Essential Items Every Mom Needs in Her Purse

If you have a child, you'll want these handy items in your bag

mom daughter laughing phone purse
A smartphone is great for entertaining kids, but be sure to include other must-haves in your purse. Tang Ming Tung/Getty Images

What's in your purse right now, aside from wallet, keys, and phone? When your child was a baby or toddler, you probably packed up his necessities--such as a sippy cup, baby food, bottle, diapers, pacifier, and toys--in your handy dandy diaper bag. As kids get older, they no longer need as many things; that said, preschool and school-age kids still need a surprising number of items when they're away from home.

Chances are, you probably already have a lot of the things that are on this list of mom-purse staples. (There's a reason most moms of young children don't tote around a dainty, small purse--there's no way we'd be able to fit the things you generally require when you have a child.) But if you haven't thought of some of these, you might wanna consider sticking them in your bag; they'll probably come in handy in the very near future.

Think of this list as a truncated version of what you might put in an activity bag for kids. Those bags, which you'll stock with more items to entertain kids, are super-useful when you go on a family trip but are too much to carry around in your handbag every single day. Here are the top mom purse essential items to have in your bag right now:

  1. Band-Aids
    For scrapes and cuts, which are inevitable when you’re a kid
  2. Sanitizing hand wipes
    Kids’ hands get dirty—that’s what they do
  1. Tissues
    Because kids get runny noses and sneeze, and because school-age kids particularly seem to pick up any and every germ that’s within a 10-mile radius of wherever they are and then proceed to pass it to one another until the entire class gets infected with whatever is going around. At least twice.
  1. Small bottle of water
    Because kids always--always--say they're dying of thirst a few minutes after leaving home, just exactly at the moment when it would be the most inconvenient to turn around and go back.
  2. Snacks
    Your child isn’t a toddler who needs to eat every couple of hours anymore, but even school-age kids can do with snacks. If you are traveling or going somewhere where food and drinks will be hard to get or expensive, consider carrying some basic portable snacks like string cheese, crackers, and grapes. If you don't wanna carry anything perishable in your purse (finding week-old grapes in your purse won't be pleasant), you can always opt for items like a granola bar, raisins, or beef jerky.
  3. A children’s book
    Sure, your child will probably wanna go on your phone and play games till the battery completely dies. But if you would like to give him something that's non screen-centered, nothing beats a good kids' book. If you don't have an e-reader, choose something that's paperback and lightweight so that you don't have to lug around a heavy book.
  1. Small blank notebook and pen or colored pencils
    Because you never know when your child might wanna jot down some information, a note to herself, or an idea for a story or project or craft. Or she might wanna draw a picture of something cool she saw or was inspired by. Having something she can always write on is a great way to encourage a child's creativity, and it's handy to have when you want to write down something, too.
  2. A puzzle
    Whether you have to wait at the pediatrician’s office or in line at the post office, a fun brain-building travel puzzle such as SmartGames' IQ-Link or IQ-Puzzler to keep kids’ hands and minds busy is a beautiful thing.
  3. Reusable shopping bag
    From a half-gallon of milk to a school project that you wanna carry safely home, you'll find yourself constantly relying on reusable shopping bags such as the beautiful and sturdy bags from Envirosax. Toss a few in your purse and you'll always have some handy.
  4. Stain treatment wipes/pen
    Because children have an uncanny knack for getting stains on their clothes, even when they’re not eating anything.

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