Written by: Ashley Taylor from DisabledParents.org
Preparing your home -- and your life -- for a new baby can be a big task, one that comes with many worries. As a new parent, you want to give your child everything he needs and make sure he’s safe, happy, and comfortable. As a parent with a disability, you also want to ensure that your own daily needs are met and that you’re able to keep everything easily accessible. From feeding to sleeping to bathing, your child will need lots of care, and knowing how to prepare your home will go a long way toward helping everyone stay safe and healthy.
It’s also imperative to prepare your physical and mental state for a new baby, as the potential for stress and anxiety is greater. Your lifestyle will change, and if your disability leaves you feeling tired, you’ll need to balance your child’s needs with getting enough rest. This is one of the most common issues for new parents, and since lack of sleep over an extended period of time can be dangerous and unhealthy, it’s important to learn how to take care of yourself.
Read on for some great tips on how to get ready for a new baby when you’re living with a disability.
Find the Right Resources
It’s important to find resources that will help you get through the difficult days as well as to help you prepare for parenthood, whether it’s getting the right medical care or finding community support. It’s also a good idea to garner support from your friends and family during this time, in part so you’ll have help -- especially during the first few months with your new baby.
Take Care of Yourself
There are some simple ways you can prepare for parenthood that will also help you take care of yourself, such as getting into a routine, making meals ahead of time and freezing them so you’ll have something easy after the baby comes, and setting up babysitters for the future so that you and your partner will have some time alone together. One of the most stressful parts of being a new parent is not having the time for your relationship, so it’s important to make time.
Find Healthy Ways to Cope with Stress
Parenting is one of the most stressful jobs there is, so it’s important to learn how to cope with stress and anxiety in a healthy way. Whether you conceived your child or adopted, there will be a learning curve -- especially in the beginning -- where you’ll figure things out, and you may feel overwhelmed at times. Know that this is natural and that no one parenting method is right for everyone.
Make Your Home Safe
Your home should be a place of safety and comfort for the entire family, so it’s important to go from room to room and make changes that will help you stay mobile more easily after the baby comes. This might include installing ramps, adding a grab bar or stool in the shower, or removing any possible trip hazards that could cause a fall while you’re holding the baby. Taking care of safety now will give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on your child’s needs.
Preparing your home and your life for a new child can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Try to focus on the positives now so that you can enjoy this time, and keep communication open with your partner, friends, and family so that you can make sure all your needs are met.
Dr. Liz Matheis
Dr Liz Matheis and her team specialize in assisting children and their families with Anxiety, Autism, AD/HD, Learning Disabilities and Behavioral Struggles