This is my first posting here and I'm trying to read and take in all the information here. We are in the process of our first adoption and started with our agency in late April. We just finished the homestudy process and are approved. We aren't waiting quite yet though as I'm trying to get our family profile book done. Oh my, that has been more difficult than I anticipated. But I'm almost done so we should be waiting fairly soon.
My question is how much ahead of time should we prepare for a baby? I like to be prepared but I also don't want to get ahead of ourselves with all this. Most people know they 9 months to prepare for a baby, but this is different . So I guess I'm trying to figure out what everyone else does. I'm guessing everyone has different thoughts on this but I would appreciate your input. Thanks in advance.
It's what kinda sucked for us... I bought some stuff but kept getting comments from family. Looking back I kinda wish I had waited frankly, because by the time I actually got matched everything in store was newer and just looked more nicer, and I was stuck with my 5 year old craigslist stuff! And we ended up with two non matching cribs and the first one got recalled after a year too.
Just another approach: we have had great fun preparing our nursery. It's about 90% there and we did that much over the last 11 months since we first signed on with our agency. It wasn't constant, it all happened in fits and starts. (Just finishing the painting took seven months! lol) Putting together a nursery for a new baby should be fun, you know? So when we were feeling like things were kind of dragging and we needed a pick me up, we'd go back to working on the nursery and let that reawaken our excitement. We haven't done anything on it for a month or so now, but I've got a Babies R Us coupon burning a hole in my pocket so I expect we're coming up on another nursery furnishing session! :)
Thanks for the feedback everyone. Your responses make me feel better. I'm not sure I'm ready to tackle the nursery but I can definitely understand the desire to do so and seeing it as a sign of hope. DH and I actually stopped at a store tonight and looked at baby stuff...and it was kind of fun because it helped us feel like we finally have some hope of having a child. And then DH came home and started researching strollers. Infertility took so much out of us and it's so nice to see him excited. So I guess we'll just kind of go with it all at this point.
Good luck to you! I'm glad you are having some fun looking at baby things. As the others said, it really is a personal thing. We adopted through foster care and were open to kids up to age 5. We painted the room and had a crib ready, but other than that, we couldn't shop much because we didn't know what to plan for. We had a weekend to get ready after accepting the match with our son (who was 3 months old). It was crazy, but fun, to hurry and get what we needed. And babies really need very little at first! So go ahead and do whatever helps you get through the wait.
Good Luck!
It is definately whatever YOU feel like doing. We didn't buy anything, figuring that we would have a month or two to get everything after the match. We ended up in a baby born situation and had to buy everything right away. I live in a rural area, so it wasn't like I could just head to the store to pick it up, but within a week we had the room filled with designer everything just like I wanted.
I ended up having a bio baby later and got to spend the 7-9 months on his room and stuff and can honestly say that it isn't any cuter, etc.
So do what feels right to you. Don't feel like you have to buy stuff early because you are afraid you won't get what you want last minute and don't feel like you have to wait because you don't know when you will actually bring home the baby.
I like what Tonijustine said - I was too afraid to prepare, because I felt like I was setting us up for more failure...but, if I had pictured the nursery as she did, then I may have been more open to getting the nursery ready.
We didn't do anything ahead of time, and we ended up bringing home our DD within 2 months of our home study. She is still sleeping in her P&P in our room, and so we have had plenty of time to get her nursery ready (and it is much more girly than it would have been if we had been gender-neutral ahead of time!) Also, we had a post-placement shower, and we were given almost everything that we need for the first two years of life. I think that our friends and family knew how much we had been through, and they really spoiled us.
I have friends who felt comfortable having pre-match baby showers, and they are so much more prepared than we were. I wasn't comfortable with this, but I think that one is just as deserving of having a pre-match baby shower as if one were pregnant (after all, you are pregnant just with no due date!)
I also didn't mind getting some things used - you can get a used Bumbo chair on Craigslist or at a second hand store for a fraction of the new price (and it's completely submersible/scrubbable). I bought used Mei Tai and other baby carriers (many people buy these and never use them), and gently used clothing. So, basically, I used my desire to have some baby items to find exceptionally good deals pre-placement!
Good luck getting your profile book done and best wishes, it's such an exciting time! :-)
We bought nothing but took cute hand me downs.
Due to awesome family and friends we actually haven't bought very much ourselves at all. Our loved ones have gone over board with little man.
We did have all the baby stuff set up through our failed matches and it made it harder to deal with. I wish we had kept everything in the garage and just put it together after he came home.
