Packing a Mommy’s Car Survival Kit

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You have probably been there… vomit on your clothes or worse… Baby poop is no joke! Especially when it happens and you are no where near home! Even better when you left the diaper bag at home (I admit I never made this mistake ever again, it’s a mistake you make only once).

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There are some things you just can’t prepare for as a new parent, then there’s situations like projectile vomiting and blow outs (and I don’t mean the brazilian kind) that you can prepare for to minimize the damage. In this guide, I will put together a Mommy’s car survival kit for these very situations. It’ll be a quick packing list of items you can store in your car. It’s been my lifesaver and I know it will be yours too!

Packing a Mommy's Car Survival Kit

Packing a Mommy’s Car Survival Kit

The first, and last time, I ever accidentally left the diaper bag at home was my oldest son’s first trip to the mall. A little history about him… he was exclusively breast fed and struggled with having bowel movements. It was pretty safe to assume that if he did poop, it would be certainly a blowout.

It happened inside Dillard’s and my Mom was holding him. She looked over at me, with a little bit of fear across her face and she told me, “I think he’s doing something…” Then a rumble happened and I’m sure the sales associate across the store could hear. He was in an adorable Carter’s white one-piece that soon turned to mustard yellow. It was all over his back and down his legs. I’m laughing as I write this but it sure wasn’t funny when it was happening. It was everywhere. Since I forgot the diaper bag, I also forgot diapers so my son then pee’d on his car seat on the way home. I had so much fun to clean his car seat and my car’s not-leather seats of pee.

Had I had a survival kit in my car, I probably would’ve saved some money as I had to buy new clothes for my little guy and a shirt for me and time from cleaning those obnoxious child car seats. Plus, this survival kit is applicable for toddlers and older kids too (husbands included!). Here’s what you need to get yourself packed and ready for your child’s inevitable messy moments!

First you’ll need a medium size container that fits in your trunk without taking up too much room. This could be a x-large lunch box, large paper bag, small duffel/gym bag, medium size plastic storage bin.

For Baby:

  • 4-5 diapers
  • Hat/beanie
  • Extra socks
  • Receiving Blanket

For Everyone: 

  • Extra clothes for entire family
  • Full outfits for kids – no jeans
  • Just shirts for adults

Clean Up Necessities:

  • 1 Package of Wipes
  • 2 hand towels
  • 2-3 bottles of bottled water
  • 4-5 plastic bags, clean with no holes
  • Travel hand sanitizer


  • Sunscreen
  • first aid kit
  • bandaids
  • ointment
  • cotton swabs
  • tweezers

Miscellaneous Must-Haves:

  • Straws
  • Cups with Lids

I totally swear by this kit because it has helped me in more than one situation!  Perfect for when you have babies, awesome for the messes toddlers make and great for quick clean ups of sticky, stinky young kids (and husbands)!  It’s a lifesaver on family trips because I always seem to pack everything but the diapers and wipes!  

Thoughts to Consider

What experiences have you had with messes with your kids when you’re on-the-go?
What items would you add to this list?
Do you have a Packing a Mommy’s Car Survival Kit?

I would love to hear from you! Please leave me a comment below 🙂 Thanks!
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111 Replies to “Packing a Mommy’s Car Survival Kit”

  1. I was weird when I had babies….I kept a backpack with everything I needed as opposed to a diaper bag. It was SO much easier to carry with me and I took it everywhere 🙂

    1. There is nothing wrong with keeping a backpack instead of a diaper bag! It saves money and it probably holds a ton more things! LOL

  2. We have a lot of these things in the car now, just in case we need them. No clothes for anyone, but honestly, I just don’t have the room for that one.

    1. That’s awesome that you already have these, is it because you had one of those moments that I did when I was totally unprepared? lol

  3. Erica Kastner says: Reply

    GREAT ideas, thank you!!!

    1. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Prasnavani Pasuvalingam says: Reply

    This is much needed.. you scared me to pack a car survival kit.. packing it is my next immediate job.. thanks for sharing

    1. haha, it happens, it’s funny to look back on now but it wasn’t funny then! Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Kristina Paché says: Reply

    I’d probably add a few snacks that won’t perish so quickly and a flashlight just in case. I never thought to add an extra pair of clothes for everyone.

    1. Yeah I think I’ve been pee’d on and pooped on too many times and clothes are expensive!

  6. Melissa Chapman says: Reply

    That is the most useful post I have read this month. I don’t have a baby but my wipes in the car don’t go a long way when you need sunscreen or a change of clothes. I will get my own survival kit now.

    1. That’s awesome ! Like I said, this totally works for adults too, husbands are messy!

  7. Cecilia C. Cannon says: Reply

    I never put a kit in the car! oh, I am that mom! but I love the idea and I will just finally do it!

    1. LOL I’ve been there way too many times and spent way too much money on extras on the road because of it! Definitely a motivator when you’re broke to pack a kit and be prepared LOL

  8. Beth Davidson says: Reply

    These ideas are obviously much more practical than what I’m about to say, but… when I was in high school I used to have a can of spinach and a rock in my car in case we needed to “survive.” Lol.

