According to the National Council on Disability, there are over 4.1 million parents with disabilities in the U.S. Individuals with disabilities who are preparing for parenthood face a unique challenge. They have to prepare their home for themselves, as well as their new baby. There are certain modifications you can make to your home that will make it easier to care for your newborn.
Below, we’ve listed some ways that you can prepare your home for the day your newborn comes home from the hospital.
Install grab bars in showers and tubs
Adding grab bars to your showers and next to your tubs can help you when you’re bathing your child. When you’re giving your baby a bath, water is likely to go everywhere, so it’s important you don’t slip and fall. Grab bars can help you stay steady when the bathroom floor is wet. They are relatively easy to install and are inexpensive. Installation usually takes one day, so put this project on your calendar before your baby’s due.
Remove tripping hazards
When you’re suffering from a disability, the last thing you want to do is injure yourself. When your baby is home from the hospital, life is going to be hectic, and you’ll be running on little sleep. Removing certain hazards from your home can prevent you from tripping in the middle of the night when you’re tending to your newborn. Tripping hazards can include clutter, extension cords, furniture, and more.
Use non-slip mats and rugs
Installing non-slip mats, strips, and rugs in your home prior to your baby’s arrival is a good idea. It’ll reduce the chance of slips and falls from occurring and allow you to focus all of your energy on caring for your newborn. Not only does non-slip material prevent you from injuring yourself, but it provides a comfortable environment for you to walk around your home. Stay safe and independent with non-slip mats.
Invest in a hands-free baby carrier
If you are in a wheelchair, it’s a good idea to look at hands-free baby carriers. You are going to want to hold your baby a lot as a new parent, and if you’re in a wheelchair, this can be difficult. With a hands-free baby carrier, you can strap your baby to your chair in a safe and comfortable way.
Use textured tape or braille labels for meal prep
If you’re a soon-to-be parent who’s blind or visually impaired, ask a close friend or family member to help you label your child’s foods with braille or textured tape. This will help you identify which items are for you and which are for your child. Another easy way to identify children’s food if you’re visually impaired is to put rubber bands around jars.
Adapting your home to your disability will help relieve some stress you’re feeling about parenthood. The best thing you can do for yourself and your brand-new baby is to provide a safe home for the both of you. These modifications can prevent you from injuring yourself and will allow you to be a better parent for your baby.
A big thank you to Patrick Young for authoring and submitting this article!
Visit Patrick’s website, ABLE USA, for more tips and advice.