When you have a toddler, you should be prepared for every eventuality- which is why the ‘mum bag’ is always bulging with stuff when you travel somewhere on foot. As a mother who has forgotten some of these key items on occasion- I am now very intentional with what is in our car before we set off on a road trip or even a local drive. Here are just a few of the things I would recommend.
- A potty: Don’t just have one that you move from the house to the car because you WILL forget it at some point. Have one in each car- if you and your partner have a car apiece and one that stays permanently in the home, then you’re always covered. We forgot ours once and what was supposed to be a nice day out turned into us rushing around a small, unfamiliar town trying to find anywhere that sold potties so our daughter could go. I wouldn’t wish this experience on any parent.
- Wipes: Toddlers are messy individuals, so having some in the glove box can clean up a spill, wash a sticky face or wipe a dirty bum in a flash. Just make sure you don’t leave them out in the sun as this will dry them up and render them useless.
- Anti bac: If your toddler has to use the potty on the backseat and you need to assist, you will most definitely want to wash your hands afterwards. In the absence of a sink and soap, if you have to stop in the middle of nowhere, this is the next best thing to make you feel fresh again. Similarly, you will want to put some on your toddlers hands too- I have found that my little girl is much more willing to use anti-bac when it has a character on the bottle. It may cost a little more, but encourages good hygiene, so worth the extra expense.
- First Aid Kit: Unfortunately, accidents can and will happen with toddlers as they don’t see danger coming. Before you know it, you need to treat a grazed knee or sore a tooth. We bought a standard one from Boots and then supplemented it with more toddler specific things like teething gel and liquid paracetamol just in case. You never know what illness might befall them that you need to treat ASAP.
- Drinks and Snacks: Toddlers get grumpy when they don’t have access to endless amounts of snacks and drinks. So, if you do forget to take something that is flavour of the month, having a back-up is always a good idea. No one wants the soundtrack to their pit stop to be a screaming toddler. Plus it will save you a fortune at motorway service stations.
- Puppy Pads: Puppy pads are cheaper than potty training pads and do the same job. If your toddler is in that inbetween phase of potty training where they still wet themselves if they take a nap in their car seat, you can put one of these under their bottom so if they do leak through, you don’t have to strip the seat down and wash all of the padding. Simply dispose of the pad and the chair will be intact.
- Spare Charger: If your toddler is a fan of the I-Pad, be sure to store a spare charger in your car should you forget to pack it for your holiday or a weekend away. That way your little one will have access to entertainment even if you get stuck in a traffic jam or are on a long drive to your intended destination.
BONUS: Small toys: If your toddler is happy to occupy themselves with a few of their favourite smaller toys instead of a gadget, keep a few in the car so their journey will go by faster.
If you are worried about where to store all of these items- you could invest in a car seat organiser which can attach to the back of the driver’s/passenger’s seat so there is a central location to keep all of these items.
Ola Pelo is a leading influencer, content creator and voice-over artist- her online presence centres on her relatable family life with ‘The Pelo Fam’, coupled with a focus on life as a working mum of Nigerian heritage. As the former Global Brand Partnerships Manager at TikTok, Ola is able to provide unique insights into the growth of social media, and how this has impacted society and children both positively and negatively, so we caught up with her to hear her thoughts on this very topic of conversation...