Foster - getting "stuff" — The Bump

Foster - getting "stuff"

Just curious, for those who have fostered or want to give some suggestions...


we've never had kids. we don't have unused/stored baby items, toddler items, or young child items. 

what's a good way to go about obtaining the necessities without spending big bucks for a child that may or may not live with us for a long time. (we are planning to foster in the 0-5 range) we do not necessarily have the goal of adopting but should a child be available we would more than likely be willing. 

also, how do you approach this? asking individuals because you know they may have things that they could hand down? 

 we haven't really told anyone other than our parents. 


Re: Foster - getting "stuff"

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  • I started an in-home daycare last fall so I just put the word out to many family members of certain things I was looking for. I have accumulated everything I need to foster now as well. I've noticed most people would rather give it to someone they know rather than taking it somewhere to get rid of.

    Also, at least around me but there are quite a few Once Upon A Child's and other second hand children stores. Things that weren't given to me but that I knew I would need, I went there for those things.

    I'm looking at getting some extra furniture from Ikea because it's cheap but looks nice too.

    ETA: I also frequent Craigslist when things pop into my head. I'm also a sharp sale shopper....even if you don't need it right then but think you might need it later, go ahead and get it or you will kick yourself later. :-) Good luck!

    Lilypie Second Birthday tickers Lilypie First Birthday tickers
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  • I would start telling EVERYONE you know. I'm not the type to say "hey we need these things- wanna give me your hand-me-downs?" (nothing wrong with that- im just not that type of person.) I'd start talking about it- and mention casually in conversation about all the stuff that your trying to find/get so you'r ready for what ever comes your way.

    if you end up needing to buy stuff- check thrift stores, garage sales, craigslist... ect. my rule has always been- If I would use if for a bio child- then I don't feel bad buying second hand.

    Thats how we got bunk beds donated to us- friends had some they were looking at getting rid of and found out we were going to do fc so asked if we wanted them.

  • We were in the same exact position as you.  The first thing we did was decide to go minimalist.  Just focus on the absolute essentials and, as much as possible, get things that can convert or grow with a child. 

    After that, we put out the word to family and friends who had children and might have stuff they wanted to get rid of.  Fortunately my mom works at a daycare so we got a ton of hand-me-downs from parents and the daycare itself.

    I also put a post on craisglist saying I was a foster parent looking for donations got a bunch of great clothes that way.

    The key is not to go overboard. Stick with what's really essential, and the rest will fall into place when you get the placement.

    Before matching we had approximately the following:

    - infant carseat and convertible carseat (bought new, on sale)

    - stroller (from a friend)

    - convertible crib (bought new), standard crib (from a friend), and a full size bed (we had prior to fostering) with matress and bedding

    - A few outfits in boy and girl for a variety of ages

    - A highchair and a booster seat

    - A couple bottles, sippy cups, bibs, ect for feeding (new)

    - Books and a few toys for a variety of ages

    And that's about it! Everything else we had ample time to get once we were matched and could shop specifically for the placements.

  • Our problem is 1. we're being quiet about this and 2. we don't have a group of friends with kids already.


    We're hesitant to say anything because most of our friends aren't in the same boat (ie. not ready to start a family) and we don't want them to start telling us it's a bad idea/not to do it/etc.

    (they'll mean it jokily of course, but you can only take so much teasing about being the couple ready to start a family, especially when we are starting with fostering instead of a standard pregnancy)

    We just don't have a huge group to go to.


    I also don't really know what's ESSENTIAL for the age group we're looking at. Definitely a car seat. Maybe a stroller. Probably a crib...and those are big ticket we buy them, look for second hand? Without having experience how do we know what kind we want?

  • image 715inNC:

    I also don't really know what's ESSENTIAL for the age group we're looking at. Definitely a car seat. Maybe a stroller. Probably a crib...and those are big ticket we buy them, look for second hand? Without having experience how do we know what kind we want?

    Well, we were 0-5 also so i think you'd be pretty set with the list of essentials i gave above.  Car seats are almost universally recommended to be new.  Cribs can be used, but you have to be very careful to check for recalls, damage, ect.  Considering all the variables, i found it easier to buy the crib new.  Just about everything else was used.

    As for knowing what brands you want?  Gotta research. Baby Bargians is a good resource.

    i know that it feels overwhelming right now, but it really does all fall into place.

  • Craigslist will become your new best friend :) We've bought a bed and 2 cribs from CL, along with a few misc. items. The only thing I would never suggest buying on CL is a car seat. ALWAYS buy those new.
  • We wont start fostering till after we move but we're seeing this as a plus.  We are hoping to foster children 0 - 7 and for now we wrote a list of everything we'd like to have; but highlighted the most important. We got in touch with our family members that already have children (especially those who are not planning on having more) and let them know what we're doing and asked them to hold onto anything they'd be willing to hand down to us for any age range and any gender in that range.  We also asked them to ask their friends.  So far in a week we've already gotten dozens of new, never played with stuffed animals, clothes for girls in a variety of sizes and some gently used toys. 

    The other thing we've done to off set costs is agree to buy many things second hand.  We shop about once a week or once every two weeks with a tiny budget to cross things off the list.  Buying this way will help lessen all the cost at once when we're ready for our homestudy. For example last week we bought a variety of sippy cups/bottles and a few pacifiers (all new).  We figured if we get placed with a young child you might really need that pacifier and their one of the most easily misplaced items; so it'd be a good idea to have on hand!

    We also try and shop clearance and sale as much as possible!!!

    <p>Off BCP 1/10....TTC #1 5/10
    <p>Stopped TTC and moved on to adoption for medical reasons 7/10
    <p>Surprise BFP! 5/9/12 EDD 1/13 natural m/c 5/20/12 @6w6d
    <p>TTC Path: SA 5/31 = normal, Preliminary bw July = ?, Genetic Testing 5/30 = Everything normal, waiting on CF testing
    <p>Adoption Path = Preliminary match with 2.5 yr old VI boy, visit Jan 2013 to finalize match!
  • As prev posted Craigslist will be your friend.  We have found most of our items on the site.  Also if you have a local foster parent association in your area you might check that out.  I have met alot of other foster parents that way and we have called each other for items when we get that emergency call.
    Lilypie Second Birthday tickers
  • We are like the age range of 0-5 yrs old. 

    We started by making a list of everything we needed - and the price it costs. (We looked this up on toys r us, target and walmart). 

    Then, with that list we started attending consignment sales, garage sales, resale shops. We watched craigslist on a regular basis. 

    Since we knew x cost x dollars, when we saw a good deal we'd pick it up. This is including clothes.  It took us awhile to build up to everything but over time you'd be surprised at how much stuff you can find if you know what you're looking for!

  • In the fall and spring, the schools around here all have huge consignment sales.  I just worked the one at DD's school.  They sold 60,000+ items, and that was just what sold, they probably had 90,000+ items.  Everything is sorted into sizes, categories, ect.  The one at DD's school has everything from car seats to training pants to toys.  One day is usually 1/2 price day, so you can get some great deals if your not picky.  I got 7 pairs of carter's pjs, 2 dresses (one of them was ralph lauren), 2 button downs (children's place), an old navy skirt, a blouse, and two sweaters, both gap, for $25.00.  All in good shape, no stains, ect. 
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