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5 Items All Parents of Toddlers Should Keep in Their Cars

Toddler in car seat

When they’re happy, everybody wins

Driving with a toddler is like rolling the dice. Maybe they’ll sleep. Maybe they’ll sing. Maybe they’ll scream bloody murder. To drive with a toddler successfully is to be a Boy Scout, which is to always be prepared.

It’s not as if you won’t actually get from Point A to Point B without these five items in your car for your toddler, but your toddler will be a lot happier if you have them at all times while the motor is running. And if you’re toddler isn’t screaming, then we’re all happy, aren’t we?

Behold the essential car checklist for toddlers:

nggallery template=’carousel’ id=’128063′

  • Books 1 of 5
    Books
    Not just any books, but books that make sounds or have a variety of textures or flaps that lift will help keep your toddler entertained, meaning you can keep your eyes on the road without also acting as a one-man-band.
    Photo credit: Amazon.com
  • A Mirror 2 of 5
    A Mirror
    If you can see your rear-facing toddler, they can see you.
    Communication is key in all healthy relationships.
    Photo credit: Amazon.com
  • Snacks 3 of 5
    Snacks
    Never be without snacks.
    Never. Ever.
    You'll even get bonus points if the snacks you keep in the car are different than the snacks you keep in the house.
    Keep it tasty and interesting. That way, everybody wins.
  • Water 4 of 5
    Water
    To wash down the snacks.
    Duh.
  • Pacifier 5 of 5
    Pacifier
    Not one pacifier. Not two pacifiers. You'll need at least three pacifiers in the car at all times (if you're toddler is still hooked on the binky, that is).
    And here's the key: Keep one up front with you.
    That way, when they manage to drop the one or two they had beneath the seat cracks, only to be found when you're cleaning out the car to sell it eventually when you're an empty-nester, you'll have the security of knowing you have one that can always be found — and preferably it's one of the ones that comes with a handy strap that can be affixed to your toddler's shirt.

Photo credits (except where noted): iStock

Disclaimer: The content and viewpoints expressed here within are solely that of the originators. Graco‘s sponsorship does not imply endorsement of any opinions or information provided and we do not assume responsibility for the accuracy of the content provided. Please always consult a professional for matters related to your child’s well-being. Click here to see more of the discussion.

Are you baby safety savvy? We’re giving away two Graco SnugRide Click Connect infant car seats! To enter for a chance to win, simply comment on this post with a personal tip on how you keep baby safe in the car

More from Meredith on Toddler Times:

Read (even) more from Meredith at Babble’s Strollerderby, follow her on Twitter, and check out her weekly syndicated newspaper column at MeredithCarroll.com

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