Five things you need to consider before adopting a toddler

Adopting a small child will always come with its own unique set of challenges. But adopting a toddler can be especially difficult, so it’s important to prepare properly.

In the United States, a toddler is a small child between the ages of one and three, according to the CDC. We’ve all heard about the ‘terrible twos’. So bringing a child into your home at this stage of development can feel daunting.

But with proper preparation – practical and emotional – you can make the transition much smoother for everyone. To help you, here are five things to do before adopting a toddler.

1) Secure safe transportation

Have you considered how you’re going to need to bring your little bundle of joy home with you? According to the CDC, car seats can prevent the death of toddlers by as much as 54 percent. Therefore, a proper car seat (or an infant car seat if the child meets the weight requirement) is crucial.

Then you need to pick a proper stroller. For the best double strollers, check out the best car seat strollers for twins. You can see the pros and cons of strollers like the Thule Urban Glide stroller, the Uppababy Vista stroller, the Joovy Twinroo stroller, the Peg Perego Book stroller, the Joovy Twin Roo stroller, the Bumbleride Indie Twin stroller, the Bugaboo Donkey stroller, and the Mountain Buggy Duet stroller.

Whether you’re looking for a traditional stroller seat, a stroller with a car seat adapter (these are great for infant car seats), a stroller with cupholders, a tandem stroller, a stroller with a hand brake, a frame stroller, a double frame stroller, or a twin stroller; you’re sure to find the best stroller (and, the right stroller for your needs) available today by checking out Stoller Buzz.

2) Think about water safety

According to the CDC, between 2005 and 2014 there was an average of 10 deaths per day caused by non-boating related drowning in the United States.

The CDC also reports that of these deaths, one in five were children under age 14, and for every child that dies from drowning another five are emitted to the ER with “submersion injuries” that can include brain damage and long-term disability. So if you have a swimming pool, a child safety pool fence is a must.

Pool Guard USA makes everything you need when it comes to pool safety around your pool area. These pool safety fences include self-closing gates, a lifetime warranty, and are rust-proof. They also have mesh pool fences, a removable pool fence, pool safety nets, and safety covers all designed to keep your entire family safe. Plus, this lifesaver pool fencing will be assembled by a qualified installer who knows the ins and outs of pool safety.

3) Be aware of potential trauma

Keep in mind that while you may be nervous, your toddler is likely terrified (switching homes can be traumatizing for a small child). According to the American Psychological Association, children who experience traumatic events often display symptoms such as sleep disturbances, irritability, anger, reduced concentration, sadness, separation anxiety, and the development of new fears.

It is also possible that there will be developmental delays due to trauma or neglect. But when do you know the difference between trauma and a genuine behavior problem?

According to the Mayo Clinic, by the of two, small children should be able to speak 50 words, display independence and defiance, copy others behavior, get excited by other children, be able to sort objects by color, be able to find “hidden objects,” be able to walk downstairs using the rail, be able to stand on tippy toes, and be able to kick a ball.

If you’re concerned that your toddler is failing to reach the proper skill level, consider talking to a doctor about diagnostic tests.

4) Look into the child’s background

According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, having detailed background information on the small child you intend to adopt provides you with enough information to make an informed decision and therefore, increases the chance of “permanency” to the child. Plus, this allows you to make medical decisions for them.

It’s also important to be ready to research their family background and heritage because they may not have questions now, but they will. Knowing this information can help you make your new toddler more comfortable as well if you implement parts of the culture they were used to into your home.

5) Plan for childcare

According to, setting up a childcare plan early is the best way to reduce stress (try to pick a daycare with experience with adopted children).

However, AdopTogether suggests “cocooning” (or “intense therapeutic parenting”) for one month for every year your child was not with you. This means no social gathering, public trips, or parties. Instead, stay home and spend quality time making sure they’re getting accustomed to their new home and surroundings (be ready to take this time off work).

Photo by Stephen Andrews