Your home study is done! Shew! Take some time to shake out that hand that has been signing an endless stream of paperwork! This was the point where I got shopping happy. Like literally. Buy all the cute baby/toddler things am I right? My church family was also totally incredible and threw us a virtual baby shower. But if you are like us and live in an apartment and don’t have the organizational skills of my sister then you don’t want to have a huge stockpile of things you don’t necessarily need. Here are some of the essentials we have found most valuable.
Side note: We are licensed for ages 0-4 in the state of CO so there will be some differences in different states and different age groups.
Another side note: You may not be a foster mom but getting a foster mom you know one of these items will make her life easier I promise!
Our friend did this for us and it was extremely useful. She got gallon ziplocks and put pjs for every other age and gender in each ziplock. This was incredibly useful for our baby girl who was an emergency placement.
Most foster kiddos (especially ages 0-4) are either not potty trained or have bed wetting issues. I know it’s icky but being prepared will make it a lot easier to deal with.
Sadly our little guy had lots of issues with lice before he came to us so have this brush and some lice shampoo on hand just in case.
Non-fluoride toothpaste. You may think your kiddo is old enough for a fluoride toothpaste but we were told in training “If you haven’t taught it to them, they don’t know how” Keeping this in the front of our mind helped a lot. Sadly, it makes sense when you consider the neglect these kids have endured.
Diapers and wipes
We kept a pack of newborn, size 3 and a pack of pull ups on hand. That can get you by in a pinch until you have time to run to the store and get the correct size.
Do yourself a favor and get a pack of wipes from Costco. Even if your kiddo is potty trained, messes happen. There’s nothing worse than being in the middle of a mess or a nasty diaper and using the last wipe in the pack.
This Wubbanub paci is super trendy right now and for good reason. It doubles as a lovie for your little one, and having a little animal stuck to it makes it less easy to loose (it still happens trust me) and something to grab on to when you have one eye half open in the middle of the night trying to find your little ones paci.
Bottles and sippy cups
These bottles are the only ones we have ever used and they’re a little more expensive but they helped a lot with our little ones really upset tummy.
Don’t go crazy with sippy cups but these straw ones work for a wide range of ages
Our toddler had a really really hard time sleeping the first few weeks he was with us. (understandably so!) Make sure to have a soft lovie, sheets and blankets on the bed and especially nightlights. Just the nightlights didn’t scare away enough of the scary darkness bedtime brings so one night I brought our little guy one of the battery powered candles we had from our wedding and it worked like a charm. There was something comforting about being able to snuggle with the nightlight. (Get more than one to avoid pre-bedtime-can’t-find-the-candle-meltdowns)
When we got our emergency placement baby she still seemed to be showing signs of drug exposure. These swaddles saved us those first few months not to mention burrito babies are the best! Just make sure to follow the safety instructions for when your baby starts to roll (especially if she doesn’t have freakishly strong neck muscles like our little one had early on)
Ok, foster Mamas, what have I missed? What things do you have in your stockpile? Any organizing tips?
**Check out this post for more must have products!
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