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How Parents With Disabilities Can Prepare For Having A Child

How Parents With Disabilities Can Prepare For Having A Child
When you are expecting a child, there is a lot of work to be done.You have to find ways to pay the hospital bills, make your home safe for an infant, and more. So when you are a parent-to-be with a disability, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed at times.
Thankfully, there are tips for preparing your home, finances, and life for having a child. It starts by looking at your house through the eyes of a baby.
 
Modifying Your Home
At first, your child will be completely dependent on you for mobility. But soon enough, they will learn how to crawl and even pull themselves up to stand. When this happens, you have to be sure your home is safe. Parents.com recommends you think about anything toxic or dangerous  that a little child could find. For example, make sure all cleaning supplies are behind latched cabinets. If you take any medication to help with your disability, put these where a child’s curious hands cannot reach. You should also make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.
This goes double for the baby’s room. This is where they will spend most of their time, so go through this room carefully and look for uncovered sockets or chairs that can fall over. Given your particular needs, you may have to widen the door frame to fit a wheelchair through or add some grab bars near the crib.
If you have mobility issues, invest in a good baby monitor that includes a video option. Especially in the first few weeks, you’ll probably be worried about your newborn. Having a quick and easy way to check in from afar (instead of trying to navigate to their room) can help you feel more relaxed.

Financial Planning For Parenthood

 Some of these home modifications cost money. In fact, having a child can be an expensive process. Between medical bills, new furniture like cribs, and all those diapers, you need to prepare financially as well.

The Guardian recommends you start by talking to your employer, insurance company, or Medicaid representative about maternity and paternity benefits. Not everyone is eligible for this, but it can make a big difference to have pay coming in as you bond with your newborn. You should also update your household budget (or create one if you don’t have a budget) to include both new costs and reduced income if either parent stays home to raise the child.
Some parents with disabilities can have trouble conceiving, so they turn to in-vitro fertilization (IVF). This can be just what you need to finally get pregnant. The success and availability of in vitro fertilization has given hope to many infertile couples who have not been able to conceive. Since 1978, 5.4 million babies have been born worldwide with the help of IVF. However, this can be costly, click here to view potential costs. If you think IVF might be right for you, start saving today.

Mentally Preparing For A Child

Besides preparing your home and finances for your new child, you have to prepare mentally. Having a newborn is a life-changing experience, and whether you have a disability or not, you have to get ready.

Beliefnet.com recommends several ways to prepare your mind, including getting ready to have the child as the center of your life. When you have a disability, meeting your special needs can sometimes take up a lot of your time. Soon, your child will do that. Before the birth, explore ways you can take care of your own needs while still focusing on your child.
You also have to think about how your disability might impact your childcare. For example, can you change diapers and feed the infant regularly? Can you hear them if they start to cry? You also need to line up childcare if you have regular doctor’s appointments.

It’s Time To Get Ready

The key to preparing for a child when you have a disability is to start early. Even if you are only considering pregnancy, start looking for ways to make your home safe for a crawling infant. Save money each paycheck, and talk to others about meeting your special needs when you have to care for a baby. Although having a child can be stressful, it’s well worth it.

Written By: Ashley Taylor

Email: ashley@disabledparents.org

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