Thursday, March 23, 2023
HomeHealthAccessible Parenting Ideas for When You Have a Child

Accessible Parenting Ideas for When You Have a Child

It’s virtually a ceremony of passage for brand spanking new dad and mom to spend time researching the most effective child gear, establishing the nursery, and questioning simply how a lot life will change with the addition of their infant.

If in case you have a bodily incapacity, it’s no totally different. You simply may need to change among the commonplace child gear to give you the results you want or use it in numerous methods than different dad and mom.

“Parenting is identical whether or not you’ve got a incapacity or not,” says Tammy Rayess, an occupational therapist and mother of two who has cerebral palsy and makes use of a wheelchair. “You’re simply doing issues in a nontraditional means.”

“The problem is there actually aren’t these adaptive merchandise available on the market,” says Nicole Lomerson, a mother with cerebral palsy and a researcher on the Nationwide Analysis Heart for Mother and father with Disabilities at Brandeis College. “However disabled dad and mom are actually glorious drawback solvers, and we discover a means.”

“We modify issues. We make issues work,” says Kara Ayers, PhD, affiliate director of the College of Cincinnati Heart for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, a researcher on the Nationwide Analysis Heart for Mother and father with Disabilities, and mom of three. 

Ayers and her husband each use wheelchairs resulting from osteogenesis imperfecta, a genetic illness that impacts their bones. She’s observed that many instances, adaptive merchandise like wheelchair strollers may have nice buzz as a prototype, however by no means really make it to the market. Different instances, she says the product will come from a medical gear firm and be very costly or want insurance coverage approval, which could be a problem.

Even with a scarcity of child merchandise geared toward disabled dad and mom, dad and mom with all kinds of bodily disabilities can discover methods to make caring for a child and toddler accessible.


“I knew a wheelchair-accessible crib could be my greatest hurdle,” Lomerson says.

For the reason that two accessible cribs available on the market on the time had been very dear, she discovered a hand-me-down crib that one other mother along with her incapacity had made wheelchair-friendly.

You could find plans on-line for tactics to lift a regular crib to wheelchair top and add a sliding gate or door so you’ll be able to choose your child up by means of the aspect of the crib as an alternative of reaching down into it. Ensure the gate locks on the surface and is childproof.

Cradles that connect to your mattress, referred to as co-sleepers, are an awesome possibility for the primary few months. They’re particularly helpful if in case you have restricted attain or bother getting out and in of mattress.

Montessori-style bedding, which places a crib mattress on the ground of a childproof room, could be a good possibility when your child will get greater, Ayers says.


A typical altering desk will be difficult when you use a wheelchair. Rayess made her personal utilizing a canine grooming desk with a altering pad connected to the highest. The desk was sturdy and allowed her to wheel beneath and alter diapers in a snug place. A desk is one other good possibility when you use a wheelchair. 

Many dad and mom with disabilities merely change their infants on the ground, sofa, or mattress, Ayers says.

If in case you have challenges together with your capacity to maneuver, she says it’s good to maintain diapering provides in a number of areas of your private home so that you don’t have to hold your child to a different room when it’s time for a change.

If in case you have a incapacity that impacts your advantageous motor management, search for child garments with magnetic closures as an alternative of snaps.

Automotive Seats

“The load of the automotive seat was all the time a priority for me,” Ayers says. “We largely deliberate to maintain automotive seats within the automotive.”

Should you plan to hold your child in an toddler automotive seat, search for one on the lighter finish. Some types have wheels that come out to show them into quick strollers.

Rotating or swivel automotive seats could make it extra snug to get your little one out and in of the automotive.



If in case you have bother together with your arms or advantageous motor management, child formulation dispensers and bottles designed to be propped on the infant can assist you with feedings. A grape cutter can be helpful: It permits you to shortly quarter grapes with one hand.

Typical excessive chairs with their extensive legs didn’t work for Rayess along with her wheelchair.“It’s very laborious to get your chair shut sufficient to that state of affairs with out doing acrobatics and unhealthy physique mechanics, and plenty of alternatives on your children to throw meals at you.”

She discovered {that a} transportable excessive chair that straps onto a folding chair or kitchen chair labored effectively.


Bathing a slippery child is hard for anybody.

“Loads of dad and mom with disabilities find yourself bathing with the kid,” Ayers says. “The much less it’s a must to attain and the much less the hole between you and the kid is usually actually useful.”

Rayess would bathe her daughters in a child tub on her bathe bench.

A shower visor that retains water and shampoo from getting in your child’s eyes could make it simpler to scrub your child’s hair.

For fogeys with low sensation or imaginative and prescient, an audible water thermometer that beeps if the bathtub water is simply too sizzling or chilly is a useful security machine.


For Lomerson, carrying her daughter in a child provider was simpler than determining the right way to connect a stroller to her wheelchair. However when you’re helpful, you could find concepts on-line for tactics so as to add stroller attachments to your chair. As soon as your child can sit up, you too can use a large belt, a wheelchair calf strap, seatbelt, or perhaps a sturdy scarf to safe them to your lap.

At house, nursing pillows are helpful for supporting your child in your lap.

If in case you have again ache or bother bending over, an adjustable-height stroller is an effective possibility.

If in case you have trunk weak point, a harness in your little one can assist you raise them off the ground. You could possibly additionally use a swaddle blanket or a light-weight basket like a conveyable accent carryall to choose your child up with one hand.

Out and About

“Stay life off the sidewalk” is Rayess’s private motto. It took on a fair greater which means when she had children. Transportable ramps assist give her entry when she travels or takes her daughters locations that aren’t wheelchair-friendly. She additionally switched to a motorized chair after changing into a mother, so as to higher sustain along with her children.

On the subject of retaining toddlers secure in parking tons or crowded locations, Ayers and Rayess say there’s nothing incorrect with placing your little one on a “leash” or a backpack harness that you just maintain onto.

“I believe security and safety is far more essential than folks being judgmental about it,” Ayers says.

Powder or spray sunscreen is less complicated to use to children than lotion if in case you have a poor grip or points with advantageous motor management.

Sensible Residence

Rayess likes to automate as a lot as she will in her house to permit her to spend extra vitality on her children. Sensible house know-how can automate issues like curtains, thermostats, lights, audio system, home windows, and locks all of which might save time and are extra accessible.

“In the end it is the identical parenting expertise,” Rayess says. “It is falling in love unconditionally. That love carries you thru all of the challenges that each guardian faces. Mother and father with disabilities simply get the chance to suppose out of the field, kick down limitations, and promote inclusion.”



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Most Popular

Recent Comments