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When I first became a mother, doing everything felt monumental. Leaving the house with a small child was so scary to me, so I avoided it as much as possible. But, you can’t be homebound forever, right? Errands need to be ran, groceries, doctor’s appointments, etc. So, I realized I needed a plan.
Here are a few tips to help get your car ready for leaving home with a baby.
Install the Car Seat Safely
The most important piece to leaving the house with baby safely is to make sure the little one is riding correctly in their car seat. Here’s an ultimate travel guide for car seats.
Between the car seat manual and your car manual, there may still be questions about installing the car seat into your vehicle. Plus as your baby grows, you need to continue to adjust the settings on your car seat installation.
It helps to give peace of mind when you get your car seat installation inspected (this includes convertible car seats, infant car seats, and car seats for toddlers). Your local police department or even the hospital may do periodic car seat inspections. You can read about how Cars.com does car seat checks here.
We initially used an infant car seat for my baby Graco Snug Ride), and when he outgrew it by height, we switched to a convertible car seat that allows him to continue to rear face until he exceeds a certain weight limit (40 pounds for my Graco MyRide).
Pack your Car for Baby Needs
Having a fully-stocked diaper bag is great, but I like to be doubly prepared. What if you forget to restock something in your diaper bag? Well if your car is also stocked, you will more likely have what you need. So I like to reuse an empty diaper box and stock it full of baby essentials and keep that box in my SUV dog box or seat floor. I find it much easier to change my child in the trunk on the go than hope the bathrooms will have a changing table, so having the box ready to grab is super helpful.
My diaper box car kit is usually stocked with extra diapers, wipes, disposable changing pads, and baggies for garbage. I have some changes of clothes, a baby blanket, and some toys. And food. I always carried extra formula, and now I carry tons of toddler snacks.
Plan your Car for Your Needs
Moms tend to forget ourselves, but we need provisions too! Be sure to have plenty of water and snacks, so mama stays hydrated and in case of munchies. Also, keep a change of clothes in case the baby covers you with baby fluids. Keep a phone charger so you can always call for help if you need it. I don’t like to let my gas tank get too low, so I fill up before it gets lower than a quarter tank.
What do you have in your car to make you ready to go with a baby?