You’re expecting, just maybe not in the traditional way.
If you are hoping to adopt a baby, especially with a domestic (US) open adoption, you need to be prepared.
We got THE CALL from the hospital with our first daughter and arrived with nothing with us, not even a camera! Thankfully, our social worker helped us out and captured those first few moments.
We had to go shopping at midnight for a car seat and other necessities. It was crazy!
Don’t make the same mistake we did. Be ready for that call!
Here are 20 must-haves for when that big day comes…
Car seat (check reviews and be careful about using a used car seat, they expire!) The hospital will not let you leave without one.
*Car seat cover (have both lightweight and heavy since you don’t know what season your baby will be born)
Large Diaper bag
*Two newborn outfits For our second adoption, I had two of each gender packed for coming home outfits. Lesson learned from our first daughter…we bought and washed everything the night before she was to come home, but she spit up all over her outfit! Thankfully, the nurses gave us a beautiful crocheted outfit for her to wear.
*wash everything in Dreft or other baby laundry detergent and place in a zip lock bag to keep it fresh
For You and Your Spouse:
Travel Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, body wash, shave kit, hairbrush, etc…)
Flip flops to wear in the hospital shower
Pajamas or something to sleep in
* A bathrobe (this one is really important!) A nurse asked if I’d brought a robe so I could do skin to skin contact with my second daughter right after she was born without being too exposed. I did not. 😟 I offered to take off my sweater, but they couldn’t allow me to do that in the nursery and a private room was not ready for us yet. I offered to go buy a robe, but they wanted it to be washed before using it, so my daughter was placed under bili lights. I still regret not having my robe with me.
Clothes can be packed the day the call comes (tough to plan ahead without knowing the season)
Your pediatrician’s phone number. I was not prepared for this one at the hospital with our first child. I called a friend and asked her for her pediatrician’s number. I lucked out that they were taking new patients and would take our child’s Medicaid insurance. Not sure what we would’ve done if they wouldn’t take us. (Your child doesn’t go on your insurance until he adoption is finalized until then they typically have Medicaid)
Gum or mints
Camera you may want your good camera, not just your phone.
Money for vending machine snacks
That’s it. The hospital will have diapers, wipes, and bottles for you there. Use them!
It’s good to know which brand of formula, bottles, diapers, and wipes you will be buying. It can be quite overwhelming trying to decide this in the grocery store with your new baby. Better yet, have these ready to go at home, so you don’t have to stop at the store at midnight like we did or on your way home with your brand new baby.
It’s better to be prepared and ready to go rather than having to rush to the nearest store for necessities like we did with our first daughter. We were much better prepared with our second, except that whole bathrobe thing.
(I added links to some of the items for your convenience, but as of right now, I don’t get anything for that.)