I'm sure this might have already been discussed but I wondered if I could pick your brains.
I am a FC leading up to doing my first adoption introductions. LO is about 1 and we've had her since birth.
I've met AP, I really like them and I am really happy with the match.
So, what can I do to make this week easier for them? I read on here that it is exhausting and really hard. What could I do to help?
I think maybe the most important thing is to be friendly and stay in the back ground as much as possible. Provide a place for the new parents to get to know their new child that is relaxed and free from tension. Good luck
Best as said relax, 1st day usual an hour or so, we usual potter around , be as natural as possible more so for baby, there will be lots and lots of questions regards needs of baby like's and dislike's., food, etc.,
Most important must be TOTAL non judgmental, all family's are different,
its about making the baby's transition as normal as we can. Nice thing too do if you have the time make a small extra Photo Album they can take away with them after 1st visit, as will be dying too share their joy with parents or relatives .
It can be tiring more so for AP's., and emotional time for all will need lot's of TLC all round. You will find you will go natural with the flow so would not worry too much. let them have as much time with baby as possible (baby permitting, some baby's can be naturally clingy nothing to do with transition , so will have too take things slower ) walks too the shop , park , play, café, Baby play centre , etc.,
More daft questions
Would be feed them as part of the family? We all sit down and eat together and it would feel odd for them to in our house and not eating with us.
Can I leave them alone with LO and pop out and do stuff if LO is happy enough? If not, would they be expected to come and do school run etc with me?
When does all LO stuff go with them? Do I pack it up or do they?
Do I do carry on sterilising bottles, washing clothes etc? Or do they start doing that?
When I've done this wonder I've been happy to provide meals for them as they are Lo's family after all but it's not been expected of me at all and parents have offered to bring food as well. Just do what you feel comfortable with. It will give you something to do as well as the parents will be looking after the baby.
Yes, to leaving them alone as soon as they want. Suggest they take her out to the park as well, or for a walk in the pram. No need for you to be there. Unnecessary for them to do the school run etc.
I have usually sent things in drips and drabs so each time the parents leave for the day give them a bag of stuff to take away. I guess they could pack if you were happy with that.
I carried on washing clothes etc until they left.
Is this not all covered in your 'intro plan'? It was for us.
Clothes and belongings came with us in a couple of trips. FCs fed us when we were at their house, and we them when they were at ours.
If you have a room where you can leave them to it a bit, that'll take some pressure off.
We never felt 'in charge' when we were in FC's home, not because of anything they did or didn't do, just because of 40 odd years of social conditioning, so whilst we would dress the dc and put dirty clothes by the washer, and rinse out cups and what have you, we wouldn't have been comfortable taking the lead with those kinds of things.
That said, if they're first time parents, they might be happy to have you show them (and supervise them) sterilising the bottles and so on. (I was!)
I know this sounds really odd but can you show them where the toilet is? We were not shown (even though I knew where it was) and I felt I had to ask if I could use the toilet!!!!! And for the first 2 days, I just crossed my legs (it was only for an hour but still...).
It's probably just me but I felt odd asking to use the toilet as she hadn't said, "Here's the toilet."
Thank you, that is the kind of thing I need to know !
I know we will have a 'plan', I just want it go really well and it to be a lovely, rather than traumatic experience for them all.
One more thing Wonderpants - we weren't shown where the nappy changing stuff was. I was very conscious that Foster Parents loved my DS (and had considered adopting him) and also conscious of the fact he referred to them as Mummy and Daddy. So the initial couple of visits when I thought his nappy needed changing, I would have liked to have taken the initiative and done it - but I would have had to ask Foster Mum and I think she was sizing me up the first 2 visits and I didn't want to tread on her toes (this says more about me, I know...I was quite pathetic!!!). So perhaps show them also where the nappy changing stuff is - and maybe show them how to do a nappy first of all (I hadn't changed a nappy in 3 years and had forgotten...). Don't assume that they are au fait with changing a nappy!
You sound great! Good luck with the introductions - they are hard on the foster family too!
What was great... Being shown around on our first day with them. Shown where the loo, changing stuff, kettle was. We were fed if at home when they were eating. We offered to pay for meals if we all went out.
Don't expect them to know everything, be on hand for advice when needed. Our FC was great in that she didn't presume we knew how to change a nappy, bath a baby etc. but neither did she come across as patronising. Rather she just said, I will show you how we do it, and then took a back step, gradually removing herself from the room after the second time, but never being too far away. Our FC continued to do bottles and washing whilst we were there.
Agree a last last day plan in advance, especially if you will find it tough handing over. We handed over clothes and memory box the evening before. On the last day we knew what they wanted us to do to make it easier on us all.
Our DD2 was only 2.5 and a big baby. (DD1 was 8).
Our FC was great. Approximate timings:
Day 1. 1hr. Called us Mummy and Daddy. Got DD1 and Dd2 to be with us on sofa looking at their intro books. Toys around to play with. Left us in room to make a cup of tea.
Day 2. Showed me how to change nappy etc. Popped out to corner shop.
Day 3. Let me change nappy etc under supervision. Let us take DD2 out in pushchair.
Day 4. Let me change nappy etc without supervision.
FC provided us with a 'going out bag' with nappies, wipes etc until we could see what was needed and buy our own stuff.
In FC house we let her do meals. Whether we were there for them was in the intro plan. In FC house we deferred to FC for discipline if she was present. When out together FC stepped back and only 'suggested' things if she felt it warranted. FC lent us a front door key so if we went out we could come back in normally. We could also make drinks for ourselves.
In our house we took over from the start.
The girls had loads of stuff. We started taking it home from day 2.
Totally at risk of derailing the thread... Do bottles need to be sterilised for a child who's been weaned? I speak as someone who might really need to know the answer to that question soon
DD was bf-ed so feel free to answer this question as though I know bugger all about babies...
I think they have to be sterilised until they are 12 months. DD was 10 months so I bought a cheap steriliser off eBay. It did seem a bit odd that she was picking stuff off the floor, licking the dog (!) and we were still doing that, but just followed official guidelines.
The bottles need to be sterilised because of a bacteria that can be harmful for a young child (under one) in milk. Babies can be exposed to normal dirt earlier and as you say are naturally exposed when they start to crawl. The bacteria in milk can be really nasty but you occasionally hear stories of someone never having sterilised a bottle because they have never been told that and their child is months old and fine so I think it's rare for it to be a problem but not worth the risk!
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