Monday, March 20, 2006
EXPENSIVE! List To Buy For Adoption
I know that the social worker fees, the agency fees, the paperwork fees, the travel and hotel fees are very expensive, but what about all of the miscellaneous items?

If you are a new time mom or mom-to-be of an older baby or toddler I hope these suggestions will be helpful. These are things that most people might need to buy. I know that your agency might have given you packing lists so let me know if you see something that should be added to this list.

For First and/ or Second Trip

Airplane pillow and (opt.) personal lumbar pillow
Autograph book – to leave at orphanage
Baby carrier (opt.)
Baby bag- that does not appear to be a baby bag (long strap bag (hands free) or backpack)with Changing Pad

Baby grooming: Baby bath wipes (soapy), Baby hair brush, Baby nail clippers
Baby toothbrush, Baby toothpaste, Baby shampoo- small

Baby wipes refill pack (soft)- Large- can buy in Russia
Bags-Blue deodorized plastic disposable bags – for diapers
Balloons to blow up- for orphanage
Bath toys: (i.e. small plastic squeeze animals, set of nesting bath cups)
Bath mat- small
Bibs- Disposable
Binder with plastic protector sheets to carry paperwork
Blankets- 2 small
Blow-dryer- compact travel
Books – light, funny
Bottles with tri-cut x for formula and cereal/ capped
Bottles/ Playtex with plastic sheets
Bottle scrub brush
Bubbles to play with at orphanage
Camera, camera case, battery, battery charger
Chapstick- for carry on
Clothes for adults- comfortable (2-3 outfits each- layers)
Nicer outfit/ dressy shoes ( for visit to Ministry of Education)
Outfits for Court (i.e. suit and tie, dress/ dressy shoes)
Pajamas, Jackets- dark, Sweaters
Socks-plus clean change for carry on
T-shirts (2) - for carry on
Underclothing – for carry on and luggage
Shoes - comfortable black walking shoes, (not sneakers- i.e. Ecco or Lands End black travel shoes)
Warm Hats, Warm Boots, dark, Warm Mittens, Scarf, and Long Underwear(thermal) - if winter
Coats- long dark, warm wool coats – if winter

Clothes for child- different sizes (2-4 PJs, 10 pair Socks, Shoes, 2 outfits per day you will have custody of child: - Size: 16 mo. old = clothes for a 16 lb. child, 24 mo. old = 24 lb child) adjustable (i.e. dresses, tights, overalls) weather appropriate:Jacket, Sweater , Coat, Hat, Gloves, Scarf, two-piece Snow Outfit, long underwear, If warm- for child: sun hat, light jacket and sweater
Extra clothes for the baby/child on the plane trip home – carry on

Contacts or eyeglass needs (opt.)
Converter (220 for hair dryer, lower wattage for electronics- Recoton ADF50s)
Curling iron (opt.)
Deodorant- carry on
Dish soap - small
Dishes: Sippy cups with lid (no spill), plastic bowls w/ tight fitting lid, plastic spoons, fork

DVD player- portable or lap top for plus extra batteries, adapter, extension cord and all plugs, several DVDs (comedy & Baby Einstein)

Diapers 10 (ask size- too big is better) and plastic pants- American diapers stronger for plane trip home to contain diarrhea- for in-country buy diapers there

Disposable camera to leave at orphanage (labeled)
Extra collapsible suitcase just for souvenirs
Eye Drops (Saline)
Face wash, Toner and Face Lotion
Fan/ medium electric plug in- if summer
Fan/ small personal battery op- if summer
First aid kit- mini inc. Bandaids, Safety Pins
Febreeze spray/ small
Flashlight/ radio- small
Formula- Soy and/or buy there
Garbage bags for dirty clothes

Gifts for orphanage directors, caregivers- (i.e.- pen/pencil sets, wallets, towels, scarf,pins, lotions, candy, makeup, soaps; For representatives and translators (on the final trip)- money in a card, baseball caps, make-up, perfume, English DVDs or CDs, towels, pen/ pencil sets, English books, American magazines; money in a card to driver on all trips)

