Sunday, December 18, 2011

How to prepare to bring home a newborn baby with 12 hours notice

A few weeks ago I said to Sam "I want another one."

He said "No. Absolutely not."

I said "What if someone just calls up out of the blue and offers me a baby again?"

He said "That isn't going to happen."

"But what if it DID?" I persisted.

He sighed and shook his head sympathetically at his poor, delusional wife. "Sure, honey. If someone calls and offers you a baby, you can have another one."

At 7pm last night, we got a call.

"Hey there." our social worker said. "Want a baby?"

"&%$#" Sam said. "How did you DO that?"

We have been licensed foster parents for the state for eight years. In that time we have taken in several infants, so this phone call didn't faze me in the slightest. But we haven't had a placement in a while, and Sam was caught off-guard. I give him credit: he climbed right into the attic, and started pulling out garbage bags and storage boxes labeled "BABY". We washed, and laundered, and folded, and assembled.

 By 7am, aside from a few mysteriously AWOL items, I was totally ready.
Meet Dude. He's staying with us for a little while. Scrumptious.

Please consider becoming a foster parent. I can assure you, it is the most amazing gift you could give - or receive. Especially one week before Christmas.
And for all of you women out there with baby registries, this is for you:

Don't buy into the hype. The reason second and third and all subsequent children don't get a bunch of new stuff is because all of that stuff that you think you need ends up being totally unnecessary. I have taken care of COUNTLESS newborns, and I can promise that you need very little.


I know this, because I bought it. All of it. Some of it I bought twice. And I regretted it even more the second time. Newborn babies need the very basic necessities. They do not need the very latest gadgets.

You need one carseat (car owners: with two bases if possible. You can leave one base permanently installed in your car, and have the other for other people's cars, travel, etc.)
You need a stroller frame (one with a cupholder and a place for your phone and keys is great) to hold that carseat.
You need a carrier - I recommend the Ergo which is heaven on my back - get a newborn insert. (The Baby Bjorn really hurt my neck.)
You need a place for the baby to sleep. Babies can sleep anywhere, including mangers and laundry baskets.
You need burp cloths. We use cotton diapers.
You need diapers. Whatever your pleasure - cloth or disposable, organic or not.
You need wipes and/or washcloths for bath and cleanup.
You need some clothes and some blankets.
And we have a vibrating seat that is great for when I am in the bathroom, doing laundry, cleaning, or trying to type/eat/drink hot beverages. You don't need it, but some sort of seat or swing is nice to have from time to time.

You do not need to buy it all brand new. Except the carseat - you shoudn't buy a used carseat for safety reasons. If a carseat has been in an accident, it's frame may be weakened. Best to buy new, just to be safe.

Stay out of Babies R Us, you will want one of everything. We asked friends, bought off craigslist, watched for sales, and now have everything we need stored in a corner of the attic. About $350 for the whole shebang.
$50 wheeled bassinet for sleeping (optional!)
$20 vibrating chair
$125 stroller/carseat
$100 ergo
$55 clothes, blankets. diapers, bottles

Easy peasy lemon squeezy, as Lucy likes to say.
Don't go crazy. Just go.
(Mmmm babies. Yummy.)


Amber, theAmberShow said...

Oh my gosh! Yay! He's delicious. And so lucky.

elly said...

That's so awesome that you foster :) its something I'd eventually like to do, once I've settled + decided where I'm gonna be for more than a year or two!