Preparing your life and home for a new baby can be a joyous time full of anticipation, but it can also be a lot of work and stress. You may be thinking about the best ways to provide for your child, how to make sure you can spend enough time with the baby before having to go back to work, or making changes to your home to keep him safe. When you are expecting a child with a disability, the list of worries grows exponentially. There are so many things to consider that it can easily become overwhelming, and no one wants that stress while they’re trying to enjoy their time with a newborn.
The good news is there are many things you can do to make the process easier. Planning for expensesand insurance, preparing your home to make things easier for both you and your child, and taking care of your own mental and physical well-being will all help you get through this time with relative ease and without the stress. One of the best resources you have is the internet, so do some research to find assistance, helpful tips from other parents, and ideas on how to get ready to take care of a child with special needs.
Here are a few things to think about and look for when preparing for your new baby.
One of the biggest things you’ll want to consider when expecting a child with a disability is the modificationof your home. Depending on what your child’s needs are, you may want to install a ramp, widen doorways, take out carpet, or add safety measures to the bathroom and kitchen. While these can sometimes be expensive endeavors, they don’t have to be; there are many organizations around the country that will help you and your family cover the costs. Do some research online to find out more about the specific changes your home needs and to see whether you qualify for help.
It can be extremely stressfulto try to prepare for a child with a disability, so it’s important to make sure you’re taking good care of yourself before and after your child arrives. Reduce stress and anxiety by asking for help when you need it, doing activities that help you relax, getting good rest, eating right, and exercising at least a few times a week. You can also do something creativeto help relieve your stress, such as journaling or painting. Don’t worry about making something perfect; it’s the act of releasing ideas and emotions that is most helpful, not the end result.
Do some insurance homework
Your health insurance will help cover the costs of hospital stays, specialists, and any medication your child needs, but it probably won’t cover everything, so it’s crucial that you do some homework and find out exactly what your benefits are. You may qualify for supplemental coverage for your child through Social Security, but there are many stipulations and rules that apply, so educate yourself by doing some research on their site.
Plan for the first month
Because you’re getting used to a new schedule, the first month with a newborn is usually the hardest, and it’s a good idea to have a plan in place for getting through it. This might mean pre-making meals to freeze, asking friends and family for help with housework or errands so that you can rest, cleaning and decluttering your home, and/or taking care of any important tasksahead of time–such as paying bills–so you’ll have less to worry about.
Preparing for a baby with a disability takes a little time and planning, but it doesn’t have to be stressful or overwhelming. Give yourself plenty of time to work out what you’ll need, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask lots of questions during your doctor appointments, and take notes. The more prepared you are, the easier the process will be.