Stock your stroller and car like a seasoned pro (not like a rookie)

by on April 23, 2010

in Breastfeeding,How to,Link love

Kerry and her husband Rob, are the authors of the new book, How to Have Your Second Child First: 100 Things That Are Good to Know… the First Time Around (Chronicle Books).

When our mutual friend Lisa introduced us, I told Kerry that I am frankly too lazy to review her book since it’s no longer possible for me to have my “second child first”, but that I would like to know if she could share some advice with some actual rookies. “How about what to pack your diaper bag, or what a new mom should stock in her car?”

Here’s what she said:

Stock Up

It’s a classic new parent moment: You open your diaper bag at a restaurant, and realize it’s got a thousand things in it—but not one actual diaper. Or you drive to your old office to show off your newborn, and realize you have spit-up (or worse) on your shirt.  These are but a couple of examples of why you should keep your car stocked! By keeping a few things in a cardboard box on the floor of your trunk, you have a constant insurance policy….and you don’t have to pack a bunch of stuff every time you leave the house. Want to stay longer than expected at a friend’s place but it’s almost baby’s meal time? No problem. Breasts leaking on your way to a job interview? You’re covered. Here’s what experienced parents advise keeping in your box at all times (and don’t forget to restock!) I guarantee it will save you more than once.

  • Five diapers
  • Full-size pack of wipes (to clean hands, faces, and clothing, as well as bottoms)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Bottle of water (for drinking, dealing with messes, or mixing formula)
  • Baby blanket (for warmth or to use as a changing pad)
  • Nonperishable snack (if baby’s on solids), such as a couple of wrapped teething biscuits or zwieback toast
  • Nonperishable snack for you (like an energy bar or trail mix)
  • Sustenance for one meal if your baby is not breast-feeding exclusively (i.e., bottle and dry formula and/or one jar baby food with spoon and bib)
  • Change of clothes for baby (make sure it’s size- and season-appropriate as the months pass)
  • Change of shirt for you (and spare breast pads if nursing)
  • Towel (for any number of things, from drying off playground swings to mopping up spit up; this is a great way to recycle your ratty dishtowels)
  • Extra pacifier, if your baby uses one
  • Extra favorite toy, book, or lovey, to pull out in a pinch

Going out on foot with your stroller? Don’t lug that huge diaper bag around with you. Keep two diapers, a zip-top bag of wipes, a blankie and/or small folding changing pad, and an emergency five-dollar-bill (in case you need coffee or a cookie) in the stroller basket at all times, so you can head out in a flash—without feeling like a pack mule.

Want more from Kerry and Rob? Check out their book and their blog.

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RookieMoms.com co-founder Whitney lives with her husband, son, and daughter in the San Francisco Bay Area where she writes about parenting, crafts, and activities that moms can do with babies in tow. She and Heather also publish 510Families.com, a site for East Bay parents and are the authors of The Rookie Mom's Handbook and Stuff Every Mom Should Know.

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