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Blog discussing pregnancy, birth & parenting in Ottawa. 

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Planning for Baby: Tips for Expectant Parents with Disabilities

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Today we have a guest post by Ashley Taylor of disabledparents.org/

If you have a disability, it may occasionally seem like daily life is more difficult for you than it is for other people.  Due to this, the prospect of becoming a parent for the first time may seem like an extremely nerve wracking proposition.  However, your daily life can be simplified through several easy adjustments to your home and daily routine.  By making these slight changes, you will find that living life as a new parent may not be quite as difficult as you first believed.  Here are some key things you can do to make your life as a soon-to-be parent easier for you and for your new baby.

 

Preparing your finances

 As soon as possible, you should begin the process of planning for the arrival of your baby into your life.  Early planning will allow you to focus on taking care of one of the most potentially stressful side effects of a new baby - money issues. 

 

Before you start buying products you think your baby will require, take the time to examine the current state of your finances to know how much residual income you have to spend on your baby.  This will also help you begin budgeting for the costs on the horizon.  For instance, the average cost to have a baby in a hospital, without additional complications (and without factoring in the cost of care before and after the child is born), is around $10,000.  Add in the expected costs of baby care necessities like diapers and clothes, and the amount of money you will have to spend per month may end up being significantly higher than the amount to which you are currently accustomed. 

 

Once you have estimated the amount per month it will cost to take care of your child and compared it to the amount of income you currently have to support your child, you will be able to begin taking steps to reduce the overall cost.  First, consider environmentally-friendly strategies.  For instance, instead of paying for a large pack of disposable diapers every other week, save money by using cloth diapers.  They may be more expensive initially, but will save you a great deal over the next few months. 

 

Instead of buying large pieces like cribs outright, see if you have any friends whose children have started to outgrow their own crib - you may be able to borrow it or purchase it for a reduced price.  Finally, while it is likely that you will have to purchase plenty of things like strollers, baby gates, and toys, you can make sure that you will only have to buy them once - always check product reviews online before buying anything to make sure that you are getting your necessities at the highest quality for the lowest price.

 

Preparing your life

While having a child will certainly impact your finances, it will also change around your routine.  For instance, it is likely that you will not be able to follow your customary sleep schedule, since babies often wake up periodically to be fed or go to the bathroom.  You will need to allow for this shift in your habits when planning your work schedule and social activities. 

 

Make sure you still leave time to eat meals, drink water, and stay active, at least briefly.  If you are having trouble keeping up with your child, use the resources at your disposal - enlist friends or family to help watch your baby while you take a nap, or look online for tips and tricks to help you make the most of your quick naps.  If you have a disability, you may need to make additional time for yourself.  Online resources like AbleThrive can help you find the time for self-care while you raise your child.

 

Parenting is a massive, joyful undertaking.  You can lighten the load by preparing your finances in advance, making sure you stock the house with high-quality products for your child, and making sure to take care of yourself as well.

 

Photo by Victoria Borodinova from Pexels