After you've endured the waiting stage of adoption, you'll be joyfully preparing for a new arrival. You may suddenly find yourself wondering what’s really essential. From diapers to dimmer switches, this handy guide should help you prepare your home for your long awaited little one!
Scientists have found that a calming bedtime routine improves bedtime behavior, sleep, and maternal mood. During your adoption wait, you might try planning your approach. What will be important to your family? Baby massage, a warm bath, a story before bed, even a special song; these can all be included within your bedtime routine, or not. It’s yours to create. In the bathroom, a simple baby bath can be reassuring for little ones, as can a soothing baby-friendly massage oil. A soft mat for kneeling on during bath time and changing diapers can make you feel more comfortable.
For a peaceful bedroom, a crib which can ‘grow’ into a toddler bed can be a handy investment, as is a comfortable chair for late night feeds or story time. You may also like to have a few storybooks on hand which are inclusive of a broad range of cultures, colors, family units, and needs. Installing a dimmer switch in their bedroom can also make those late night feeds or diaper changes much easier for both of you.
Creating a Safe and Cozy Nest
Any obvious safety issues (for example, the need for a fence around a pool) should already have been brought up during your home study. So, the next step is to get ahead of the smaller day-to-day risks. It’s important to accept that even the most safety-conscious parent can’t watch their child every second of the day or eliminate every single danger. Plus, some who argue that an overly-protective environment impedes development.
However, there are ways to make your home safer for children. These include reducing the hazards which will become more obvious as your baby grows into an inquisitive toddler. By doing these tasks ahead of time, you won’t be taken by surprise by if your toddler walks or climbs sooner than expected.
Getting Out and About
For someone so small, a baby seems to require a remarkable amount of ‘stuff’ for getting out and about! Before you buy a sling or wrap, try borrowing or renting one. This allows you to see if you enjoy carrying your baby this way. Many department stores will let you try out a stroller before committing to buying one, and this is certainly worth doing.
It’s also worth clearing space by your front door for parking your stroller and a diaper bag so that you always have it to hand as you leave. One final tip is to leave a spare key with a nearby neighbor or friend. Or, you might hide a spare key outside your house. Babies are amazing but tiring; you will probably forget your keys at least once.
Make Room for "Me Time"
Before your baby arrives, cook a batch of meals to be kept in the freezer. Foods that you can eat easily with a fork while holding a baby are ideal. It’s also worth lining up friends or family members who might be able to pop in during the day so that you can take a shower, go for a short walk, or make a quick phone call. These are the small things that help keep you feeling like yourself.
Likewise, plan ways to spend time with your spouse. It might sound strange after such a long adoption process, but without the journey of a pregnancy, a new arrival may take you both by surprise. Take a leisurely stroll together, enjoy a movie while the baby sleeps, or make Friday night take-out night. Supporting each other through this chapter of parenthood is important and helps to build a strong stable family unit which will help your baby feel secure.
Preparing your home for your new arrival can be incredibly exciting but also a little daunting. There are so many ‘must buy’ baby products which in reality, are far from essential. By prioritizing safety, calm bedtimes, easy coming and going, and a freezer full of food, you are making the most important adjustments to your home. Finally, take care of the people inside it. Bringing home an adopted baby is a new adventure for you all; be kind to yourselves.