I am going to outline tools of the trade every parent with physical disabilities need for the first six months of your little ones life. I shall follow with the next six months on in a later blog.
1.Difficulty with poppers?get quality second hand baby vests where poppers have been worked by others so are so much easier to do and undo.
|Mothercare velcro baby grows upto newborn size.|
3.Baby zip suits for daywear ease of dressing. These are a godsend for those with difficulty in doing up diddly buttons or poppers on baby clothes, great for daywear. Fleece zip suits often found in nightwear area in supermarkets or Next,Mothercare during colder months. Lightweight cotton baby grow zip suits are available from www.zippysuit.com
|Zippy suit in cotton light weight material, ideal for spring.|
4. Difficulty carrying baby upstairs to bed? A carry cot for the lounge that comes with a stand is a solution,they are available in many high street shops, if your child is like ours they will hate the openness of the cot and prefer sleeping in the carry cot for several months anyway.Would look on ebay for one or preloved as carry cots are expensive.
5.Difficulty bathing baby? An ice cream tub cleaned out and empty with lid and a j cloth,changing matt on a bed and giving baby a bed bath on mat.The lid goes on top of ice cream tub if walking the tub to bedroom as some of us creaky parents rock a bit when walking and the lid stops it slopping everywhere! Make sure your towel and baby clothes are beside the mat. You can simply bed bath baby. NEVER LEAVE BABY ON BED OR COT BASE NOT EVEN FOR A MIN SO HAVE ALL YOU NEED RIGHT BY YOU ON THE BED!!NEVER USE BABY WASH DESCRIBED AS CREAMY AS MAKES BABY HARDER FOR THOSE WITH LIMITED STRENGTH IN HANDS, TO GET HOLD OF BABY SAFELY.
6.Highchairs tricky,baby needs to learn to sit? Then bring on the "Bumbo" seat from any baby store or online departmental store. This seat is a godsend for feeding baby at your height without needing to fuss with sitting baby in high chairs you can't work, the seat holds them in with no straps, we put our son in this when he was five months old , pushed the seat right to the back of our sofa, here I could feed him, we never left him alone though!!The seat encourages their sitting muscles as well without hurting your arms to try encourage baby to sit. again these seats are expensive so I got mine from ebay for £13.00.
|Bumbo seat, available from Amazon,Mothercare and Argos.|
8.REMAP, a disabled parents greatest group of people, a charity run organisation of engineers who will adapt any item of equipment you own to suit your needs, within reason and they adapted our cot. google them, there is a REMAP nationwide and call them before baby is born to sort equipment out if you can.
9.Car seats difficult? I can honestly say we tried nearly every seat and they are awful in design for any parent even ones with a bad back or who have had c sections let alone disabled parents! Go to the Baby show at the NEC or Earls Court to try them out, failing that try in Mothercare and good luck finding one you can manage but the law says you need one and obviously you do so at least do your partners, parents or friends a favour and get a simple one to put baby in even if you can't do it! When The Carkoon comes out, see earlier blog, you might be in luck with this being an accessible first born seat. Now my son is over nine months old, he has a Maxi Cosi Axis seat which is a fantastic design as the whole baby seat twists on an axis to face the car door making for an easier life for disabled non flexible parents!
|Carkoon car seat a possible choice for an accessible newborn baby, a seat that twists on its axis.|
10.Need a lightweight,easy fold buggy? Less is more, the more gadgets it has the heavier and more difficult it will be to fold and unfold, keep it as simple as possible and go try some out, I recommend Babies R Us as a good place to start, I hate John Lewis, their staff consistently have ignored me whenever I have gone there and stupidly so too as I am happy to spend top dollar on a buggy if it means I can actually open the darn thing gracefully and lift it, the only healthy parents who will get the best are people with more money than sense!
|Swift stroller one of the easier baby buggies for newborns,light weight and reasonably easy to fold.|
11.Breast feeding hard on arms? A V pillow for lying baby on to breast feed, the pillow sits around you, you can pull it around you easily with one hand or mouth,put baby on top and lean down slightly to bring nipple to babys mouth. V pillow also great for cuddling baby on your bed, if you can not hold baby in arms for ages, lie baby on side, you facing baby on side and put v pillow down back of baby to support him.
12. Sterilizing bottles difficult? If you have limited upper arm strength or pain in joints then stay away from sterilizing pods! You will not be able to lift them anywhere when filled with water which is how they all work. Instead find a bucket with a lid on Amazon which has a good wide handle which you can hold on your forearm which will bide you a little more ease in moving bucket to tap and back to worktop. You will need Milton tablets as the packaging for Milton bottles is awful for trying to open with poor dexterity. Simply drop a table into the bucket,fill with cold water,wash your bottles in the sink then pop in bucket and place lid on top to ensure the bottles are submerged. The bucket method is a really cheap and effective way of sterilizing.
|Kampa Bucket with good rubber handle|
Apart from nappies,Tescos own brand (not value ones) are great for easy of putting on,taking off,get lots of baby rag books or board books with bright simple pictures,rattles,mirrors,you are good to go!
Be confident, there is nothing you can't find a solution for, it may not be my way but you will work it out. All this thinking is what will make you a thoughtful, kind parent. Don't feel if you were well you would be doing a better job, not true, our well counterparts all say they found it difficult and in fact because you won't be able to get out much due to rubbish car seat designs out there, you are more likely to have a clam baby who enjoys reading with your and kindly gentle activities.
Enjoy it, it is the best thing in my entire life having my son, oh not forgetting marrying my husband but he doesn't laugh when I say banana or "Smiley teddy bear" like our son does! :)