Packing Tips for Adopting a Baby in Vietnam
By Barbara Walsh
Diaper Backpack - you can use the backpack for your paperwork; also, we wrapped our video camera in a baby blanket. I used the Baby Bjorn Diaper Backpack as it has side holders for bottles (thermal); and (thermal) holders for baby food jars.
50 ct. diapers were perfect for a 12 day trip - we bought Huggies in HCMC. There is a store in HCMC with lots of American products in case you run low (toothpaste, shampoos, baby formulas, etc.). I didn't have to open the Huggies I bought in Vietnam.
Bottles - I took the AVENT system (2 regular bottles & 2 disposable). We found the disposable to be a pain/mess - ended up giving them to another family as the baby wouldn't take to all the other brands. The nipples are tall and fast flowing. I recommend you keep the newborn nipple and buy only a couple "Med. Flow".
Our group kept babies on Vietnamese formula for trip. We also used Vietnamese rice cereal with vanilla & sugar and mixed it with Gerber Rice Cereal with apples & bananas (add water).
Take something for baby constipation. All 5 babies in our group were constipated at some point. I think suppositories work best. My daughter was 9 mos., so we did take Gerber Jar of Prunes (she wouldn't eat) and Gerber Applesauce (she loved).
Keep the fancy, cute outfits home - TOO HOT. I think Carter's has cute
decorated onesies with buttons down front and matching pj bottoms. Summer,
one-piece crawly outfits worked best. I packed TIDE powder detergent
and washed baby stuff in room. The room had an clothesline.
Adult Outfits - walking shorts are ok to wear for sightseeing in Vietnam. I took WEEKENDERS knit clothing (4 Tunic Tops, 2 long skirts, 2 knee length skirts, 2 shorts); 1 dress outfit for adoption & INS appt's. My husband took docker khaki shorts/polo shirts, docker pants, 1 dress pant/white shirt/tie for ceremony. 1 pair of tennis shoes and 1 pair of sandals.
Food - our hotels were 5 star hotels (Furama Hotel in Da Nang & Sofitel Hotel in HCMC) - the food was excellent with a large selection of Western style food - eggs, bacon, hash browns, pizza, fries, fruit, etc. YOu don't need to pack alot of snacks - except for what you need on the plane/at airports.
Spit-up cloths - our daughter was older, so we took 3 cloth diapers as she was past the spit-up stage. For younger babies, take 6.
Toys - the kids get bored so quickly (if older). You become creative with empty water bottles, etc. We took a couple teething toys, a carter's play phone that makes noise; take bright/stimulating toy(s) that crinkle or jingle - seem to go over well with older infants. Stacking cups are a must - used SASSY - for play and bath time. For younger babies, a couple teething toys are plenty.
You don't have to take everything. Some things you will not use and will swap with other families. If you forgot something, someone in your group will have it!