Gift bags and tissue
Hand sanitizer (Anti-bacterial getl)
International travel point cards(you point to the picture of what you are looking for- i.e. the bathroom)
Insect repellent- if summer
Kleenex/ small packets- to use as toilet paper/ for pockets
Light- personal clip on reading light
Lollipops (20)- to share at orphanage
Lotion/ very rich sensitive skin- for self and child
Magazines and or Newspaper – get at airport and leave behind (opt.)
Map of regions visiting in Russia
Maple syrups/ small (i.e. er barrel small maple syrups (no syrup there)

Medicine: Airborne cold remedy, Melatonin (for jet lag to take before sleep) No jet lag pills, Sudafed /adult and child, Motrin/adult pills and baby liquid, Tylenol/adult pills and baby liquid, Benadryl clear, Aspirin, Neosporin, Dramamine- no drowsy, Creams: Mix Hydrocortisone cream, Lotrimin cream and cover with Destin for severe diaper rash, Cough drops, Tums, Pepto bismol, Allergy pills (if needed for seasonal hay fever)

Money belts
Nasal Spray (for dry airplane air)
Notebook- for journaling and taking notes
Orphanage Donations: (i.e. baby lotion, diaper rash ointment, developmental toys, toothbrushes, towels, bibs, blankets, new clothing, shoes)
Pacifiers and Pacifier Clip
Pedialyte Packets
Photo album- small- to leave at the orphanage
Pillow- small regular/ for hotel room and/or train
Plastic grocery bags- a few (for trash, shopping, dirty clothes, etc.)
Portable Alarm
Prepaid calling card/access #

Prescription Medicine: Antibiotics (CIPRO) just in case- treatment for TD
Antibiotics for child (Zithromax or Bactrim - 10mg a day for infections),
Eliminate or Acticin(permethrin) cream for Scabies, Nix shampoo (lice), Nystatin (Fungal infections), Emetrol (for nausea), Eye gel for conjunctivitis, Imodium (Loperamide HCI)

Snacks (i.e. power bars, breakfast bars, granola bars) for pockets
Socks- extra warm for plane
Rings/ colorful plastic- that allow you to hook a few toys on the stroller
Russian electric translator to practice with (opt.)
Russian/ English phrase book or paper
Shampoo/conditioner- travel size
Shaving gear
Sheet- to go over hotel and or train bed/pillow and as airplane blanket
Sink stopper/ flat- to stop sink to wash clothes in
Stroller (lays down and is light, folds up well)
Sunscreen child formula and - if summer
Tape measure- cloth for child at orphanage
Tape recorder/small voice- for recording notes about child

Toddler Food: Cheerios in ziplocks, goldfish, crackers,
fruit snacks, applesause- more for 2nd trip : Half a box of cheerios, Gerber Biter Biscuits and or veggie crackers-2 boxes, Teddy Grahms, Baby food jars, Oatmeal- instant packs)

Token gifts from your state (i.e. candy, postcards)
Toothbrush – for carry on
Toothpaste- for carry on

Toy to leave with child in orphanage (i.e. Sassy toys stacking cups)
Toys to entertain child (i.e. Keys, Stickers, Picture books, pretend cell phone, buttons/play music toys, touch and feel books, magna-doodle, Video Now w/ movies for child plus head sets, No- spill bubble blowing, CD player with soothing Russian music, ABC Animal Train, My First Purse for girls, Baby games book w/ rhymes, finger plays)

Traveling Potty Seat (Folds Up) –opt.
Umbrella - compact
Video camera, plug recharger, battery, case
Warming packets- feet and hands- if winter
Woolite and clothes line kit (can get at R.E.I.)
Wrist harness if child is walking
Water bottles (2 –refill)
Ziplocs- gallon and quart

