Parenthood can be a complete scramble and the very early years are a particular challenge when it comes to getting from A to B sans baby-vom-splattered outfit or cereal-dotted hair.
It’s okay though, because with a little bit of clever preparation you can avert disaster and ensure you and your kiddo arrive looking and feeling like the confident legends that you truly are (beneath the distracting peanut-butter-smeared smokescreen.)
Here’s what you need to stow on the go:
1. Small rubbish bags
No. Wait. Make that big rubbish bags. Honestly, who knew such very small people could leave such a very large mess in their wake? Don’t go the full shipping container-sized bag, but something substantial stowed neatly in the boot will be a lifesaver when it comes to parenting rites of passage like poo-namis and vom-canoes.
2. Baby wipes
Seriously, if you have a baby you need to wipe every single thing all the time. Babies are amazingly persistent in their quest to smear the world. The only way to fight back is with truckloads of baby wipes and extremely swift hand-wipe coordination. Do not let your baby get the better of you!
Your baby’s cheeky application of hommus on her car seat is a kind of gateway drug to other smears. Show your baby that you can tidily snaffle anything they can serve up. Wipe. Wipe. Wipe. Even better, do your bit and make them a brand that gives back, like Red Nose Baby Wipes. 5% of sales goes to SIDS and Kids, so you know you’re making a difference.
3. LOTS of spare nappies
Every clever baby knows that a fresh nappy is actually an invitation to let loose. It’s kind of like when you put fresh sheets on your bed and cannot wait to get into them. Put a fresh nappy on your tot and they can’t wait to celebrate it. They think they are on the super-cool party people list and are keen to display correct social etiquette.
Experts tell us (okay, we just asked around our friends) that babies are much more likely to poop in a fresh nappy on a long trip wearing a particularly complicated outfit, so be prepared. Keep a pack in the car and no matter what your baby serves up, you’ll change it with a smile.
4. Baby-friendly first aid kit
You just never know what’s going to happen when you have a baby. It’s kind of like starring in your very own episode of Lost, complete with confusing plot twists and all kinds of bumps and scrapes and monster bites and sunburns to be had. Pack the essentials in a first aid kit and you’ll be sorted if things go pear-shaped or you enter some kind of jungle-y alternate reality (which CAN happen, especially on minimal sleep).
5. Spare blanket or muslin
The blankie is a bit like the nappy, in your child’s eyes. Give your baby a sweet-smelling, fresh specimen and they’ll see it as their solemn duty to put their own stamp on it. The prettier or more expensive, the more stamping your baby will do. They’re like the world’s youngest graffiti artists, except they use bodily fluids. Take a spare every single time you hit the road and you can thwart their evil plans in tucked-in, tidy style.
6. Hand sanitiser
Perhaps you’ve managed to keep your baby nice and clean? Nice one. Go you! But don’t forget that the whole rest of the world is full of gnarly germs and this is especially true of the haunts that mums and babies often inhabit. Shopping trollies, hand rails, door handles. Shudder.
Hand sanitiser is useful for removing local biohazards before tending to your kiddo on the go (or after tending to your kiddo, depending on the job at hand).
7. The new Avalanches CD
Okay. We’re sneaking this in, but there is absolutely no harm in exposing your child to educational stimuli and it’s especially effective when they are trapped in their car seat, unable to escape your cultural clutches.
8. Portable change mat
Sometimes when you go into one of those rooms with the emoji of someone changing a baby plastered on the door, it’s like going through the wardrobe into beautiful Narnia. Except – usually it’s not.
In the place of a snow-blanketed forest there are dirty tiles. Where a cosy cottage with a faun should be, there is a grotty change table. Instead of a sleigh, your poop-fragrant pram. You get the picture. It’s not a pretty picture, so take your change mat in the car and tote it wherever you may be.
Some high quality chocolate, little bottles of water, boxes of almonds, packets of salted popcorn. You could even have a little esky tucked in the boot and pop in some olives, cheese, dip … What? Oh yes. Of course you could also pack some snacks for the baby. Good idea.
As you can see, a little bit of thinking ahead and a lot of common sense goes a long way to making outings with your baby much nicer. Just remember that The Avalanches and some chocolate are a great place to start and you’ll be good to go!
(This is a sponsored post for Red Nose Baby Wipes)