Creating A Mom Bag Essentials Kit

No joke, I would say it took me a solid two weeks after school ended to get acclimated to the ever-changing—like, literally every day being different—nature of summer vacation. On more than one occasion (read: a lot of occasions!) I found myself unprepared as we were out and about. So today I want to share my mom bag essentials. The key to the system is a 9 x 6 inch mesh pouch that lives and moves with my wallet and keys to whatever bag I am using for the day (whether that’s a day tote or beach bag), plus a couple of loose add-ons. Seriously, this system has been a lifesaver and a game changer! Here’s what’s in it and why:


Here’s what goes in my mom bag essentials pouch. All of this fits in a compact 9 x 6 mesh pouch I had on hand and I move this pouch to whatever bag I’m using for the day. It just makes things so easy!

1. Allergy medicine (OTC + prescription)

Violet has a tree nut allergy and I cringe to admit that even so, given that she has always avoided nuts (I think she had a primordial sense about her allergies before being diagnosed), on more than one occasion we have headed out and forgotten to bring her prescription allergy medicine with us. When we were out at the beginning of summer at a cafe, I asked about nut inclusion in some foods and the employees had no idea whether certain foods included nuts and that was a wake-up call for me to STOP MESSING AROUND AND BE PREPARED. In addition to Violet’s allergy injectors, I carry over-the-counter allergy medicine because OTC is our first line of defense with Violet, plus Laurel and I also need it periodically (more on that in a second).

2. Sunscreen

The first day of summer vacation we were out in the blazing sun and I was like, AGH, I don’t have sunscreen. Such a rookie mistake! Never again!

3. Bug repellent

Laurel and I are especially prone to mosquito bites (and I am ever wary of the tick and Lyme disease situation) so bug repellent is an essential since we spend as much time outside as possible during the summer. But here’s another thing I realized the other week: bug repellent may be necessary indoors too—certainly if you’re in a cabin in the woods, but also if you’re in a home that leaves windows open with no screens or has screens with holes in them. This is top of mind because the other week, Laurel came home from her first day at her new babysitting job with a mosquito bite near her eye that made the area swollen and extremely itchy; we needed over-the-counter allergy medicine to help reduce the itch. I subsequently have assembled a little essentials kit for her too, because clearly she needs bug spray when she heads to her job! And just a reminder: sunscreen goes on first, and then apply an EPA-approved bug repellent on top. Check out these CDC guidelines on bug repellents if you need more information and always read the label directions to determine when and how often you need to re-apply both sunscreen and bug repellent.

4. Hand sanitizer

Always good for emergency usage, especially if we need to hit public porta-potties!

5. Tissues

Because someone always needs one.

6. Mini first-aid kit

In one of those small snack sized plastic bags I carry band-aids, first aid cream, antiseptic towlettes, and Aquaphor (which is great for boo boos, dry lips, etc.).

7. Tampons

Because I always want to have some for my own emergency usage or if a fellow lady in the bathroom needs one!


And finally, there are 3 simple add-ons I make sure to toss in my tote du jour.

8. Water

O.M.G. do I loathe buying bottled water when we’re out! I’m now in the habit of adding a large reusable water bottle to my bag (we all just share one). I load it to the top with ice then add water so it stays cold while we’re on the go.

9. Snacks

Everyone in my family gets enormously grumpy when hungry so I always toss snacks (usually cereal or granola bars) in my bag.

10. Sunglasses

My giant sunglasses are part of my skincare + style regimen, but I also bring sunglasses for Laurel and Violet too.

And that’s it. I can’t tell you enough how much this simple system has helped me...I hope it helps you too! I was blathering on about this kit to the girls the other day when we were out and about (when I pulled out an essential someone needed) and—rather comically and astutely—Violet said, “You know Mom, you really need to add some fun toys and games for me to your kit.” I actually may go ahead and add a deck of cards to my kit!

Disclosure: This post reflects a compensated editorial partnership with RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment). All thoughts and opinions about mom bag essentials are, of course, my own.

Reduce your mental load by creating an essentials kit that moves from bag to bag!

Reduce your mental load by creating an essentials kit that moves from bag to bag!

Christine KohComment