*This post was sponsored, and paid for, by Walmart. All opinions are my own.
If there is one thing I’ve learned in nearly 17 years of being a parent to eight children, it’s that it pays to be prepared. While you never quite know what you need to be prepared for, the lack of preparedness is the thing that meltdowns are made of whether mine of those of my kids! For this reason, making sure you’re efficiently and strategically prepared with some of the parenting necessities is the most important thing you can do to prevent a toddler (& mommy) meltdown in public.
You’ve probably seen one of these meltdowns in public, and if you’re one of the “lucky ones,” you may have even experienced one yourself. I can speak from experience, it’s one of those times that you just want to crawl under a rock and cry as a mom.
The meltdown may have started with your toddler, but like a virus, it seems to overtake you as well.
But, being able to walk out the door with more confidence in being able to avoid these kinds of scenes is an amazing thing.
So, what does being prepared actually mean?
In a nutshell, it means having as many of the things you might possibly need on hand at the right time and in the right way as you can.
While it is impossible to be prepared for everything you might need, in nearly two decades of being a parent I have found these five things to be essential steps in getting prepared to prevent both toddler and mommy meltdowns in public.
A to-go bag always packed and ready
A to-go bag is filled with the common things your toddler or other younger children will and could possibly need while out. A bag with a few different pockets works well, and the size of the bag would largely depend on the length of your outing.
When it comes to putting this in a to-go bag, I have found few things to be universal among most families.
Among these common necessities are all the diaper supplies, extra clothing, extra underwear if needed, a few simple toys, a few small books, a drinking cup or bottle, some remedies for basic illnesses like fever or cough, a simple snack, and maybe a blanket or warmer clothing item.
Think through your specific child and their needs, but these universal things are a great place to start.
Pack it at the right time
Avoid waiting to pack your to-go bag until you’re trying to get out the door. If your home is anything like mine, trying to get out the door on time or at all is no easy task. We generally make sure that our bag is packed the night before we have any kind of outing planned, and I can’t recommend this highly enough.
Pack it with the right things
Be smart in what you pack, and be smart in the supplies you use. Never is this more important than when you are out in public since you need products you can count on. With so many different options in products and brands, it pays to do a little research.
One of the best ways to determine which products and brands to trust is by listening to those who have been at this parenting thing a while.
As a mom who has had at least one child in diapers for the past 16 years without a break, I have tried countless diaper options. And, you need to know that not all diapers are created equal.
Parent’s Choice has a remarkable line of products for babies and children, and since they are found at Walmart and Walmart.com, these products are easy to get whether you pick them up yourself or have them delivered right to your door.
Even better, they are an amazing value as well. As someone who lives with a budget where every penny counts, this is a fantastic bonus.
With Parent’s Choice Premium Diapers, there’s no leaking, they are mild for my babies who are prone to having sensitive skin issues of all kinds, and they even have the indicator strip that lets you know when your baby or child needs to be changed. This means no more hauling your baby into the grocery store bathroom only to find out they don’t need to be changed at all!
After trying diaper brands of all kinds over the years, Parent’s Choice Premium Diapers are the best I have found in quality, affordability, and availability.
Pack it with some extras
If you think you will need four diapers while you are gone, bring at least six. If your newly potty trained child has been accident free, the irony is that the first accident will come when you are away from home. Bring what you need to prepare for this situation.
Even if you think you’ll only be gone for a short time, you never know when a flat tire or something else will delay you. For this reason, be sure to grab a snack and drink item of some kind, just in case. After all, nothing is a recipe for meltdowns of all kinds more than a hungry toddler is.
A healthy child can become sick in a matter of an hour. Hopefully you won’t need it, but having your treatment of choice on hand and in the bag in case of illness will also come in handy.
Finally, a few basic first aid supplies are great, too.
Keep it handy, yet out of reach
Your to-go bag should not only be packed, but it should be kept all ready to go in a convenient place to grab on the way out. This means in the same place every time so anyone can find it and grab it. This is especially smart when you discover that you have to leave in a hurry.
And, take it from me, make sure your bag is in a convenient place but that your little ones can’t reach. When they see their favorite books, toys, and a snack, they just might decide to unpack the bag for you!
I don’t know if there is anything that can come on faster than a toddler meltdown, but when it does, it pays to be prepared for the expected and the unexpected. Wet, hungry, bored, and sick toddlers can be a recipe for disaster while out in public.