SPECIAL OFFER: - Limited Time Only!
(The ad below will not display on your printed page)

Adoptive Parents' Shopping List

Once it appears certain that a baby or toddler will be joining your family, you'll want to prepare your home for his or her arrival. Here's a suggested list of things you may need to buy (or borrow) for children of various ages.

For the Nursery

  • Crib/crib mattress
  • Quilted mattress pad
  • Waterproof pad
  • Bumpers (to place around the inside of the crib)
  • Fitted sheets (in flannel or cotton, depending on the season)
  • Blankets (light weight, medium weight, or fleece, depending on the season)
  • Changing pad or table
  • Diaper pail
  • Diapers (either disposable or cloth)
  • Diaper wipes
  • Diaper rash ointment
  • Baby powder
  • Chest of drawers (for storing baby's clothes)
  • Rocking chair or glider
  • Night-light
  • Baby monitor

Bathing and Grooming

  • Baby tub
  • Tub seat and bath toys (for when baby graduates to the big tub
  • Baby soap or bath liquid
  • Baby shampoo
  • Baby oil and/or lotion
  • Soft towels
  • Soft washcloths
  • Hooded terry robes
  • Baby nail clipper or nail files
  • Sterile cotton balls
  • Baby brush and comb
  • Cloth diapers (to be used as burp cloths)

Feeding

  • High chair
  • Bottles/nipples
  • Wire brush bottle washer
  • Accessories basket for dishwasher
  • Drying rack for bottles
  • Formula
  • Baby spoons and forks (for feeding older babies)
  • Plastic or washable bibs

Medicine Chest

  • Thermometer (ear and/or rectal)
  • Nasal aspirator/saline nose drops
  • Medicine dropper/measuring spoon
  • Baby acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Baby ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin)
  • Baby decongestant
  • Rehydration fluid (such as Pedialyte)
  • Sunscreen
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Sterile bandages and gauze pads
  • Gas drops
  • Cool mist humidifier
  • Heating pad and/or hot water bottle (for soothing a colicky tummy)
  • Activated charcoal (if recommended by your local Poison Control Center)

Travel Gear

  • Stroller
  • Stroller blanket
  • Rain shield
  • Baby carrier (front pack or sling)
  • Diaper bag
  • Travel changing pad
  • Car seat
  • Portable playpen/crib

Safety

  • Safety gates
  • 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)

Clothing

This is a basic shopping list for newborns and very young babies. When shopping for your baby, you'll need to take into account his or her age and gender, and the season in which you'll adopt, and adapt this list accordingly. (An older baby, for instance, wouldn't need a hooded bunting, but could wear a hooded sweatshirt or jacket.)

  • 1 to 3 sweaters
  • 3 bodysuits
  • 4 to 6 rompers
  • 3 pullovers
  • 4 to 6 footed coveralls
  • 3 to 5 side-snap undershirts
  • 2 to 4 pairs of booties/socks

Fun and Games

Mobile (for young babies)

Baby swing (for babies older than 6 weeks)

Activity gym

Musical toys

Stuffed toys

Stacking cups

Books

Soothing baby CDs

For Baby's Bedroom

  • Crib or crib that coverts into a toddler bed
  • Crib mattress
  • Quilted mattress pad
  • Waterproof pad
  • Fitted sheets (in flannel or cotton, depending on the season)
  • Blankets (light weight, medium weight, or fleece, depending on the season)
  • Changing pad or table
  • Diaper pail
  • Diapers (either disposable or cloth)
  • Diaper wipes
  • Diaper rash ointment
  • Baby powder
  • Chest of drawers
  • Rocking chair or glider
  • Night-light
  • Baby monitor

Bathing and Grooming

  • Tub seat
  • Bath toys
  • Baby soap or bath liquid
  • Baby shampoo
  • Baby lotion
  • Soft towels
  • Soft washcloths
  • Hooded terry robes
  • Baby nail clipper or nail files
  • Sterile cotton balls
  • Baby brush and comb
  • Baby toothbrush and toothpaste

Feeding

  • High chair or booster seat
  • Toddler spoons and forks (for self-feeding)
  • Sippy cups
  • Plastic bowls and plates
  • Plastic or washable bibs

Medicine Chest

  • Thermometer
  • Nasal aspirator/saline nose drops
  • Medicine dropper/measuring spoon
  • Baby acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Baby ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin)
  • Baby cold medicine
  • 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
  • Stroller blanket
  • Rain shield
  • Diaper bag
  • Travel changing pad
  • Car seat
  • Portable playpen/crib (for younger children)

Safety

  • Safety gates
  • 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)

Clothing

This is a basic list of items that an older baby or toddler 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 -- for instance, if you're adopting a 12-month-old, buy 18-month sizes -- babies outgrow their clothing more quickly than you'd expect! Don't guess on shoe sizes, though. Wait until your child arrives and can have his feet measured correctly.

  • Undershirts
  • Footed pajamas
  • Lightweight sleepwear
  • T-shirts/long-sleeve shirts
  • Pants
  • Overalls
  • Dresses
  • Sun hat
  • Shorts
  • Bathing suits
  • Hooded sweatshirts or fleece jacket
  • Rain 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 1- to 2-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 your child's tastes and personality.

  • Nesting and stacking toys
  • Simple wooden jigsaw puzzles
  • Shape-sorters
  • Building blocks
  • Pull toys, push toys, and riding toys
  • Balls
  • Stuffed animals
  • Dolls
  • Toy cars, trucks, and planes
  • Musical toys
  • Crayons and finger paints
  • Water and sand toys
  • Books
  • CDs of children's songs

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)

Feeding

  • 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

  • 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)

Clothing

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.