When new parents bring their bundle of joy home from the hospital, they need time to bond, figure out the baby’s schedule and adjust to the sleep deprivation an infant often brings to the home. As an adoptive family, regardless of the age of your adopted child, you need time to adjust too. Certain steps can help your transition.

Ways you can help your adopted child feel welcome

While you are thrilled to have an addition to your family, an adopted child may not know how to feel about you or his or her new living arrangement. Through following certain guidelines, you may ease the transition. These may include:

  • Get your house, and your child’s bedroom, ready for his or her arrival. Since many adoptive parents don’t know what kind of situation an adopted child is coming from, you may choose to keep things simple until your child adjusts. Be sure the house is child-proofed and will be safe and comfortable.
  • Spend time together as a family, without involving too many people too quickly. While your well-meaning friends and family members may try to help you welcome your son or daughter, it may be best to give your child some time to adjust to you and your spouse first. Then, slowly begin introducing more people.
  • Develop routines so your child learns what to expect from you. Your routine will be different from another family’s, so don’t stress about doing things “right.” Find what works for you. This can be as simple as getting up in the morning, changing your child’s diaper and rocking him or her with a bottle. Your routine will develop over time.

As with the addition of any child, you will have a process of trial and error. As you figure out what works for you and your family, be sensitive to the needs, thoughts and fears your adopted child may have, and provide patient guidance as you work to include him or her in your life, and all the love your family has to offer.