What should you bring when you go abroad to bring home your newest family member? Everything but the kitchen sink!


Pack Lightly

If there's one piece of advice any seasoned traveler will give you, it's this: Pack lightly. And if you're planning to travel abroad to adopt a baby, you'll want to heed this advice even more. For one thing, your adoption journey may take you through crowded airports in a developing country, where luggage carts aren't always easy to find. (In other words, you may end up carrying or rolling all of your luggage.) And once you adopt your baby, you'll be transporting your little one -- and all of his belongings as well.

Before you travel to adopt, talk to other adoptive parents who've recently been to the city or region you're going to. Ask them what you should buy in advance and what you can purchase there. (For instance, are diapers and formula easily accessible in the host country, or will you need to pack a full trip's supply in your bag?) Also, ask what the weather will be like, what types of clothing are appropriate, and what sorts of goods and services you can expect to find. You can also consult this packing list, which contains a number of essential items for a baby and parents on the go.

For Your Baby

____ Lightweight front pack or baby carrier

____ Baby bottles and nipples

____ Powdered formula

____ 2 plastic bibs

____ Burp cloths (you can use cloth diapers or small towels)

____ Disposable diapers and baby wipes

____ Diaper bag and portable changing pad

____ Resealable plastic bags (to hold wipes when traveling)

____ Small plastic garbage bags (for dirty diapers or dirty clothes)

____ 8 to 10 seasonal outfits that can be washed easily

____ Snowsuit or winter jacket and mittens (if traveling in cold weather)

____ 2 to 4 pairs of pajamas

____ 1 or 2 sun hats or winter hats

____ 6 pairs of socks or baby booties

____ 2 to 3 baby blankets

____ 1 bottle baby shampoo

____ 1 bottle baby lotion

____ 1 small container cornstarch baby powder

____ 1 tube diaper rash cream

____ Baby hairbrush

____ Baby nail clipper/file

____ Liquid baby acetaminophen

____ Liquid baby decongestant

____ Rehydration liquid (for bad cases of diarrhea)

____ Dosage spoon or dropper (for giving medicine)

____ 1% hydrocortisone cream (for itching and rashes)

____ Antigas drops (helpful if you're changing your baby's diet)

____ General antibiotic (if your doctor will prescribe one)

____ Ear and/or rectal baby thermometer

____ Rattle

____ Teething ring

____ Small stuffed animal, stacking cups, or other small toy


____ Baby rice cereal (for babies over 6 months of age)

____ Cheerios, packed in resealable bags (for older babies)

____ Pacifiers

____ Small plastic bowl and baby spoon

For Mom and Dad

____ 4 or 5 mix-and-match outfits that can be laundered easily

____ Comfortable walking shoes

____ Long underwear (in winter)

____ Sun hats and insect repellent (in summer)

____ Personal hygiene products (shampoo, shaving cream, mouthwash, deodorant, moisturizer, waterless hand-wash, etc.)

____ Over-the-counter remedies for upset stomachs/diarrhea, colds, headaches, sinus problems, sore throats, etc.

____ Over-the-counter sleep aid (in case of jet lag)

____ General antibiotic (if your doctor will prescribe one)

____ Supply of snacks (for comfort food)

____ Resealable plastic bags (for medication, snacks, film, etc.)

____ Camera and lots of film

____ Camcorder and extra battery

____ Travel journal/diary

____ Money belt

____ Language guide/phrase book

____ Prepaid calling card

____ Pocket calculator (to convert prices into dollars)

____ Passport, travel documents, and adoption-related papers

Sources: Gladney Center for Adoption, The Complete Adoption Book by Laura Beauvais-Godwin and Raymond Godwin, Esq.

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.

American Baby