Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How To... Pack a Car

This post will hopefully be helpful to any new parents or even some veterans! I have realized that over the past 2 years I have learned to be prepared. I was reminded of this yesterday when I had to pick Nugget up from school because she was sick.

I will take this opportunity to go over how I pack my car. Now my car can be quite a dumping ground… I know some parents know how this can happen, BUT there is a method to at least SOME of my madness.

Every person, parent or not should have an emergency kit in their car:
-Emergency blanket
-First aid kit (remember to include a dose of any medications you or your child may need)
-Gas Card (I think it is a good idea to have at least a $10 gas card on hand IN my glove compartment because I have left home without my wallet and an almost empty tank)
-I also have a tiny one use jumper box, given to me as a Christmas gift. It fits in the glove box and plugs into the cigarette lighter. Pretty cool, huh?? I will share an image below.

Emergency food:
-For everyday circumstances you should carry some basic snacks for you and your child. A long day running errands or just a spontaneous case of the munchies can make anyone cranky. Remember to consider the weather. You don’t want your applesauce to freeze or your cheese snacks to melt. Here are some ideas:
-Trail mix
-String cheese
-Fruit/dried fruit

I am also a fan of keeping at least a small “emergency” store of food, food that you can use if you for any reason become stranded away from expedient help. Maybe I watch too much Survivor Man, but you never know!! This stuff doesn’t spoil easily or often.
-Beef Jerky
-Meal replacement bars (i.e. - Cliff or Luna)

Most parents carry an extra outfit for small children. I think it is best to always have a seasonally appropriate outfit for any child you have in your car regularly AND yourself. Remember socks, shoes and undergarments! You may never need them, but there may come a day when you get caught by the rain/snow/mud/mother nature ::wink:: and you will be SOOOO thankful for that stuff! Another example: I was at work and wearing cute, but uncomfortable work clothing when my grandpa was admitted to the hospital. It was a blessing to have some casual and comfortable clothing to change into as we sat in the hospital waiting room.
-I suggest an older or cheaper pair of jeans (Old navy or Target have decent jeans under $20)
-T-shirt (I recommend a plain, solid color)
-1 piece of outerwear (jacket, fleece, hoodie)
-Old sneakers or other comfortable flats
-Cheap gloves (for winter)
-1 full outfit for your child (Wal-mart and Target have cheap and cute baby/toddler clothing for about $5 a piece. They even have cheap sneakers for under $10)

Toiletry kit:
For some of the same reasons listed above you should carry a travel size grooming kit.
-Cleansing wipes
-Hair ties
-Bobby pins

Basic make up. Single ladies, we are human! Sometimes, especially on a Friday, we may actually be invited out with friends or ::gasp:: on a date! Never be caught without at least the basics. This is also good for those days when we are running late and may forget to finish our beauty routine before heading to work:
-Lip color
-Subtle/neutral eye shadow

Baby Basics:
-Diapers (5 of them in the car somewhere) For those times when you open your diaper bag away from home to find it without any diapers.
-Toys (Keep it to a minimum, 2-3 items, and try to make at least 1 item something like a etch-a-sketch or magnadoodle)
-Books (again 2-3)
-Plastic shopping bags (for dirty diapers or soiled clothing)
-Re-usable shopping bags for the random stuff that accumulates (children’s toys, books, artwork..) having a bag on hand can help you get everything into the house in one trip.

I hope this has been at least a little helpful! Getting my car packed in a way I am now happy with took a lot of trial and error. I am very happy to have these things on hand now and I feel a lot more prepared for almost any situation.

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