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We've been matched!! Come, help me become a mum!(20 Posts)
Just got the call to say we've been chosen to proceed with our beautiful 4 and 1 y/o!! I'm delighted and terrified at the same time! we're starting from scratch on the whole children thing - I don't want to go out and buy loads as I'm not sure what they'll bring from FCs, but the nesting instincts are kicking in!
What do I need to do/buy in the next few weeks/months? What's a godsend to have prepared? What can people buy them that they'll definitely want/need (GPs are already asking!)?! Is there anything they definitely will/won't be bringing from FCs? Will be meeting her later but I'm getting excited!
Any insight you could give on developmental milestones around these ages is really helpful too - they're a young 4 and 1 but I'm new to this!
Congratulations! No advice on the what you to get as I'm not at that stage yet, but I found this the other day that might be helpful for developmental milestones:
I would say keep 4yr old out of school till at least January if not defer for a year. They will probably need that time to be with you.
Both LO's will need a car seat, baby will need cot, pushchair (facing you), high chair, I could go on, the list is endless.
You will meet fc and they should be able to let you know what the children will come with.
Now, sleep x
Lists, you need lists!
I had a shopping list split into groups;
- stuff to buy now
- stuff to buy before you make the photo books for 4yo
- stuff you'll need but worth waiting to see if they'll be bringing
You can start researching it all now, but it's probably worth waiting til you meet FCs.
Anyone who asks, ask for money if you can. If you can't, ask them to wait til you/they meet the DC.
If you're in mother care or whatever talking car seats and beds tell them you're adopting two and their ages, otherwise they'll assume all kinds of stuff (like you know what you're talking about for a start...).
Look for local facebook mum/selling groups - you'll likely be able to get some cheap stuff.
I say this to everyone. Declutter. Empty every cupboard, purge every drawer. Children generate so. much. stuff.
Aw how totally totally lovely op! And what very lucky children to have such an excited lovely mummy .
Yes to decluttering, do not under estimate the amount of
shite things small people have/want/keep!
Cot and bed (I also found two sets of bedding and even more fitted sheets were essential for those middle of the night pooplosions/puke! The mumsnet patented set up of bedmat/sheet/bedmat/sheet is a life saver when they're ill as you can whip one set off and have another already there.
Car seats/booster seat.
Calpol etc, mine seems to have an eternal cold/virus/sore throat. A little first aid kit geared up for kids is also helpful.
I asked FC about nappy size and brands and bought a few packs each week so I had a stash before placement. Ditto for things like shampoo and bubble bath so they smelt familiar (and laundry detergent to wash their bedding in as familiar smell can offer comfort in this early weeks).
Also ask FC about shoe and clothes size and how close they are to moving up to the next. My boy was just fitting his current age clothes so I knew I could start buying next size up (and told family and friend this as well). You'll never have enough vests and socks tho!
I recorded lots of his fave TV shows.
I also stock piled some of my own toiletries and laundry detergent so that I had plenty waiting for when I went onto stat pay. Also this helped in the early weeks when I didn't know what day of the week it was let alone what I had actually gone to tescos for
Start prepping your list for foster carer about routines etc...grill them about everything from the second DC wake until bed.
Prep some meals for yourself and freeze, intros are hard and exhausting as are the first few
Find out what their fave foods are also.
Order your talking album now, they are forever selling out. I think Argos have some Lamaze ones at a good price.
Buggy and maybe one of those toddler step things that attach for the older one to stand on (can't think of the proper name).
God it's so exciting just thinking back to this stage has given me a little buzz, you must be on cloud nine!!!
Things I wished I'd done differently....not bought so many toys at the start! In our first 6 weeks my DC came home, had Xmas and a birthday....and of course everyone bought him coming home, Xmas and birthday prezzies, that on top of what I had bought the house was bursting, 6 months on I still have unopened prezzies in the cupboard.
I wish I had gotten rid of more stuff and cleared my wardrobe etc, you honestly need so much storage space.
Best of luck and keep us updated
A slow cooker faffing about with dinner when yur tired is awful so make some dump bags and your life will be so much easier
Ask a friend who has young children to take you to shopping to John Lewis or somewhere similar as they have everything you'll need in one place and your friend will be able to advise you.
Congratulations! I'm really thrilled for you. All the suggestions so far are spot on. I'd just add my vote to decluttering. Don't underestimate the power of small bits of plastic to multiply in the night! Enjoy a bit of well earned rest before intros, and I remember enjoying browsing and mooching around children's clothes and toy shops during this time, feeling like I finally belonged there because I was going to be a mum at last. That was a lovely feeling.
Thanks everyone, we're over the moon! Can't wait to hit up the shops, although I think 2nd hand is the way at the moment until we know what they're bringing from FC. Can't help poring over pictures of cute bedding though!
Think the next week or so will be getting rooms ready so we can take pictures for intros book, and they love books apparently so am already planning a home-made book to introduce family and friends that I can sit and read with them when they arrive!
Forgot to say you don't have to buy everything in John Lewis (or similar) but you can check out what they have and make a list. FARA children's shops often have the most amazing things including beautiful designer buggies for about £40.
Asda and TKMaxx have beautiful baby clothes at very low prices.
I don't think anyone has mentioned a baby bath. You will definitely need one of those for the little one, and also a children's thermometer. And bottles and sippy cups.
Once you tell your friends the children will be arriving you will be amazed at their generosity as they deliver bags of clothes and toys. You will be inundated. In a year or two you will be the one delivering the carrier bags - it's called decluttering!
