The Essentials You Need for Your Adopted Newborn Baby

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When my husband and I began our domestic infant adoption journey last year, we decided to wait until we brought a baby home to prepare a nursery. To each her own, but not even a call that a baby was on the way could make me feel comfortable that this was real and wouldn’t end in heartbreak. I wanted to have a baby shower like other moms, and I just couldn’t bear the thought of having something fall apart after I was that far in.

So we winged it with the essentials. And we survived. And you will, too! Babies truly don’t need all the bells and whistles at first. Once we were officially approved to move forward with adoption, we started working on a spreadsheet of names, and we created an emergency shopping list of the essentials. That’s it. My initial list wasn’t perfect, but I added a few things after my experience. Here, I share thoughts on everything I ultimately bought to bring baby home and a download of my baby emergency shopping list worksheet.

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Emergency Baby Shopping List

Below is my list with comments. You can download a clean version for your own use here: Emergency Baby Shopping List Worksheet

  • Bassinet/Sleeper – I used and loved the Snuggle Nest. It folds, so it’s extremely portable, and the nightlight and sound buttons were lifesavers for me. I slept in our guest room with the Nest next to me until I went back to work and was ready to share nighttime duties with Daddy. As another alternative, I have also heard good things about the DockATot.
  • Blankets – I bought more blankets than I used, but they are good to have. I would say you only need to purchase a few; you are likely going to get a ton at baby shower time.
  • Bottles – I was fortunate that my sis-in-law let me borrow a few different bottles to see which my baby preferred. You may want to buy a small quantity of a few different kinds before you commit. Once you decide on one, I recommend buying enough to get you roughly through a full day and night so you are only having to wash once a day. I ended up purchasing eight of these small Munchkin Latch bottles, then registered for the larger versions.
  • Bottle Sanitation Method – I used Modela steam bags, but there are also other microwave and electric options.
  • Burb Cloths – For obvious reasons, you will need these! I bought these really cheap ones initially (the kind they used for diapers back in the day), and reserved the nicer ones for my registry.
  • Car Seat – Among the most important things on the list! I recommend researching this in advance in case your adoption happens quickly, because it can be really overwhelming. We got an Orbit system (you can buy just a car seat and base or the whole system with stroller), which we love.
  • Changing Pad and Covers – This may or may not be considered a true emergency item, but it never failed that my newborn started peeing mid-diaper change, so it was nice to have a waterproof changing pad and at least two covers.
  • Detergent – Purchase a gentle detergent for washing baby’s clothes.
  • Diapers – Another obvious item.
  • Dish Soap and Bottle Brush – Get a gentle soap and brush for washing bottles. I use Babyganics soap, and a brush like this with a tiny brush at the end for cleaning nipples.
  • Footy Pajamas – Socks never stayed on my newborn, and at night, you are going to want them to be warm and cozy.
  • Formula – We purchased what was being used at the hospital.
  • Onesies – Choose some daytime attire suitable for the season.
  • Pacifiers – Again, you probably want to buy a few types. We went through several before she decided on the MAM Newborn Start Orthodontic Pacifier.
  • Socks – I’m not a big fan of baby socks, because they tend to fall off, but you will probably want some on baby during the day.
  • Swaddles – They will likely teach you how to swaddle with a blanket in the hospital, but these Velcro swaddles are just too convenient and were absolute lifesavers for this mom of a swaddle-loving baby.
  • Wipes – I’m a big fan of natural and not a fan of diaper rash, so I use Water Wipes and also reusable bamboo wipes with a homemade solution.

Just remember not to go overboard. Buy a few of the things you need to get started, and register for as much as you can. In the meantime you will get a better feel for baby’s likes and needs.

I hope this list is helpful to you! Did I forget anything? What’s on your emergency baby shopping list?


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