Leaving home with a newborn isn’t exactly easy. You’d think all you need to do is grab a diaper bag, pick up your little bundle, and head out the door — but then you’re stuck in traffic, sans binky. Instead of getting caught empty-handed, check out what you need to keep in the car at all times. And if you’re a walking-not-driving mama, consider storing at least some of these must-haves in your big ol’ baby bag!

1. Wipes: These magical little cleaning cloths serve so many purposes. You use them for diaper changes, of course, but their uses go far beyond poop duty. Whether you’re wiping up spit-up, cleaning your hands, or dusting off your dashboard, you’ll need a travel pack of wipes with you at all times.

2. Flashlight: Okay, so you probably just use your phone for this — but your cell might lose its charge. A flashlight (and some extra batteries) is an old-school option that can help you out during a nighttime emergency. You can use the flashlight to search for your baby’s paci when it falls in that oh-so-dark crevice, or to look under the seat for the random sock your little one tossed off as you were taking her out of the car seat.

3. Hand Sanitizer: No, not for baby. This one is all for you. If those baby wipes just don’t make you feel clean enough after taking care of a major diaper explosion, break out the sanitizer.

4. Trash Container: Whether you use a plastic grocery store bag or one of those specially made garbage totes, you absolutely need somewhere to put the mountain of trash your baby will generate. Stashing used wipes, facial tissues, or a dirty diaper under your seat will not do. A balled-up plastic baggie is also an easy garbage fix if you’re a walker rather than a driver.

5. Second Diaper Bag: Ignore this one if you’re not driving a car; no mom needs to tote around two whole diaper bags. But if you have room in your car, a backup bag is not an entirely out-there idea. In the event that your diaper bag fails, you forget it, or you leave it somewhere, the second one can take over. Fill it with a few extra diapers (duh), wipes, some rash cream, and any other can’t-live-without goodies.

6. Extra Outfit: Babies aren’t exactly known for keeping their clothes clean. When your newborn’s diaper refuses to hold what should stay in it (and this will happen at some point), you’ll have something else to put on her.

7. Extra Adult Outfit: Your baby isn’t the only one who might need a change of clothes. More likely than not, there will come a time when you’ll need a quick change due to a spit-up stain (or worse).

8. Sun Hat: You’re going for a stroll, and the sun is shining — too bad you forgot your baby’s sun hat. To avoid summer day mishaps, always keep a spare in your baby bag or glove compartment. That way you’ll always be ready for a day of shaded fun.

9. Tissues: A runny nose, a bit of baby spit, or a tiny spill can all be sopped up with a tissue. Those mini travel packs are perfect for your car or diaper bag. They can also double as wipes if your extra stash of those runs out.

10. Pacis Galore: The binky is gone. Seriously. It’s not under the seat, it’s not in the stroller, and it’s not in your purse. Don’t get stuck paci-less — thread half a dozen or so through a ribbon and tie it together. Now you have a binky bracelet!

What’s your diaper bag must-have? Share your pick and tweet us @BritandCo!

(Photo via Getty)