Car Clothes

Spare clothes for kids stored inside gallon ziploc sealing clear plastic bag

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A Spare Set To Go

Spare clothes for kids stored inside gallon ziploc sealing clear plastic bag

  • What: Spare clothes I keep in the car
  • When: Birth until they stop making messes
  • Why: Just in case
  • Where: In my car

Once my kids got out of the infant stage where they spit up or pooped themselves regularly, I stopped carrying a spare set of clothes in my diaper bag. Instead, I stuck a spare set of every clothing item in the car, just in case.

Spare kid clothes kept in car in case of accidents
Here’s my current stash of clothes for a 7, 5 and 3 year old: one pair of 5T fleece pants, one 5T t-shirt, one 3T t-shirt, one pair of 24 month pants, and two pairs of underwear in size 4T and 2T.

I use old clothes that we had recently outgrown, or things my kid didn’t really like to wear but still fit, so it didn’t mean I ended up doing more laundry more frequently. I packed a pair of pants, socks, diaper or underwear, and a short sleeved shirt in my bag, under the theory that short sleeved shirts will get us home in a pinch no matter what the weather. As long as the shirt still goes over their head, it works out great. I keep a spare small disposable bag stuck there as well.

Kid clothes contained in gallon clear resealable bag
All that stuff fits into one gallon size clear bag, with a second plastic bag just in case.

I pack everything into a sealable clear plastic bag, like a Ziploc. That means when I’m desperate, I can see the contents and yank out whatever I need quickly. It also means I can use the bag to seal up the offending items, whether that’s milk or poop or vomit.

Spare outfit for toddler or preschooler
Here’s one of the spare outfits I keep in the car for my smaller kids.

Like the time we went to the community center and my kid threw up in the middle of a movie. Being able to clean him up and bring him home with the mess entirely contained in the plastic bag definitely beat everyone having to hold their noses or contribute to the mess when overcome by the stench on the drive home. Or when the lid of my kid’s sippy cup wasn’t put back on correctly, and he dumped the entire contents on himself two hours into an eight hour road trip.

Because my kids are close in age, I could often get away with one outfit that would fit more than one kid in a pinch. I use clothes just a bit big for one and a tad on the small side for the other child. For those in between years, after diapers but before they stop having massive messes, the spare set of clothes has saved us another meltdown on top of the original problem many times over.

One response to “Car Clothes”

  1. Ahhh this is such great advice and I need to do this ASAP. I’ve been trying to eliminate unnecessary things from my diaper bag (why is it always SO HEAVY?) but I’m afraid to be completely without backup clothes, as my one-year old is still quite capable of making a huge mess. Problem solved!


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