9 Things the Adoptive Parent Needs in Their Go Bag For Baby
In the world of adoption, nesting is an entirely different thing than it is in traditional pregnancies. Coupled with the chance that the entire thing might fall a part at any second we also battle this feeling of it not-quite-counting. Are we really expecting? When can we call ourselves a parent or "mom"?
One of the key steps of nesting is creating your "go bag" for when it's time to meet the baby. Since this is typically done in pregnancy and is created for when you go give birth, adoptive parents have a harder time figuring out what to put in the bag.
Because adoptive parents have to throw in the fact that we may not know the age or sex or even quantity of the child(ren) we are adopting. We could go from 0 to 60 in a day or it might be 0 to 1 in 7 months. It's truly a gamble. So what are the things we actually need in our own version of this "go bag"?
First, let me preface this with the fact that this guide is not definitive. In my own preparation for our baby that's due in January 2017 I felt in limbo. I googled "what do adoptive parents need" or "what are the absolute minimums you need for an upcoming newborn"? I got nothing. So this just serves as a little something. It's definitely not 100% inclusive because that would be impossible. And, news flash, I'll be a first-time mom so I obviously know nothing.
I've also added a little asterisk to the items I think would be nice if you had before the baby came. Most adoptive parents are very hesitant about having a traditional baby shower before hand to get things (because you, know adoptions don't always work out). So if you're waiting to have one (like we are) then you might want to pick up some of these beforehand (or beg your parents to get them for you like we are).
Obviously, you can't even leave the hospital without one. I asked other mom's about the preference, looked at price tags, ratings and light-weight-ness. I'm digging this one.
Very few clothes*
We are getting like 1 outfit or one set of outfits (a lot of baby stuff comes in 3's I'm seeing) and washing it beforehand. I know the baby will need more, but my heart can only wash and store 1 right now. This is why Target and Amazon Prime exist. I like these gender neutral outfits.
A package or so of newborn and/or next size diapers*
Clearly I know diaper lingo here. So our birthmom has 10 pound babies. Yeah, so I'm not even sure if the newborn diapers will fit, but I'd rather purchase my own instead of using what the hospital provides. Side note: as of now we're planning on primarily using cloth diapers so we'll purchase those once babe is here. I've picked out this brand of cloth diapers and will pick up a pack of these disposables to take to the hospital.
A cute little baby store here also has a newborn cloth diaper rental program since we may not need those for long. I'll probably sign up for that and bring both cloth and disposable diapers with us.
Wipes or cloths*
Very few blankets*
Again with the scarcity here. Personally, I can't have a bunch of baby things laying around to potentially have to get put away if this doesn't pan out (how shitty is that). So we have 1 muslin blanket (like this one) that will be washed and loaded.
Some formula and/or breastmilk*
I'm not sure if this is a rarity or not, but I've got boobs on stand by. I know some people, okay? In a dream world I'll be using 100% donor breastmilk for our new babe so I've reached out to some friends and literal strangers asking for extra milk. They'll freeze it, we'll keep it frozen and we'll be good to go. If this is weird for you or just not feasible then pick up some formula like this one to take with you.
Some bottles and/or nursing simulator*
Okay, we're about to get real personal here. It's a legit dream of mine to breastfeed. I've come to terms that I may not be able to get pregnant and I may never give birth, but by golly I can activate this milk glands and try to breastfeed and/or simulate like I can. There's this nifty "nursing simulator" that hold breast milk and tapes to your nipple for the baby to drink from. Especially in cases of adoption, the bonding experience is crucial. Nothing says "babe, I am your mother" like drinking from the boob.
We'll be bringing some glass bottles like these with us just in case, because I won't let the babe starve if my boobs won't work.
A baby wearing device*
Again, it's super important for there to be crucial bonding time with an adoptive baby. The first thing that babe knows is abandonment. You can spin that however you want, but if this baby comes from that lady's body, but goes to another lady that babe is going to be all WTF. There will be non-stop wearing and cuddling in this thing fo' sho.
A Rock n' Play and/or bassinet*
Depending on your specific situation you may not be able to leave the city/state for a bit. We personally have to stick around for 2-3 weeks before we can cross state lines (human trafficking is frowned upon). Since (hopefully) we won't be in the hospital for that length of time the babe is gonna need to snooze somewhere and cribs are kind bulky. We're looking at this Rock n' Play and this bassinet (can't decide if we need one or both, honestly).
So, that pretty much does it for the "must-haves". Again, I say that lightly, because it truly depends on your unique situation. Older kids are going to need different things, international adoptions will be another story, multiples might be just more things and on and on.
Here are some extras I'm taking because I'm a weirdo.
- Essential Oils (to help with all those crazy emotions)
- Coconut Oil
- A stuffed animal
- Socks + mittens (our babe is due in January, brr)
- A white noise machine
- A nursing cover
see what's happening with our process on Instagram