Understandably, when you have a child, his or her health and well-being becomes your first priority, while all of your other responsibilities seem to fall to the back burner. But, if you struggle with a disability, you have to remember your own needs, along with the needs of your new child. With proper planning before your baby is born, you can make sure your house will be a safe, stress-free place for you and your new child. Below, we’ve listed some things to cross off your to-do list before your baby arrives home from the hospital.
Replace steps with a ramp
When you have a physical disability, climbing stairs may be a daily challenge. Before you become a parent, it may be a good idea to replace any steps in your home with a wheelchair ramp. Ramps can not only alleviate physical stress on your body, but they will save you a lot of time when you need to enter and leave your home. You can use this newfound energy and time to devote to raising your baby. Choosing the right ramp for your home depends on your level of mobility and lifestyle.
Purchase expandable hinges for doorways
If you own a wheelchair, make sure that it can fit through every doorway in your home. An easy way to avoid the issue of not being able to squeeze your wheelchair through narrow doorways is to install expandable hinges. Expandable hinges create an extra two inches of space within a doorway, which allows you to move through your home in your wheelchair without encountering any barriers. This is a great alternative to removing door frames or other types of construction.
Install skid-resistant flooring to prevent slips
The last thing you want to do when you have just brought home your new baby is to slip, fall, and injure yourself. You can prevent this by installing slip-resistant flooring before your child is brought home from the hospital. This flooring is typically installed in bathrooms, since water from baths and showers tends to get on the floor and create a hazardous situation. Rubber flooring and abrasive vinyl flooring are both popular choices for disabled homeowners.
Clean your home and meal prep
Before your baby enters the world, make sure to clean up your home so it’s clear of any clutter. Also you should prepare some meals ahead of time and freeze them. When you’re busy taking care of your baby, you probably won’t have time to spend hours cooking dinner or tidying up your home, so doing these things ahead of time will save you some stress for the first couple weeks that your baby is home.
Babyproof cabinets, drawers, and other areas
It’s wise not to wait until your child starts crawling to babyproof your home. Getting rid of any possible hazards they could encounter will ensure you provide a safe haven for your newborn. Purchase childproof safety latches for the cabinets in your home, move all electrical cords out of your child’s reach, and bolt wall units and other unstable furniture to your walls. A bathtub can also be a dangerous place for babies, so remember to never leave them unattended, and place a soft cover around your faucet so they don’t accidentally hit their head.
Dealing with a disability while preparing for a baby doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Making sure you take the proper steps before your newborn comes home will allow you spend all of your time taking care of your child, and less time worrying about if your home is safe for you and your little one.
Guest post by Ashley Taylor who writes over at Disabled Parents