Being a new mom is hard. There are so many new things to learn and you’re going to forget important things, especially when you go out with your baby. Therefore, experienced moms will tell you to always have a baby essentials kit for the car. Think of it as a Baby Emergency Kit, or perhaps an “Oh Crap Bag”.
What To Pack In Your Baby Essentials Kit?
Whether you are cloth diapering or using disposable diapers, you will need several diapers. Pack as many diapers as your diaper bag/baby car bag can handle. This is especially important if you have a newborn since they go through more diapers than older babies.
Don’t forget to:
- restock your baby car bag/ emergency car kit as you use the diapers;
- replace outsized diapers.
A Portable Changing Mat
A travel changing mat is always a good idea for a baby car kit. You never know where you are going to need to change your baby, and having a changing pad ready and waiting is very helpful.
If your baby car bag/ emergency car kit is big enough to take a large wipes pack, put one in. Wipes are not just for cleaning bottoms. You can also use them for wiping hands, faces, and everything else.
As with diapers, check your wipes stash occasionally and replenish them as needed.
A Change of Clothes For Baby
Babies are bound to get themselves dirty. There could be a diaper blowout, a food mess, or a spit-up. Be prepared for any eventuality by having a change of clothes ready.
A Change of Clothes For You
You’re going to get messed on. Accept it, it is a given. Prepare for it by having a simple change of clothes in your emergency car kit. Pack something neutral that will go with whatever you are wearing.
Burp Cloths/ Bibs
You are likely to need burp cloths and/or bibs for younger babies, and bibs for older babies. Whatever you choose to pack, make sure that:
- it can effortlessly suck up liquids;
- it is not too thick—you will need it to easily slip under your baby’s chin.
Always keep a blanket in your emergency car kit. Your baby may be on a strict nap schedule, but nap times can change and by having a blanket, you will always be ready for it.
A simple blanket is great to have during the winter because you can use it to cover your baby. However, have one during the summer too!
- A blanket can be laid on the ground for your baby to play on.
- It can be extra padding for a changing mat.
- Sometimes the air conditioner in some buildings is too high and your baby may feel cold.
If you are changing a diaper in a park or the side of the road, there may be nowhere to wash your hands. This is when hand sanitizer will come in very handy. Also, keep in mind that kids touch things all the time, so a bottle of hand sanitizer will help you keep them clean.
Some babies need little sun exposure before they start burning. Anticipate this by having sunscreen ready.
A Board Book and/or Toy
Some moms recommend packing an old, familiar toy that your baby loves. Others recommend you pack a brand new toy that will grab your baby’s attention. Choose whatever you think will suit your baby.
Pacifiers and a Pacifier Clip
As a new mother, there are few things more stressful than knowing your baby wants a pacifier, but being unable to find one. Avoid that stress by having extra pacifiers and at least one pacifier clip so that it stays attached to your baby.
If you are breastfeeding, you need to stay hydrated. If your baby is formula-fed, you’ll need sterile, filtered water if you are preparing a bottle away from home.
Baby Feedings: What To Pack In Your Baby Essentials Kit
If you feel comfortable nursing in public, you’re good to go. If you are a little less comfortable, pack a nursing cover.
Formula Fed Babies
For formula-fed babies, pack pre-made baby formula. Otherwise, pack sterile water, formula, and a clean baby bottle.
Babies on Solids
Note From The Author
I cannot stress enough the importance of a baby essentials kit for the car. Even though we rarely plan to use it, it has saved us in many circumstances. And it’s not just when we are away from home. There have been times when we forgot to buy diapers, and the only diapers left were found in the emergency kit.
Our calculator uses data provided by the CDC's Baby Growth Charts and the diaper manufacturer's sizing and usage charts. CDC data is based on the average growth rate of a child.
However, not all children are the same. Please use the data provided as a general estimate to help you plan your diaper purchases.
How many diapers per day?
What size diaper to choose?
|SIZE NB||UP TO 10 LBS|
|SIZE 1||8 - 14 LBS|
|SIZE 2||12 - 18 LBS|
|SIZE 3||16 - 28 LBS|
|SIZE 4||22 - 37 LBS|
|SIZE 5||OVER 27 LBS|
|SIZE 6||OVER 35 LBS|
Here's a helpful chart of expected weight gain over the next 6 months. Hover over the chart for more details.
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