Prior to having children and a loss of social life, my ideal adventure for a weekend getaway happened to be grabbing my car keys and with some sort of destination in mind, hitting the road. I was always one of those people who had some sort of weekender bag packed in the back of my car at all times, alongside several pairs of shoes. As a result, I never had the stress of figuring out what it was that I needed to pack and discovering I had forgotten something, for everything I needed was all there.
As a first time parent, I have experienced my fair share of dreaded moments of motherhood resulting in substantial blow-outs. Unlike my earlier days, these unfortunate incidents would occur when I had merely popped down the road or had forgotten to bring the diaper bag with me. These moments would leave me scouring the boot of my car for a nappy that had slipped into the dark depths or a spare piece of clothing and when coming up with fresh air, I’d make a dash into the nearest clothing store with tears in my eyes.
Learning from my mistakes, I began browsing the internet for a sign and eventually stumbled across a post that somewhat listed what it was you needed to survive a blizzard in the states with a newborn. Not exactly what I needed as an Australian living in scorching Queensland but it led me to writing a list and heading off to Kmart the very next day. With diaper bag in tow and a bubbling determination to have a back-up in place.
First thing first, I brought a deep enough medium sized plastic container. Knowing I had limited space in the boot of my SUV as I constantly lug around my pram, any groceries and the few miscellaneous things in my boot. So anything bigger than something medium sized would be no good at all and stealing whatever space was left. That evening, I set up my on-the-go emergency car kit – Australian Newborn Edition and after perfecting it over the past couple of years, I’m finally share it with you.
Bottles of Water – The one thing you can always guarantee to find in my car is an excessive amount of bottled water in my storage bins on either side of my boot. Whether it be from my Dad drilling into us children about the benefits of having bottled water for emergency situations like the engine overheating/having to fill up the water for the radiator or having no cold water for formula bottles; I merely have to go to my boot and it’s all there. On average, I have 3x 1.5L bottles for an engine emergencies, 4 x 600mL bottles of drinking water on hand and I check these every week or so to make sure no mould or algae are growing in them.
Hand Sanitizer – I have bottles of hand sanitizer dotted around my home in our hanging station locations such as the top of my headboard, in my nappy caddy for baby, lounge room and nursery. Even have a few attached to my nappy bag and in my emergency car kit. When out and about, I tend to use the sanitizer to wipe down any surfaces or when needing to disinfect my hands. I prefer Dettol as the company proclaims to kill 99% of bacteria, doesn’t leave any film on my hands and they have an option that doesn’t contain aloe vera. Something of which, is important as myself and a few family members are highly allergic to.
Baby Wipes / Nappies – Every emergency car kit for any newborn should include the necessities which are baby wipes and 3-4 extra newborn nappies. For my son, I had a mixture of dry wipes as they were great for wiping down surfaces with my hand sanitizer as well as my regular wet baby wipes for those emergency blow-out pit stops. This time for Baby #2, I’m going to be using Water Wipes initially as I’ve heard great things (like the fact they’re made from 99.9% pure water, 0.1% fruit extract and don’t contain aloe vera!!) and they already come wet in the package so I don’t have to worry about having accessibility to water.
Spare Outfit for Mama – Learn from my mistake after having to walk into a doctor’s appointment covered shoulder to thigh in vomit and always make sure there’s a spare outfit for Mama. I make sure there is always some sort of breastfeeding friendly shirt (whether or not I’m feeding as these shirts are more comfortable), shorts/jeans depending on the season and undergarments including bra and underwear.
Bonus Tip: make sure to have a stash of feminine products (pads and tampons) for when your period graces your ever-fabulous presence and breast pads.
Soft Book / Toy – Pack an extra toy or newborn appropriate book on hand for a variety of different reasons. Distracting baby when stuck on the side of the road unexpectedly comes to mind but also the times where I’m waiting for a doctor to call out my name. For newborns, I prefer black and white books that make crinkly sounds as its has a textural and sound for developmental growth before swapping over to brightly coloured books. As for toys, anything that can be grasped, chewed on and thrown about when baby gets more active is what I gravitate too.
Extra Dummies – I often tend to keep a few extra dummies on hand as back-ups in case baby decides to spit one out and it lands on the ground or I’ve forgotten to grab one on leaving the house. Currently, my nappy bag has two extra dummies as it’s my most used accessory and my emergency car kit has one or two back-ups. If the dummy doesn’t come with a storage container, I either store them in a zip-lock bag as they’ve been sterilised or in a small Tupperware container.
Spare Pair Outfit for Baby – Remember the indescribable blow-out earlier in the post and how I had to do a mad dash into the shops with a poopy baby? Learning from this incident, I always have an extra baby outfit in my emergency kit. I always make sure it’s the same size that baby is currently wearing as there’s nothing worse than having a too small/large outfit and is appropriate for the season as there’s nothing worse than having winter clothing for summer time and vice versa.
- My recommendation for a spare newborn outfit includes:
- 2x Short/Long sleeved Onesie
- 2x stretch and grows
- Socks (which can be used as mittens or socks)
- 2x Singlet
- pair of tights
Wet Bag – In my nappy bag and emergency car kit is a wet bag and I consider it to be a must-have essential as I often put my baby’s blow-out covered onesies and my vomit covered shirt in there for the wash. These delightful bags not only contain the contents of what has happened while offering the security of knowing it’ll be contained; but they also help with locking in any unmentionable smells. I often throw these in back into my nappy bag and when it comes to emptying everything out at the end of the day, I can simply pop whatever is inside and the bag its self in the wash.
Pram Blanket – I favour using a pram blanket instead of a swaddle sometimes as I find its slightly thicker and heavier in weight for those much cooler mornings or afternoons when out and about. They also have a multipurpose use such as covering baby up in the pram to protect him/her from cooler weather or people trying to touch them (hello, it’s time of Covid and germs!), as a floor cover when baby is rolling around and I’m having to change their nappy or rolled up as a supportive tool for tummy time when at friends or my parent’s house.
Baby Diaper Cream – I’m a firmer believe in diaper cream being any parent’s essential item when it comes to tackling nappy rash and soothing baby’s general discomfort. Although I personally use Bepanthen, I’ve heard a lot about Weleda’s Calendula Natural Nappy Change Cream. Ultimately, at the end of the day when it comes to your own baby, the preference of what cream to use or not use is purely up to you.
Burp Cloths – My emergency car kit has between 2-4 burp cloths in it at any one time. I tend to pull them out when my nappy bag burp cloths have all been used and I’m in a bit of pickle because you and I both know wipes aren’t going to do jack in some situations. Extra uses for burp cloths include being used as a pee pads, reflux collectors (it’ll save you from having to strip the pram down to wash it), cloth nappies and baby blanket.
Apart from having an extra change pad for those emergency boot nappy changes, this is pretty much everything I carry around in My On-The-Go Emergency Car Kit – Australian Newborn Edition. I probably should have mentioned at the beginning that I like to pull this out once or twice a month and restock or replace with the next size up nappy, wipes and anything else that has been used from the container.
Bonus Tip: My On-The-Go Emergency Car Kit can be adjusted to suit any child’s age. Just fill with age appropriate necessities and say goodbye to stress!
I feel like having this in my car at all times has truly saved my sanity and me breaking down into tears when faced with a soiled baby. So, I definitely recommend you buying or reusing any sort of container or storage basket and stocking up with necessities you might need for your little one as you never know when it’ll come in handy.