5 Tips on How to Prepare for Parenthood When You Have a Disability
by Ashley Taylor
Parenthood is a huge milestone that is both nerve-wracking and exciting. It’s made even harder when you’re suffering from a disability. There’s a lot on your plate that you have to get done before you bring your baby home from the hospital to make sure you and your baby are safe in your house. Here are some tips you can follow that will make the first few months of parenting a little easier for you.
Replace steps with a ramp
If you’re reliant on a wheelchair to get around, you should replace any steps in your home with ramps before you bring your baby home from the hospital. Ramps will help you reduce stress on your body, and you can use all the extra energy you’ll save spending time with your new baby. Ramps come in a variety of styles (like modular, lightweight, folding or rentals), and it depends on your level of mobility and your lifestyle.
Purchase expandable hinges for doorways
One of the issues you might run into by being bound to a wheelchair is not being able to fit through doorways. Expandable hinges that you can install in the doorways in your home can make your life easier when you’re raising your child with a disability. These hinges provide an extra two inches of space in a doorway, which gives you more space to fit through the doorway in your wheelchair. With expandable hinges, you can move throughout your home without worrying about not being able to fit through your doorways easily.
Install skid-resistant flooring
Slipping on floors can be common when you’re giving your newborn baby baths. Your baby is going to splash around and It’s easy to get water on the floor. Prevent any slips or falls by installing slip-resistant flooring in your bathroom. This type of flooring will avoid any hazardous situations. Slip-resistant flooring comes in both rubber and vinyl options. Vinyl flooring is cost-effective, durable and can be bought in a variety of designs. Rubber flooring is easiest if you’re bound to a wheelchair and it’s low-maintenance and hypoallergenic.
Clean and meal prep
When you have a baby, household chores can fall by the wayside such as cooking and cleaning. It’s best to clean your home before you bring your baby home. This includes clearing your home of any clutter, vacuuming carpets, washing dishes and doing laundry. Preparing meals ahead of time and freezing them will help you create easy dinners when you’re too busy to cook. You’re going to be stressed trying to take care of your little one and meal prepping will provide you a little peace of mind.
Babyproof your house
You’ll want to babyproof your home before your baby is born. Even though your newborn won’t be able to crawl or walk for months, it will make you feel a little better knowing your home is safe for your little one. It’s easiest to begin in your kitchen by adding safety latches to your cabinets, and drawers. Next, move onto your bathrooms. In your bathrooms, put soft covers around the faucets in your bathtubs, so that when you’re giving your baby a bath, they don’t accidentally bang their head on the faucet.
Finally, take a walk through your home and look for any electrical cords that you can put away. Bolt all TV units to the wall, TV stands or armoires to prevent any accidents.
This is an exciting time in your life. Enjoy every moment of becoming a parent. Knowing that you have taken safety precautions beforehand will allow you to focus on your little bundle of joy.