It can be overwhelming to assume 24 hour care of a child, especially a newborn who may have his days and nights mixed up. So once you bring home your baby through adoption, prioritize rest! In this post, we’re going to share some great tips you can follow in those early days after placement.
You’ll thank yourself later if you can prepare in advance to get plenty of time off work in order to bond with your child. Learn about the options for maternity (and paternity!) leave at work, as well as what is available through FMLA and other federal or state programs.
Remember to ask for help – friends and family can do tasks for you like running errands, getting groceries, doing laundry, neatening up your house, and preparing meals. Many new moms and dads set up what’s called a “meal train.” That’s where friends and family organize meal giving my choosing a day to bring the new parents dinner. You’re able to specify special requests, such as food allergies and when your visiting hours are. Here are a couple of great websites where you can set up a meal train: MealBaby.com and MealTrain.com. Having your meal train organized online means that you can see who’s coming when, and participants can easily choose their day to fit into their schedule.
Understand that bonding can take time, even with biological children. It’s also worth mentioning that babies can grieve a loss also. So plan to spend plenty of time cuddling, use a soft voice, and wear the same nightgown, so they grow familiar with your sound, smell, and warmth.
Prioritize time with your spouse each week. Your marriage may be tested when adding a child, so take time together to reconnect and plan date nights.
Find a play group. In larger cities you may be fortunate to find groups of other adoptive parents. A new circle of friends who are going through the same things at the same time can be a valuable asset to you all! If you’re new to town, try looking on MeetUp.com for playgroups, or on Facebook for groups near you.
Be gentle with yourself. As this is a time of adjustment and no parents are perfect, make sure that your expectations are realistic.