We’d be lying if we said every time we leave the house we are fully prepared for every scenario we could possibly face (but then again, can one ever be fully prepared for a simultaneous diaper explosion and spit up while the realtor is calling and you realize you’ve just stepped in gum?), but we’ve found the better prepped we are for a day out, the more fun we have.  Freedom and flexibility aren’t usually words associated with having a small child, but the truth is, when you’ve got the right stroller and it’s expertly packed, life can be a little spontaneous again.  Sound crazy? It might be, but hear us out.

First things first: to rediscover your inner free spirit this summer, you’ll need a stroller that has one one, too.  The Babyzen YOYO+ fits the bill. It’s lightweight enough to fold up and go and sturdy enough to keep up.  Go on and order that second bottle of rosé at lunch and enjoy while babe naps under the UPF 50+ canopy at a full recline.  Take it to the farm, where the four wheel suspension will handle the varied terrain like a boss.  Take it on the airplane — after all, it fits in the overhead compartment.

Once you’ve got your stroller, turn it into your true spirit animal by customizing it to fit your needs:

Protection: The stroller canopy will take on the lion’s share of the work protecting babe from the sun, but a parasol can be a solid backup, especially for naps on-the-go.  A cooling stroller liner and a fan can keep baby cool (and keep the adventure going) through that mid-day heat. Be ready for that neighborhood block party to go way past sunset with a mosquito net and a reflector, and remember that a muslin swaddle is good for just about everything, especially a light blanket.

Peace:  To operate at full capacity, your stroller shouldn’t just take you from point A to point B.  Have what on hand what you’ll need to turn your stroller into an oasis when your child needs a moment to decompress.  A cell phone holder will protect your device while your child has a turn, and a tether will ensure you don’t lose any snack cups or toys if they doze off (or have a penchant for throwing things).

Storage: Think of your storage in two layers — the might-need or occasionally-need can go in the diaper bag, but the need-all-day should go in a stroller organizer.  Keep the stuff you’ll need consistently throughout the day in arm’s reach, and you’ll feel good about momming-it on the move from AM to PM.

Expansion: Don’t forget about big brother and sister.  Attach a buddy board to your YOYO+ to be sure they can rest, too.

Once the stroller is adventure ready, it’s time to pack the diaper bag.  Here are our not-so-obvious picks for packing:

Swim diaper:  Discover a new splash pad in your ‘hood you never knew existed? Impromptu sprinkler run at a friend’s house? Keep a swim diaper in the bag and you’ll always be ready to go.

Ring sling: No stroller can replace a mom snuggle, and a ring sling is an easy to use, easy to pack way to baby wear.

Sand Mitts:  sand, dirt, mulch — playgrounds can be made of all the good stuff, but they can wreak havoc on little feet.  We don’t know about you, but we have yet to find a baby wipe to really clean it off.  Be ready for the inevitable cry for help from the sandbox.

Sunscreen: The truth is, it’s going to happen.  The bottle of sunscreen designated for the diaper bag is going to go MIA, and probably when you least expect and most need it.  Keep a few of these single-use tubes tucked away, just in case.

Insulated bags and water bottles:  Because nothing says “let’s just go home” more than a snack of hot watermelon and tepid water.

See? Spontaneity is just a perfect stroller and a few expertly packed key items away.  Happy trails!

Image credit: @teetranphotography via @hausofcolor