New Parent

Preparing For Parenthood: Tips For Parents With Disabilities

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Photo via Pixabay by Skalekar1992


Preparing your life and home for a new child isn’t a task to be taken lightly; there’s a lot of planning involved, preparations to make, and worries to handle. For many new parents, the thought of making such serious changes to their lifestyle is stressful because they don’t want to make any mistakes. Every parent wants a perfect environment for their little one to grow up in.


For those parents who are living with a disability, it can be difficult to make some of those changes simply because they have specific needs that have to be considered. If you have mobility concerns, for instance, figuring out the best way to handle all those nightly feedings and changings can bring anxiety. The best way to reduce those feelings is to start with a good plan for your little one while keeping your needs in mind. Make safety modifications as needed to your home, and consider small ways you can change your lifestyle that will benefit you in the long run.


Keep reading for some great tips on how to prepare your life and home for a new baby.


Childproof your home


One task that will give you peace of mind early on is childproofing. There are many ways this can be done, so it’s best to do a bit of research to find out what you might need for your home. It’s easy for many parents to put this off because they know their infant won’t be thinking about getting into kitchen cabinets, but time flies, and before you know it, your tiny bundle of joy will be crawling. Start in the rooms you know you’ll be using the most; the living room, for instance, should have electrical outlet covers and anti-tipping devices on pieces of furniture. The kitchen should have child locks on every cabinet and drawer, and you might also check to see if the knobs on your stove are removable. Here are more great tips on how to make your home safe, and keep in mind that if you can’t do it all yourself, there are people you can hire to help. Just make sure they are a member of the International Association for Child Safety.


Prepare the nursery


It’s important to think about what will make your life easier once the baby comes. If he’ll be sleeping in a bassinet in your bedroom at first, create a small station near your bed that can hold extra diapers and wipes, burp cloths, bottles, and anything else you might need in the middle of the night. If you’ll be breastfeeding, it’s also a good idea to keep a large refillable bottle of water nearby so you stay hydrated.


The nursery should be a comfortable space for both you and the baby. You might include a soft chair that will help you rock him back to sleep, or invest in a crib that will allow you to change the height of the mattress as the baby grows so you’ll always have easy access to him.


Relax


It’s important to learn how to relax, breathe deeply, and feel confident in your abilities before the baby comes. This will help reduce stress and will allow you to enjoy your time with your child. Consider trying yoga and/or meditation, which can help boost your mental health and will give you the chance to focus on the present rather than worrying about the past or future.


Preparing for parenthood comes with a lot to think about, but it doesn’t have to be a time for anxiety. Start with a good plan, and talk to your family and loved ones about what your needs are so they can be of help when you need it.

Guest Blog Contribution: Ashley Taylor disabledparents.org

New Parent? Don’t Forget That Self-Care Is Essential for You and Baby!

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New parents can easily get caught up in the to-do lists, diaper changes, feeding schedule, and everything else that comes with having a newborn in the house. But you have to remember that self-care benefits both you and your baby. Here’s advice on the importance of self-care when you’re a new parent.

Putting Yourself First

As a new parent, you realize that suddenly your world is both smaller and bigger all at once. This brand-new life becomes your focus and your entire universe, and you want to protect your new baby. But that little addition to the family is going to take a lot out of you, and you've got to take the time to replenish your own resources, or you won't be able to give your baby everything they need. According to Parents magazine, you need to maintain a balanced life to maintain a joyful life.

It's extremely hard for parents to put themselves first, or even to think of their own needs, but you have to take the time every day to do this. Don't forget to take care of yourself physically by

eating right, getting rest, and exercising. According to BabyCenter, you need to take frequent breaks for your own health. Everyone needs a little downtime, even new parents.

Don't Forget Your Other Needs

You have a lot of physical needs that you need to focus on but don't forget your other needs. You should also connect socially with friends. Take time to acknowledge, feel, and express your own emotions. Get intellectual stimulation by reading, meditate to relax, and work on your hobbies. All of your needs matter, and they all deserve to be addressed.

Dealing With Stress

Newborns bring a lot of joy into your life, but they also bring a lot of stress. New parents often worry about whether they're doing the right things, feeding the baby correctly, diapering properly, and managing all those little chores the way a good parent should. Stress can bog you down in negative thoughts, drain your energy, and make you physically less healthy.

Make sure you're getting plenty of sleep. And when you need it, ask for help. It's okay to acknowledge that you can't do everything alone because you can't. Make it a point to reduce your stress and deal with it in a healthy, positive way. Don't turn to alcohol or drugs to manage your stress, to keep yourself awake, to boost your mood, or to get an extra burst of energy. This is a slippery slope that can lead to addiction, and then you really won't be able to be an effective parent in any way. Substances hamper your judgement, and they very often lead to addiction and abuse, which will only take you away from your child.

Self-Care for You and Your Baby

If you aren’t taking proper care of yourself, then you can’t give your best to your new baby. Make sure you include self-care as part of your parenting routine so you can decrease stress, stay healthy, and set a positive example for your child. Self-care isn’t just for you; it’s also what’s best for your baby, too.

Photo credit: Pixabay

Blog Submitted to The Newborn Care Agency by Ashley Taylor from disabledparents.org