Preparing For A Child When You’re Disabled

A Guide For Your Home And Lifestyle

I was contacted by the lovely Ashley who wanted to help parents prepare for their child. Ashley and her husband both have disabilities, so her perspective will help many families.

If you need more help from Ashley you can get in touch.

Preparing for a child is a big job. Not only do you need to think about ways to make your home safer and more comfortable, you also have to take into consideration how things will change once the baby comes and apply that to your lifestyle.

Your sleep will be interrupted, your diet may change dramatically, and your schedule will be altered quite a bit.

When you’re living with a disability, these changes can be difficult to work around.

You may need a little more time to prepare than other parents, or you might have to make modifications to your home that will enable you to have more mobility. It’s important to think about these things well before the baby comes and make any major changes as soon as possible, so that you can just enjoy being a parent.

Here are a few tips on how to get started.

Bathroom safety
The bathroom is one of the most dangerous rooms in the house, likely due to the fact that slippery floors, hard tile, and lots of hard surfaces don’t make for a great combination.

It’s important to take everyone’s safety into consideration before the baby comes and make a few changes, such as installing a grab bar in the bathtub to assist in bathing your child, placing a non-slip rubber backed mat on the floor, and laying a soft cover over the faucet to protect your child’s head.

Make things more accessible
It’s important to make sure your home works for you after the baby comes, so consider how you’ll navigate through it when you’re tired, or when the baby is crying hungrily for his bottle.

If you have a vision impairment, it might be a good idea to label baby food, formula, and anything else food-related with braille labels for easier access.

Remove any trip hazards–such as throw rugs or clutter–from walkways, and add extra lighting to the areas you use the most. For more great tips on making your home more accessible, click here.

Don’t forget the yard
The front and back yard of your home should be as safe as possible for a child.

Even though your baby won’t be mobile for a while, it happens before you know it, and it’s easier to prepare now so you won’t have to worry about it later.

This means installing fencing, investing in a pool cover, and keeping all lawn and garden tools out of sight and out of reach.

Plan ahead
Your baby may be sleeping in a bassinet when he first comes home, but soon he’ll need a crib of his own, and this can cause problems if you spend most of your time in a wheelchair or have mobility issues.

Plan ahead and look for a bed with rails that can be lowered so you can easily lift him in and out.

It’s also a good idea to plan for the first couple of weeks after your baby is home.

Many new parents say they forget to eat or drink enough water because they’re so focused on the baby, so it might benefit you to make several meals ahead of time that can be frozen and reheated.

Fill a large water bottle and keep it nearby at all times so you can keep track of how much you’re drinking, especially if you choose to nurse.

Bringing home a new baby is both a joy and a challenge, especially for a parent with a disability. However, planning ahead and making a few small changes will help you enjoy this time and put away stress as much as possible.

Ask for help and support from friends and family as well, to help things go smoothly.

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