Anthony Tran

9 Moms At Camp Romper Show Us Their On-The-Go Bag Essentials

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No one is more prepared than a parent headed out for the day with their child — not a solo climber about to tackle El Cap, not the swimmers who cross oceans in shark cages. Parents are ready for any eventuality at all times, as the parents of Camp Romper have proven. Change a baby standing up? Can do. Your 3-year-old struck by inspiration while riding the subway? No worries, this mom has a stash of stationery.

The parents present at the first Camp Romper, in Brooklyn's Prospect Park on Sept. 22, were ready to go. Yes, they were stocked with diapers and wipes, but a look inside their go bags showed that parents today are far, far wilier than their predecessors: take Danielle, a mom who brought three-quarters of the Ninja Turtles squad with her just in case the need arose, or the geniuses who brought a separate change of clothes for themselves. Clearly, it was not their first rodeo.

Find out what moms packed for a day of fun in the sun and live vicariously through sun-dappled strangers on the internet by taking a peek into their bags below.

Katrina, mother to a 1-year-old

The essentials:

"Basically diapers and wipes are the main concern, and something to put down when I change him. Then I always have a disposable pad if we're going somewhere outside, if I have to change him on grass or something. His own fork and spoon, so if we're sitting down eating somewhere... hand sanitizer; mineral, organic sunscreen; a plastic bag in case; and then a change of clothes, always; and then his sunglasses."

On keeping her bag separate from her son's:

"Instead of a bringing a traditional diaper bag, I started packing his own backpack with his things for multiple reasons. One, it allows me to obviously carry whatever bag I want if I'm going somewhere, and I want it to match my outfit. I still use a diaper bag if we're flying, or maybe if we're going out all day, but for any outing even like a half-day... he also likes knowing that it's his backpack. I let him put certain things in it. I think it gives him a little independence and control, since he's now entering that tough toddler time. I think it's important."

Advice for new moms:

"It's funny. When you become a new mom, you think everywhere you go you need to bring everything. I quickly learned that these are the only essentials. I also like having his stuff in his bag and mine in mine because I'm not constantly... like if you're in a rush, and then I feel like I'm always displacing my wallet or my phone."

Leona, mom of three

The essentials:

"Diapers, wipes, pacifiers, an extra pair of clothes, a bottle, an extra bottle, water. If you're breastfeeding, changing pads for your breasts."

The one thing she can't leave the house without:

"Pampers."

Doris, mother of two (2 years old and 2 months old)

The essentials:

"Definitely you should have extra set of clothing, diapers, and Pampers wipes. Specifically Pampers wipes. This one is superior. I feel like it's superior. It's really good. And Pampers diapers, I feel like accommodates him better."

"You have to have sunscreen. There's a snack, there are wipes and Pampers. What else? And extra cash."

Advice for new moms:

"I have an extra pair of undergarments for myself, an extra pair of clothes for mommy in addition to what I just mentioned before. There are accidents that always happen."

Susan, mother of two (4 years old and 4 months old)

The essentials:

"Diapers, wipes, extra set of clothes."

The one thing she can't leave the house without:

"Do I be selfish and say my phone or food for that guy, because he gets very angry."

Advice for new moms:

"Bring an extra set of clothes for yourself in case they spit up on you."

Danielle, mother of a tween

The essentials:

“Snacks. Action figures. A book to read for the commute. Always need wipes and hand sanitizer. Sometimes, a portable charger because they want to use my phone.”

Things moms might often forget:

“I feel like a lot of moms have a good grasp on it. Sometimes, maybe the wipes or the hand sanitizer, or the tissues. For the extra messes. Sometimes, it is an extra snack, for themselves. You always feed your kids, but you never pack enough to feed yourself. Or that extra bottle of water.”

Her bag regrets:

"I'm like, 'Let me try to be creative.' I wish that I had cuter bags. Lately, I've been schlepping around book bags because I wish someone would've told me a backpack would be the rest of my life. I can't seem to get it all to fit in cute, pretty bags, anymore.”

Sabrina, mother of one (3 years old)

The essentials:

"Anything that keeps her occupied. In case we get bored. If we're somewhere that we need to be stationary for a while, like the subway or a restaurant, then I have to have activities for her.

Flarp is her favorite thing. It's like in between slime and Play-Doh, and it makes fart noises and that's her favorite thing to play with. And then also she likes to draw and read."

On her choice of bag:

"I made my bag. I took a sewing class then I made this tote bag and we've downsized. At first it was the diaper bag, then it was a big backpack. And now it's just this tote bag."

Jenny, mother of two (4 years old and 10 months old)

The essentials:

“A couple of things that we keep in our diaper bag that we can't leave the house without is puffs. My son is four and my daughter's 10 months old, and they both love puffs from Happy Baby or puffs from Organix. Then this other thing that we use all the time is something that you can convert any chair into a high chair, so it kind of straps them in. You know a lot of restaurants, they'll either run out of high chairs or they're really dirty. I like to bring my own and it folds up into a little bag."

Things moms might not always think of:

"Maybe an extra set of clothes because accidents always happen and I always carry an extra set for the kids. But I think maybe having an extra T-shirt for mom, like me, myself, would probably be good because I also find myself covered in spit up or milk or something."

Something to bring that won't fit in a bag:

"I would like to add you should bring along a Mommy's Helper, like your sibling, someone to help with the kids.That's always helpful."

Caprice, mother of one (4 years old)

The essentials:

“Well, he has asthma and a lot of food allergies, so I don't go anywhere without his little allergy medicine case, so that's one, hand sanitizer, and a toy.”

Things kept from the diaper bag:

“Usually like wet wipes because I feel like he'll always need that.”

Advice for new moms:

“Downsize. New moms, in the beginning, you feel like you need a whole suitcase to go to the corner and I learned very early on you don't. Just the essentials like a diaper, a change of clothes, and food, and you're good.”

Mikaela, mother of two (1 year old and six years old)

The essentials:

"Snacks. There's always snacks in my bag. Always, always, always because now they can share snacks and they can eat the same things when it comes to snacks. So I make sure I always have snacks."

Always diapers and wipes of course. Of course snacks. I try to make sure that I have something to drink. So some water or some milk.

Favorite snacks to pack for the kids:

"Veggie straws are great because they can both eat them. What else do I put in my bag? Granola bars."

Things moms might not always think of:

"Hand sanitizer. I know most moms probably think of it, but something that's always in my bag is hand sanitizer. And a fan for days like this when it's really hot because he gets sweaty, too."

"I also like to keep lotion because they play around, they get dusty, dirty, so they might need a little lotion to keep them moisturized. Nothing else though."

Photo Credit: Anthony Tran