I love being the mom to a precocious little toddler. This age is seriously so much fun. I was not kidding when I claimed in my previous post that the Terrible Two’s Are Not So Terrible. The age of two is actually a riot, but there is also a component of this age that tends to activate your survivalist instincts. This is why every toddler mom needs a survival kit.
Allow me to provide with an example that happened to me recently and I would bet you have had a very similar experience. I arranged for my daughter to attend an event at a local cupcakery in which she would get to meet “Elsa”.
Perhaps I have mentioned my daughter’s obsession with the movie Frozen and the cast of characters from Arrondale? (Check out my posts here on How to Survive Your Toddler’s Obsessions and my daughter’s particular Anna and Elsa obsession.)
There we were at the cupcakery. My daughter was adorned in one of her favorite Elsa outfits. She had just greeted “Elsa” and given her a big hug (for my shy daughter this was HUGE!) There was a toddler sized table surrounded by toddler sized chairs for all the little princesses.
It was a tight squeeze with all the princesses plus all the moms, dads, and grandparents armed with their cameras and smart phones. It was like we had all traveled down the Rabbit Hole, but without the aid of Alice in Wonderland’s shrinking violet.
Just as “Elsa” was distributing an arts and crafts activity, with all the tiny princess eyes fixed upon her, mesmerized to be in her presence…it happened. One of the princesses, sitting right next to my princess, projectile vomited all over the table, narrowly missing hitting Elsa herself.
The shop owner was horrified. The mom and grandma sprung into action. One grabbed the girl and the other began frantically cleaning. The rest of the princesses were still entranced by Elsa, but we moms began to survey the situation. This is the perfect example of why every mom needs an emergency survival kit.
When you have a group of toddlers in a small space, it is inevitable that one bodily fluid or another will be crashing the party.
What to Pack in Your Toddler Mom Survival Kit
Even if your toddler is already potty trained, you need to have baby wipes within an arm’s reach at all times. You can use them to wipe hands, faces, and bottoms with equal efficiency. Baby wipes are also handy to have around to wipe away deodorant marks on your black blouse.
You may think your toddler is potty trained. You may have ensured that your toddler went potty before leaving the house. They say, “accidents happen” for a reason. Be prepared with diapers, pull-ups, and/or changes of underwear. It is the one time that you forget them that you will need them the most.
A Change of Clothes
You need a change of clothes. When I say, “you”, I mean YOU. YOU need to have a change of clothes packed for both yourself and your toddler. If disaster ensues, expect to be caught in the crossfire. Also, be sure to swap these extra outfits with the changing of the seasons. Wearing long-sleeved flannel in July is no picnic for anyone.
Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer
Bath and Body Works sells pocket-sized antibac in a variety of scents and colors. I suggest keeping two in your purse, three in your diaper bag, one in your pocket, and one on a rope around your wrist. Just have those babies armed and loaded. My daughter, who loves to clean, once picked up the toilet scrubber in a public restroom. I pretty much emptied one entire bottle on her hands. You just never know what those inquisitive little hands will find! Be ready!
You want to have a stash of band-aids, of various sizes, on you at all times. One, you may need it for actual first aid emergencies. Two, you may need it if the old band-aid for the nonexistent boo boo falls off while you are out. Not every place even sells Frozen themed band-aids, so you must have a backup plan.
Stickers can be used in place of a band-aid for an imaginary boo boo, should the need arise. You may also use stickers as a distraction or for positive reinforcement. For example, “Do not touch the vomit! Here is a sticker!” or “Thank you for waiting in this long line with me! Here is a sticker!” They work!
A toddler may not sit still for a three course meal…or even a one course meal. However, toddlers love snacks! A mama must always be prepared with toddler snacks. Not only can snacks rescue your child from a near meltdown, but they can save you from keeling over after a day of chasing around that energizer bunny you call your toddler. At home, I like having fruit and veggies readily available. If I am heading outward bound, I pack dried fruits, nuts, and Goldfish.
With all the projectile vomiting, toddler tantrums, and potty accidents, you may be thinking that I might suggest packing a flask containing an adult beverage. I will not say it has not crossed my mind, but the thing about survival with a toddler is that you need to have your wits about you. A flask of coffee? Now that could work.
For your munchkin, pack an extra sippy cup, a bottle of water, and a box of apple juice. If you can find sugar-free apple juice, go ahead and get that. Emergencies can have a sugar-like effect on toddlers. You do not need to add fuel to the fire.
A Song Catalog
This is not an item that you physically pack in your survival kit. However, this is one of the most important things you need to have as a toddler mom. Be ready to belt out the lyrics to your toddler’s favorite nursery rhyme or song. Elsa, in the cupcake shop, immediately began belting out “Let It Go” as the frantic cleaning took place around her.
I, too, know all of the lyrics to the Frozen soundtrack and have not been afraid to use them in case of emergency.
Other tried and true favorites are, of course, “The Wheels on the Bus” and “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”. Toddler meltdown? Bodily fluids literally underfoot? Something sharp, fragile, rare nearby begging to be touched? Why not sing, “If You’re Happy and You Know It?”
Allow me to be specific about the toys you need to pack in your survival kit. Your tyke will probably already be carrying their number one favorite toy in their hot little hand. In your survival kit, you need to have toys of two different types.
One of the toys need to be an oldie, but goodie. You know their old number one favorite toy from three months ago? Do NOT throw that away. That goes in the survival kit to be revived in case of emergency. Nothing is as distracting as an old friend being brought back to life.
The other toy needs to be something new and unique. I do not mean new, like a spend money on buying yet another new toy. I mean new to your toddler. Something with buttons is obviously preferable. Think old cell phones or garage door openers.
These items will buy you…minutes of time if disaster strikes.
What would you pack in your toddler mom survival kit? What necessity did I forget? Please comment below and share your items and horror stories!