Best Ways to Welcome a Child to Your Family

Bringing a child into the home is a potentially nerve-wracking time whether you are about to give birth to your own child or opening your home to an older child without a home of their own. But how do you ensure your home is ready for their arrival?

Of course, the communal living areas like the kitchen and lounge should be clean, tidy, and set up for easy communication and easy movement through the space. But there are more specific steps you can take to set up for their arrival. Here are the best ways to prepare for the arrival of a new child in your home, whether they are your own newborn baby, a foster child, or your adopted child.

Prepare their nursery or bedroom

Your newborn’s nursery only needs to be clean and tidy at this point, as it will take time for their personality and interests to shine through, but it is a good idea to maximise storage for all their nappies, clothes, toys, and bedding.

If you are welcoming a foster child or your adopted child home for the first time, it is important to give them their own private space where they feel safe and make it their own. It is best to keep the decoration neutral at first so they can put their own stamp on it with posters, toys, and paint. Remove anything that might make it seem like the room belongs to someone else, e.g., items of features left by a previous foster child.

Invest in new toys and games

Every child loves and needs to play with toys for entertainment and development purposes, so it is worth investing in at least some toys, even if they are stuffed toys for a baby to snuggle into.

If you are fostering the child through, try to find out if they are interested in a particular film, TV show, or cartoon character and get them a welcome gift on that theme. This will show them that you are interested in creating a home for them and getting to know them as an individual.

Board games and multiplayer computer games can also be great ways to get the whole family interacting in a less formal way so you can kickstart your relationship in a positive way. Try to avoid giving them access to a computer that they can play on by themselves as this may encourage them to spend time alone where they may become lonely or reluctant to interact.

Prepare clothes and toiletries

With any luck, if you are expecting a new baby, friends and family members will have gifted you lots of newborn clothes, but if you are concerned you are running low, you can usually pick up high-quality, low-cost garments in supermarkets or even charity shops. Click here for tips on keeping a newborn baby clean.

While it might not be necessary to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe for a foster child, it is important that you have a full set of clothes that are of the right size, clean, and in good condition. Of course, it may make the child feel more ‘special’ and welcome if you buy them at least one totally new outfit or some cozy pajamas that are theirs and only theirs. You will also need a new toothbrush and other toiletries that are age-appropriate.

Stock up the kitchen cupboards

This point is obviously more relevant if you are welcoming a foster child or your adopted child into your home as a newborn baby’s dietary requirements are quite straightforward in the early stages!

Make sure that you have some food in the house that most children like to eat, but you can always check what they like before their arrival. They will probably be hungry and possibly nervous when they arrive, and sharing a meal is a wonderful way to make them feel at home. You will then be able to ask them directly what they prefer to eat so you can plan your next shop and show them that their likes and dislikes are important to you.

Ailbe Kash
the authorAilbe Kash