BONDING. BABY CARE. BABY GEAR.
The comprehensive newborn care guide for adoptive parents
A step-by-step playbook on how to care for the newest member of your family when you’re adopting
*without all that extra stuff that doesn’t apply to you*Enroll Now
"It is the most helpful resource we've had as we prepare to adopt"
It's like you were just talking to us and explaining things in the most basic way and that helped so much because as first-time parents these are the things we've never done before.
John & Beth
The road to adopting a newborn is a long
and challenging one for most waiting parents.
When a baby grows in your belly, you have 9 full months to plan and prepare.
But as a waiting adoptive parent, you might spend years…
...filling out paperwork
...driving all over to get fingerprinted...and then to the notary
...and to agency meetings
...not to mention obsessively scrubbing your baseboards for every home study visit–only to stare at your phone for months wondering when you’ll get the call.
But once you’re matched, it’s game on.
And when that call comes there are sooooo many logistics to figure out in such a short time.
What do we need to pack?
How long will we be in a hotel?
Who’s going to board the dog?
Will the expectant or birth mother want to meet us?
Have we called the grandparents yet?
Is our house clean enough for a newborn?
How do we even install a car seat?
Do we have enough diapers?!
"This course is priceless."
I am extremely thankful for Valerie & New Parents Academy! I am a first-time Mama through adoption and joined this course hoping to learn about a thing or two and I learned so much more. This course is priceless. Valerie has a wealth of knowledge and directly supports each client's questions and concerns. I am so thankful I signed up and refer to the course often as a new Mama!
Not to mention stressing about how to actually provide your newborn with the care and comfort they need to feel safe, secure, and loved.
You spend so much time working to become a parent, you shouldn’t have to spend time stressing about how to be a parent.
And when you have so many other boxes to check just to bring your baby home...
the last thing you want is to frantically binge YouTube videos faster than The Crown to try to figure out what you don’t know as you drive to the hospital.
But even though you're drowning in adoption paperwork... not one of them is the instruction manual for your newborn baby.
That’s what Pinterest is for, right??
Except just one search leaves you wading through lengthy lists of expensive baby gear, sponsored content, conflicting advice, and miles of mommy blogs that have no idea what it means to adopt a newborn.
But what if you were able to focus on everything you need to do to become a parent and still have:
|The essential baby gear unpacked, set up, and ready to go on day 1 (and the non-essentials put away for when you need them in a few weeks)|
|Your pediatrician on speed dial for that first visit|
|Your friends and family prepped with instructions for support (so you don’t have to worry about your next meal)|
|Your hotel bag packed and ready to go, even if you don’t know where you’re going and for how long|
|Knowledge about what diapers, nipple size (yup, that’s a thing), formula (even if you’re inducing or doing donor milk), swaddles, and first aid you need for the first few months…|
|A plan for baby’s first week|
Confident that when that call comes, all you will have to worry about is getting to your baby.
Meeting your child is a beautiful, complicated, and emotional event. You deserve to save your physical & mental energy for the ups and downs of adoptions…
Instead of furiously Googling “how to bathe a newborn.”
When you’re adopting a newborn there are 3 things you need to know to give your baby the comfort, care, and security they need during those crucial first months of life.
You need simple, research-based techniques to lay the foundation for a lifelong bond so that from the moment you meet, your baby feels safe, loved, and cared for.
From soothing your (inevitably) crying baby, changing a diaper after circumcision, to baby’s first bath and infant first aid…you need the resources to confidently care for your baby without the midnight meltdowns and panicked pediatrician calls.
All. The. Baby. Gear. You do need a few extra things around the house to properly give your newborn the care they need...but it’s not nearly as much as the internet is trying to convince you. You need a list, curated for adopting parents, so that regardless of your location, timeline, or circumstance, you have the essential items you need for the road ahead (and not just the expensive stroller showing up in your feed.)
When you feel comfortable caring for a newborn:
MEET YOUR DOULA:
Hi, I’m Valerie!
As a Certified Postpartum Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, and mom of 3 (including identical twin boys)...
I’ve seen again and again how much support all new parents need the first 12 weeks after they meet their baby.
Those days in the hospital (if you’re able to meet your baby in the hospital) are tiring but they’re also full of joy, discovery, and a lot of sweet FaceTime calls home.
But no matter how overjoyed you are to become a parent, no matter how perfect and beautiful and sweet your new baby is...once you get home–you realize you now have to sustain this beautiful little life and it won’t stop screaming at you, and you haven’t slept in 3 days, and everything hurts, and you can’t remember your last shower...
Whether you have a partner or you’re a single parent, raising a baby takes a village (even if it’s a socially distant village) and there are many ways to get the support you need.
