Adoptive Parents' Shopping List

Children 2 Years and Older

For Baby's Bedroom

  • Toddler bed or junior bed, with mattress (depending on child's age)
  • Quilted mattress pad
  • Guardrail (for junior bed)
  • Fitted sheets (in flannel or cotton, depending on the season)
  • Blankets (light weight, medium weight, or fleece, depending on the season)
  • Changing pad
  • Diaper pail
  • Diapers or training pants (for older toddlers ready to be toilet trained)
  • Diaper wipes
  • Diaper rash ointment
  • Baby powder
  • Chest of drawers
  • Night-light

Bathing and Grooming

  • Tub seat (for younger children)
  • Bath toys
  • Baby soap or bath liquid
  • Baby shampoo
  • Baby lotion
  • Soft towels
  • Soft washcloths
  • Children's nail clipper or nail files
  • Sterile cotton balls
  • Brush and comb
  • Children's toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Children's potty seat (for those who are toilet training)


  • Booster seat
  • Toddler spoons and forks
  • Sippy cups or plastic cups (for older children)
  • Plastic bowls and plates
  • Plastic or washable bibs (for younger children)

Medicine Chest

  • Thermometer
  • Nasal aspirator/saline nose drops
  • Measuring spoon for medicine
  • Children's acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Children's ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin)
  • Children's decongestant
  • Rehydration fluid (such as Pedialyte)
  • Sunscreen
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Sterile bandages and gauze pads
  • Activated charcoal (if recommended by your local Poison Control Center)
  • Cool mist humidifier

Travel Gear

  • Stroller (for younger children)
  • Stroller blanket
  • Rain shield
  • Diaper bag
  • Travel changing pad
  • Car seat


  • Safety gates (for younger children)
  • Safety latches (for drawers, cabinets, closets, toilet seats, etc.)
  • Outlet plugs
  • Window guards
  • Cord shorteners (for blind or drapery cords)
  • Corner guards (for sharp edges of furniture)


This is a basic list of items that a toddler or preschool child will need. (You'll obviously want to adapt this list to your child's gender and the season in which you're adopting.) In general, buy clothing at least one size ahead of what you'll need, as kids this age tend to outgrow their clothes pretty quickly. Don't guess on shoe sizes, though. Wait until your child arrives and can have his feet measured correctly.

  • Undershirts
  • Underpants (for kids who are toilet trained)
  • Footed pajamas
  • Lightweight sleepwear
  • T-shirts/long-sleeve shirts
  • Pants
  • Overalls
  • Dresses
  • Sun hat
  • Shorts
  • Bathing suits
  • Hooded sweatshirts or fleece jacket
  • Winter coat
  • Snow boots
  • Snowsuit
  • Shoes/sandals
  • Socks/tights

Fun and Games

Here is a partial list of items that are developmentally appropriate for 2- to 3-year-olds. You may want to buy a few toys and books before your child arrives, and then purchase others once you have a sense of what your child enjoys.

  • Character figures or plush toys (from storybooks, TV shows, etc.)
  • Dolls
  • Toy typewriters, cash registers, shopping carts, tool chests, etc.
  • Toy trucks, cars, and planes
  • Hand and finger puppets
  • Simple wooden puzzles
  • Shape-sorters and pegboards
  • Building blocks
  • Arts-and-crafts materials, such as crayons and paints
  • Alphabet blocks or magnetic letters
  • Musical toys
  • Water and sand toys
  • Books
  • Children's CDs and videos

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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