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Kids are coming what do we need/should have?(46 Posts)
Hello all. So - we start intros next week (cue huge excitement and trepidation) we're frantically doing lots of housey bits and also having lie ins while we can. What I wondered was what are your recommendation for stuff that we should definitely get before the arrival of the splendid small people? We
Oops preemptive send, they obviously have fully furnished bedrooms, we're child proofing the house etc, it's just we don't have BC and therefore top tips gratefully received! Thanks so much
Firstly, congratulations! I'm not an adopter; I'm a foster carer and I've moved three children onto adoption so far so I have experience of the intros process from the other side and have met new parents with exactly the excitement/ trepidation mix you describe.
Intros are exhausting and emotional and my first tip would be to get in advance anything that will make your life easier during that time, especially easy to prepare food/ ready meals/ frozen pizzas etc etc to keep your strength up!
Have you met the foster carers already, and have you got their contact details? If so it would be useful if possible to get a sense of how much stuff your children will bring with them - clothes, toys, books, bedding, cups, bowls, bottles. These are the sorts of things I would pass on so that the child has some familiar items around him/her in their new home. Of course you will want to choose things yourself for your children, as all new parents do, but if you know the children will be bringing things with them it takes away the urgency of you having to buy things beforehand.
Also the foster carers should tell you what size clothes/ nappies etc and what the foster child is keen on (Do you need to learn the words to "Let it Go" or the names of all the Thomas engines?!)
I'm sure lots of adopters will be along to give you their top tips soon but I just wanted to wish you all the best and encourage you to get as much from the foster carers as you can. If they are good foster carers they will welcome this and make intros go as smoothly as possible for you.
Congratulations Desmoulins! Do you mind if I ask what age? Only as you'd need some different things for a baby than you would a 3 yr old
If you're worried about being identified perhaps you could use age ranges of 0-2, 2-5 and 5+
Thank you so much Lucia and Acorn, they are 5 and 6.
A stack of picture books from the library.
Find out what TV shows they like and get a few recorded / downloaded ready.
Mine were pre-schoolers so can't help with a definitive list but...
Booster seats for your car
Board games/boxed games - these saved us on rainy days in those first few weeks of funneling. With a five yr old whose visited us Hungry hippoes is a always a hit and we have marble run (building an obstacle track for marbles) that is a hit with most ages and you can all get involved.
A kite. It doesn't have to be an expensive one, you get them for Â£1.50 in the Range! It's great because if you have a country park or something similar nearby you can go somewhere that's not crowded and overwhelming and pretty much isolate yourselves for funnelling, while doing an outdoor activity that isn't the park
Paints, paintbrushes, painting aprons and a big sheet to put under your table and save newspaper now to go on top. IKEA if you have one near by do cheap paintbrushes and aprons. Tesco do poster paint at Â£2 a bottle.
If you have money and space and haven't got one, then a trampoline. That has been the most valuable thing we ever bought tbh.
We found we bought a few extra bits once we'd spent that first few days at foster carers and saw things they loved there. But you'll need to ask foster carer what's theirs first.
Oh....and as fellow adopter of siblings, plenty of things with caffeine in, for you obviously, not them!
Not an adopter, so I hope you don't mind my input.
I have children of that age and would say:
Lego, a big mixed box and 30cm sq base plate rather than kits
Sellotape on a dispenser
Star Wars figures
Hot wheels set with loop the loop add on
Doll's or sylvanian families house
Mobilo if into building (possibly more five yr old than six).
Can you find out if they are into making things/building things/dinosaurs/cars/dressing up etc? Sorry if this is an insensitive question, it obviously depends on the current setup.
Random thought but mattress protectors on beds? They might regress in night dryness in a new home.
A Marble Run was brilliant when mine were that age.
These are brilliant, thank you all.Rogan,not insensitive at all, really great advice. I'm making notes and ordering proper coffee!
Acorn, that is a fab list, plus I know they like sylvainian families, so getting on that boat!
Often forgotten when children are quite and relaxed observe them take note , not written, how they amuse occupy them self's. Take time too ask questions, health, any hospital visits, what documentation, life story work they have, how the contact work's with BP and child's reaction, medical and family history, how many Foster Care placements child has had , and other placements, family, friends. Don't ask all in one session break it up over period of intro's, observe their bed room layout, replicate in their new room as far as possible.
