When I had my youngest daughter, Avery, I was determined to combine my diaper bag and my purse into one bag. Living with two little ones in New York City leaves you with a lot of stuff to carry around and only two hands and a stroller to do it. I needed to carry only the necessary items to get me through the day and to make sure that it could all fit into one bag.
I’ve never been into diaper bags, so I purchased a leather tote that still helped me maintain my sense of style, but had plenty of pockets and space for all of the items that a baby and a toddler require. After making the transition from diaper bag and purse to my “mom” bag, I made sure to stick with my plan of not putting too much “stuff” in it and to only include my must-have items for both me and the kids.
At first I really struggled with only including the necessities because it’s so easy to overpack, but I thought logically and thankfully there is a drug store on nearly every corner in NYC, so if I really needed something while we were out on our daily adventures, I could just stop and buy what I needed. Thankfully that hasn’t happened and I’ve narrowed it down to 10 items that I must have in my bag at all times to help me get throughout my day.
What’s in my Mom Bag 1 of 13
It's no longer my purse or my diaper bag, it is my mom bag. The bag I carry around with all of my essentials and my little one's too. Click through to find out what's inside!
Water Bottle 2 of 13
Now that I am nursing again, I find myself thirsty all the time. To keep myself hydrated, I always have a water bottle on hand. I love that this water bottle has a filter so that I can fill it up no matter where I am. it's also has an easy spout so the girls can drink from it too.
Stain Remover 3 of 13
As messy as my girls are, they hate having stains on their clothes. In their defense, I was the same way when I was little. Thankfully, with a stain remover pen, I can help ease their stress over the mess on their clothes. It's also great for when the baby spits up on me and I don't have time to change my shirt.
Snacks 4 of 13
My kids will claim they are hungry at the most inconvenient times. Whether we just left a restaurant or are on our way to an appointment, they will tell me they are starving. Thankfully, I always keep snacks in my bag for those situations. I like snacks that won't make a mess in my bag, are convenient for the girls to eat, and are also nutritious. Both of my girls have always been a fan of yogurt since they were babies. I love these new yogurt pouches because I can just grab them from the refrigerator and throw them in my bag for an easy healthy snack on the go.
Band-Aids 5 of 13
I don't know if it's just my girls, but every time I turn around they are telling me about a new "boo boo" that they got that day. Of course it immediately requires a band-aid. It's amazing just how fast a Hello Kitty band-aid can heal a wound.
Phone 6 of 13
This is a no brainer, but my phone is always with me no matter where I go. It helps me stay connected for work, capture precious moments with my kids, and most importantly, keeps them entertained in those desperate moments.
Battery Charger 7 of 13
Consequently, I also need a charger. I rely on my phone for so many things, which unfortunately means that my battery dies pretty quickly. The mophie acts as a spare battery, not only for my phone but for my tablet as well. It's great for those long day trips when I know my phone will be in use a lot. Get it from mophie, $79.95
Tinted Lip Balm 8 of 13
There are so many times that I run out of the apartment without makeup because I don't have time after getting the kids ready. To help myself feel a little bit better, I always apply a tinted lip balm. It helps freshen up my face with little effort and in very little time. I love tinted lip balm because it gives me a little bit of color while still hydrating my lips.
Hand Sanitizer 9 of 13
I wouldn't call myself a germaphobe, but I am aware that living in New York City and using public transportation most of the time can be a germy situation. To help keep our hands clean, I keep hand sanitizer in my bag at all times. So in those situations when my toddler tries to pick up the chewed gum from the subway seat, I can make sure to clean off her hands immediately.
Small Toys 10 of 13
There is no denying that toddlers have a short attention span. For those moments that we are out and about and the kids have just about had enough, I take out my emergency supply of small toys. Crayons, note pads, and figurines can do wonders for them. It keeps them busy while I get a little bit of peace and finish getting things done while we are out.
Toy Box 11 of 13
Although it's good to have toys to keep in your bag, don't pack your bag with the entire toy box. Grab a few small toys and then rotate them out each day.
Wipes 12 of 13
It doesn't matter how old your kids are, wipes are a must to have in your bag. Form spills to runny noses, these things will do it all.
Medicine Cabinet 13 of 13
While you might think it's a good idea to have things in your bag for those "just in case" moments, it just keeps your bag fuller than it needs to be. Don't feel the need to put the Infant Tylenol, Butt Paste, teething tablets, and anything else you could grab out of your medicine cabinet. If you are out and your little one just happens to be teething or have diaper rash, put it in your bag for the day, but say no to storing it there full time.
More from Lauren on Babble:
- Pregnancy Confession: I’m Terrified to Have This Baby
- 20 Baby Names to Celebrate the New Year
- 10 Ways to Get Better Sleep While Pregnant
- Babble Blogger Favorites: Best Strollers of 2013
- 8 Tips for Sharing a Small Space
- 11 Stylish Pregnant Moms to Follow on Instagram
Read more from Lauren at her personal blog, A Mommy in the City, where she chronicles her life living in New York City with a suburban mentality. For more updates, follow Lauren on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!