Tips for Disabled Parents to Prepare for Baby’s Arrival

written by

Ashley Taylor

http://disabledparents.org/

 

While medications or other issues sometimes makes it more challenging for prospective parents with disabilities to conceive, it’s not only those with disabilities who deal with infertility issues. Indeed, recent studies show that one in six couples worldwide struggle with infertility, regardless of their disability status. But “the success and availability of in vitro fertilization has given hope to many infertile couples who have not been able to conceive. Since 1978 5.4 million babies have been born worldwide with the help of IVF.” according to the Qunomedical blog.

And, whether you have conceived through conventional means, undergone a successful in vitro fertilization, or made the decision to adopt, the truth is that the challenges and rewards that come with parenting have just begun, no matter how long it’s taken you to get to the starting line. So, once you’ve got a due date circled on the calendar, you can start filling the days and weeks leading up to it with tasks to prepare your home and your life for  a tiny addition that will have a very big impact.

Start Early

You may have been thinking about having a baby for years before conceiving. Or maybe your happy event came as more of a surprise. Regardless, once you are expecting or in the adoption process, you have a finite amount of time to put things in place before your child arrives. Start the planning process as early as possible and try to consider all the things that might change once you become a parent.

For instance, the baby’s primary caregiver should begin planning how their work life may change if they are currently employed. If you are going to be the primary child care provider, will you take some extra time off once the baby is born or elect to be a stay-at-home parent for a while? Or do you anticipate approaching your employer about shifting to a flexible schedule or reducing your hours for a time? If so, it’s smart to begin those conversations early.

The same goes for household tasks since the division of labor will doubtlessless change with a baby in the picture. Discussing who will handle chores like laundry, grocery shopping, and general cleaning and implementing a set schedule for many tasks now will alleviate stress immediately and for the longer term after your little one arrives.

It also makes sense to implement a financial preparation plan if you haven’t already. For example, experts at Bright Horizons Family Solutions suggest developing a budget to pay off debt and help you save three to six months of expenses for your growing family if at all possible.

Tackling Childproofing Challenges

While you’re getting your budget in order, you should set some money aside for making your home safer and more comfortable for all the members of your expanding clan. Although you will have more to do once your baby starts crawling and walking, here are some general safety tasks that you should take care of now to ensure you’re prepared well before the baby’s arrival:

  • Maintain working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Check them regularly and follow the recommended schedule for changing batteries. You may opt for carbon monoxide and smoke detectors with long-lasting lithium batteries or options that are hardwired and only use batteries for backup, which could be a better choice if a disability might make changing batteries on a regular basis more difficult.
  • Keep a working fire extinguisher in the home. According to Consumer Reports, those buying a new extinguisher should make sure it’s listed or certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory and has been manufactured within the last year. Also note which types of fires they are designed to handle. Class ABC models handle the widest range of fire types.

The preparation and planning can seem overwhelming, especially if you are dealing with disabilities that make performing some activities difficult. Accessing community and nonprofit  resources early and addressing any workplace worries will help make adjusting to life as new parents a little easier so you can devote all your energy to those late-night feedings and frequent diaper changes.

 

About the author

The Parent Connection is a non-profit parenting support group sponsored by Scripps Health. Since 1980, The Parent Connection has been bringing San Diego families together to provide support, share experiences and information, enjoy social activities and build lasting relationships. Parent Connection annual special events are a great way to socialize with other members. And our membership benefits include group discounts to California theme parks and attractions, which more than cover the cost of annual membership. Join now!

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