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Baby in a swingThousands of U.S. families celebrate National Adoption Month each November. But well-meaning relatives and friends might have to be sensitive when welcoming internationally adopted babies, who are adjusting from a long  journey and to new surroundings, says MaryAnn Curran, vice president of social services at World Association for Children and Parents, a Seattle-based adoption agency. There’s more for moms: “At first, your new baby sees you as just another caregiver, but bonding time till help him come to rely on you as a parent,” Curran says. If you’re adopting, here’s how to ease your baby’s transition and ensure maximum bonding–and keep well-wishers busily content.

For Your Baby: Bring Photos

Introduce an older baby or toddler to relatives by showing her photos. You can do this during transition time in her native country, on the trip home, and at home. That way, the new faces won’t seem so scary when she meets them in person, says Curran.

For You: Limit Visitors

Keep extended family and friends at bay in beginning. Try to gradually introduce your baby to people he’ll see often. In a month or two, he’ll be ready to meet most of the gang.

For Friends and Family: Get Them Involved

Kindly recruit them to help with tasks like laundry, grocery shopping, or taking care of older siblings. They’ll feel good about lending a hand, and you won’t be overwhelmed.

Do you have any tips on helping adoptive children ease into a new environment? Tell us your advice in the comments section below or tweet us at @KiwiMagazine!

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