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9 things you need when adopting from another state

prepare when traveling to adopt from another state

 

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When adopting a newborn from another state, it is extremely important to be prepared. You will likely have to stay in that state until the ICPC (Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children) paperwork clears and you are allowed to legally bring your baby home.9 things you need when adopting from another state

Every state has their own adoption laws, but you can expect to stay in the state where the baby is born for at least 7 days. For our two adoptions, we stayed 10 days for the first one and 12 days for the second. 

It is hard being away from home for so long – especially having to take care of a newborn in a hotel room. Based on my experience – and hearing from many adoptive parents – there are plenty of things you can (and should) bring with you. It is sometimes easier to bring less and buy what you need when you get there. 

With that in mind, I’ve gathered 9 things that will help prepare you when traveling to adopt from another state.

1. Swaddle wrap or Moby wrap.
We found these baby wraps work beautifully to keep your baby warm and help them sleep.

2. Summer Infant By Your Side Sleeper.
I wish we had this sleeper because it is perfect to keep your baby safe in the bed with you. 
It has a sturdy metal frame that folds compactly for travel. It has mesh sides for a clear view of baby and helps air circulate to prevent baby from overheating.

It includes a mattress pad and soft, comfortable cotton fitted sheet. Here’s a travel bassinet that we used on our 3rd adoption (and it worked well).

3. Ready made (pre-mixed) formula.
On our first two adoptions, we waited to buy formula until we were ready to bring the baby from the hospital to our hotel room. Hospitals usually feed babies with the small (2 oz) ready-to-feed, pre-mixed bottles – the ones that come with the nipple.

We bought the same formula the hospital used to feed our babies. Using these ready-to-feed formula bottles is more expensive than mixing the formula yourself, so we only used them at night. They are a HUGE time saver – especially during the middle of the night feedings.

4. Baby/diaper bag.

This is easy to take with you if you are flying to your destination. Most airlines will allow you to carry on a diaper bag in addition to your normal carry on items – even if you don’t have the baby yet. This will allow you to save money on extra checked baggage. I recommend buying a diaper bag before you travel – because you’ll have more time to look at all the different types of bags and pick the right one for you. 


5. Camera and/or video camera.

This should be a no-brainer. These days, most smart phones have great cameras that also take video. If only want to use your phone, it will save you valuable packing space since you won’t have to bring a camera or video camera. Be careful though – because your phone may not have the amount of storage space to handle the photos and video you are going to take.

You will be capturing some amazing photos of moments you’ll want to remember forever, so I recommend bringing a good camera because those photos and videos will be priceless to you.

6. Bottles and nipples and (of course) formula.
Buying bottles and nipples rather than using pre-mixed formula will save you money. Yes, you will have to wash them, but believe me you’ll have time. We used them during the day while we were more awake, then used the pre-mixed formula bottles at night.

Be sure to get the small bottles (4 oz size) and the slow flow nipples for newborns. We like to use the Playtex brand with the drop-in liners.

7. Organizer/folder to keep paperwork.
Adoptions require paperwork – and LOTS of it. Keep your paperwork organized and secure – you’ll have some very important documents to carry. If travelling by plane, I recommend keeping your paperwork with you in a carry-on bag.

Also, you should scan documents and keep them where you can have online access just in case something happens and you lose your paperwork. Yep, it happened to us. 🙁

8. Baby care items.
The hospital should give you some of these items. You can bring most of these with you, but you can also wait to buy them when you get there. Here is a list of items we used when adopting our first two newborns in another state:

Laundry bag, laundry detergent (wait to buy this until you’re there), quarters for hotel laundry machines, pacifiers (2 newborn sized), onesies (4 or 5) disposable trash bags for smelly diapers, changing pads, burp cloths, newborn washcloths (softer the better), baby lotion, small blanket or two, small bottle of dish soap (to clean bottles/nipples), baby fingernail clippers, and sensitive skin baby wipes.

9. Infant car seat.
This is also a no-brainer since hospitals won’t let you leave without having a car seat. You can purchase one ahead of time and check it (if flying) or take it with you if driving. If you don’t want to mess with it, there are likely several places to purchase a car seat where you are going.

Here are some other tips from our experience with two newborn adoptions:

–We never used a stroller. We just carried the baby in the car seat. It was just easier than messing with a stroller.
–Bring plenty of comfy clothes for you and baby.
–Bring your laptop to manage your photos and videos, search for stores in the area, etc.
–Here are my 10 domestic adoption travel tips.
–Here are my 18 Money Saving Tips For Domestic Adoption Travel.

The time in another state goes by fast and is really pretty enjoyable because you have no one to think about but your little family.
I hope this list helps you.
Have you thought of something else? Leave your comment below.  

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