Making a Mom Emergency Kit Every Mama Needs


emergency mom kit

Picture this…I intended on taking a quick trip to the grocery store to pick up more milk (I know, I should never have let it get that low). I’m on my way to the grocery store, which is literally only five minutes away, and all of a sudden, I smell something coming from the back seat. My youngest took the most opportunistic time to let it all out. “Okay, I’ll change her as soon as I get to the store,” I think. Then it suddenly dawns on me that I forgot to grab the diaper bag in an attempt to make a quick dash out the door! You would think that I would be slightly more prepared!

To make a long story short, this “10-minute” trip to the store turned into a 30-minute ordeal, including a drive back home to get the diaper changing essentials! I couldn’t believe that someone who considers their car their second home was so ill-prepared!

Well, mamas, in my never-ending quest to be a more efficient mom, I introduce you to my “Mom Emergency Kit.”

What you ask is a Mom Emergency Kit? It’s basically a box in my car that I can run to in case of “emergencies” (no ladies, there’s no alcohol). I started by purchasing a small box at the dollar store, then stuffed it with everything I felt that my family could need! While I personalized it to tailor my family’s needs, many of the objects I think you will find instrumental.

Here’s what’s in my kit:

  • Diapers: I usually keep at least 1 or 2 diapers in there for when I forget to grab that diaper bag on the way out (it happens more often than I’d like to admit).
  • Baby Wipes: For diaper explosions, sticky hands and mouths, or quick car spills, I can’t imagine how I ever lived without baby wipes.
  • Antibacterial wipes or sanitizing gel: Perfect for leaving the park, on the way home from school, or after any public event where germs are running high.
  • Bandaids: I tend not to carry the whole box around since the boxes take up space. One or two Bandaids fit perfectly in a neat little box and are perfect for minor scrapes and scuffs.
  • Neosporin: I always keep a small tube of Neosporin for kids. The kids one is perfect because it kills the infection without the painful sting!
  • Sunscreen: Whether you forgot to throw it in the diaper bag or didn’t realize the sun was going to shine so bright that day, an extra stick or tube of sunscreen will never hurt to include in your box.
  • Extra underwear for older kids: For the occasional “oopsie!” an extra pair of underwear can never hurt!
  • Ziplock bags: Ziplock bags have literally been my saving grace on so many occasions since having kids. To think that before kids, I only knew them to hold sandwiches? I always keep a few on hand for dirty diapers, an impromptu garbage can, holding snacks in the backseat, unannounced vomiting spells, etc. (I could go on).
  • Granola bars: Perfect for when road trips take longer than needed, or even if mom occasionally forgets to pack a snack for your child’s lunch (never, right?).
  • Kleenex: Ever have your child sneeze in the wintertime and look in your rearview mirror to find some strange goo hanging from your child’s nose…Kleenex.
  • Formula packets (if your children are appropriate age): Formula packets are always useful to make a bottle “on-the-go” when needed.
  • Small flashlight: Strictly in case of emergencies. Accidents do happen, especially at night.
  • Extra baby bottle: Yes, I have left the house without bottles in my haste to get errands done. An extra bottle (along with my formula) ensures that my child can have a bottle, anytime, anywhere.
  • Bug spray or bands: Perfect for a quick spray when you are at the park, going for a picnic, or walk with friends.

Not currently in my box but great suggestions from other moms:

  • Change of clothes: While I never stray too far from home, it’s probably a good idea to keep an extra pair of clothes in your car for potty accidents, falls in the mud, or if you ever get stuck in the rain.
  • Hand warmers: For families living in very cold climates, it probably is a good idea to keep these in the car for outdoorsy events or if you get stranded on the side of the road with a non-working car!
  • Chapstick/Aquaphor: Also great for cold conditions, chapped lips, diaper rashes, or any irritation that makes a car ride for your children unbearable.
  • Water: I tend to only keep water in my emergency kit during the fall and winter months. The summers in NY get very hot, and I don’t like to drink water after it has been sitting in a hot car for months.
  • Benedryl: For allergic reactions, you didn’t see coming!
  • Tylenol/Motrin: For unexpected fevers on long drives.

Feel free to personalize your kit as needed. My kit also changes as the seasons do. Don’t have a car? Make a walking kit! For all, you city moms, pack up a little bag with the same items you might need while out and keep them at the bottom of the stroller!

My biggest piece of advice to keep your Kit stocked is to refill essentials as soon as you’ve used them all up so no never find yourself in another “uh-oh” situation!

Happy driving mamas! May you never end up in the car without a fully stocked diaper bag, but if you do, your Mom Emergency Kit will save the day!

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Erica currently lives in Rye Brook with her husband, two daughters (Ella and Lena) and dog Mabel (their first born). She is a speech pathologist, working part time for the Tarrytown School District. When she's not at school, she's running her own speech practice for individuals with communication disorders. In her spare time (yeah right), she loves to read, create materials for other educators to use, and aspires to be in pajamas by 6:00 p.m. every night (don’t judge)!