A City Mom Tells Us Her 20 Essentials For Parenting-on-the-Go

A City Mom Tells Us Her 20 Essentials For Parenting-on-the-Go

The urban gridscape will be no match for you with these must haves.  

By Patricia Cunningham

If being an urban mom on the go were a video game, it would look a lot like vintage Super Mario Bros. But instead of climbing up ladders, jumping over barrels and dodging fireballs to avoid a giant ape, you’re navigating crowded sidewalks, schlepping kids up and down subway stairs and simultaneously providing snacks and de-germing while trying to avoid getting run over by a bus.

It requires extreme agility, lightning fast reflexes—and, let’s be honest, some seriously sensible footwear. But that’s just the start. Here I've culled together a master list of essential items to help moms and kids get smoothly from point A to B in any urban metropolis, with no sad faces and nary a hair out of place.

Shoes Made for Walkin’

The mom beat is not for the faint-hearted. You can clock a couple miles on your Fitbit just getting the kids to and from soccer practice in the park on Saturday (with a slight detour for your favorite iced coffee). So the shoe has got to be all about comfort. But that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice cool.

Adidas Originals Superstar Bold Platform Sneaker

BUY FROM: Urban Outfitters, $110

Toms Avalon Slip On


BUY FROM: Amazon, SALE $47.16 (Regularly $58.95, 20% Off!)

Vans Old Skool Sneaker

BUY FROM: Zappos, $60

JSLIDES Alara Slip-On Sneaker


BUY FROM: Nordstrom, $134.95

Bags That Wont Weigh You Down

Sure you’ve got a groovy clutch for nights on the town and a stylish tote for 9-5, but when you’re on mom duty, its all about function. (Well, that and getting the urban chic quotient just right.) And if you can’t go hands-free with it, you’re saving it for another time.

State Kane Wingback Backpack

BUY FROM: Bloomingdales, $65.00

MZ Wallace Paige Bedford Crossbody Bag

BUY FROM: MZ Wallace, SALE $207.00 (Regularly $295, $40%Off!)

Baggu Duck Bag Natural Grid

BUY FROM: Amazon, $30.00

Orla Kiely Summer Flower Stem Zip Messenger

BUY FROM: Zappos, SALE $102.99 (Regularly, $146, 29% Off!)

Water Bottles That Make Hydrating Fun

Water fountains can be few and far between in the urban jungle. These reusable bottles will suit everyone’s unique tastes (including mommy’s) and keep the whole crew nicely hydrated. 

S’well Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle

BUY FROM: Amazon, $25.00

Kleen Kanteen Stainless Steel Water Bottle


BUY FROM: Amazon, $18.80

CamelBak Eddy Kids Water Bottle

BUY FROM: Amazon, $9.98 

Thermos Funtainer

BUY FROM: Amazon, $16.52

Healthy Snacks to Keep Everybody Movin’

Because momentum can flag when you’re underground and six stops from your destination and someone’s apple just fell and rolled along the subway car floor.

Clif Kid Organic Z Bar

BUY FROM: Amazon, $10.25, 18 count

Annie's Organic Variety Pack

BUY FROM: Amazon, $11.39, 36 pouches

Stretch Island Fruit Leather Variety Pack

BUY FROM: Amazon, $19.95, 48 count

Always Come Prepared

The city is unpredictable, especially so with kids in tow. You’re exposed to the elements. There are uneven sidewalks to trip over, subway poles to transmit any number of bacteria. But your bag is always stocked with these essentials, so you can deal.

EO Hand Sanitizer Wipes

BUY FROM: Amazon, $20.39, pack of 6

Emoji Adhesive Bandages

BUY FROM: Amazon, $7.95, pack of 3

Honest Company SPF 30 Sunscreen Stick

BUY FROM: Target, $9.99

ShedRain Compact Air Vent Umbrella

BUY FROM: Target, $18.99

Oh, and one more thing, since urban public restrooms can sometimes be your version of a dystopian nightmare…

Neat Solutions Potty Topper

BUY FROM: Target, $9.99, 10 Pack

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