Being a postpartum doula means I’m the one who gets the call at 9 pm on the second night home. I’m the one who stands on the doorstep at 10 pm staring into a crying parent’s (and crying baby’s) exhausted eyes.
And I’m the one who has the amazing privilege of helping those parents adjust to their new family so that they can approach the newborn stage with as much calm confidence as possible.
I've spent 8 years showing hundreds of parents what the heck to do with their squirmy little newborns.
You see, when you first take a newborn class you can learn the information when you’re rested and calm, learn alongside your partner (if you’ll be parenting in a partnership), and begin to plan for your lives with a newborn.
But no matter how much you learn, it’s impossible to remember everything there is to do, know, or buy when you bring home your newborn.
What you really need is a resource you can return to again and again to answer your in-the-moment questions, prepare for next steps, or just to try and figure out why the heck your baby is crying this time.
And often, those classes include information for biological parents that leaves you feeling othered, left out, and might bring up difficult emotions.
Traditionally, there is not a lot of postpartum care for adoptive parents even though your need to care for your newborn is the exact same.
And that’s why I took all of my experience serving families in the first few months of their child’s life and I created an adoption-specific newborn care class just for you...
"I took your course over a year ago, it was helpful to be able
to log back in and review after I was matched!"
We had a whirlwind week. I received a phone call but I was matched early in the morning. The birth mother was in labor. We booked a flight and I got there as soon as we could and soon as she was in my arms. I was grateful to be able to logon and review your videos!
Newborn care, safety, & preparation for adopting parents
Expecting 101: You’re Adopting!
Expecting 101: You’re Adopting is online education for waiting or new parents with bite-sized lessons so you can get the support and help you need when you need it–whether you’re preparing months in advance or desperately need help now (actually, yesterday).
*Complete with agency & home study approved Newborn Care Certificate of Completion
"Thank you so much for helping us prepare to adopt!"
I love the continued support of the monthly Q and A’s and we are so glad we signed up for the course! Our baby Oliver is 3 months old and for the first month my husband’s favorite question was “what does the doula say about that?"
Mary Ann & Michael
Whether you’re setting up a safe nursery, making your registry/shopping list, or trying to comfort your screaming baby in real-time...
Expecting 101: You're Adopting has everything adoptive parents need to tackle the first few months with as much ease and confidence as possible.
Every lesson is broken down into easy-to-digest videos, with printable resources so you can find the information you need when you need it.
NEWBORN CARE & SOOTHING
We kick things off with the baby basics. In this introductory chapter, you’ll learn everything you need to know about:
Feeding your newborn:
→ A lot of stress centers around the food your baby is taking in or eliminating. And while every baby is different, there are specific strategies and techniques you can use to make feeding your growing little one as easy as possible. So when you find yourself asking:
- How much does my baby need?
- How will I know when they’re hungry?
- How often should they eat?
- And how many wet or soiled diapers should my baby be having in those first few weeks?
...This is where you’ll go for the answer!
Bathing your newborn & when to call the doctor:
→ Bath time is a sweet moment for you to bond with your baby while giving them comfort and care...and the more you can prepare for your baby’s bath, the more calming their bath will be. In this lesson you’ll learn:
- How to bathe your baby with the umbilical cord still attached
- How to bathe your baby after the umbilical cord has fallen off
- How to safely wash their hands, hair, and heinies
- The equipment you need for safe, comfortable, and clean bath time
→ I’ll also share some specific things to look for when trying to decide if you need to pick up the phone and call your pediatrician or not.
As a new parent, you might see your baby do some strange things as they adapt to life outside the belly.
It’s helpful to know what signs are just signs of your baby’s little body figuring out their new environment, and when it’s time to ask your pediatrician, so you never have to second guess if you’ve made the right call.
Why your baby might be crying?
→ Crying is your baby’s only way of communicating with you and it can take some time to learn their language. Even when the answer is, “no reason at all,” there are tried and true things you can do to give your baby what they need even when they can’t tell you.
- How to treat an uncomfortable tummy
- How to calm an overtired baby
- How to tell if your baby is too hot or too cold
- My go-to techniques to calm a fussy baby who doesn’t need any of the above
→ You’ll also learn how to develop good sleep habits to help your baby begin to differentiate daytime naps from nighttime sleep.
And to make learning easy for both you and your partner, you’ll also get:
- A newborn diaper change and diaper cream demonstration
- Different swaddle options so you can buy the one that’s right for you and your baby
- Demonstrations of both a sponge bath & a newborn bath
BONDING WITH YOUR BABY
Bonding is an important part of any new family's day-to-day, and even more so when your baby doesn't come from your belly. With a few very simple but intentional routines, you communicate love, safety, and comfort to your baby from the moment they’re in your arms.
