Adopting an Older Child? Here’s Your Shopping Checklist

by | May 2, 2018 | Adoptive Families Blog

older-child-shoppingWhen you’re preparing for an older child adoption, it’s smart to register for all the gear you need ahead of time. We have heard from adoptive families who created a wish list or online registry at Amazon.

Then, once they’re traveling for adoption, friends and family can purchase needed items from their list. These items can be shipped to their home or their hotel when they know they’ll need them. This allows adoptive couples to enjoy the excitement of registering, but avoid having all those items sitting around while they wait to be chosen by a birth mother. 

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Lifetime has built this adoption preparation checklist, so you can be sure you have all the needed essentials for adopting an older child. You can see our suggestions for an infant adoption registry in our previous post, Adoption Registry: Shopping Checklist for Parents-in-Waiting

older_child_adoption-1.jpgFor Your Adoption Travel

  • Luggage
  • Diaper bag 
  • Bags for dirty/soiled clothes
  • Laundry detergent (travel size)
  • Travel-size first aid kit
  • Gifts for your child’s birth parents (check with your adoption attorney first to make sure it’s allowable per state laws)

Gear and Travel

  • Stroller and/or umbrella stroller
  • Stroller accessories, such as a rain cover, sun shade, foot muff, and hooks for bags or purses
  • Convertible car seat
  • Car seat accessories, like a mirror, sun shade for the windows, and car seat cover
  • Pack N Play Playard and two to three play yard sheets
  • Diaper bag 

Nursery and Décor

  • Crib and crib mattress (or a toddler bed, depending upon the age of the child you’re adopting)
  • Waterproof mattress pads (2-3)
  • Fitted crib sheets
  • Crib sheet protectors (2-3)
  • Color-coordinated valance, dust ruffle, quilt, etc
  • Dresser
  • Storage bins or baskets
  • White noise sound machine
  • Laundry hamper
  • Child-sized hangers (12-15)


  • Toddler bowls, plates, and utensils
  • Toddler cups and sippy cups (6-8)
  • High chair
  • Booster seat for dining out
  • Bibs (8-10)
  • Snack dispenser

Bath and Potty

  • Bathtub
  • Shampoo
  • Rinse cup for shampoo
  • Bath toys
  • Mat for parents to kneel on
  • Hooded towels (4-6)
  • Baby washcloths (7-8)
  • Diapers (in various sizes)
  • Diaper pail
  • Wipes
  • Diaper rash ointment

Safety and Health

  • Baby monitor
  • Safety gates
  • Safety locks and outlet covers
  • Humidifier
  • Thermometer
  • Nasal bulb
  • First Aid kit
  • Baby or child toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Nail clippers
  • Brush and comb
  • Night light
  • Shopping cart cover

Toys and Learning

  • Books
  • Activity mat or walker
  • Stuffed animals 
  • Walk-behind toy
  • Extra batteries!

Clothing and Linens

  • Undershirts (4-6)
  • Seasonal clothing, such as jackets and swim suits
  • Socks (9-12 pairs)
  • Shoes (2-3 pairs)
  • Outfits (4-6)
  • Footie pajamas (4-8)
  • Pants (4-8 pairs)

Lifetime encourages you to save this list to your smartphone, or print it out. This will allow you to stay organized before you start your future child’s adoption registry. 

(This post was originally published on our blog on September 16, 2016)

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Heidi Keefer

Written by Heidi Keefer

Heidi Keefer is a Content Creator for Lifetime Adoption and has over 15 years of experience in the field of adoption. An author of thousands of articles and social media posts over the years, Heidi enjoys finding new ways to educate and captivate Lifetime’s ever-growing list of subscribers.

Heidi has a keen eye for misplaced apostrophes, comma splices, and well-turned sentences, which she has put to good use as a contributor to Lifetime’s award-winning blogs. She has written and published hundreds of adoption articles which explore the various facets of domestic infant adoption today.

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