Pack your bags, it’s almost time


Packing. I hate it.

Whether it’s for an overnight stay, a two-week island hop or six weeks in Europe it still draws the same ire for me.

What do I bring? What don’t I bring? Will five pairs of shoes be enough? Can I really survive one night without my GHDs?

Nine times out of 10 I will forget something and pretty much every time I will over-pack. Quite often I’ll leave out something practical like pyjama bottoms only to find I have included something useless like a gold-sequinned evening bag – for an overnight stay at mum and dad’s.

I abide by the ‘what-if’ rule of packing.

What if – despite the humidity and my propensity to down cocktails at the swim-up bar everyday – I decide to use the hotel gym while in Bali? I better bring my runners and workout clothes.

What if – despite being on a Contiki tour with budget-conscious travellers who’d rather spend their holiday money skolling steins than indulging in fine dining – I decide to dine at a Michelin-star restaurant? I better bring a cocktail dress, heels and matching clutch.

What if – despite it being the middle of winter in Melbourne with skin so pale I’d be loath to flash even a wrist – I decide to hit the beach? I simply can’t leave my three bathing suits and cover-up at home.

Recently The Boy and I went away for four nights to stay with his brother in Brisbane. The Boy brought one bag – the size of my carry-on luggage – to hold his clothes, shoes and toiletries. Meanwhile I lugged a massive suitcase bulging with shoes, dresses, three pairs of jeans, a selection of tops, hair-dryer, hair straightener, make-up, styling products and a box of accessories which I had matched to each one of my outfits.

Ridiculous because our itinerary was to involve going to his Uncle’s birthday party – which I ended up buying a brand-new dress for while I was over there anyway, a visit to Australia Zoo, a day trip to Surfers Paradise and spending time with family.

I may sound like I’m high-maintenance but I assure you I am not, I just like to be prepared. Hmm okay maybe I am just a little.

Which brings me to this week’s inevitable and unenviable task of packing my hospital bag.

With just five weeks to go until Predator’s arrival it is high-time I put my lack-of packing skills to use and sort out what necessities I need to bring.

Already on the list are four pairs of pyjamas. Yes four pairs. Why? Because I can’t decide which ones to bring and what if I wish I brought one of the pairs I left at home? I know this logic is crazy especially as I’ll only be in hospital for five days and I’m sure The Boy can bring in an extra pair if I do regret bringing the dessert print ones over the leopard print ones. But what if?

I have a nightie for when I am in labour but have already started canvassing the shops in case I find a better one even though it will be more than likely end up in the bin after it’s been covered in after-birth and God knows what else. So more than likely I will have two nighties in my bag and a dressing gown.

What is a new mother to wear while in hospital? I had planned on rotating my selection of pretty pyjamas but alas the midwife has recommended bringing in comfortable day clothes.

This is not music to my ears. I pretty much live in dresses and tights/leggings or jeans. A friend recommended track pants – no.

So what am I meant to bring? I’m thinking a couple of pairs of leggings and a selection of longer loose-fitting tops.

When it comes to shoes I’ve decided on two pairs – my new pink fluffy slippers and a pair of ballet flats for the drive in and home. SORTED.

After much careful consideration I have also chosen Predator’s going home outfit. Ugh make that outfits. What if our mini-human is a boy? The red-striped ensemble might look a little girly and what if the cute little duck outfit screams too casual? Oh what a conundrum.

Luckily our chosen hospital supplies nappies, singlets, wraps and everything else Predator will require for his/her’s first few days in the world – thank God.

Can you imagine if I had to bring all of this too? Would I bring the muslin wraps or the flannelette wraps? The bunny-covered cloth nappies or the bright swirly patterned ones? I know what I’d do – I’d bring them all. Just. In. Case.

Then there’s the necessities – maternity pads (more like adult nappies), breast pads, toiletries, maternity bras, multiple pairs of full-brief underwear, bikini top for the shower/bath during labour, camera, video camera, phone charger, make-up, hair-dryer, music, birth plan, heat packs etc.

No wonder Beyoncé booked out an entire floor for the birth of Ivy Blue – I can’t imagine her to pack lightly so it was probably needed to store all of her belongings!

A lot of magazines/websites suggest packing a bag for the labour and a bag for the hospital stay, also a bag for dad. Well The Boy can pack his own bag and I’m going to bring one bag and one bag only. It may be bursting at the seams but if I have to pack two separate bags I’ll lose my mind and more than likely bring twice as much stuff.

