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Essential Car Accessories for Parents

Traveling with the kids can seem like such a great idea, and it can be, but it can also be a horror show without planning ahead. Many a trip has been ruined by ‘where is my…?’. Too many times has the car been turned around to go back home, made a detour to the closest store, or the trip just turns into a test of patience and fortitude. Even the best of parents have white knuckled the steering wheel, trying to mentally filter out the incessant screaming, complaining, whining and arguing so they can keep their focus on the road. We haven’t even started to mention the fluids… the snot, drool, pee, poo, scuffed knee, vomit. Let’s not go any further on that note.

No judgement here, it’s totally normal to forget something and regret it. It’s completely normal to give in and realise there is no way you can get them out of their foul mood and you just have to suffer through it. There are many situations where no matter how much you plan, you can’t seem to make things right. What we do hope is that we have compiled a helpful list of additions to make to your car. Unluckily it doesn’t mean every drive will be peaceful, but hopefully more of them will be!

This list has been compiled from the team at ProNovate, but mainly Rod’s recommendations. Rod brings the experience of raising four kids, owning two minivans and an obsessive level of research into car accessories – it’s mainly the obsessive level of research that came in handy for this article. We feel confident in recommending this to ProNovate customers. Maybe we should make this a regular thing, who knows, Rod won’t stop forwarding additional recommendations into the inbox. We have no associations with any of the products mentioned in this review, other than the fact that we have evangelists on the team that love them.

Photo by Bradley Gordon

Wow Cup/Mighty Mug

Instead of the regular sippy cup, try the Wow Cup or it’s competitors. The design is great as it’s almost impossible for fluids to leak unless the child is actively drinking from it. Once they are a little older we recommend the Mighty Mug. Both products have been tested and approved by ProNovate team members, they are great to reduce spills in the cars, whilst making sure that there are always drinking options available. Great for both in the car but also at the dinner table when elbows can easily knock cups off of the table, or when they haven’t quite worked out the art of placing a glass gently back onto the table.

Soft Books

On top of toys, which you will already have in abundance in your car, there are soft books. Additional toys are great because for some reason your child likely has decided that their favourite toy is the most disgusting one of all, and it would be great to wean them off it because there is no number of wash-cycles that is going to make you feel like that toy is clean. Softbooks are a great interactive toy and any moment they are reading through a book, rather than look at a screen can feel like a win.

iPad Headrest Mount

Who uses DVD’s anymore? And even if you do, the show that they MUST WATCH RIGHT NOW is on Netflix, Stan, Amazon or whatever streaming service you are currently watching. Chances are you did not recently pick it up on DVD. You could pull out and dust off that Frozen DVD so you can listen to the torture that ‘let it go’ has become – or… get an iPad/Tablet headrest mount that attaches to the back of front passenger or driver’s seat and can keep the wee-ones entertained.

Photo by Austin Marshall

Power Pack

At first it was amazing to see their eyes light up when we introduced them to the wonders of a tablet or phone, but now they constantly demand it. Why wouldn’t they, kids spend all their time to emulate adults, and they are our favourite toys. That’s where a power-pack comes in, Netflix has been the savior of sanity on many a roadtrip, but its only helpful as long as the battery holds out. Don’t get caught unaware, have a charged battery pack or two handy.

Seat Organiser

There are so many seat organisers you can pick from to fit your family’s needs. We personally like a back seat organiser, at the very least to keep the important stuff handy and off of the floor where inevitable spills and residue will get on it. They are perfect to fit a lot of the other smaller items we cover in the list.

Seat Protectors

These speak for themselves. You’ll regret not having them when you need them. ‘Make sure you recommend the ones with the strap to secure it to the seat, the Diono one’s have grip so they don’t slide’, well Rod, it’s now in the article. You don’t have to pick Rod’s favourite but what is recommended is that you look for protectors that are secured to the seat so they don’t slide down, with additional grip pads to reduce slipping as well, otherwise you will be stuck readjusting the mat, or it’s not going to end up protecting the seat at all for those moments you need them.

Photo by César Rincón

Piddle Pad (Diono Dry Seat)

It’s another Diono favourite from Rod. This fits into the baby seat to protect it from … spillage. Again you don’t need to stick to the brand that we recommend but any that is moulded to fit easy into the child seat, but be quickly removed with little fuss when the inevitable happens. This is pretty self explanatory and I’ll keep this short. I’m becoming afraid. This article may get too long. Rod is currently hovering behind me, providing limitless recommendations. We are not a child accessory blog, yet they keep coming! I did not sign up for this. Strap in, we have more to go through.

Collapsible Buckets

Yes, well you know what these are for. I am once again writing about an accessory to handle the copious amounts of bodily fluids that come out of an infant human. The childless amongst the team are wondering, ‘really that much goo?’. For some reason the very team members that tell us parenthood is so rewarding, that it is an amazing experience, are gleefully nodding their heads at they discuss the very real threats of all kinds of horror inducing messes – even past the nappy! So… back to buckets. You can also store things in them, which hopefully you remember to quickly remove, before handing it to your totally rewarding, yet so very cute child, who is capable of creating unforeseen levels of bio hazardous material.

Band-Aids & Baby Wipes

[How are we still on goo?!]  If you don’t have them when you need them, you’ll really regret it. They are cheap and you can easily throw a few packs into each organiser, the glove compartment, handbag, boot, etc. Grab several packs and make sure there are plenty where you can easily find them.

Photo by Xlibber

Backseat Mirror View

It’s a mirror positioned at the back of the car so that you can look back and see your child in their rear facing seat.

Sun Shade

It’s not like they can really move out of the way when sun is in their eyes, so instead they scream. Shade the sun, stop the screaming. Do you hear that? It’s silence. You almost forgot what it sounded like. I have include a recommendation for the window socks, also referred to as auto shade, they fit over the window so that the window can still go up and down with ease. Also, the suction cups tend to fail after a long time in the sun. Rod is back with more helpful tips, if you’re getting a new car, you may want to look into vehicles with sunshades built into the doors, like the Honda Odyssey and Kia Carnival.

Teething Toy

A specially made teething toy is perfect for those few days before during and after a tooth erupts. Especially those that are made to be easily refrigerated so they can better soothe sore gums. As a general FYI, as this came up during research into teething toys – fevers and diarrhea are not symptoms of teething, that’s a myth. So we recommend the refrigerated toy for to soothe sore gums, but if they have a fever, they have something else going on, its not teething.

Photo by Tambako the Jaguar

Dummy Saver and Clip & Go Toy Savers

Dummies and toys are easily dropped and whatever has given them comfort is out of reach, dirty and you’re driving.

Baby Seat Monitor

This is great for your peace of mind. This is the most sleep deprived point of your life. You also may have plenty of family members wanting to spend time with your little goo-machine who you don’t quite trust to be completely up to date with the new child restraint systems. This little monitor attaches to the belt to send off alarms if the child is not properly secured. It won’t find every issue, but if the belt is too slack, or hasn’t been buckled, then an alarm goes off.

Photo by Bartdubelaar

We are going to leave our article here before it gets any longer. Phew! Safe travels. Avoid the goo.
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