Second Time Around Series – Packing My Hospital Bag

So it’s only 4 weeks until Baby Grose is due to make an appearance and I have finally got round to packing my bag for the hospital.  With Sebastian, I was induced a week past my due date but I did not want to tempt fate by leaving it to the last minute if there is even the slightest chance of this baby arriving early.

Assuming I have another natural birth, I will be staying in hospital for a total of 4 nights.  I learnt some useful lessons from my hospital stay with Sebastian and I have definitely tried to be more practical when packing this time around.

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Although I keep referring to my hospital “bag”, I actually prefer to use a small wheeled suitcase as I can fit more in and move it around more easily.  I also plan to pack a Thirty-One Organising Utility Tote with all of my toiletries, snacks,reading material and electronic gadgets so that they are readily accessible.  I love these bags as they have lots of external pockets, heaps of room inside and really strong handles.

So here is a list of all the items I will be packing…

Clothing

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  • Dressing Gown – I have ordered a custom-made Flannel-Lined Kimono Dressing Gown on Etsy in a lovely brightly coloured fabric to wear for those first mummy and baby photos!
  • Slippers – the only footwear you really need when you are in hospital!
  • 2 Nighties
  • 2 Pairs of i&u Lounge Pants – I had seen these trousers advertised in a magazine and am so glad that I found them.  They are made from a natural bamboo fabric and are just so soft and comfortable.
  • 2 Long Cardigans
  • 3 Sleeveless Tops
  • Underwear – last time I packed disposable underwear for my hospital stay but never again as it was so uncomfortable! Instead I have bought an inexpensive multi-pack of black knickers that I can throw away afterwards.
  • 2 Sports Bras
  • Lovely Going Home Outfit – I want to wear something that makes me feel good when I leave the hospital and I have opted for some patterned Harem trousers and a bright red knitted v-neck jumper.  I will also pack some pumps and a pashmina.

Toiletries

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  • Cleansing wipes
  • Day Moisturiser
  • Night Moisturiser
  • Toothbrush & Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Shower Gel & Body Puff
  • Self-Foaming Razor
  • Body Cream
  • Maternity Pads
  • Moist Toilet Wipes – much more comfortable than using regular toilet paper after having stitches.
  • Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Hairdryer/Hair Straighteners
  • Hairbrush
  • Dry Shampoo
  • Hairbands/Hairclips
  • Lip Balm
  • BB Cream
  • Concealer
  • Cream Blusher
  • Clinique Moisture Surge Refreshing Eye Mask
  • Clarins Beauty Flash Balm
  • Eye Mask – Useful if you are trying to take a nap during the day and need to block out the lights.

Baby Items

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  • Going Home Outfit – I have bought a really cute striped sleepsuit from Seed.
  • Knitted Blanket – I also found the most beautiful colour block blanket in Seed that I simply could not resist buying.
  • Comforter – Sebastian adores his Dizzy Dog comforter, so I have chosen Lizzie Lamb for the new baby.
  • Sleeping Bags – We used the Love to Swaddle Sleeping Bags with Sebastian as he would always wriggle out when we tried to swaddle him with a muslin or blanket.
  • Muslins – I will also pack a couple of my favourite Aden & Anais Muslin Swaddles in case the new baby does not like being in a sleeping bag.
  • 2 Hats
  • 2 Pairs of Mittens
  • Dummies – Sebastian only used a dummy for 3 or 4 months but it was an absolute god-send during that time and I wish I had thought to pack one in my hospital bag last time.

Snacks

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  • Dried Cranberries
  • Chewing Gum/Mints
  • Cartons of Protein Drink
  • Breakfast Biscuits
  • Water Bottle
  • Miniature Bottle of Champagne – We took a small bottle of Moet with us when I had Sebastian but never got round to drinking it, so I am determined to have a celebratory glass of bubbles in the hospital this time around!

Entertainment & Miscellaneous

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  • Notepad & Pen
  • I-Pod
  • I-Phone
  • Charger
  • Book
  • Magazines
  • ‘Best Brother’ T-Shirt for Sebastian
  • ‘Now We Have A Baby’ Board Book for Sebastian

Hopefully I will not need my suitcase for another few weeks but it never hurts to be prepared!

Second Time Around Series – A Peek Inside My Maternity Wardrobe

No sooner was I fitting back into my pre-pregnancy clothes after having Sebastian, than I fell pregnant again and had to bring my maternity clothes back out.  The difference this time round is that I am not working in an office during the week and a lot of the maternity clothes I wore during my previous pregnancy were too formal for my new role as a stay-at-home mum.

I absolutely love being pregnant but it does get depressing when you have to wear the same outfits day in and day out, so I think it’s worthwhile investing in a good maternity wardrobe that makes you feel good about yourself.  I bought some gorgeous clothes from Queen Bee when I was pregnant with Seb and if I placed my order before lunchtime I would receive my items the following morning. Needless to say, I became very well acquainted with the mail room lady at my workplace!  The great thing about Queen Bee is that they are constantly adding new items and they have some beautiful dresses, but it does come at a price.

A good friend of mine recently started an online business, Cotton Haystack, selling quality second-hand clothing for mums and kids.  Jen has a great sense of style and this is reflected in the gorgeous maternity clothes that she stocks.  I have made numerous purchases from the website since it launched at the beginning of the year as it is not only a much more cost-effective way of adding to my maternity wardrobe, but it also means I can get great brands at a fraction of the original price.  Jen regularly updates her stock and recently added the Fall maternity collection…I just wish I didn’t like so much of it!

