All The Essentials in My Summer “Mom Bag”

I’ve gone from giant shoulder bag to fanny pack and everything in between, all in search of the best solution to carry all of my stuff when I’m out with my toddler. The pre-packed diaper bag is fantastic, but I don’t really need to lug all of that on a quick grocery store run.

Based on lots of trial and error, here is what I’ve streamlined to make outings easier and functional this summer:

essentials for summer diaper bag

What’s in My Summer Bag

The Mom Bag

For the bag itself, I suggest a super-lightweight backpack. It doesn’t need all the bells and whistles—an interior pocket or two, and you’re good to go. Something like this daypack is perfect and under $15!

Personal Pouch

Slim wallet, sunglasses, phone, mask, ChapStick, hand sanitizer, hand lotion

Small Things

Sunscreen stick, hairbands, Band-Aids, pen, extra ChapStick, nail file/clippers, tampons

Kid Stuff

Diaper, disposable diaper sack, travel wipes, small toy/book, water bottle, snacks, disposable placemat, travel Kleenex, Lysol wipes

mom purses, essentials for summer diaper bagMom’s Essentials Pouches: Monogram Pouch | lululemon Belt Bag | Neoprene Crossbody

The personal pouch is for all of Mom’s Essentials, the things that don’t pertain to kids! I am constantly moving those contents to and from all of my bags…my mom bag, my crossbody, the diaper bag.

I keep all of the small things in another pouch, and I leave that in my mom bag. The sunscreen stick and Band-Aids come in handy when going on an impromptu park trip!

All of the “kid stuff” is a pared-down version of a diaper bag. I don’t need a change of clothes and seven spare diapers in my bag anymore when running into Target (thank goodness). But these essentials come with me most everywhere. I replenish the water bottle and snacks before leaving the house, and everything else stays in my mom bag, in a gallon Ziplock bag.

What about you? What are your “mom bag essentials?” Let us know in the comments so other mamas can see!

Need somewhere to go with your new streamlined mom bag? Check out our Guide to Summer for inspo!

Caroline was born and raised in Arlington and went to high school in Fort Worth. She met her husband Joe while they were in the 5th and 6th grades, respectively, and graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2012 with a degree in Chemistry. Caroline and Joe settled in Plano in 2016 with their rescue pup Buddy and welcomed their son William in July 2020. Caroline runs her own virtual assistant business, Just Ask Caroline LLC. When she isn’t in front of her laptop, you can find her reading, getting back into exercise on her Peloton, and slowly updating their house. You can find her online at


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