A huge part of bonding with your baby is simply being equipped to give them what they need to feel safe and comfortable. In fact, so much of the essential baby care you’ve already learned lays the foundation for bonding!
First you’ll learn:
- What the baby should wear based on the temperature outside and the climate inside your home
- What your baby should wear to sleep
- You’ll also see a tear-free demonstration for getting those clothes on your tiny, squishy, squirmy infant
Bonding with your adopted newborn:
→ Your baby needs to connect with you in a deep and meaningful way. Adoptees have a more challenging start to life and whether you meet your baby the day they were born, after they leave the hospital, or in the NICU, with these techniques, you’ll be able to lay a foundation for the connection that will last a lifetime.
We’ll go over:
- Skin-to-skin time
- Baby wearing
- Communicating with your baby
- How to safely bond with your baby while they’re sleeping
- How to bond with your baby in the NICU
While I truly hope you never need any of these strategies, the safety lessons taught in this chapter could save your child’s life. In an emergency, there may not always be time to Google, so having an understanding of what you need to do to help your baby in the moment is essential.
In chapter 3, you’ll learn:
Taught by a Red Cross CPR instructor, you’ll learn how to perform life-saving CPR on your infant (birth to 1-year-old)
* this is the exact information taught in a certification class, but this training does not qualify as certification
It’s very likely that, at some point, your infant will choke on their food. More often than not, you can help them dislodge that food on their own, but there may be times where they need more assistance.
You’ll learn how to perform the Heimlich maneuver on your infant (hint: it’s nothing like you see in the movies) so you can help clear their airway if they’re in trouble.
Reducing the Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
In this lesson, you’ll learn the evidence-based suggestions for your baby’s first year of life to significantly decrease the risk of SIDS. You’ll learn what methods are backed by research, and what might have changed since you were a kid.
The truth is, we’ve learned a lot about SIDS over the years, and your well-intended mother might not have the most up-to-date safety information for your newborn.
With this information, you’ll have all the resources you need to keep your baby safe and your fear at bay.
11 Things You Can do to Prepare While You Wait
As new parents, the first few months are the time when you and your baby first get to know each other. It’s exciting, challenging, exhausting, and beautiful...all at once. You’re learning what it means to become a parent, your baby is learning what it means to live outside of the womb, and you’re doing it all while you’re more exhausted than you’ve ever been.
Feeling overwhelmed is completely normal.
Never again will you have a time as challenging and sweet as the first 12 weeks. And the more prepared you are for those first weeks, the more you can sit back and focus on bonding, snuggling, and loving on the newest member of your family.
In this chapter, you’ll learn what you can do while you wait to make your first few months go as smoothly as possible.
- How to simplify your daily logistics like bill paying and grocery shopping so that they become easy, efficient, and out of sight as you focus on welcoming your baby home
- Questions you should ask to find the pediatrician that’s right for your family
- How to prep your home for baby’s first week–what baby gear to assemble now, what to set aside for later, and how to set up workhorse stations around your house
- How to organize your baby clothes to make dressing and laundry easier
- How to prep your calendar for the first few weeks (even when you don’t know when you will become a parent)
- How to batch and simplify your meal planning and prep and what to ask for when people want to bring you food
- How to prep for a hotel stay with a newborn baby if you need to travel or have to wait for ICPC
Baby Gear: What you Need (and What you Definitely Don't)
When you’re adopting, deciding to register, or have a shower is a very personal choice. No matter how you decide to prepare for a baby, there are some things you need to consider before making that Amazon wish list.
And while your best friend has the list of “everything you need that was a life-saver for their kid,” and Pinterest is filled with long and expensive lists…
The truth is, every baby is different.
And when you’re adopting there are some things you’ll need for a hotel stay and a few essentials you’ll need for comfort, safety, and care in those first few months at home.
After that, it’s just a matter of your preference and budget!
We’ll go over:
Some things to consider before you register or shop for your baby
When, where, and what to register or shop for
What these products are and why you need them (or why you don't)
Inside Expecting 101: You’re Adopting, you’ll find everything you need to confidently prepare for parenthood while you’re waiting and after your baby is in your arms…
But I also know that becoming a parent means a lot of questions, challenges, and little moments worth sharing.
So when you grab Expecting 101: You’re Adopting you’ll also have access to our private community full of hundreds of waiting and placed parents just like you.
Our Member’s Only Facebook Group is a safe place for you to ask those oddly specific questions, share those exhaustion-fuelled moments, and connect with other parents in the exact same stage of life.
And the best part is...you get to hang out with me in there too! Which means, you’ll get real-time advice and answers from a veteran postpartum doula. I’ve seen it all, so if there’s something you need, we can address it together!
Understanding Newborn Sleep
You can’t sleep train a newborn, but there are things you can do to set all of you up for nighttime success.