For Child at Home

Baby clear detergent (For that great baby smell and no allergens)
Baby or toddler games that teach numbers and letters (i.e. Fishing for Numbers)
Baby or toddler books with rhymes, finger plays and games
Baby or toddler food – some of what was fed in the orphanage and some new foods
Baby wipes
Bassinet or floor Crib for parents bedroom
Bathroom step-up stool
Bed or crib for child’s room
Bed rail
Bike attachment or back carrier for those who are adventurous
Booster seat for kitchen table (1st years strap on with tray or Babysmart Cooshie)
Car Seat (i.e. Britax Star Riser Comfy Booster or Jupiter Komfort Cruiser if over 30lbs, Britax Marathon or Graco Grow With Me if under 30 lbs.)
Bath toys (Besides floaty and squirty toys, I recommend Sesame Street Finger Paint Bubble Bath or Pauline Paint in The Tub Kit and/ or just plain bubble bath)
Car seat under-mat
Changing table (or pad on the floor)
Child bounce seat (Learning Patterns Infant to Toddler)
Chest of drawers (bureau)
Computer software for toddlers (i.e. Reader Rabbit Toddlers, Fisher-Price Ready for School Toddler Edition, JumpStart Baby, Sesame Street Toddler's Deluxe, JumpStart Toddler Deluxe, JumpStart Advanced Toddler, Baby Wow!)
Day planner to plan daily schedule with child and daily meal plan
Diapers (I love Luvs the best)
Diaper Champ by Baby Trend or Diaper Genie
Decorative bedding, curtains/window treatments, other bedroom decor
Developmental milestone book (i.e. What to Expect the First Year, Toddler)
Growth chart for wall
Hangers and/or Containers to organize clothes
Hip Carrier:,
Life Book and pages- start book
Mommy and Me Exercise Videos (There is also Daddy and Me)

Music: (i.e. Wee Sing Audio, Songs for I Love You Rituals by Mark Harman, Classic Disney; Yummy, Yummy; Joe Scruggs; Inside-Out Sleep Game, ABC Theater, Buzz, Buzz, Russian music- Soothing and/or playful)

Night light
Outfits for child- 12 casual, 4 fancy, several pajamas (no zippers, or buttons- easy on and off for you and child, i.e. no overalls) socks, shoes, Jackets that zip up- not pullover

Potty seat insert/ soft (Cushie Tushie)

Russian and/or Adoption Books: ( i.e. Borya and the Burps, When I Met You: A Story of Russian Adoption, Nikolai the only Bear, Russia ABCs: A Book About the People and Places of Russia, Look What Came from Russia, I Love You Like Crazy Cakes, Silly Horse and A Little Story about a Big Turnip, The Family Book by Todd Parr, The Littlest Matryoshka, Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born, The Day We Met You, Amy Angel Goes Home, Twice Upon a Time, One Wonderful you, How I was Adopted, Did My First Mother Love Me, Over the Moon: An Adoption Tale, The Day We Met You, Let’s Talk About It: Adoption, Through Moon and Stars and Night Skies)

Russian cartoons and/or child videos with English and Russian, English cartoons
Russian toys
Stroller (i.e.Combi Savvy DX or Graco Kite rider)
Shades for car windows
Shampoo-free visor hat (so water doesn’t get in their eyes) in bath
Sling or wrap (
Swim diapers
Swimsuit with float device
Swing and/or jumping swing for toddlers
Toddler Bunting (Lite Bundle Me)

Toddler books (must haves): (i.e. Brown Bear, Brown Bear What do you see?, Where the Wild Things are, Harold and the Purple crayon, Chicka Chicka ABC, Hush, Little Baby, The Rainbow Fish, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Goodnight Moon, Pat the Bunny, Beginners Bible for Toddlers and toddler books that teach and show emotions)
Toilet training books: (i.e.Once Upon a Potty- gender specific, Everyone Poops and the Videos- It’s Potty Time and Potty Time with Bear)

Toys (i.e. Play doctor kit , Push walker or other push toys)
for indoor and outdoor (Review toys at, ,,,

Sling (Etc. sling can be used for toddlers- Check out Trina’s review)
White noise machine


Bath mat/ Long no-skid
Bath Pal thermometer (This is a bath float toy that changes color if bath is too hot)
Bathroom spout cover (i.e.Sof’ Spout by Safety 1st)
Bed guard rail
Carbon monoxide detector
Cabinet locks (although it is good to have a couple of cabinets that are O.K. to open)
Cord shorteners for blinds (although you can just use twist ties)
Corner guards for tables (Edge protectors)
Door knob protectors (squeeze ones)
Fireplace guard or pad
Fridge lock
Gates for the top and bottom of stairs (I prefer the pressure kind)
Medicine cabinet locks
No-tip furniture brackets
Oven door lock
Plug covers/protectors
Safety Books (i.e. No Dragons For Tea, Dinofours It’s Fire Drill Days, etc.)
Toilet locks
Trash-can locks
VCR and TV guards/ plastic

