Cruisin’ With Your Homies

While cruisin’ with your homies aka mess-making, snack-eating monsters, eh hum, I mean children, you should be prepared for anything. Because if you haven’t learned yet, you soon will that some days, you-know-what literally hits the fan, or in this case, the roof of the car. Over my four years of parenting, now including management of two toddlers simultaneously, which has been upgraded to management of a drama queen and tasmanian devil, both of whom I love dearly, I have learned a few little tricks along the way. I am no wildlife expert, or superhero, but just a plain ole mom that is learning from trial and error one road trip and one disastrous poop explosion at a time. If I may…


1. Never, I mean never EVER, back out of the drive way without snacks.

Even if your child ate to the point of a stomach ache just prior to departure, it is inevitable the second you leave the house without a snack, they will have a sudden onset of starvation. Solution: I always have nonperishable-ish snacks that we leave in the car. My favorite: pretzel chips. The kind we buy come in a resealable bag so they typically stay fresh, they are minimally messy, there is also minimal sugar, and they are more filling than many prepackaged snacks. {Bonus: they work great for moms who run out of the house in a hurry when they forget to eat too!} We also like fruit snacks because they are easy, but then you must deal with the sugar factor. We like granola bars too because they are a little more on the healthy side, but they will melt in hot cars and freeze in cold ones. The various fruit squeeze pouches are great if you don’t have temperature extremes, as they are easy to grab-n-go and fairly mess-free too!

2. Be sure to always have extra bottoms.

Whether you are at the stage of diapers, potty-training, or already potty-trained, always have extras of whatever you use. We keep 2 extra diapers in the car at all times for 2 reasons. Number one: you can never have enough. You never know if something might happen and you need to stay out longer than you anticipated, requiring more diapers. Number two: you also never know when your mind may wander off in the direction of all of the others things you have going on and you run out of the house without the diaper bag. No worries. Diapers are already in the car. For those potty-training, well, it’s hard to go anywhere without accidents. Your little one may not have yet mastered the sense of when they need to go until last minute, or in our case, the very last seconds, and this will require multiple sets of underwear and shorts/pants. If you are past potty trained, it’s still a great idea to have extras. Kids will be kids and messes will arrive in just the timeliest fashion to ruin that perfect outfit.

3. Keep a bottle of water and paper towels in the car.

We find this works well for several reasons. If you keep spare wipes, they will dry up and always at the exact time when you need them. I was taught this lesson over and over again and it finally just clicked recently. Water + paper towel = wipe. You can MAKE wipes. When you have that messy diaper and you forget to bring the diaper bag, you have wipes. When your child spills something and you have sticky hands, you have wipes. When you are trying to get a stain out of something, you have a paper towel. When your child has sudden onset of dehydration and thirst (much like the sudden onset of starvation noted above) and you run out without drinks for your 5 minute car ride, you have an emergency drink. When you start choking on your food while eating while driving, you have rescue liquid. When you decide to have a last minute picnic at the park, you have napkins. When you have scraped knees after a fall, you have clean water to rinse the wound. You really can’t go wrong with a bottle of water and paper towels! Your options are endless!

4. Leave a towel or blanket in the car.

Also, multi-purposeful. This is great to have if someone gets sleepy and needs to cuddle or if someone gets cold and needs to cover up. If you have an infant and they fall asleep when you need to transfer them without waking them, you can cover them. If you’re at the park and end up playing in the sand or water unexpectedly, you have something to dry off with. It also serves as another resource for cleaning up a big mess if need be.

5. Always carry an emergency treat.

As much as I try to plan my days around all of my little ones’ attitudes, there are some days where things absolutely have to get done and they cannot be put off to another day. I attempt to arrange my grocery shopping and doctor’s appointments in the morning hours when my children tend to be on their best behavior. Every now and then, something comes up when those things cannot be arranged during optimal hours. Cue the Dum Dums. I love this option because they are just the right sized treat. Sure they are pure sugar, but only a dab. These don’t typically melt in the summer. If your little one is attracted to sticky messes, you may want to avoid these as these little lollipops put off a lot of stickiness, but otherwise they are great!

To sum it up mamas (and for you dads who may be reading too), whether you are running errands around town or driving cross-country, stock the car with a few extras once a week and you will be prepared for anything life, or your children, might throw at you!


Happy road tripping!

What do you keep packed in your car to help make life with littles easier?

Please share!

, , , , , , ,

2 Responses to Cruisin’ With Your Homies

  1. Sarah
    Sarah February 23, 2015 at 7:39 pm #

    Great tips Kara! I love the water with paper towels idea!

    • Kara February 24, 2015 at 3:34 am #

      Thanks Sarah! 🙂

Leave a Reply