As hopeful adoptive couples wait for their baby to be born, they often begin to wonder how they should prepare for what happens when the call comes. You may have already prepared the nursery, had a baby shower or two, and stocked the nursery with plenty of diapers. But a large number of adoptive couples will plan on traveling to a different state or even a different country to pick up their new bundle of joy. So, what should you plan to pack as you anticipate your baby's arrival?
1. Pack several changes of clothes, including a special "leaving the hospital outfit." You're going to want to capture the big day when you leave the hospital with your baby in tow. So, go ahead and plan to bring a cute outfit that you can use for photo ops. Of course, you want to make sure you have plenty of changes of clothes. Babies have a lot of messes, and you will most likely be changing your darling several times a day. Since you may not have easy access to a washing machine while you're away from home, be sure to bring several outfits that you can use.
2. Don't forget plenty of diapers and wipes! Almost more important than bringing extra clothes is to make sure you bring plenty of diapers. Most hospitals will provide you with a "goody bag" of formula and diapers to last about a week. There will also most likely be stores nearby to purchase more if you run out, but you don't want to find yourself stranded without them in the airport or on the side of the road if you're driving. Make sure you stock up before you hit the road.
3. Stock up on bottles and formula. Even if the hospital supplies you with a "goody bag," you will want to be prepared with extra bottles and formula. Babies eat a lot, and you will go through the hospital supply quickly. Be sure to pack enough for a week's stay, at least, once you know what formula your baby is eating. You also want to make sure that you have more than one bottle in your bag, just in case you don't have time to wash it in between feedings.
4. Prepare for the road trip with pacifiers and blankets. Traveling with a baby can get tricky. If you're flying, you need to realize that the change in altitude can sometimes be uncomfortable for an infant. The best way to help them is with a pacifier. If you're driving, a pacifier will also help to soothe a fussy baby in between feedings. You may also want to make sure you have blankets to wrap them in after you have securely fastened them in their car seat. Do not buckle the car seat over the blanket as it will not be secure for the baby. Also, when traveling, dress your baby in layers in order to easily adjust to temperature changes.
5. Bring a travel swing or pack-n-play. You need to think about where the baby is going to sleep. A travel swing will help lull a baby to sleep, or you can purchase a pack-n-play that has a bassinet attachment in it. If you can't bring something with you, call your hotel ahead of time and check with them. Many hotels have cribs or pack-n-plays that you can request for your room.
Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list of everything you can bring for your trip to pick up your baby. But remember that you are not planning to stay there long, so just pack what you absolutely need. Do a little research beforehand, too, to see where the closest stores are located in relation to your hotel. You may need to make late-night runs to the store, so you will want to know what is available.
Remember, this is a fun adventure to go pick up your baby! The more prepared you are for your trip, the easier it will be for you to focus on bonding with your new little one.