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What to keep in Your Car Kit: Baby & Kid Edition

what to pack in your car kit

Picture this - you're at the park with your kids, somebody falls and scrapes their knee, or trips into the fountain, or poops on their pants, or the sun comes out in full force when the forecast was for cloudy, and you forgot to refill the diaper bag before you left. Oh no!! This is when you will be SO glad you packed a car kit! This is a bag or a box of items you keep in your car for emergencies like these, where you may not have a fully stocked diaper bag, but can't go anywhere with the situation at hand!


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I'll list off some commonly stocked items, but depending on your location you may not want to keep some of these in the car 24/7 because some items can spoil or become damaged/unusable in extreme heat or cold.

You can store these items in anything you want, whether that be a soft sided bag, a car crate, or a plastic tub with a lid. That's up to you! I like to use a tote, and honestly I bring it in and out of the car because my husband may leave it in the garage if I don't keep track of it, and I keep items like snacks and medications I don't want to leave in the car through crazy temp changes. This is also great to have on road trips to avoid extra stops!

Car kit for emergency supplies for moms and babies

For example, something like this divided tote with interior and exterior pockets, or as simple as a plastic tub or box to hold everything. I personally use some totes I already have but I find they're either a bottomless pit or not big enough. I do like the Light+ totes from Cleverly Bags a lot. They have pockets on the inside.

For first aid

  1. A small first aid kit - pack your own, or use something like this inexpensive kit from Amazon because you never know when you may need some sanitizing wipes, antibiotic ointment, bandaids, or a tick remover.

  2. Sunscreen and bug spray - pick your own favorite brands and SPFs, this is something I recommend having because no kid will want to turn around and go home as soon as you arrive because you have no sunscreen, or you're getting bitten by a ton of bugs and have no spray.

  3. Water for rinsing - a spare bottle or two for rinsing hands or cuts/scrapes never hurt anybody. Even if this gets exposed to temp changes like hot car summer, this will still work for rinsing. I've seen people use a special nozzle on the end to control the spray so you don't pour out the entire water bottle at one time. You could utilize your postpartum Peri Bottle if you still have it!

  4. Hand sanitizer - you should always have a way to clean dirty hands! Whether its liquid sanitizer, spray, or wipes, have at least one thing on hand.

  5. Medications I would recommend not storing in the car, the fluctuation in temperature can ruin them.

Linens and clothing

  1. Don't go too crazy, but one extra outfit per kid is a decent idea. Even if it's just a shirt. And someone always loses a sock! I even bring a spare pair of shoes for my kids (depending on where we're going) because someone ALWAYS steps in a puddle, and instead of going home early we're able to keep on walking/playing where we're at. We usually go to parks a bit of a drive from our house so it's worth it for that extra time.

  2. A blanket or towel in case someone gets wet that wasn't supposed to get wet.

  3. For littler babies, a spare burp cloth or rag of any kind. Babies are messy, and get all kinds of liquids on stuff!

  4. A spare shirt for mom/dad - I can tell you personally, living in the humid hot summer in the midwest, we have greatly appreciated having a spare non-sweat soaked shirt in the car.

  5. If you live somewhere you may do impromptu swimming, you could consider swimsuits. If you have a large bag or box for all this stuff, this won't take up much more space in there! You could add towels or other beach items as well if that's something you do often. Target has a great towel bag for about ten bucks.

  6. A bag to hold any soiled items, you don't need a specific PUL lined wet/dry bag (though they are reusable and excellent) you can tuck a trash bag or ziploc bag inside.

Snacks or stuff to eat with

  1. You could keep some kind of non-perishable snacks in here, like crackers or granola bars or whatever else won't spoil quickly or melt. You never know when you might need something. Also- gummies will melt in a hot car. And congeal together into one mega gummy.

  2. If you have smaller babies that need things like baby pouches or tiny spoons, add a couple things in there for them too. Again- you never know!

  3. Snacks for adults too, nobody likes a hangry driver!

  4. I would keep some water on hand but keep in mind it's not recommended to leave plastic bottles in a car that'll fluctuate in temperature often. This is why I bring my kit in and out when we go.

  5. Snack spinners are popular, this is something I would fill before leaving rather than keeping in the car.

  6. If you have a bottle fed baby, bring a clean bottle and extra whatever goes in it (pumped milk, formula etc)

Random things to occupy kids

  1. A book or two for kids that are old enough to hold them and look at the pictures or read them.

  2. A handful of small toys or puzzles, anything to occupy bored kids if you get stuck or delayed getting to where you're going. Car bingo is popular.

  3. Babies can get a kick out of anything that isn't a toy, so no need to pack a dozen big baby toys. Sometimes they'll love to hold onto and inspect your chapstick.


  1. A tiny car potty and bags may be useful if you have a kid who's out of diapers and you're not near a bathroom when you need one. Wipes as well, of course.

  2. For real car emergencies, you could get some things like road flares, fold out cones, etc.

  3. A blanket for your kids if it's cold where you live, or winter coats (which can't be worn in car seats but you may need if you get stuck somewhere!) I have a couple of these $9 blankets from amazon and they're actually pretty great. I even brought one in my hospital bag when I had my third baby.

  4. A spare phone charger or battery pack in the event you're stuck or out longer than expected and you hadn't planned on needing to re charge your phone battery.

I hope this brief post gives you a general idea of what you may need or want to keep in your car kit for some spare items that aren't in the diaper bag! I have a diaper bag packing post as well, you can find that here. And check out my top 7 favorite diaper bags here, and a list of diaper bags by budget!


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