10 Things Every Mom Needs in Her Bag Right Now

Ask a child-free human what they “need” to carry on their person every day, and you may well get a funny look, or a shrug and an “I dunno, my wallet, phone, and keys I guess?” To which a (rude) parent like me might respond, “LOL I REMEMBER THOSE DAYS.” Because when you’re also toting/chasing a small child or five wherever you go, you know you can’t just get away with shoving the essentials in your pockets anymore. Or rather, your definition of what is “essential” changes; if you’re leaving the house with kids, for example, you’re likely going to want to bring food, entertainment (for you, not them, silly), first aid, and who knows what else — it’s probably a good bet to throw a screwdriver in your purse in case of an emergency? No? Well okay then.

We spoke to blogger/influencer and mom Tamara Bowman of Tamara like Camera to get her primo picks for what she believes every mom needs in their bag right now — to avert (or, you know, at least cope with) all those daily parenting disasters that seem to pop up in every category of #momlife. The products ahead will set you up to succeed, whatever your day throws at you. And they may even be the saving grace your headspace (and/or your hygiene) needs.

Here’s what Bowman totes around New England with her kids on the daily — and where you can snag the goods, too.

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A Crowd-Pleaser Snack

“Snacks, of course!,” says Bowman. “I try to have snacks for four people — both of my kids, me, and an extra one for friends or if we’re extra hungry.”

The Cereal School Flavor Bundle, $2.08 per bowl at The Cereal School.

All-Purpose Wet Wipes

“I thought I would need these less when my kids got older, but in fact, I need them more,” says Bowman. “There are always messes to clean up.”

Plant-based wipes, $2.95 at HelloBello.

A Thrilling Book

“There’s a lot of waiting involved in parenting,” Bowman asserts (and boy is she right). “Car lines, pickups, drop-offs, etc. Since I work in media, I like to be away from my phone during the quiet waiting parts of the day. I always keep a library book in my bag.”

The Farm by Joanne Ramos, $18.69 at Amazon.

A Phone, Duh, But Make it Fashion

“That said, my smartphone pretty much can do everything for me so it’s a MUST-have, even if I ignore it for a book a few times a day,” Bowman adds.

Healing black case, $45 at Casetify.

A Powerful (But All-Natural) Hand Sanitizer

“I prefer the spray personally,” says Bowman. “So many public bathrooms or portable bathrooms and you just always need backup.”

Hand sanitizer spray, $5.95 at The Honest Company.

Business Cards — in a Cute Case

“Because I love being a mom more than anything — but I’m more than a mom as well,” explains Bowman.

Slimcase business card holder, $9.99 at MOO.

Resealable (Non-Plastic) Bags

“It’s often best to not get into why you might need these, or have needed these, but let’s just say they’re crucial,” laughs Bowman. We couldn’t agree more, having used these for both snacks and kid-pee accidents — just make sure to wash thoroughly in between, yikes. 

Reusable leak-proof bags, from $7.95 at Grove Collaborative. 

Writing Utensils — Bonus if They’re Inspirational

“Even with smartphones, you can never run out of reasons to use good old-fashioned pen and paper,” says Bowman.

These Ban.do pens are the perfect addition to any mom’s purse, what with their messages like “it doesn’t have to be perfect” — aka what we all need to remind ourselves now and then.

Write on pen set, $14.00 at Ban.do.

Some First Aid Items

“I always have a little case with tissues, bandages, Neosporin, Chapstick, fever reducer, and headache medicine,” advises Bowman.

Band-Aid Jungalow Brand Build Your Own First Aid Kit Bag, $5.99 at Target.

Period Products

“Especially since I became a mom,” explains Bowman. “Sometimes my period is not as consistent or cyclical as it used to be before pregnancy.”

Ultra thin pads with wings, 2 boxes for $18 at Lola.

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