    1. OMG you are so funny! I had a friend just like you! She kept canned corn in her car but we joked because she didn’t have a can opener XD

      1. Beth Davidson says: Reply

        Lol, that’s what the rock was for. Because it made much more sense to bash in the spinach than to get a can opener.

  9. Rebecca Timmins says: Reply

    Great list and yes I totally agree, you only leave the diaper bag at home once! x

    1. Right?! WHat was your not-so-fun experience without the diaper bag?

  10. Ann Wording says: Reply

    We started carrying these emergency kits when our kids were young … and now we still do, even though the kids are grown up. It’s amazing how often we reach for them.

    1. I know! My babies are toddlers now and they’re even more messy but my husband still beats them by far lol

  11. I think it is great to have an emergency kit of sorts in the car. I always hate when I get stuck outdoors when it wasn’t planned and I don’t have sunscreen. It would be nice to know that it is always available in the car.

    1. Absolutely! Sun burns are NO JOKE! I’m sure you only forget to put on sunscreen on once too and you’ll never do it again either LOL

  12. These are great mama tips 💕

  13. Elle Butler says: Reply

    All must-haves, even if you’re not a mommy.

    1. Very true! Husbands are messy lol

  14. This is so true! We keep a similar bag in our car- and my kids are almost all out of diapers! When it comes to kids, you never know what will happen and it’s just best to be prepared because no matter how many times I ask them if they want to take a jacket, they say no and chances are they’ll be complaining about the cold in an hour. For this reason, I always keep jackets in the car, too!

    1. Absolutely! Kids say no to everything but its best to be prepared anyway because well, mama knows best lol

  15. This is such a good idea! My little ones are still small so I’m always carrying the baby bag around with us – but I think having a backup kit like this in the car in case I forget or in case we run out is wise!

    We all have those newborn explosion stories too = happens to all of us!

    1. Absolutely! My friend didn’t have an explosion story and I was like, “HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE!” lol

  16. Such good ideas! You really need to carry around so so much when you have kids with you and having a cute bag is always good!

    1. Very true, cute is always nice! Some of those diaper bags are not so cute lol or they’re cute and yet not functional -.- #mommyproblems

  17. I can imagine the struggle when you forget the essentials and you have a baby that gives you poop explosions! I think it’s awesome that you put up this guide for mommies. It’s very helpful especially for the first time moms!

    1. Thanks so much! Yes poop explosions are serious business!

  18. Awww! I love this. You can never be too prepared. Little accidents and emergencies happen all the time! Great checklist!

    1. Yes this one incorporates those little accidents and the “memorable ones” lol

  19. I have all sorts of extra kid stuff in my van. Wipes and tissues and hand sanitizer are a must. In the winter I keep plenty of blankets on hand.

    1. Blankets are awesome because sometimes we just want to have a picnic at the park on the whim!

  20. Joanna Yanez says: Reply

    Wow, I never thought about putting together a kit, but those are great tips! I usually just carry around a backpack with a few things now that my son is potty trained.

    1. Yeah, even when i potty trained one child, he still is a total mess playing in the dirt and all those things boys do!

  21. TheLocdBella says: Reply

    This reminded me of the time my godson went poo in his wedding tux after we forgot the diapers. worst. day. ever. Lol! but it’s funny thinking about it.

    1. HAHAHA I know how that feels! My son peed on my dad’s brand new truck’s seats, he was not so thrilled LOL

  22. This is a great post. And yest to carry a Kit along with all essentials you mentioned is always great. Thanks for sharing.

  23. Great idea! I have a car survival kit, too, as I travel a lot for work, so I keep extra meds, clothes, shoes and make up in the car, just in case I need to stay over.

    1. Those extras are so important! It’s feels great to be prepared doesn’t it?

  24. Susan Minich says: Reply

    We were at the ocean last week and my car is covered in sand! Why didn’t I read this sooner!!

    1. LOL! Although I have to admit, I’d love to be by an ocean and to be complain about the sand in my car! <3

  25. Jhilmil Bhansali says: Reply

    Oh yes, these are so similar to the kits I pack on while on the drive. I make sure especially on the extra clothing and munching part!

    1. Absolutely the munching part!

  26. This is awesome! Thank you so much for sharing!!

  27. Udita Saklani says: Reply

    Me and my daughter go on a lot of road trips! This is good read! Taking a cue from this next time for sure

    1. wow that must be so much fun to take roadtrips with your daughter! Definitely a must have then for you!

  28. This is such a cute article.

  29. Shannon Graham says: Reply

    My older sister, when she had a new baby, forgot the diaper bag. You’re definitely right, she only made that mistake once. Loving this survival kit. Might be a cute baby shower thing to throw together as well.

    1. haha! They always have a good story though when someone said they forgot the diaper bag!

  30. Nicola Bromley says: Reply

    This kit is a great idea…I used to keep a box of similar emergency supplies in the car when my two were little, not quite this extensive though!

    1. It’s whatever works for you!

  31. Joseph Matthew says: Reply

    I have to wonder… does this work for daddy’s as well?