We also had a baby shower when DS was 5 weeks old. I registered and such after he was born and my family threw a HUGE shower. I had everything I needed without a lot of prep before he was born. Oh, and I went to a really awesome rummage sale that was perfect (lots of baby boy clothes) and got some essential 0-3 month clothing before the shower.
Congratulations on starting the process! Sooo exciting! We had painted the room almost as soon as we started our process. And that was about it for a few months. We did buy a crib shortly thereafter, because it was on super-sale, then left it in the box in our basement because I didn't want to look at it every day. I also highly recommend starting a registry or wishlist somewhere, especially for those items you would need immediately. You never know if you're going to get The Call for a baby born situation, and who wants to research car seats at that time? That was one of the things I allowed myself to keep myself sane- LOTS of research on baby items. Now our baby is here, and I love everything we have. Another plus of having a registry ahead of time is that people can pick out gifts for baby if they are so inclined.
Congratulations on starting the process, it is so exciting!!
I started the process in April and since I'm a planner I wanted to make sure I at least knew what products I wanted, in particular the car seat, stroller, pack n play, etc. There is a book called Baby Bargains and I highly recommend it! I kept myself busy reading about different brands and their ratings from parents who owned them and started a list of what brand and make I wanted. I wanted a list ready in case I very little notice between a match and placement.
Anyways, once I got my list together I started slowly building baby registries online at BBB and BRU. It was so much easier since I already had my list of what I wanted. I also have a bunch of friends with young children and I would question them on their favorite baby items and least favorite baby item. Also on YouTube there are a ton of new moms who did a video about what items they loved or hated or didn't use.
I didn't have to wait very long to be matched (which I'm still in shock about) but it has helped pass the time to busy my down time with researching baby items!
Good luck and congratulations on starting the journey!
This has been so helpful. It's a good point about showers. I know we have friends and family who are itching to give us a shower. It definitely won't be until AFTER placement though. I think I'll really take this time to research stuff like crazy and start lists. I'll also think about what essentials we would need for a quick placement. Oh, and the profile book is done! I should get it by Friday and to our agency by Monday. And we'll be up on the web yet this week too so we'll be officially active very soon. Excited!!
We didn't buy the big stuff- crib, dresser, stroller, car set etc until we were matched and were fairly certain that things looked promising (which for us was about six weeks before due date). I didn't think I could deal with a full blown out nursery in case the process took longer than expected. Even though we had bought those items, I didn't really pull together the nursery together until we were home with the baby (bedding and decor and such).
I had spent a few years buying outfits that I absolutely loved that fulfilled my need to "keep the dream alive". I don't like gender neutral stuff so I literally had one rubbermaid bin filled with girl items, and another filled with boy items- tags attached in case I needed to use them for shower gifts.
We waited until after we were home from ICPC to have our showers.
DH and I bought everything. Lol DH and my dad installed lovely wainscoting and we bought the crib and the dresser. we had my rocking chair from my nursery refinished to match the crib, we had the room painted and I did a bunch of crafts (art for the walls, mobile, crib skirt, curtain tie backs, etc.) it was really fun and we just closed the door when we weren't working on it.
We also bought a carseat, and some gender neutral clothes. And took all handle downs.
I was afraid it would bother me having it all and sometimes it did, but overall, I'm glad it was done since DS was a baby born situation and we had no notice. Lol I wouldn't have wanted to be doing the nursery when he was a tiny baby. I barely managed to shower back then. Lol
We waited. I didn't think I could handle emotionally getting set on a nursery or theme. We have a DS that was 7 when we started the adoption process and his room was across from ours. We did years of infertility treatment and had a big loss/complications. I knew I wanted to move him downstairs when the baby arrived but not knowing when that would be couldn't move him before hand. We had a 5 year wait but got the call with a hospital baby so picked him up 36 hours later. We had co-workers and friends calling with all sorts of things to give or loan us so we accepted a bassinet and our new baby slept in our room for a few weeks allowing us to paint the basement bedroom for older son to his preference and then setup the nursery exactly how we wanted it and setup a new crib we purchased. We waited to do any of it until we cleared the TPR waiting period.
Best of luck to you!!
We didn't have anything except a wooden train set that the previous owners of our house left and I thought was cute. We had a room that we had designated would be "the nursery" and we freshened up the paint and put hardwoods down.
I was glad I hadn't decorated anything because after DD arrived the gifts from shower COMPLETELY changed the way I decorated. It took me about 3 months to finally get the whole thing together but honestly having her there made the decorating better because I was able to organize what I actually needed in the way I actually used it.