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Our littlest Peanut is somewhere around the one and a half range. I’d tell you exactly how many months old he is, but, he’s number four, and one and a half seems so much more reasonable for my mom-of-many brain to remember. Some may say he’s a poor, deprived child because he’s the youngest and after we’ve been-there-done-that a few times, he gets the short end of the stick. I say he’s lucky, because we have made just about every parenting mistake under the sun, and he’s lucky enough to have an experienced Mom and Dad looking out for him.
Cute, right? He knows how to ham it up for the camera.
We leave for our big move in just a couple weeks, and I am going to be driving the 16 or so hours to our new home with Peanut in the van. The big kids are going to be with Daddy in the other car, so it’s just the two of us (and the dog) for the trek. I’m pretty stoked, because that means I can listen to whatever audiobook I choose, and Daddy gets to answer all the “are we there yet?” and “is this Mississippi?” questions.
Today, I started packing for the ride, and the first thing I did was put together a survival kit for Peanut and I. I wanted to have all of his things together and easily accessible, and I didn’t want to have to dig around in a diaper bag for them.
We started with a trip to Costco (the promised land for large families like mine) and stocked up on necessities. We ended up with a ton of single serving snacks, water, juice, a giant teddy bear (because, we can) and of course, Huggies Little Movers Plus diapers and wipes. I always snag our Huggies from Costco- it’s the only store that carries the Huggies Little Movers Plus diapers- and I haven’t found a better deal on diapers! I love knowing I have tons and tons of diapers on hand. I have a drawer set aside for storage, and I never, ever run out.
When we got home, I started assembling our survival kit. I used two interlocking baskets, and dedicated one to food items, and one for everything else.
I started with the most important things first- diapers.
I’ve learned that when you travel with kids, you have to always be prepared for messes. I always bring zip-top bags with me (although any bag that can be tied or sealed will work in a pinch) so if I need to change Peanut somewhere without access to a trashcan, I can seal off the smell for the ride.
Another pro-mom tip: keep an extra outfit, or two, in the car at all times. I store mine in zip-top bags, one outfit per bag, so if I do need to change a kiddo on the go, I can put their dirty outfit in the bag I stored the clean outfit in. It comes in very handy to have a change of clothes ready, and a storage solution for messes, especially if you’re going to be allowing a child to snack in the car during a long car ride.
I also keep a changing pad (or towel) in the car, along with hand sanitizer for the on-the-go change. Huggies Little Movers Plus are idea for road trips because they hold more (hence, the Plus) and can last up to 12 hours. Don’t leave your little one in the diaper for 12 hours on the go- but do feel good about letting them nap while you drive! We’ve never had an issue with leaks- Huggies Little Movers Plus have special grip strips to keep the diaper in place- even for active babies.
I added toys to this basket- for this trip, Peanut has his soft activity book- it has things to do on each page, tabs to lift, mirrors to look at, zippers to zip. He also has a stack of blocks- sure they will probably end up on the floor of the van after a while, but he’s strangely good at hooking them together and they keep him busy for a very long time. He also has a backpack covered in buckles that will entertain him for a long time, some toy cars, and a stuffed lovey for when he gets sleepy.
The second basket holds snacks and other edible goodies. I keep a leak-proof cup in this basket, along with extra water. I’ll have a cooler in the car for me with plenty to drink along the way as well. The basket gets a variety of snacks- granola bars, chips, dried fruit and other easy to eat goodies.
Pro-mom tip- be careful with what you allow your kiddo to eat in the car. I know it probably doesn’t need to be said, but even kids who eat well and often are at risk of choking. In a rear facing car seats, you wouldn’t be able to see when your child is struggling, so plan on eating at pitstops along the way instead of letting them munch and ride.
Finally, I keep extra diapers (I do not want to be caught without- you never know!) and a towel in the back of the car. The towel can be used to cover the car seat when you stop to eat or visit a rest stop, and help keep the car seat buckles cool. It’s so hot here- every little bit counts on keeping Peanut comfortable.
Place your survival kit in the back of the car- be careful to be sure that it’s not in the way, or in a place where it could hurt someone in an accident. I keep mine on the floor of the car under the back of his rear-facing car seat. I can reach it easily here, and it’s is snug enough to not be rolling around my car!
If you have a long trip coming up, you can grab a printable packing list for your own survival kit below!