For Mom: Calgon Bubble Bath, Aromatherapy Candles, and a Cloth Bath Pillow

Best places to shop for bargains: (search for coupons when shopping on line),, (overstock section), church sales, garage sales and consignment stores in the richest part of town, Outlets, Old Navy, H&M, Target, Wal-Mart, Costco, B. J.s, Ross, TJ Max and Marshalls

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Blogger Gaye & Andrew said...
Hey Jen :) I loved your lists...need to read them more thoroughly tomorrow. I am still so jet-lagged. One thing we know for sure that we will be buying once we get there is an inexpensive umbrella stroller..preferably, one that reclines. After all the delays and cancelled flights we experienced on this trip, it is an essential.

Talk to you more tomorrow...hopefully, by email :) gaye

Blogger Margaret said...
My goodness you're organized! I've made many a list for travel to Russia but I didn't get this detailed. A lot of items don't pertain to me seeing that Peanut is 8-years old, but still! Go Jen!

Blogger Rhonda said...
Wow, what a list! I don't know if you guys have Pepper Skins down there, but they are the best long underwear to wear in the winter. They really keep you warm.

Blogger Elle said...
Here are a few additions for your list:
Medications: Allergy pills (gee I wonder why I needed those?), saline eye drops (especially if you wear contacts), and saline nasal spray (airplane air is waaaay too dry for me)

We were told not to bring gifts for people the first trip. Russians don't like receiving gifts if they have not done anything yet. Better to bring orphanage donations. Bring something every day. Buy diapers or fruit while there to bring.

Other 2nd trip stuff:
Enough American diapers for the flight home. Russians ones don't hold enough. And I have heard it doesn't hurt to bring plastic pants for the baby either. Switch in food is pretty rough on the system.

Also a girlfriend bought a white noise machine for their son when they got home. He had trouble sleeping and it helped tremendously.

Sorry so long. Just had to add that stuff. Great list!!

Blogger Starfish said...
uh...are you trying to talk me out of this??

I can barely deal with the list of papers I have to get together for the agency..your list made me a little queasy...guess I better get started!

Blogger Tricia said...
Perfect timing for your list. I've decided to start buying children's things for our house - even though we don't need it now we will have having visitors over the summer and we might as well get it now.

Blogger -Jenny said...
This is exactly why I have started shopping now. I also registered today and well let me say I put baby tylenol and motrin on my registry. People will probably think I am nuts.

It costs alot to outfit a kid, especially when they start off with a whirlwind cross the world trip.

Question though, With my brother and sister we didn't really have any of that safety stuff, do I need to add that to the list?

Blogger jeneflower said...
Margaret- older kids (esp. boys) are a lot, lot less expensive than babies and toddlers. You are lucky in that regard!
Gaye, Rhonda and Elle- I have added your suggestions to my personal list. Thanks!
Stephanie- like I said in my email- the shopping part is SUPPOSED to be fun, although I know it isn't always
Tricia and Jenny- I am glad this list is helpful to you. That is good that you are starting now. M wants to wait until after we get a referral.

To address the child-proofing question. YES this stuff is a MUST. Not so much to protect the child as to help you. I mean how many times do you want to clean up and care for a child after she or he has played in the trash, the toilet, the fridge, the fireplace, the oven when something was cooking, or the knife drawer. How many times do you want to pick your child off the floor if you don't have a bed rail or put back all of the pots and pans in the cupboard or how many times do you want to care for a child that burned herself in the bath or slid and hit her head on the spout or drunk the dish soap, medicines or cleaning sprays. All of these things happen constantly with young babies and toddlers if you don't have every nook and cranny under lock and key. Child-proofing is to protect the sanity of the parents.

Blogger jeneflower said...
O.K. I know- child-proofing is to protect the child too. To keep him or her safe, happy and well. Keeping my priorities straight.

Hey Jen!. Thanks for the welcome back!. I love your list!! I am just starting to read through it. You are a woman after my own heart. I love lists!. That is the only way we made it to Russia the first time around. Shew!!. I can't wait to get back to Blog land and keep up with you!!!

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Blogger Suzanne said...
WOW! love love love the list. Thank you.

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