21 Items You Only Have In Your Car If You’re A Parent

Matt Brown
Dec 12, 2023 By Matt Brown
Originally Published on May 24, 2021
Safety and Security of your children should be your main priority as a parent when your kids step onto a motor vehicle or a car.

Everything changes when you have kids, and that includes motoring. You might upgrade to a larger car.

You’ll need to get a child seat. And you’ll definitely be making plenty of extra journeys - be it the school run, increased trips to see the grandparents, or yet another trip to an activity farm (see below for more on those).

And then there are the more subtle changes - additional things we carry or alterations we make to the interior to keep the kids happy. Here, then, are 21 features that you only find in the cars of people with children.

1. A child safety seat, obviously.

2. An inordinate number of crumbs scattered throughout the back of the car like something from Hansel and Gretel.

3. That missing sock.

4. Heavy duty floor mats to soak up all that mud from activity farms.

5. A mirror on the back of your head-rest.

6. Anything on the back of your head-rest.

7. A CD entitled “Baby Shark and other party classics”.

8. A decapitated gummy bear. Also a discarded lolly stick.

9. A sunshade for the rear windows.

10. The all-important travel potty (comes in useful even after the preschool years).

11. A suspicious quantity of sand, even if you haven’t been to a beach since last summer.

12. A dog-eared map of an activity farm you visited two years ago, but kept ‘just in case’.

13. One of those ‘baby on board’ stickers that people get all wound up about.

14. A pair of lost children’s sunglasses that you spent hours hunting for around the house.

15. An indelible stain on the back seat, whose origin remains mysterious. Ice cream? Sun block? Undisclosed vomit? 

16. First-aid kit (you were never quite prepared enough before having kids… see also tissues and wet wipes).

17. A wonky rear shelf that’s never been the same since you tried to fit two buggies in the back.

18. A plastic carrier bag containing a pair of muddy child’s boots. You can’t quite decide whether to leave them in the car for the next activity farm visit, or take them inside for a scrub.

19. A book called something like “51 Car Games For Kids”, that provoked some interest at first, but has spent months untouched in a back-of-seat pouch.

20. A small, fluffy toy who has taken up permanent residence in one of the cup holders.

21. A half-depleted stash of Starburst in the glove compartment. Nobody can quite recall their provenance, and they may be years old. 

See also

17 Items You Only Have In Your Lounge If You Have Kids

21 Items You Only Have In Your Kitchen If You Have Kids

11 Items You’ll Only Recognise If You Have Kids

10 Best Baby Travel Toys To Take Anywhere

5 Fun Car Journey Games


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Written by Matt Brown

Bachelor of Science specializing in Chemistry, Master of Research specializing in Biomolecular Sciences

Matt Brown picture

Matt BrownBachelor of Science specializing in Chemistry, Master of Research specializing in Biomolecular Sciences

With a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry and a Master's in Residency specializing in Biomolecular Sciences and roots in the Midlands, Matt has developed a passion for writing about London. As a former editor and prolific contributor to Londonist.com, he has authored several books exploring the city's hidden gems. In addition to his work, Matt enjoys spending time with his two preschool-aged children.

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