If you’re expecting a child, you might deal with some challenges. However, as highlighted in an article from CNN, many families with a disabled parent find that these hurdles are actually bonding points for them to grow closer together. You can also help navigate some of those challenges by preparing your house in advance for your new baby. Here are a few ways you can prepare your house for your new child.
Look into alternate baby carriers
There are hands-free baby carriers that are great for parents in wheelchairs. Recent trends include hands-free baby carriers, and some of them can provide significant benefits to new infants. As you’re researching baby carriers and other products for your baby, look at the reviews of the product online (here is a great resource with all kinds of product reviews). You’ll be able to see other users’ experiences and find what best fits your needs.
Remove tripping hazards
Loose rugs and carpets have been shown in studies to be one of the highest risks in terms of tripping hazards. Go for non-slip rugs instead. You’ll also need to designate an area where the baby’s toys will be as your child gets older. Baby toys can be a tripping hazard as well, so try to keep them in a contained area so you don’t end up tripping on them throughout the house.
Go for grab bars
The National Council on Disability emphasizes that housing modifications are an important way to create a space that encourages inclusion and empowers disabled parents. Even if you don’t need grab bars yourself, you can have one for the tub, shower or other areas of the bathroom to keep yourself safe as you bathe and potty train your child.
Consider putting baby in your room
Putting the baby in your room can be useful for the first months of its life. The American Academy of Pediatrics has come out with the recommendation that parents share a room with baby for at least the first six months, because doing so can help prevent SIDS and promote parent-child bonding. It’ll also make it easier for you to get up for those nighttime feedings and tend to your child. There are even cribs that open on the side, which are great for easy access, especially for parents in wheelchairs.
Find a doctor to fit you and your needs
The task of finding the right doctor is much easier because we live in the information age. As soon as you find a potential primary care or specialist physician, it’s easy to use online or other resources to get more information about how long they’ve been practicing or what they do. Talk to friends or individuals who have a similar disability in order to locate a possible physician. It’s important to have a healthcare provider who’s sensitive to your needs and can help your child as well.
Look at reviews online
The baby products industry is one that continues to expand as businesses realize there is a genuine need to offer new products. There’s a reason so many review sites exist: people want to share their own experience. Look for reviews from people who are in similar situations to you. You can find the products that are the best for your baby, as well as learn which ones to avoid that might hurt you or your child.
Preparing your house and yourself for a new baby can take up a lot of time, and figuring out what options work best for you is a critical step. Get rid of tripping hazards, get non-slip rugs, and look into grab bars. There are some great resources out there that are accommodating to your situation. Research suggests that children who grow up with disabled parents have high emotional intelligence and are extremely empathetic. Your child is in good hands.
As parents affected by disabilities, Ashley runs DisabledParents.org, a website dedicated to sharing their knowledge and resources for planning and parenthood as adults with disabilities.