Adoptive Families Blog

Adoption Q&A: Should We Have a Car Seat Before We Adopt?

Posted by Lifetime Adoption on April 11, 2016

mom_puts_baby_in_car_seat.jpgOur post from last Friday about what to pack for adoption travel has triggered this question from a hopeful adoptive mother:

Question: “We’re wondering if we should bring a car seat with us or buy one when we get to where our baby will be born?”

Answer: This may be a personal decision, but here’s what’s worked for other adoptive parents, considering all aspects and options available:

  1. Shop now and build a registry list on Amazon or another baby-gear website, OR keep your own list privately. Then you can reference the items you know you want to buy once you get to the town where you’ll meet your child. This way you can also buy a gender-specific style once you know if your baby is a boy or a girl.

               “We didn’t want a bunch of gear sitting around the house until we knew it would be used. So we would shop and research items and made a list for when the time came. We knew we could likely find a mega-mart or baby store where our baby was born and could get most of the items we’d need. We also figured out that we could order items online and have them shipped overnight to us at the hotel while we waited to go home!”

               “Our family actually loved that we had made a registry because they had everything set up and waiting for us once we got home with our baby. When it came to the car seat, we bought one when we were in our son’s birth state, but our friends bought us the same one as a gift. Now we have a car seat for each of our cars, which is great!”

               “I’m a planner, but I also knew I’d have a hard time looking at boxes of stuff just waiting for our baby to come. So I shopped any chance I got and kept notes of what I liked and didn’t want once we became parents. I had my special wish list ready and while our daughter’s birth mother was having some private time with our baby, we went out and got the car seat and a few other essentials to be able to take our baby from the hospital to the hotel.”

  1. If you’re open to adopting a newborn or an older baby or young child, you will definitely want to hold off buying a car seat until you know your child’s age, size and needs.

               “I’m glad I didn’t buy a newborn car seat ahead of time because we wouldn’t have used it by the time we met our daughter. She had outgrown a newborn seat and we just bought the right one when we got to her.”

  1. You can buy a car seat now while you wait to adopt, but there are a few things to consider:

               “We actually got to adopt our baby from a town just a few hours away by car. I was glad we’d already had a car seat and had practiced installing it, although I know we could have bought it once we arrived too.”

               “We left so fast once we heard our baby’s birth mother was in labor that we forgot the car seat at home because our friends drove us to the airport! So we ended up buying another one when we arrived, but now that we’re home it’s actually been handy to have two car seats.”

               “I wish we had bought a car seat once we knew we’d be able to take the baby home. We carried that empty car seat through the airport and then when the adoption fell through, we had to take an empty car seat back home with us. It was just a lot. Next time we’ll save the car seat we already own for our second vehicle at home, and buy a car seat when we know we’ll need it.”

               “Since we didn’t know if we’d adopt a boy or a girl, a friend lent us her newborn car seat and we just took that with us. It was great because we didn’t stress about having equipment ready, but knew we’d get to buy our favorite gear once we were home. I loved having it ready and waiting with the diaper baby for whenever we got the call.”

Do you have questions about traveling for adoption, or about adoption in general? Email us or give us a call at 1-800-923-6784.

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Topics: adoption travel tips, adoption travel tip