Congratulations on becoming a mum!
Just picking up on advice above- Hold back on the baby bath- a 1 year old is likely to be too big for this, and I recommend bathing siblings together ( in your normal bath) if you can, as its great for bonding. ( you can always get in too!) Buy lots of bubbles, you won't believe the smiles you get out of blowing bubbles, especially at bath time. Four year old will love patting bubbles of baby's head. Blowing bubbles is a good 'way in' during introductions; it signals to the child that you're non threatening, then patient and finally fun. It's a gentle activity to do in foster carer's living room during your first hour with your new children.
Your four year old is also likely to be too big for a buggy board. My 4 year old would certainly pull a buggy over ( due to his weight) if on a buggy board. Depending on what he/ she is used to in FC, you might find pulling a scooter along beside you easier if they get tired anyway. Like I say, find out what FC does, as introducing scooters comes with months of roadside perils!
I have four children, ages 6-1. The one toy that unites them all is Duplo. It's safe for the one year old and interactive and creative enough for the older three.
Fantastic that your newbies love books, mine too. Over the years I have built up a great book collection from charity shops- Oxfam in particular ,as they sell 3 children's books for £1. You'll find old classics that you might have read in there, and for me, there's nothing like sharing a book I cherished as a child with my children. My AC in particular seem to love the closeness and quiet of reading together, and my daughter especially loves to hear me talk about books I shared with my family years ago. She loves Alfie and Annie Rose stories as much as I did I think.
Regarding the bundles of clothes you'll be given by people- on the one hand we were/ still are so so grateful for these as it's saved us lots of money, but when AC first arrived, I actually wish I'd dressed her in clothes chosen by me exclusively for a while (after she'd transitioned from FC clothes that is). The reason is because I think there's an important stage of 'claiming' that happens in our own attachment to our adopted children, that is aided, I feel, by recognising ourselves in our children, if you see what I mean? So books from our own childhoods, clothes and toys we have chosen and love ( the look of, the feel of, the idea of). Dont get me wrong, I'm all about hand- me downs now with my children, but I think this transition phase raises a lot of emotions on both sides about claiming. You'll need to tread very carefully at introducing new clothes and ' things'to your four year old especially, as he'll / she'll already have a strong sense of identity and who they are, so maybe try to include them in purchases when they arrive.
Wishing you all the best. Lego x
WOULD hold things a little while except essentials beds , push chairs and such like, children will be feel strange for a while as will yourselfs, They will feel more at ease with familiar things such as clothing toys and attatched items they are used too, best too re stock as the child grows and things get grownout of, continuation of normality. As others have said grill FC , make sure FC's give you the childs up todate Life diary and Medical file's, Red Book, and social worker hands over Life story book.
The diary is weekly/ daily record of childs life events todate, is a statutary requirement for all placements used too be handed over too s. services. But now is too new parents.
Wish you all the best congradulations.
Thanks everyone, really detailed advice and so helpful. Will refrain from buying stuff for now, friends and GPs are already desperate to get involved
Can anyone tell me what on earth I need to do first WRT schools? Do I call up and ask for a visit and then apply? Or call the LEA? Do they legally need to attend age 4 or is it after they turn 5? I've googled but can't seem to find a clear, recent guide.
Sorry for all the questions!
In the normal run of things your 4yo would be starting in Sept (assuming you're in England which I realise you may not be) so you've already missed the normal application process. This is good because it gives you time to get to know DC before you decide anything.
You/SS need to decide what you want to do and whether you want her to start in Sept or not. She doesn't need to be in school til after 5th birthday but school/LA might want to start her in Y1 so she'd miss out on all of Reception.
Assuming she's not delayed development or anything and you're looking at her being placed July/Aug I might think about starting school very part time in Jan and building it up towards Summer.
If you were only adopting one child I'd probably not say so soon, but if my experience is in anyway typical it's the only way you'll get to bond with younger DC (elder DC's being very attention-hungry).
Not sure what the process is applying out of cycle, but the start point is calling schools and arranging visits.
(I managed a great arrangement where DC1 went to school in morning just a couple of days a week building to 5, and DC2 had lengthy nap in the afternoons, so they each got 1-2-1 time.)
Huge congratulations. My advice would be talk to the foster carer before you buy anything. We literally took back at least 5 car loads of stuff from her - throughout intro week we were packing and taking a car load a night until we finally got to take home the most precious cargo
Plus everyone will buy you stuff as well so wait till you've settled and done a proper think about what you need
In my opinion as long as you have essentials such as nappies, cleaning stuff, calpol, bedding stuff and transport stuff you're so fine to start off with
And enjoy it !
It also means in addition to next day delivery you can stream peppa pig at 4 am
A good school who really "gets" adopted kids will most likely suggest a very phased start (once you've decided how far you'd like to defer - totally agree to take as much time as you can for building bonds first). Some schools control their own admissions, some you'll need to go through the LA, but the school will tell you. Someone gave me great advice, which was to ask to meet the SENCO/LAC lead as well as the head (and class teacher if at all possible but it might not be). That gave me a great feel for the attitude and types of support the school offered, and changed which school we chose.
Congratulations on your match! If the SWs will either co-ordinate messages, or let you have direct contact details for FCs, you can start to stock up on the washing powder/nappies etc they use. Otherwise, don't buy more stuff yet - do de-clutter, and try and get things ready to take care of yourself through the exhausting weirdness that is intros!
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