Packing a Mommy’s Car Survival Kit

Packing a Mommy’s Car Survival Kit

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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  • 1
  • Robin Rue

    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 🙂

    • Mommy Engineering

      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

  • Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh

    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.

    • Mommy Engineering

      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

  • Erica Kastner

    GREAT ideas, thank you!!!

    • Mommy Engineering

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Prasnavani Pasuvalingam

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

    • Mommy Engineering

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

  • Kristina Paché

    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.

    • Mommy Engineering

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

  • Melissa Chapman

    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.

    • Mommy Engineering

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

  • Cecilia C. Cannon

    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!

    • Mommy Engineering

      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

  • Beth Davidson

    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.

    • Mommy Engineering

      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

      • Beth Davidson

        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.

  • Rebecca Timmins

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

    • Mommy Engineering

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

  • Ann Wording

    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.

    • Mommy Engineering

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

  • Erica

    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.

    • Mommy Engineering

      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

  • Shell

    These are great mama tips 💕

    • Mommy Engineering


  • Elle Butler

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

    • Mommy Engineering

      Very true! Husbands are messy lol

  • Pam

    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!

    • Mommy Engineering

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

  • Mica

    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!

    • Mommy Engineering

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

  • Cassie Liz

    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!

    • Mommy Engineering

      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

  • Karen Morse

    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!

    • Mommy Engineering

      Thanks so much! Yes poop explosions are serious business!

  • La Shell

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

    • Mommy Engineering

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

  • Heather Johnson

    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.

    • Mommy Engineering

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

  • Joanna Yanez

    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.

    • Mommy Engineering

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

  • TheLocdBella

    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.

    • Mommy Engineering

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

  • Jiya B

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

    • Mommy Engineering


  • Terri Steffes

    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.

    • Mommy Engineering

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

  • Susan Minich

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

    • Mommy Engineering

      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

  • Jhilmil Bhansali

    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!

    • Mommy Engineering

      Absolutely the munching part!

  • Erin

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

    • Mommy Engineering

      You’re so welcome!

  • Udita Saklani

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

    • Mommy Engineering

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

  • Michelle

    This is such a cute article.

    • Mommy Engineering

      haha thank you!

  • Shannon Graham

    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.

    • Mommy Engineering

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

  • Nicola Bromley

    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!

    • Mommy Engineering

      It’s whatever works for you!

  • Joseph Matthew

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

    • Mommy Engineering

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

  • Ana De Jesus

    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

    • Mommy Engineering

      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

  • Amber Nelson

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

    • Mommy Engineering

      Absolutely! They are so useful!

  • PrimeBeauty

    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.

    • Mommy Engineering

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

  • AnnMarie John

    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.

    • Mommy Engineering

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

  • shoshana sue

    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.

    • Mommy Engineering

      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

  • Zoë Gumm

    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!

    • Mommy Engineering

      it is! thanks for visiting!

  • Alayna

    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!

    • Mommy Engineering

      So important! Those kids are a handful!

  • Suzanne Spiegoski-Decamps

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

    • Mommy Engineering


  • Lynnette Joselly

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

    • Mommy Engineering

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

  • Mary-Ellen Fimbel

    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.

    • Mommy Engineering

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

  • Brittany Muddamalle

    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.

    • Mommy Engineering

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

  • Maria Manlangit

    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 |

    • Mommy Engineering

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

  • Luzél Opperman

    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

    • Mommy Engineering

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

  • Kanani B.

    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.

    • Mommy Engineering

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

  • Jenni Petrey

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

    • Mommy Engineering

      Yes! You go mama!

  • Caroline

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

    • Mommy Engineering


  • Maria – Tough Cookie Mommy

    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.

    • Mommy Engineering

      I think wipes will stay with me forever lol

  • Ashleigh Chanel

    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.

    • Mommy Engineering


  • Phaytea’s Pulse

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

    • Mommy Engineering

      thanks for visiting!

  • Samantha Dobbin

    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

  • Christy Peeples DuBois

    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.

  • Michelle

    Good ideas.

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  • IamJingGiorgious

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