More individuals and families are becoming interested in fostering across the UK.
A GOV.UK report on fostering shows that in March 2022, there were 43,905 fostering households in England, with the total number of households approved to foster increasing from 14% in 2018 to 18% in 2022. Moreover, most children in foster care are under three years of age. In fact, 75% are under the age of 1!
If you’re a foster carer, you’ll know that it can be intimidating to care for more than one child—especially if they’re both under two years of age. However, with the proper preparation, you’re sure to be a great foster carer, even with two children.
On that note, here are a few essentials to prepare you for two new arrivals.
A Double Pushchair
Carrying or travelling with two children isn’t easy because both arms will be occupied! It can even be unsafe, as you might lose your balance. For this reason, a pushchair that can accommodate both children is a must.
The double pushchairs at iCandy can comfortably fit two children, especially one baby and one toddler. One child sits behind the other, making it convenient to manoeuvre through doorways, pavements, and public transportation. You can even detach the other seat and turn it into a baby carrier if that’s more convenient.
When choosing a high-quality double pushchair, ensure that it has sturdy harnesses and durable tyres that can withstand different surfaces and terrains. These contribute to keeping the children safe when they’re in the pushchair.
Children need their own sleeping space. Our article ‘Can Foster Children Share a Bedroom?’ reminds us that foster care bedroom requirements state that children aged three and up need separate bedrooms.
Fortunately, you have yet to worry about this as a foster carer for children under two. What you can do, however, is prepare separate beds according to each child’s age.
For example, an infant needs a cot. If they sleep with a companion, they may get suffocated. Meanwhile, a child under two needs a toddler bed. These have low railings that prevent them from falling over the edge. Getting separate beds guarantees the safety and comfort of each child!
A Spacious Changing Bag
Twice the kids mean twice the belongings! When taking them for a short day trip, you’ll have difficulty carrying two bags while managing both children. A spacious changing bag is a remedy for this.
For instance, the shoulder changing bag from Vanchi offers many compartments for two children’s belongings, including nappies, extra clothes, and milk bottles. It’s also practical and versatile because it’s lightweight and can be clipped onto a pushchair or carried as a shoulder bag, depending on your preference.
A changing bag with lots of room for various essentials makes trips and appointments more convenient for you and the children.
Having toys is not just a perk but a benefit for children. It gives them entertainment and an opportunity to experience different colours, textures, and sounds – contributing to child emotional development!
Having appropriate toys for both children—depending on their age—can help them feel more comfortable in their new home and pick up some knowledge along the way. For infants and those under a year old, colourful shape-sorters and stacking rings are a great idea to keep them busy and allow them to explore textures.
For toddlers under two years, wooden puzzles such as the one from Bigjigs Toys challenge their developing mental abilities. Providing toys for both children prevents them from fighting over the same ones and encourages them to learn and seek adventure.
Fostering two under two children can be a challenge, but it can also be fulfilling. Prepare these essentials to give them the best stay with you.