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5 Essentials Every Baby-Toting Car Should Have

Jack, Kirby and Sam back in the day.

This past Saturday, I delighted in spending virtually the entire day with my toddler triplets. We went out to an early lunch, then be-bopped around town looking for a two-man tent for Daddy’s upcoming backpacking trip, an errand which required several stops. And I gotta tell you, it’s sort of a pain to get three toddlers in and out of the car as many times as I did on Saturday. Five total stops plus the initial loading and final unloading meant, all told, I buckled or unbuckled a toddler 36 times.

Yet as tempted as I was to complain, I knew it would be foolish to do so. For I remember the infant days, when my trio were little more than dead weight clad in soiled diapers, capable of epic and simultaneous meltdowns at the drop of a hat. Lucky for Caroline and me, we were fairly well organized and quickly became hip to many essentials which made a mobile life with infants far easier to bear. With child number five (aka Grand Finale Osborne) due on July 20, I thought it’d be a good time to review these essentials, both for my benefit, as well as perhaps for yours if you, too, are faced with the daunting prospect of Driving Miss Baby.

So, great, you have a baby, right? When you think about it, this sorta makes you an expert on BM. Yet you also have a car, so the question begs, are you an expert on making it a BM? Fear not, we’re talking a different kind of BM, here, folks—a BabyMobile. Here are five essentials needed to make your car become just that:

1. Seat Bases: Don’t be a rookie. If your family has more than one vehicle, make sure each is equipped with a seat base for your loading convenience. You’ll thank me when you’re not constantly switching the bases out from one car to another.

2. Car Seat Mirror: If you’re like my wife, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got one of those little car seat mirrors in every car, too. After all, safety demands that Peanut be looking toward the back. Yet a mirror will always keep him or her within a quick glance. Sure makes rush hour more bearable.

3. CDs: Of course, it’s not all googly-googly eyes—there’s bound to be a garden variety meltdown now and again. For that reason, it’s best to make sure you’re equipped with Jr’s favorite CD — you know, the one with all the rainforest noises and or melodic nursery rhymes which you play at nap time?

4. Lovies: Sometimes the soothing sounds of The Muffin Man just won’t get it done. For those times, you need to bust out the lovies. So make sure your car is equipped with some of your child’s favorite plush toys and blankets.

5. Extra Outfit: So here’s the deal. Every car ride (good or bad) must come to an end. And even the best ones can yield an unpleasant surprise. (aka Jr. experiences a DEFCON 1 blow-out.) Diaper bags are a given, but don’t make the change less effective than it could have been. Make sure you also bring along an extra outfit each time you go rolling down the road. You know. Just in case.

So those are mine. What’s on your top 5 list?

Buckle up, this is going to be a good one: Babble’s Best Car Seats of 2011!

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