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“Living with a disability comes with many challenges — physical, mental, and emotional. For individuals who are also expecting a new baby, however, there are so many things to consider, from how you’ll manage daily chores and activities while caring for your child to figuring out the easiest ways to stay safe and comfortable. For instance, you may find that it’s difficult to bathe a baby in the bathtub, or certain mobility issues may create hazards for you when walking through the house while holding your infant.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to prepare your home and life for a new baby. From making some changes around the house to ensure safety to garnering support from friends and family so they can help out at home, there are many ways you can get ready for parenting with your disability. Make a list of all the things you want to accomplish so that you can stay organized, and don’t forget to practice self-care as often as possible.
Keep reading for tips on how to prepare for a baby when you’re living with a disability.
Find the Best Products
While some parents would rather keep the nursery simple, those who are living with disabilities might find that having products which make their daily lives easier is hugely beneficial when it comes to parenting a new baby. Safety gates, strollers with built-in car seat attachments, and cribs with slats that raise and lower are all great places to start. Just make sure that when you’re shopping online, you read the reviews before making a purchase.
Check for Safety Issues in the Bathroom
The bathroom is an area of the home where accidents often occur, mostly because of slippery surfaces. Adding rubber-backed mats to the tub and floor can help prevent falls, whereas investing in a sturdy infant tub will allow you to bathe your child easily. You can also place a soft rubber cover over the faucet so that if you or your child slip, the hard faucet won’t cause an injury. As far as baby-proofing, it’s important to keep cabinets with soap and cleaning products locked up. Child locks are widely available and are easy for adults to operate.
It’s important to remember to take care of yourself, both before and after your child arrives. Reduce stress as much as possible by taking time out for an activity you enjoy, staying organized, and making sure you have everything in place to create the perfect nursery. Often called “nesting,” preparing your home for the new baby is part of the parenting process and helps you form a connection with your child before he or she arrives.
Think About a Feeding Plan
If you plan on breastfeeding your child, it’s important to think about how you’ll accomplish it from day to day. For instance, when you need a break, you can have your partner or spouse bottle-feed. However, this requires pumping and planning, so it’s a good idea to figure out how you’ll do it before the time actually comes. Talk to your doctor about any concerns, or ask for a breastfeeding specialist who can come and help you with latching and the proper hold.
Preparing your life, home, and finances for a new child can be stressful, so it’s important to start with a good plan so you won’t feel overwhelmed. Talk to your friends and family about how they can help out — for instance, someone may be able to come over and assist with housework in the first few weeks so you can rest — and look for safety hazards to ensure your comfort. With a little preparation, you can enjoy your new baby without any worries.
SOURCE: Submitted by Ashley Taylor, disabledparents.org