Life changes in the blink of an eye when you find out the stork is en route. That’s a fact for all parents, and all parents have to get themselves and their homes ready for the arrival. As a person with a disability, there are a few extra steps you can take to help you tackle the challenges of parenthood since children don’t slow down for anyone.
Prepare for your child’s future.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do for your children is to make provisions for them should something happen to you. It’s not a pleasant thought, but it’s a circumstance that you must consider. If you don’t already have life or burial insurance, now’s the time to put this safety net in place to alleviate the financial burden on your spouse, and so that money is available for your child. Other preparations include writing a will, establishing a college savings account, and appointing a legal guardian should you and your spouse die before your child turns 18.
Plan ahead for your lifestyle.
Physical disabilities can make certain tasks difficult. Getting your child in and out of a carseat, for example. As one mom explains, not all carseats are the same, and some are easier to install, while others are less bulky, which will give you more room to maneuver. Strollers, cribs, bassinets, and other baby gear follow this same rule, so it’s best to test them out at the store rather than order online. Disabled Parenting offers links to adaptive parenting equipment manufacturers if you find standard gear doesn’t cut it.
There are many everyday products to enhance the early stages of your life as a new mom or dad. Think about your abilities and things you do each day to adapt to the world. Are you in a wheelchair? If so, you may not be able to use a regular changing table, so look for a small desk that allows you to roll closer so you can reach your baby more easily. When you can’t hear every sound your baby makes, you can add security mirrors and baby monitors to each room so that you can see your child no matter where you are. A wheelchair ramp at the entrance to your home, grab bars in the bathroom, and added lighting throughout the house are also modifications that can streamline your daily activities.
Make your home a smart home.
Smart home technology gets better each year, and things like hands-free lighting controls and voice-activated entertainment are valuable tools for new parents. You’re going to be busy 100 percent of the time so any shortcuts you can take will ease the burden. You can read more about the different types of smart home hub in this review. A wireless home security system and smart appliances are other tech innovations that can make life easier for everyone in your home.
Take care of yourself.
One thing is universal for all parents: stress. Between the sleepless nights and added responsibilities, having a baby can take a toll. While every moment with your little one will fill your heart with joy, you must also take the time to practice self-care away from your baby. This may be a nightly bubble bath, reading a chapter of your favorite book, and bringing in a sitter to enjoy the occasional date night. Anything you can do to provide for your own basic needs will make you a better parent.
Having a baby is one of the greatest joys in life. But it is not without its challenges. Be proactive in your preparations and don’t be afraid to step off the beaten path if you need to find ways to adapt to your new role.
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