Most of all relax, when you get home at end of each day write down a diary
of your observation's and events of the day whilst everything is fresh in your memory. children's like's dislikes reaction's too request's, how they seek comfort ,what they do when not co operative. , Strategy's FC use's too calm them down. Though you may disagree with observations best too be non judgemental., not forgetting FC's would have had many children all of which would have different behaviours. Is often in the same situation as you are with each new placement has too learn lot's every time about their new children.
Also remembered. ..
Kids placemats for table
Check if they use children sized cutlery when at foster carers
Drinks bottles for whenever you're out.
Blackout blinds or curtains (these have changed our lives )
Every bathroom product they use write down the make and buy... toothpaste particularly, the taste is a big thing!
Somewhere to store shoes near the front door, from 2 people to 4 people becomes a trip hazard unless you've got a porch (we don't lol)
Baby wipes...no you're not having a baby but you'll still use a ton of them!!!
We found making cupcakes fun. Obviously you can just decorate with sprinkles etc but on ebay, for under Â£1.50, you can buy a couple of sheets of edible toppers to put on them, with all sorts of characters. Just looked for sylvanian families but they don't have them But if you find they like frozen or Disney princesses etc. during time at FC and you have them in your house, it seemed to work a treat with our two. Having something they like but they don't expect you to have, brought some extra big smiles and comfort, or at least it did for ours.
And if an app exists for nearby toilets when you're out....Please share if you find one
Congratulations. Be prepared to be mentally exhausted. It took me 3 months to feel 'normal' after our 2 were placed.
What everyone else said. My main suggestions:
Basic craft stuff: paper, paint, felt tips
Bubbles mixture, possibly a battery operated bubble machine too.
A football or similar.
Don't be afraid to use the TV to help everyone chill out.
Will they be starting school full time in September? If the SWs will let you, you could consider taking them each out one afternoon (or 2) on separate days each week from start of lunch. Then you could get some more quality time 1 on 1 with them. It is the one thing I wish we had done with our 8yo when placed, (though it wouldn't have been possible anyway as out other was pre-school age).
Selection of dvds
Take them to the local library to sign up
Felt pens, colouring books
Lego (bulk box of bricks from ebay and Wilkos do own brand baseboards which are big and cheap)
I totally agree with Maryz. Ours were the same ages.
Don't overload, we made that mistake because we thought what child wouldn't want lots of things. With hindsight we would have had a few, 3 or 4 things to play with and play with them with and then slowly introduce one or two things as a nice rainy day treat. The most important thing is for them to get to know you, and the best way to do that is reading them stories, or watching familiar films and talking about what is happening, going to happen etc.
Also one of the best things we did was send the foster carers their new pillowcases for them to sleep on for a week, so that when they moved to us it was a familiar smell in their beds, at a scary huge overwhelming time when everything in their whole wide world has changed.
Good luck, and be kind to yourselves. Also let me tell you the first months/year are not what you end up with. There is an awful lot of adjustments to be made from both sides and it gets better
also brings you to your knees at times but please please please be kind to yourselves and talk to each other and be united and clear on boundaries and rules. And the fun of course!
Mine are similar age, 4 and 5.
A few things:
- step for bath
- x5 milk that you normally buy
- pens/ paper/ scissors/ glue/ everything creative
- tennis rackets and balls
- chalk ( to draw on path)
- teddies for bed
- a basket in room for 'special stuff' ie crap!
The bathroom step!!! I remember searching for one of those during intros, whilst exhausted.... tesco have since stocked them, I curse them every time I walk past them in the store
you need to buy their favourite foods . Ask the Fc what they eat there and buy it . You have the rest of their lives to introduce new stuff
I don't mean any old chicken nuggets and beans . I mean the tesco nuggets with breadcrumbs that are a certain shape and size. Or morrisons value baked beans . Or asda own brand rice crispies , not Kellogg's . Get exactly the kind they like .
You will have enough stress in your life over the first few months without food battles. And familiar food will be very comforting to them
Just think what you would want if you were abducted by aliens
Unless they are a very tiny 5 and 6 they won't need a step to reach the bath or sink
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