Next step – to find a bag big enough.

If you have any packing tips for me please leave a comment below or perhaps you have a list of hospital must-haves which I haven’t included.

Maternally yours, What-If-I-Forget-Something?


7 responses

  1. Warm socks, nipple cream and a tennis ball.
    Warm socks because hospitals are notorious for getting cold and you don’t want blue toes!
    Nipple cream for obvious reasons. Although I’m taking paw paw ointment which probably could have doubled as nipple cream.
    Tennis ball for rubbing into the small of your back otherwise your support person will end up with RSI!
    I’ve read a few recommendations for dark coloured pj’s… Just in case there is leakage.

    My day outfits are the same as you. Not a huge trackpants fan so I have 3 pairs of leggings, lose tips and 2 cardigans…

    Snacks! Don’t forget snacks! I have muesli bars and chocolate. If you deliver mid morning or arbvo there may be a wait for your meal. You totally deserve chocolate after going through labour! And maybe some of your favourite calming tea?

    I’m using an overnight bag that I got from Bali. It’s a large bowling-style one and fits everything perfectly.

  2. Haha you crack me up. When I suggested track pants I meant for sleeping in at night when leakage is more likely to occur. I’d rather get a daggy pair of track pants dirty and just chuck them out than my pretty pyjamas. I also took leggings, long tops and cardigans to wear during the day. I also took ballet flats as I didn’t really want to enter / leave / walk around the hospital in my sequin slippers. Socks are definitely a must and yes definitely a top/nightie to birth in. Those open back gowns are hideous! Dry shampoo is a must. If you go with freshly washed hair, dry shampoo may just get you through.I took my straightener and a little mineral powder. I obviously didn’t straighten my entire mane but after every shower, just my fringe and applied a little mineral powder and lip balm. You will get a lot of visitors and just because we have just given birth doesn’t mean we want to look like haggard old moles (for lack of a better word). Moisturiser and yes definitely pawpaw ointment. It is a lifesaver in a myriad of situations. If I think of anything else I’ll be sure to let you know. Xx

  3. Don’t forget to pack a little light so you can have a dull light for the middle of the night, otherwise you have to turn on the bright fluro above your bed… not so easy on tired eyes for you or your newborn.

  4. I highly recommend firm yoga pants. They were comfortable and kept me feeling a little more secure whilst wearing the surfboards. Buy a dozen cheap black knickers (I bought high wasted in case of a caeser). Breastfeeding singlets (I wore Lovable)are unreal! I lived in mine with a cardy. I think everything else on your list sounds great. It is hard to know what you want to wear during labour, so you have seemed to cover all bases. Pack boardies for G.

    Very exciting times!!

  5. One bag! I want to know how you did it? I had 3! Lol! They were just carry on luggage size but I have a problem in packing for just in case also. I took a bag in the birthing suite. Just because it was easier than rummaging through other bags for the essentials. Also pack a pair of thongs just incase you want to sit or walk around in the courtyard (I’m guessing you’re SJOG) I had my oils for burning, tinderbox do a beautiful massage oil for child birth which claims helps everything go back where it should if you continue to use after birth, snacks for dad to be, lip balm, waterbottles, headband because you can work up a sweat in there. Like you I had 2 nighties but after having a shower and in pain I couldn’t be bothered putting either of them back on and wore the ugly gown! Eeewwwww! But I didn’t care at the time. Like you said, the boy can get stuff from home I you need it. Oh also I packed fenugreek tablets incase I had a problem with my milk . Turns out I did, and they did help a little.

  6. I just kept putting it off … and putting it off … and putting it off (! In the end I took too many shoes (for me) – you’re right with slippers & ballets, too many clothes for her (which – 15 months down the track seems to be an ongoing issue!), but the perfect amount of clothes for me. ( Despite having not planned c-section, I figured I wasn’t sick, I just had to stay in hospital with my bubba for a few days, so I didn’t really want to be in my PJ’s. It was middle of summer so I packed a few dresses. Easy to access your boobs kind of dresses. I was so revoltingly sick for the first 24 hours that I was in the hospital gown. Other than that, only in my nightie (Peter Alexander with matching baby singlet!) in the evenings. Whatever you’re most comfortable in. How EXCITING!!

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