 2 pack with a full size and a mini. The mini lives in my stroller (for when we walk to a park) and the full size lives in my car. When we get to the playground I can quickly dry everything off. If the towel gets too soaked, you just wring it out and it keeps on working. It actually is MORE absorbent when it is damp. I have dried off entire HUGE playgrounds with this thing, I really swear by it!

When its time to go home I just wring the water out really well and lay it flat I the back of my car. It dries on its own without leaving any mildew smell.

Shamwow – Full Size and Mini $15

Picnic Blanket

I keep a waterproof picnic blanket in my car – I love this one! It is HUGE, thick, cushioned and completely water proof. I have used it right after a rain storm and no water seeps through the waterproof backing. It is a little bulky but worth it when you need a dry place to sit.

Waterproof Picnic Blanket – $30

First Aid Kid

Highly recommend getting a little first aid kit. I have one for the car and one for the diaper bag. Its nice to know I have a everything I need if someone gets hurt. I do splurge for the character bandaids for the car/diaper bag because I find they cure boo-boos faster – which is definitely essential when we’re on the go. You can also make your own with your own supplies, of course! I just like the compact size and convenience of these little ones.

First Aid Kit $13

Clear Plastic Zippered Pouches

I use these zippered pouches to organized a number of things in my car and diaper bag, including extra clothes, supplies, sunscreen (to prevent leaks) etc. We have had them for over a year and they have held up perfectly! I use the medium size and that has been perfect for everything I need. You can absolutely just use gallon ziplock bags as well – I just like the durability of these.

Plastic Zippered Pouches $15 for 6 Medium

Battery Powered Jump Starter

This thing is amazing! It allows you to jump start your car without needing another vehicle/help from anyone else. I make sure its fully charged and in my car at all times in case my battery dies. But hopefully that doesn’t happen because that sounds stressful with 3 little kids, lol.

Battery Powered Jump Starter $60

Baby Carrier

I have two carries – a Lillebaby Complete Airflow and an Ergo Original. I keep one in my car and one at home, so I always have one where I need it. If you can find a second carrier used, I highly recommend 2 so you don’t have to worry about forgetting it when you need it! I bought the Lillebaby new and the Ergo was given to me by a friend. I prefer the Lillebaby for smaller babies because it doesn’t require an infant insert. I like my Ergo now that the baby is a bigger – I just feel like it has a more comfortable fit.

Lillebaby Complete Airflow – Currently $125 but watch for sales. I bought mine new for $70 last year.

Ergo Original $109

Car Trash Can

I love having a mini car trash can. Easily helps me collect wrappers from snacks, tissues, wipes, etc. I keep mine in front of my center console up front.

Car Trash Can $12

Other Items:

  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray
  • Baby Powder – perfect for cleaning off sandy feet after playing at the beach! I keep this in my car and diaper bag
  • Febreze – for when you leave a diaper in the car for 3 days and the car reeks
  • Bubbles – love having these at the playground for my little one – helps keep her entertained
  • Beach toys – we love visiting local beaches in the summer so it helps to keep a few toys in the car so I don’t forget them.
  • Extra Clothes for each girl – its always a good idea to have extra clothes! I’ve learned to pack full, complete outfits including socks, undies and shoes. I learned the hard way when potty training that when accidents happen even the shoes fall victim. I also keep an extra shirt for myself just in case – especially helpful if you have a little one who spits up a lot.
  • I also have a few designated car toys that we love. I will do a separate post on those, but you can access the links by visiting my amazon storefront and clicking on the “Car Toys” list. Click here to visit my Amazon Storefront!

That’s It!

Hope you’ve found this helpful! Would love to know if you’ve set up your own car kit, and if you keep anything different in it! Having everything already pre-loaded in the car REALLY helps me get out in the morning. It’s so much less stress to know that I already have everything I need. Of course I still forget things all the time, but at least I know the essentials are there! The hard part is remembering to keep it stocked once you run out of something. I try to check everything once a week or so and refill as needed.

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