The Essentials You Need for Your Adopted Newborn Baby

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When my husband and I began our domestic infant adoption journey, we decided to wait until we brought a baby home to prepare a nursery. I just didn’t feel like I could bear walking past an empty nursery should an adoption fail. I also wanted to experience the fun of a baby shower like “other” moms, and let’s face it, given the cost of adoption and the cost of raising a baby, a shower is an extremely helpful start.

So we winged it with the essentials, and my friends threw a baby shower for us a few weeks after we brought our newborn home. 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 we liked, and created our emergency shopping list of the essentials. That’s it. My initial list wasn’t perfect, but it was close, and I added a few things after my experience. Here, I share thoughts on everything I ultimately bought to bring baby home and a free, customizable 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 a similar alternative, there’s also the DockATot.
  • Blankets/Swaddles – If you’re able to spend any time with baby at the hospital, the nurses can teach you how to swaddle with a blanket, and here’s a how-to video. But these Velcro swaddles are so much easier and were absolute lifesavers for this mom of a swaddle-loving baby. Even if you purchase the swaddles, buy a few blankets to help keep baby cozy around the house, and expect to get several more at a baby shower, as blankets are a popular gift item.
  • Bottles – I was fortunate that my sis-in-law let me borrow a few different bottles to see which my adopted newborn 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 since I wouldn’t need those until later on.
  • Bottle Sanitation Method – I used Modela steam bags, but there are also other microwave and electric options. Also check out this post that includes how I organized cleaned vs. sanitized bottles!
  • Burp Cloths – You’ll need plenty of rags for burping and cleaning messes. 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, since you can’t bring baby home without it. You’ll want to research this in advance in case your adoption happens quickly, because it can be really overwhelming. Check out Amazon’s best-selling car seats here.
  • 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. We loved Pampers Swaddlers for day and Huggies nighttime diapers for overnight. Also consider signing up for recurring diaper delivery on Amazon. Huge time saver!
  • 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’re going to want them to be warm and cozy.
  • Formula – We purchased what was being used at the hospital.
  • One-pieces – 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’ll probably want some on baby during the day.
  • Wipes – I’m a big fan of natural and not a fan of diaper rash, so my favorite wipes are these reusable bamboo wipes with  homemade solution. However, you always need to have some regular wipes on hand in case you run out and don’t have time to whip up a new batch of solution. I keep Water Wipes or Seventh Generation wipes on hand always.

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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