    1. Oh yeah! I’m sure daddy’s dont like poop explosions just as much as mommys too haha

  32. I like the idea of a survival kit especially with kids as you never know what you could need. Tweezers is always a good shout LOL x

    1. lol! we live in new mexico and cacti is NO joke! my kids love to play outside and I swear, once a month… I need to get those tweezers out and pull cactus from my kid’s legs lol

  33. Amber Nelson says: Reply

    This is a great idea. You just never know what you will need. I am in need of one of these!

    1. Absolutely! They are so useful!

  34. I’ve never thought about packing extra clothes for myself in the car, but what a smart idea. There have been plenty of times when I wished I had another outfit to put on and didn’t have time to run home.

    1. That’s so true! Though I did remember those days when I changed clothes in my car for work. haha

  35. That’s totally awesome! We all need to make sure that we have everything we need in the car otherwise it’s going to be crazy! Snacks are essential too, and entertainment.

    1. love the snack and entertainment ideas! Totally a must in our family with two toddlers!

  36. This kit should be every travelling parent’s kit. Diapers, diapers, diapers. I once run out on them while travelling and I learnt my lesson on the importance of all the extras and especially the wipes.

    1. yes yes yes! I mean, yea you could totally go to the store and buy diapers but… when you need diapers on the go.. it usually means you need it RIGHT NOW lol

  37. I must suggest this to my friend who has only just bought a car and she has a one year old. This could be an absolute life-saver!

    1. it is! thanks for visiting!

  38. A lot of my friends are having kids right now, and even I could use these tips when travelling with my new nieces and nephews!

    1. So important! Those kids are a handful!

  39. Suzanne Spiegoski-Decamps says: Reply

    This is such a great survival kit for any mommy! xo

  40. Lynnette Joselly says: Reply

    Yes when I was taking care of my Godson I noticed extra clothes were a must for the both of us.

    1. haha, yes! I’ve been peed on too many times!

  41. Mary-Ellen Fimbel says: Reply

    Great list! One thing to add is that if you live in a hot climit then you should not keep sun screen in the car as it becomes ineffective after being in temperatures over 95 or 100 degrees. I had issues with sun screen until I learned this and stopped keeping it in my car.

    1. That’s such a useful tip! I totally didn’t know that! Thanks so much!

  42. Brittany Muddamalle says: Reply

    I have had to learn over the years to be prepared on what I have in the car over the last few years. I always have extra clothes, bandaids, diapers, and towels. Just in case.

    1. Yes it is something you learn over time! new parents learn quickly, its a steep learning curve lol

  43. Maria Manlangit says: Reply

    um.. awesome list! I honestly am still trying to figure out what to have and what not to have in my car. I feel like I have it all just for the sake of having it–“in case”. LOL

    maria |

    1. oh gosh! I’ve so been there! It’s like packing a hospital bag! My husband said I packed the whole house 🙂

  44. Luzél Opperman says: Reply

    I never realised how much stuff you need when going travelling with kids! When I travel I take my bf and water! the essentials haha

    1. lol!! I love that! I miss those days!

  45. And this is why I dislike traveling with the whole crew. lol. Great list and even better and extra change of clothes is a MUST. i don’t know why it took me so long to figure that out.

    1. I know! My husband is like.. hey lets drive to see family in Utah… NO. haha

  46. Jenni Petrey says: Reply

    Yep, sounds like everything that is in my car. I am prepared for anything!!

  47. There is so many back-up things you need when going out with kids! This is a super comprehensive list and very helpful.

  48. I’ve had an informal survival kit in my car since my boys were little. It seems like you always need some of these items just when you don’t have them on hand.

    1. I think wipes will stay with me forever lol

  49. being prepared in life is definitely something that can save you in so many situations. It keeps you from making bad or impulsive decisions. This is a great kit.

  50. Phaytea's Pulse says: Reply

    There’s nothing like always being ready…these are helpful tips

  51. Samantha Dobbin says: Reply

    I can’t believe how much stuff you need when travelling with kids! This post has definitely scared me for when I have kids in the future haha

  52. Christy Peeples DuBois says: Reply

    I never thought of calling it a survival kit but I always carried extra items in my car when my children were growing up. Having it all together in one kit is the way to go. I can’t remember what exact horror I had that made me start carrying extras but they always are life savers. During the cold months I always put a couple blankets in my trin just in case we were broke down and didn’t have a lot of gas. With cell phones they probably won’t be needed but i always did it and still do. Thanks for sharing this list. It’s great to have it all listed in one place.

  53. Good ideas.

  54. […] Posts Packing a Mommy’s Car Survival Kit The Ultimate Guide to Child Proofing Your […]

  55. IamJingGiorgious says: Reply

    Great post. Oh, moms should always have the survival kit!

  56. I’d add one more item: flashlight! Changing diapers in the dark is awful!

  57. These is a great car survival list for parents! Now that my kids are older, another thing I like to have is a blanket that they can all three share in the backseat. This definitely helps comfort them during long road trips.

  58. Boy, parents don’t leave the house without a fully packed kit, lol. Was it always that way??

  59. Thanks for a great article full of plenty of great tips.

  60. Thanks for this super awesome article! I could suggest this list to my son.

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