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Sleeping arrangements(20 Posts)
In about 6 weeks DH and I will be adopting an eight month old baby. She has been sleeping in the FC's room and we're wondering whether we should have her in our room when she joins us, or put her in her own room. Does anyone have any advice on, or experience of this?
Congratulations! Our DD was 8 months old when she came home earlier this year and it's the best thing that ever happened to us. It's a great age.
In answer to your question, I think keeping things the same is generally a good rule of thumb. So if have her in with you if that's what she's used to.
Our DD was in her own room in foster care and apparently didn't sleep well when she had been in with FC. So we put her in her own room (only a few feet away from us) even though that wouldn't have been what I'd have done if I'd had, say, a birth child.
Thank you Rain! It's so lovely to hear how well things are going for because at the moment, I feel more terrified than excited! I'm hoping the fear will pass soon.....
Keeping things the same sounds sensible and it was our instinct as well. Apparently she's a good sleeper so I'm hoping she stays that way
Our pixie came home at 8 months and it is amazing! He slept in with us for the first four months- great for bonding. You can be immediately there if she wakes up. Congrats!
It's totally normal to be terrified. Feel free to ask anything at all or to PM me.
Second youngest came home at a similar age - he had also slept in Fc's room so we kept him in ours until he was settled better. I think we moved him around 3-4 months after placement. Those early days they are likely to need you a lot so easier to be close by.
Definitely keep it the same and have baby in your room.
Lots of safety rules around co-sleeping so read up on that if baby goes in your bed. But I would keep exactly the same as foster carer.
Congratulations and good luck.
And I'm sure you know all this, but other things to keep the same are washing powder and fabric softener, food, and bottle/feeding routines, etc so it's all as similar as possible.
Before DD came home, I washed all her bedding etc in foster carer's detergent and softener, as we're still using it.
I sometimes wonder if I have to use Daz for rest of my days as its playing havoc with my coloured things but that's another story
Our DD was fed absolute crap in foster care which we kept up with for a while but then did change as it was so rubbish and she took to better food really well. So it's a bit of a judgement call.
Thanks everyone, this is so useful. It's lovely to have unanimous advice
Rain - i've spoken to the foster carer and asked her to give me a list of everything in advance so that I can get stocked up. She keeps telling me that she will do it during introductions week but this seems too late for me as I like to be well organised in advance.
Social workers keep talking to us at the moment about how quickly she will attach to us because she's so young. They keep referring to her transferring her attachment immediately (in intros week!!) as though it's a simple transaction. I know it's far more complex than this and I'm trying to bite my tongue, but I do find it frustrating. For those of you who have adopted a child under 1, how did they cope with the transition in the first few weeks and months?
Attachment immediately ? I doubt it!
We adopted our girl at 8 months old, took 3 months before we could safely let her have contact with other people without her being distressed at night because of it. I know every child is different and because our daughter was so poorly when born she did develop a very strong attachment to Foster Mum ( removed at birth ) but even so you cannot expect her to securely attach right away. Silly SWs!!
I think this depends I fostered a baby who I was really attached to and she also was attached to me and followed me around the room when with other and would check I was there for instance if a friend went to cuddle her.
However I can thankfully say she seemed to take to her adoptive parents Straight away and as much as it broke my heart it was lovely to see.
Obviously this was with me there in the background and I can't say how she is now.
Wow, that does sound bonkers of your SW to say that your LO will transfer the attachment immediately.
I think what you can expect, all going well, is that the baby will begin to accept care-giving from you over the course of intros. Feeding, etc. But attachment, as you rightly say, isn't an on/off switch and it will take time.
To answer your question, our DD transferred to us really quite smoothly on the face of it. She took to us well during intros, left her FC (with whom she'd been since birth, and to whom I would say she was well attached) without any apparent problem, and came home eating, sleeping and playing well. So from all of that point of view, it was an 'easy' transition.
However, now that I know her better, and looking back on photos, she was actually very stressed. And definitely wasn't 'attached' to us, of course.
Some of the signs I noticed included sitting up to take her bottle more than half the time (ie not lying back or snuggling), wouldn't let us take her hands, and was scooting off our laps down to play on the floor as soon as she could. She never had any problem with eye contact, though, so we made the most of this.
