Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Packing Lists

As I move closer and closer to referral I decided it was time to stop putting off the inevitable. So I recently dove head first into the complex world of "Packing Lists". Gasp... scary stuff.

I was quickly overwhelmed. But then I took a deep breath and started to realize... most of them are the same.

Of course, there are many opinions from those that have gone before as to what's important to take and what's not. What surprised me most were the wide variations of those opinions. What was indispensable to one person may have never even been used by someone else.

Which just means I have to take all of it. Everything. Just to be on the safe side. Ugh!

So I've made my own list. That's right. There's a document now saved on my computer that I authored and titled "My China Packing List". Big smile :) It's ginormous though. But I'll be whittling it down over the next couple months.Oh and even though it's ginormous.... I have no clothing on the list yet. Now that doesn't mean I plan to go to China naked. But I need to know when I'll go to China and where I'll be. How else will I know what weather to pack for? But I'm pretty sure I'll be there in the spring. April or May is my guess. So I'll start my clothing plan there.

And clothing for Mia? Well, let's just say I have to decide what NOT to pack. Cuz baby clothes are so dang cute. How will I ever decide?

Feel free to weigh in with your own opinions. I'd love to hear them. What could you not live without? What did you wish you'd left at home? And anyone who traveled in April or May... can you give me an idea of what kind of temperatures to expect? I know it depends on province, too. But what was your experience?


Mer (Lulu's Mommy) said...

Anti nausea RX from your PCP. I did not have this, and another mama gave it to me, and i needed it to survive. LITERALLY

K said...

LOL! We might meet in Guangzhou! I'm not sure yet when I'll be travelling, but the time-frame is 2-6 months from now.

Are you going to blog from China?

Anonymous said...

Do not bring too many clothes for the adults .. Laundry is very convient...Also limit for check in bags in china flights is 10 pounds.. Though our group always weighed in together..Bring lots of oneies for Mia in case she has diaper " explosions ".. Jasmine was fine but another couple in my group was forever blow drying onesies..


K said...

Only a few things that I was really glad I had:

1. an accordian-type folder to hold and organize all the paperwork

2. Baby Mum-Mums and cheerios

3. ziplock bags -- came in really handy for a lot of things but especially to carry pre-measured formula for making bottles on-the-go

Sarah in MT said...

Just one small detail...make sure you leave room in your arms for that baby girl! Anything else can be bought as you need it.

a Tonggu Momma said...

Oh my lands are we getting close. My Ergo arrived in the mail earlier this week. Yeah!

In terms of packing lists, everyone has a different opinion. I love organization, so a file folder for all of the paperwork and tons of ziploc baggies were essential. Also, bring extra space saver bags. Invariably some rip in the packing and unpacking process during two weeks of hotel living. Other than that, it's all in what you think will work for you.

Coley said...

I have no idea what you should bring (since Sissy was a toddler and the available services in VN are different than China - and with King, he's a school-aged kiddo and I don't think that your little one would be interested in the DSi that we'll be bringing him) but I'm still SUPER excited to live through you!

Donna -N- Andrew said...

Your better then me....I leave in four weeks & I'm still trying to figure out what to take & leave.
Your almost there!

2china4S said...

We are glad we brought baby food prunes. Our travel mates heeded our agency's advice (I think you are using that agency), waited to buy things in China and were sorely disappointed.

We used Playtex bottles and the inserts were not available in Kunming. I am a horrendous over packer, drive my husband nuts and need professional help. But he was glad we had enough inserts for our daughter and were able to share with another family, who of course waited, because you can find everything in China.

Glad we brought a small thermos, because our travel mates complained that the ones they purchased there were lousy. We were too busy with our daughter to ask what was wrong with them, but there were lots of complaints.

Baby wipes also came in handy. Apparently difficult to purchase there.

I have been lurking for such a long time (came via Ali's blog), it's good to see you near referral.

Catherine said...

Yay! What a fun topic to weigh in on!!

1. Would not, could not go without a baby carrier to hold your sweetie close as much as possible. Trust me, you won't want to put her down!

2. Used Playtex bottles with plasic bag liners. The roll of bags, not the preformed ones Great! Premeasured formula each evening, wrapped with an elastic asn was good to go.

3. Thermos for carrying boiled water for bottles

4. Packed all Hannah's clothes in outfits, including socks in individual ziplocks. Great and easy when you can think straight due to love or....jetlag. :o)

5. Backpack diaperbag. You'll want your hands free will most likely do a lot of walking so a backpack works well

6. Camera, camera, camera. Flip, Flip, Flip

7. Not really a packing tip but I would recommend blogging as much as possible from China. There are so many details you won't want to forget. I'm happy to work with you if you want to email posts and pics to me and I can post to your blog if you want. Let me know.

8. Stainless steel bowl for washing bottles and nipples in boiling water as you won't want to use the sink that you do laundry in and brush your teeth in.

9. Tights for Mia. Even though it will be spring the clothing grandma's will be out in full force.

10. Shopping list of what you want to buy in China. In the excitement of the moment it's easy to forget things and it's not like you can go back tomorrow to buy them. Wish I'd purchased more Chinese things for Hannah.

That's my list for now but I'm sure I'll think of other stuff. Will email you so I don't clog up your comments. :o)

Allison [LID 6/5/06] said...

you've inspired me to get started on my list - Thank you! I will continue to check back and hope to get more good info from the June room. I finally got included today :)

Donna said...

Been to China three times so I'm getting pretty good at packing!

I recommend a stroller because it's handy for baby and also holds all of your stuff when baby isn't in it. Since there's no clean place to lay baby down for diaper changes, the stroller is perfect for that too (if the seat fully reclines).

Be sure to get one with a huge basket underneath -- not an umbrella stroller since they tip over backwards if you hang stuff on the handles. Graco is sturdy and cheap.

Another handy thing was suction hooks. I'm an organization freak so they were really helpful in the hotel room. A big mesh hanging organizer is with us on ALL of our trips since it keeps the small items neatly accessible. I load mine up and drop it into the suitcase then lift it out and put it in the closet in the hotel! Makes packing and unpacking a breeze!

Okay, final tip: Disposable diapers and wipes are available in China but the quality isn't very good so pack enough good quality diapers from home to get you through the nights and the flights. Use the Chinese disposables for everything else. As you deplete your supply, it'll free up space in your suitcase for souvenirs! ;)


Donna said...

Oh, and here's something my social worker told me: Tie a washcloth to the faucet in the hotel's bathroom sink so you don't forget that you shouldn't rinse your toothbrush there!

And this one is silly but it's something very convenient: Bring all of your old ratty underwear and throw them away each day instead of washing them. Saves a bunch of time and trouble and gives you an excuse to buy some new ones when you get home! ;)


Anonymous said...

I would recommend bringing some anti-diahreal medicine for the little one. I was caught off guard with my daughter. We were in VN and luckily close to an SOS clinic so I was able to get some meds for her. I would also recommend bringing Aquaphor and hydrocortezone cream. Those products came in handy for my daughter's bad excema.

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

Don't sweat the packing... you don't need as much as you think you do... unless you are a HUGE packer anyway...