If your diaper bag (PACKING THE DIAPER BAG BLOG) is an extension of your home, your car is your other home. You are bound to spend a good amount of time inside your car, and after you give birth, you will have to make a lot of adjustments for your newborn baby. This is where this list comes in!
While it is possible that you may stay at home with your baby most days, there will be at least several times a month that you have to go out. Doctor appointments, for example, are inevitable. And we’re not talking about quick trips to the grocery store yet!
You see, every moment spent inside the car should be well-planned and well prepared for when you have a newborn. With this said, it is crucial to make sure that you and your car are ready for the challenge.
Don’t know where to begin? We have detailed all 27 things that you should always have in your car if you have a newborn baby – from gear to baby essentials to mommy essentials! It’s safe to say that we pretty much got you covered.
Note: To store organize these baby and mommy essentials (excluding the baby gear), get a big box or a diaper caddy.
- Car Seat
The first and most important gear that you need to get is a car seat. While you can opt to get a car seat especially for infants, there are many safe options for convertible car seats that are more practical. Just make sure that they fulfill all the current safety requirements.
- Car Seat Monitor (or Rear Seat Mirror)
You may also opt to get a car seat monitor, which is a gadget that can help you supervise your baby behind you. If car seat monitors are too pricey, you can also install a rear seat mirror, which also does the job.
It is also helpful to install sunshades on the windows of your car. Even if the weather was gloomy when you started driving, it’s entirely possible that the sun will be up while you are in the middle of the road.
- White Noise Machine
While most babies fall asleep easily at the hum of a running car, you may also want to get a portable white noise machine for your car. You can choose to get a rechargeable one or one that plugs into the USB port on your dashboard.
- Sling or Carrier
Try to always have a sling or a baby carrier with you to make carrying your newborn more comfortable. To avoid forgetting it at home, it is very helpful to have one permanently inside the car.
- Extra Diapers
Now, let’s talk about the contents of your box. A newborn baby goes through many diapers in a day! To be safe, you can keep a whole box of diapers, or a dozen, inside your car. Make sure to monitor your usage and refill when you’re almost running out of diapers.
- Baby Clothes
If two changes of clothes go into your diaper bag, you can definitely store more clothes inside your car. Go for 10 sets of clothes if you can. Just don’t forget to regularly check the clothes to see if they still fit your baby.
- Two Cases of Wet Wipes
Keep one case of wet wipes inside the glove compartment for easy access. This is in case of spills. Then keep another one at the back at your car. This time, the second case is for wiping your baby and for cleaning up leakage.
- Paper Towels
Also keep a roll of paper towels inside the car to supplement your supply of wet wipes. You only need one, and it goes inside the baby box.
- Spray Cleaner
A spray cleaner is crucial if you are driving with a newborn baby! First, it will disinfect your car, which is helpful after a diaper blowout. Second, most spray cleaners are scented, so it may help mask unpleasant odors. Make sure to choose one that is baby-friendly and/or organic.
You can never have enough baby blankets! Baby blankets are very comfortable and can help soothe your baby. Also, they are versatile and, in a pinch, can be used as a sunshade, a nursing cover, a stroller cover, and more.
- Changing Mat
However, even if you can also use a blanket as a changing mat, it is best to get one that is waterproof. Leaks are bound to happen, and you wouldn’t want them to stain the seat of your car.
To keep your baby entertained and soothed, especially during longer trips, you should always have a couple of plush toys inside the car. Soft rattles work great, too!
- Wash Cloths
Wash cloths are a baby essential, too. Even if you are usually vigilant, mom brain does happen and you may find yourself forgetting your wet wipes at home. You can easily use wash cloths wet with a bit of water.
- Trash Bags
Keep a canister or container of trash bags inside your car for soiled diapers. While any trash bag works, you can opt to get one that scented to mask the odor.
- A Big Bottle of Alcohol or Hand Sanitizer
Never leave home without at least one bottle of alcohol or hand sanitizer! With all the things that you are holding throughout the day – dirty diapers included – you need to disinfect your hands every now and then.
- First Aid Kit
If you have a first aid kit at home, you should also have one inside the car. Here’s a quick list for your baby’s first aid kit:
- Nail clippers
- Diaper rash cream
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Medicine dropper
- Cotton balls
- Nasal aspirator
- Nasal drops
- Gas drops
- Sterilized Water
It is also wise to keep always keep a bottle of sterilized water inside your car. While infants shouldn’t be given water, water is helpful in cleaning baby up, wetting aforementioned washcloths and cotton balls, and more.
- Optional: Milk Bottles
If you are formula-feeding, mix-feeding, or pumping, then there should absolutely be milk bottles inside your car.
- Optional: Formula Powder
If you are formula-feeding or mix-feeding, don’t forget to bring with you a small can of formula powder especially during long trips.
- Optional: Pacifier
If you baby uses a pacifier and has a preference, get three identical pacifiers and keep one at home, keep the next inside your diaper bag, and keep the third one inside your car.
- Change of Clothes
If your baby has several sets of clothes stored inside your car, then you should have them, too! Keep two or three tops and one or two bottom in case of emergencies (read: diaper blowouts and leaky breasts).
- Drinking Water
Whether you are a breastfeeding mom or not, you should always stay hydrated.
- Optional: Nursing Pads
The let-down reflex is real (THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT BREASTFEEDING BLOG), and the sound of your baby crying in the backseat can send your hormones on an overdrive. This can cause your breast milk to leak. So don’t forget your nursing pads!
- Optional: Breast Pump
While you don’t have to get another huge electric breast pump, you can certainly get a portable manual pump. This is helpful in case your breasts engorge and your baby does not feel like feeding yet.
With this list, you and your car will be running smoothly in no time!