Clear the Clutter
Clutter is something that just happens. It happens over time, and when it comes to clutter in our own homes, we learn to turn a blind eye. But when you have a baby on the way, it has to go. This is especially important if you have a disability that affects your ability to safely maneuver obstacles such as throw rugs, cords, or low-lying furniture. Spatial and visual impairments that inhibit your peripheral vision are also factors that should trigger a mass decluttering of your home before having a baby. Your attention will soon be focused on your child, and you may not be as acutely aware of your surroundings, making clutter a tripping hazard.
Brighten Things Up
Good lighting, according to the International Association of Lighting Designers, enhances the desirability and mood of any space. But more importantly, having a well-lit home will help you keep an eye on your child as he/she grows from bundled baby to teetering toddler.
Invest in Adaptable Gear
A quick trip down the baby aisle of any department store will reveal a virtually never-ending array of baby gear designed with the intention of easing the burden of parenting. And while many of them are little more than marketing hype, there are adaptable products that can make your life as a parent a little less taxing. HomeAdvisor notes chairlifts, soft-structured baby carriers, and velcro baby gear offer benefits if you have spinal injuries or limited hand mobility. A modified baby stroller is also worth looking into.
Baby-proofing Before Baby
The act of baby-proofing is not limited to parents with disabilities. We all have to take preemptive measures to ensure our children’s safety. Parents offers links to dozens of different baby-proofing ideas. Regardless of which route you choose to go, get it done well before the baby arrives. This will give you the opportunity to adjust to the small changes prior to dropping a helpless human being into the mix.
Hello Home Improvements
There are a number of minor home improvements that can drastically enhance your hands-on childcare skills as well as the safety of yourself and your child. Grab bars in the bathtub, for instance, can help you get up and down while assisting young children at bath time. Lowering your kitchen counters may help you more effectively prepare meals. Replacing entry stairs with a ramp will help you transport your child in and out of the home without fear of tripping while lifting your feet over an obstacle.
Label children’s food/breast milk with braille labels
Install a whole-home intercom (Google Home now has this capability) so you can quickly interact with your partner no matter what room you are in
Set baby monitor volume to max while you sleep
Widen doorways to improve maneuverability if you are in a wheelchair
Your preparations will be unique to your situation. However, it never hurts to eliminate hazards around the home and to get yourself acclimated to changes before your family of two becomes a family of three – or more. If you are looking for more ways to prepare, your greatest resource is the parents who have “been there and done that.” You can find local special needs family groups onMeetUp.com or via your community Facebook page.
Want to explore how you want to prepare for your family's future? Book a consultation and get a free 30 minute coaching session to get things rolling. No obligations whatsoever; purely focused on your desired future and actions to get there.