The call that says you’re going to become a parent sometimes comes on a moment’s notice. The adoption trip is a defining moment in the adoption process that brings parents and a child together at last. What makes this event even more stressful is the fact that it takes place in unfamiliar surroundings. All adoptive parents travel to meet their new child, to a nearby city or to a different state. The truth is that you are going to be in emotional overdrive, so it's best to have as much packed ahead of time as possible. Here's a basic adoption trip packing list to get you started.
It doesn’t matter if you’re flying or traveling by car, a car seat is a must-have. If you don’t have one, you won't be able to take your newborn home from the hospital. Be sure to choose a car seat that can accommodate a newborn baby.
Clothing & Blankets
When adopting a baby from another state, adoptive parents have to stay within the birthmother’s state for a couple of days after the baby is born until the paperwork goes through. This means you'll need to bring enough clothes for you and for your baby as well. It's not a bad idea to have clothes and sleepers in a variety of sizes in case your baby is bigger or smaller than the newborn sized clothing. Pack a number of receiving blankets and larger blankets that are appropriate for the weather. Use them to keep your baby warm during travel, to lay on for playtime at the hotel, and to wrap them up in during the day.
Bottles & Formula
Items on the top of your adoption trip packing list should be bottles to feed your baby as well as a pediatrician-approved baby formula. Remember that bottles and nipples need to be sterilized before use. Don't forget the burp cloths!
Diapers & Wipes
Bring your own diaper bag, and make sure to pack disposable changing pads to put under your baby during a diaper change. These pads can be found in supermarkets and baby stores. Ziplock bags are an excellent item to throw in to store dirty outfits or toiletries, so be sure put them on your adoption trip packing list.
A Travel Crib
It’s important that your newborn's sleeping surface is safe, clean, and comfy, so you'll need to have a new travel crib or bassinet. Also, remember to buy at least two pairs of sheets for the travel crib.
These trips can be long and exhausting, so it is good to pack some protein snacks and other foods to get you through the trip. Don’t forget to pack enough water as well.
Magazines, Laptop, Tablet, Books, etc.
Make sure to pack something to keep you entertained during your trip and the waiting periods during the hospital and hotel stay. Sure your baby will be a great source of entertainment, but don't forget how much time newborns spend sleeping! Don’t forget to bring chargers for all your devices as well.
Bring a camera so you can capture and remember those first hours and days with your child. Later on, you can use those photos for your adoption story book.