In this mini-workshop you’ll learn:
- What you can do from day one to help your new little peanut understand that when he/she wakes up in the middle of the night it is NOT hang out time!
- Understanding why the baby is waking.
- Answers to the questions I'm most often asked about sleep!
FOUR HELPFUL PRINTABLES!
Because sometimes you just need a grab ‘n go list, you’ll also receive:
- 30 Day Must-Have List: If you're in a situation where you're just trying to buy the absolute basics, or you're adopting from a state with a long revocation period this is the list for you!
- Baby Gear Must-Haves and Maybes List: This is where I've taken those big 'ole registry checklist and whittled it down to what you will actually be glad you have without wasting money on a bunch of stuff you won't use.
- Hotel Stay With a Newborn List: You're trying to pack to stay in a place you've never been with a baby you haven't met for an unknown period of time. No wonder you can't figure out what you'll need! I've got it all taken care of in this one-page printable!
- Pediatrician Q&A: My recommendation is that you find a pediatrician even before you've been matched. Yes, even if your best friend swears theirs is the best you should still sit down and ask a few questions. Why? Your pediatrician is an important part of your village and it's essential that you feel comfortable with him/her. This will be the person you reach out to when you're worried about your baby. But I understand that you might feel a bit clueless as you figure out what questions to ask, I've got you covered!
“That 30 day list is critical!”
It's an exciting time but you also know that the birth mother could change her mind. You have to simultaneously get attached and not get attached and that's hard. Having someone else make that list and take some of that pain away from that process is really valuable.
KEN & MINI
I've spent years as a Postpartum Doula teaching all of this to families in the weeks after their baby's arrival!
But I get it. . .for some people, one-on-one care isn't in the budget! (It definitely wasn't for me when I had my kids.)
It doesn't have to cost $1500/week (the going rate for a doula) for you to feel confident & prepared. . .and ready to welcome your baby!
EXPECTING 101: YOU'RE ADOPTING!
- Immediate access!
- To-the-point content broken down into 5-10 minute videos!
- Watch and re-watch anytime for the next 2 years!
I want to be sure you're happy!
Expecting 101: You're Adopting is a comprehensive course that covers a ton of information. As far as I know, there isn't anything like it!
I think you're going to love the convenience of being able to watch from the comfort of your home whenever you want to. And, being able to re-watch as you encounter different situations will be reassuring.
If for some reason you go through the course and are not satisfied, please send us an email within 14 days of purchase. The only thing I ask is that, before your money is refunded, we have a quick 15-minute phone call so I can find out how to better improve the course!
"Probably the biggest thing that we found helpful is the list of necessary baby items, it’s going to be a life saver!”
We also really liked what you covered about bath time and such, I honestly didn’t know the rules about the umbilical cord. We also learned a lot about the different types of swaddles and were able to decide which ones we want to try out... I can’t really think of anything to add to the course.
Valerie & Bryce
EXPECTING 101: YOU'RE ADOPTING!
- Immediate access!
- To-the-point content broken down into 5-10 minute videos!
- Watch and re-watch anytime for the next 2 years!
How long do I have access to the course materials & Members Only Facebook Group?
Is this really just for adopting parents?
What if I'm not matched yet?
What if my state has a long revocation period?
Valerie's program is not like anything I've seen offered in the adoption world!
"She is helping people prepare for life with a newborn and speaks specifically to adopting families. Previously, adoptive-parents-to-be had to attend classes full of pregnant women where the topics weren't geared to their circumstances. Now they have a choice that has been created just for them. "
- Nicole Witt, The Adoption Consultancy
The ongoing support piece after completing the course is what I like for the families we serve!
“Our families have had the option of using the New Parents Academy training for some time. It is a great opportunity for those without a lot of newborn experience to learn and get tips from the pros. You can never have too much support when you are a first time parent!”
- Amy Imber, Connecting Hearts Adoption Services
Our families have loved the content she provides and feel more prepared!
“It can be hard for prospective adoptive parents to find expecting parent workshops that focus less on birthing and nursing and instead include more information on infant care and the first weeks home. An adoptive parent’s journey to parenthood is unique and Valerie’s on-demand infant care class is designed specifically with the needs of adoptive parents in mind.”
- Kristy Galbraith, Adoptions From The Heart
It was after working as a Postpartum Doula for a family who was adopting that I understood the need for this program. In preparation for their baby, and for the education hours needed for their agency, they sat through a hospital class intended for families who were giving birth.
It was so sad to me. . . the thought of a prospective adoptive parent sorting through information to understand what pertains to them, while nothing actually spoke to their situation.
That was it. I was off and running . . . and Expecting 101: You're Adopting was born 😉.
This program has helped hundreds of families prepare for life with a newborn and it is truly an honor to be a part of each adoption journey!