Parent Survival Kit: A Be Prepared Checklist

Every Tuesday is Finance & Family Day at Zen Habits.

This checklist is not for emergencies or disaster survival — it’s for the more day-to-day situations that all parents must live through, and the tools needed to survive them with minimal stress and maximum happiness.

This is the survival kit that every parent should have to make it through the day and all of those little “emergencies” such as your child getting sick in the car or spilling spaghetti down her dress at Olive Garden.

Real Emergencies
A real emergency kit would include the following (for specifics, see this checklist):

Be prepared for every car ride, for those spills and accidents and mini-emergencies and keeping the kids happy. Here are a few items to consider for your car survival kit:

Extra Clothes
You should always have extra clothes packed for your kids. You never know when they’ll have an accident, or want to spend the night with their grandparents or friend, or want to go swimming at a party. Pack one bag with the following for each child:

Baby kit
These will be obvious if you’re a baby pro, but if you have a baby you should carry this kit around (probably in your diaper bag) in all of the other situations in this guide:

When you get a babysitter (and be sure to do so and get some alone time!), give the babysitter the following info:

Anywhere kit
Actually, this list is for whenever and wherever you’re out with the kids, out of the car — restaurants, the mall, a party, someone’s house, the park. Pack a bag with the following:

Other family day articles: