Depending on the age of the children you foster, you will have vastly different experiences as a foster parent. Fostering an infant requires different types of rules, care and items than a teenager, after all. So, how exactly do you ensure your infant foster has the best possible experience with you? Read on for some tips for fostering an infant.
Ensure You Meet Fostering Requirements
The first step before applying to foster an infant is ensuring you meet fostering requirements, which include being at least twenty-one years old, having enough room in your home, and being a UK resident. These requirements are to make sure you provide a good and caring home for foster children. If you want to learn more about becoming a foster parent, visit thefca.co.uk.
Write a To-Buy List
You will have a lot to buy when taking in an infant, so to make matters easier, write a list early on. It should include items like nappies, toys, a cot, blankets, soft toys, and infant food. So, before you welcome the infant into your home, go shopping and check everything off the list. If you are concerned you’ve missed anything, speak to your fostering social worker.
Create a Suitable Home Environment
Your home must be safe, secure, and comfortable for you and your foster infant. While the little one won’t need privacy the same way a teen would, they still need to have enough space for sleeping, playing, and storing their items. For safety, consider installing baby gates. You should also make sure your pets are OK around children if you have any.
Reach Out to Other Parents
If you have not looked after an infant before, you might be a little worried and need some advice. Your fostering social worker will help, but don’t hesitate to reach out to parent groups for a bit of guidance.
Buy Infant-Friendly Toys
The type of toys you buy for an infant aren’t the same as those you would buy for an older child, so be mindful when picking toys up. You want to avoid choking hazards, so don’t buy small toys. You don’t have to go overboard, either. The infant will likely be happy with a few soft toys, books, rattles, and teething toys.
Establish a Routine Early On
Routines are crucial for kids. The infant might have had their routine uprooted, so try to establish a routine as soon as possible. It should include breakfast, nap time, bedtime, and playtime.
Looking after any child requires patience – especially an infant! They might not like their food, not want to sleep, or not be in the mood for story time before bed. As their foster parent, you must be as patient as possible throughout all of this. It can be challenging, so start practising patience early to get some practice in!
Fostering an infant is a lot of work, but it is also highly rewarding and provides a small child with a loving home.