I think I really realised that things were different when a friend who is birth children said, 'oh, 8 months is such a lovely age, so many cuddles and snuggles'. And we were like, 'um, no. That never happens'.
Has your LA recommend a book called 'First Steps in Parenting the Child who hurts: Tiddlers and Toddlers'? I found it very helpful. In particular, there's a list of things to watch out for that all might not be well on the attachment front.
In terms of what we did, it was all the usual things -funnelling, sling, lots of eye contact (I spent sooooooooo long on the floor with her), parent facing pushchair, skin to skin contact, etc
The tricky thing is, though, that if you have a child who's wriggling away, it can be hard to make that stuff happen so you have to manufacture opportunities to do it. For instance, I'd imagined that we'd do our skin to skin just having nice cuddles or swanning around the house (with the curtains closed ) in the sling topless but she just wasn't having any of that to begin with. BUT she's always been very keen on her bottles and food, so we did her bottles topless, and I took to sharing pieces of fruit with her sitting on my knee, lots of eye contact, passing back and forth etc.
Five months in, she is very relaxed and seems very happy. She's got lots of age appropriate securely attached behaviours like going off crawling at playgroup and 'checking' back in with me for reassurance. She's very happy with physical contact with us and will initiate and seek lots of cuddles (and hilarious sloppy kisses). She looks for and easily accepts comfort if she hurts herself or is poorly.
It's still very much a work in progress though and I never think, 'oh now she's attached'. She went through a phase of making strange with other people (which was age-appropriate) but now is much more free and easy with others and I don't know if that's cause for concern or not. So it's something we'll always think about and work on.
Hope that helps a bit. Feel free to ask anything else.
And on the stuff you need to get in, how annoying! Ask again via the social worker but if it doesn't happen, I'd book an Internet shop slot in advance and then just order it all on the first day of intros when you know what you're getting.
And Amazon Prime is your friend.
Thanks everyone, these are such useful answers. It's always fascinating to hear other people's experiences as it helps to give some idea of the range of issues we may face. I've done lots of reading so far but hearing about real life families is much more compelling. I find myself getting more and more irritated with SWs because some of the information they give is either hugely simplistic or just plain wrong and I sometimes feel like recommending some reading to them! I've told DH that we must always defer to the mumsnet posse if we're ever in doubt about anything!
Rain - I hadn't heard of the book you mentioned but I've ordered it now, thank you. I've also just ordered some rugs.....we've got lots of hardwood flooring so not ideal for a crawling baby or me and my knees!
Yes, unfortunately, some social workers aren't very good. Some are. You just have to smile and nod, as we say around here, with the others.
We were the same with rugs. Though you'd be surprised how hardy their little knees are. Our DD is very determined about crawling all over all sorts of surfaces I'd have said were too hard X
We went with another school of thought, that moving into a new room, whether that was into our bedroom, or her own was going to be a big change, one that we didn't want to do more than once. We put DD (11 months) straight into her own room and she has been fine. Like someone else said, to keep things "the same" other things can be done so we focused on them.
I agree with Rain <we meet again>! so I wont repeat everything.
Basically, things on the surface may appear (to outsiders) to be smooth and the attachment easily transferred, but underneath, it takes longer and little ones will have different coping mechanisms. We adopted an 8 month old boy in December and it's only now that I feel he's making proper progress in terms of attachment building. (starting to look back now and put his hands up for a hug, but still doesnt do cuddles). Previously what outsiders assumed was an attachment was superficial, a behaviour he'd learned. It wasnt specific to us. He'd smile at anyone.
Our DS was 8 month when we adopted him. He slept in his cot in our room until he was about 1. He was still having a night feed so it worked well.
He gave up the night feed at about 11 months and then we found that we were disturbing him and he slept much better in his own room.
I have a DD too now and neither of them ever came into our bed during the night. They both like to sleep on their own.
OP Probably too late now, but rather than rugs, our SW recommended this as we too had hardwood floors:
It's a great size and best of all, can be wiped clean in the event of food/milk spillage, vomit (or worse!).
If the high chair will be on a hardwood floor too, I would either cat a high chair mat (nice ones from Jo Jo Maman Bebe) or niop to your local textiles shop and by a metre of waterproof type fabric.
Aghhh. I am knackered. DS teething!
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