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Bringing home a new baby can be a nerve-wracking experience for anyone; no matter how prepared you are, it seems there are always a million things to think about and plan for. You may be worried about your finances, making sure the hospital stay is a positive and comfortable one, the first few days home with your baby, or how to balance all your responsibilities and still be the best parent you can be.
For individuals who are living with a disability, these worries can be elevated. It can be difficult to prepare for your own needs, but the thought of caring for a child while making sure everyone stays safe and happy can be overwhelming. The key is to have a good plan and to prepare your home ahead of time so there will be no anxiety when the time comes. Taking care of these issues now will allow you to relax and enjoy your time with your child.
Here are a few of the best tips on how to prepare your home for a new child when you’re living with a disability.
It’s a good idea to go from room to room and take a look at the areas you use most, and then think about using them with a baby. Are they safe? The bathroom and kitchen are two of the spaces in a home where accidents occur most, so taking precautions now will keep everyone healthy and happy. You might install a grab bar in the bathtub to allow for easier bathing (for you and your child), buy non-slip rugs or mats, or label food items for your child with braille labels if you have a vision impairment. For more tips on home modifications, click here.
Make life easier
One of the best ways to reduce stress and anxiety when you’re expecting is to find ways to make life easier. This might mean installing easy-grip handles on cabinets and drawers, investing in motion-sensor lighting, or buying an infant seat that can easily transfer to a stroller. Think about your range of mobility and how you might be able to ensure that you stay safe while keeping your independence as a parent.
The key to setting goals as a new parent is to make them reasonable. Keeping in mind that you will be tired for the first several weeks baby is home, make a list of ways you can reach small goals reasonably. For instance, don’t try to get all the laundry done in a day, but separate it into small, manageable piles and do a little at a time. New babies dirty up a lot of clothes, blankets, burp cloths, and reusable diapers, so keeping it manageable will reduce your stress and keep your kiddo in clean duds.
Prepare some meals
The first several weeks after you bring baby home, you’ll be incredibly busy tending to his needs and trying to squeeze in some rest; preparing several meals ahead of time to freeze and heat up later will save you time and ensure that you have a good, hearty dinner to eat even when your hands are full.
Remember that taking care of your own needs is just as important as taking care of baby’s. You can’t be the best parent you can be if you’re exhausted and malnourished; having a strong circle of support around you will help ensure that you get what you need while your child is well taken care of.