Now it’s time to take a peek inside my maternity wardrobe…

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Tops

I have the Trimester Miracle Maternity Tank in black, cream and navy/grey stripes. It is such a comfortable and versatile top that can easily be worn post-pregnancy too. I also have the Trimester Flounce Nursing Tank Top which has got so much use and can be dressed up or down.

I bought a lovely sheer peach floral top by GAP Maternity on the Cotton Haystack website as I thought it would be perfect for teaming with trousers and sandals for a smart/casual look. The colour is so pretty and would also look lovely with jeans, a long cardigan and a pashmina in the colder months.

Knitwear

I have a couple of lovely cardigans from Mark & Spencer’s maternity range, one in black and one in camel, which look great worn with leggings and knee-high boots. I got great use out of these post-pregnancy too as they covered a multitude of sins while I was still carrying a few extra pounds. I also have an Everly Grey purple striped cardigan which instantly adds a splash of colour.

I bought a lovely Country Road black crossover top from Cotton Haystack and it can easily be dressed up for the evening or worn casually with jeans and pumps. It fits nicely over my baby bump but I can see me getting a lot of use out of it after I have the baby.

Skirts

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I have two lovely wrap-around skirts from Queen Bee. The pink Trimester ‘Florence’ tiered wrap maxi skirt is really pretty and is ideal for a Summer barbecue. The navy Trimester ‘Intuition’ tiered wrap skirt looks great with the Trimester striped tank top for a simple Summer outfit.

I have had great use out of my Pumpkin Patch striped maxi skirt which can be worn over or under the bump. I have been wearing it over Summer but I think it would look equally good in winter with a long chunky cardigan and some boots. I also have a khaki cargo skirt from Pumpkin Patch that is so comfortable to wear with its over-the-bump waist panel.

Shorts/Trousers

I have a pair of denim shorts from Pumpkin Patch which feature a very useful adjustable waistband. They have been great to throw on with a tank top during the Summer months. I also love my white Noppies linen pants which are just so comfortable.

I recently bought a lovely pair of Esprit navy cargo pants and they fit brilliantly, plus they can be rolled up and worn as cropped trousers. They were pretty pricey though at $119.95. I also bought some Esprit maternity jeans which are a really lovely fit and are designed to be worn under the bump, but again they weren’t cheap at $121.95.

I have managed to buy several pairs of maternity trousers from Cotton Haystack over the past few months and I’m so pleased with all of them. I have a pair of Mothercare black harem lounge pants, some French Connection grey silk harem pants, Ripe Maternity olive cargo pants and a pair of Zara maternity jeans.

Casual Dresses

As both of my pregnancies have been during Summer, a good selection of cool and casual dresses has been essential for me. My favourites are my Trimester ‘Rhapsody’ Maxi Dress and my Cobalt Pea in a Pod maternity maxi dress.

I also have a knee-length cross-over sleeveless jersey dress from Pea in a Pod in black, as well as a lovely LAmade Maternity purple summer dress.

I have two Belabumbum ‘Samantha’ Kimono dresses which were great for wearing around the house in those first few weeks after giving birth to Seb. They are made from a lovely soft jersey material and hang loosely over the stomach area, but I still felt good in them and they made a nice change to joggers and a t-shirt.

I have a Maternal America Charcoal Front Tie Dress which did not get much use during my last pregnancy but I am hoping to wear it this time. It is ideal for Autumn and can be worn with a chunky knitted cardigan and some knee-high boots.

Formal Dresses

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I have a black Trimester Gypsy Nursing Maxi Gown which is great worn with some gold sandals and a long necklace for a special occasion.

I also have a beautiful Venezia strapless maxi dress from FEM by T-Bags which I wore for New Year’s Eve 2011 and for my Baby Shower as it’s the most glamorous maternity dress that I own, plus I feel great when I wear it.

I have pulled together 10 different outfit combinations from my maternity wardrobe to give other mums-to-be some inspiration.

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Outfit 1 – Pumpkin Patch Denim Shorts with a Pea in a Pod black jersey cross-over sleeveless top.

Outfit 2 – Ripe Maternity blue/white striped t-shirt worn with MNG cropped cargo trousers (both purchased second-hand at Cotton Haystack)

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Outift 3 – Esprit Wellness Harmony T-Shirt with Esprit Navy Cargo Pants.

Outfit 4Trimester Miracle Maternity Tank in cream with Trimester Florence Tiered Wrap Maxi Skirt in angelic pink.

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Outfit 5 – GAP Maternity Peach Sheer Blouse (second-hand from Cotton Haystack) worn with Noppies White Linen Pants.

Outfit 6Amoralia Angelica Halterneck Tankini with Seraphine white cotton tunic (both purchased from Queen Bee).

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Outfit 7Trimester Gypsy Nursing Maxi Gown worn with some gold flat sandals and accessorised with a clutch bag and long necklace.

Outfit 8 – Country Road black cross-over knitted top with French Connection silk tribal pants (both second-hand purchased from Cotton Haystack).

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Outfit 9Maternal America Charcoal Front Tie Dress with Seed long grey knitted cardigan (RRP $129.95 but managed to get on Cotton Haystack for $38).  Accessorise with some black knee-high boots and a colourful scarf.

Outfit 10 – Next Maternity black long-sleeved top worn with Boutique Bold navy jersey sleeveless cardigan (another second-hand purchase from Cotton Haystack’s fall collection) and Zara maternity jeans (Cotton Haystack).

My final recommendation is a pair of amazing yoga pants by Trimester.  The Jacoba Straight Leg Yoga Pants are without doubt my best maternity purchase as they are so comfortable and still look great worn post-pregnancy.  A great item to pack for your hospital stay too.