Being a physically disabled mum comes with a whole host of challenges and hurdles, so having the right products to help you and your baby throughout their early years is essential.
We've rounded up some of the best baby products to help disabled parents with their new arrival, from helping you get baby in and out of their cot to making it easier to safely monitor your baby.
When it's not that easy to quickly check in on your baby, you'll want to know your baby is safe
If you're having to wheel yourself around or need your hands for something else, a nursing sling
Make and prepare your bottles with ease without having to worry about using the hot kettle or
Not only is this crib brilliant for taking away with you when travelling, it's also perfect for
Five self-care essentials for disabled parents
While these products might help with the physical challenges of motherhood, it's important to look after your mental health too. Mum, full-time carer and care manager Kaddy Thomas is a disabled mum to her disabled son who is now all grown up but still requires 24/7 care. She's shared her top five tips for staying well.
'We aren’t going to be able to stop difficult times – they come with the territory – but we can control how we react to them. Being flexible, adjusting our expectations, learning how to navigate the stressful times and understanding how to pick ourselves up again after we get knocked down is how we forge a resilient mindset.'
'Taking some time in the day to sit in silence and drink a hot cuppa. You can do this in your garden or balcony, a quiet room or getting up even 10 minutes earlier to enjoy the silence before the day starts. Take a good look at your daily routine and see if there’s anywhere you could find this moment of solitude and peace. Making it a daily practice really helps you get comfortable with prioritising yourself.'
'Ask for what you need – if you need 5 minutes of quiet, make sure that everyone in the house knows you aren’t to be disturbed. It may not always work out, but be firm and share how important this is and others will (hopefully) start to respect your wishes.'
'You also need good boundaries with yourself. Prioritise the things you need and want to do, or they will forever slip down the to-do list. Be as ruthless at setting aside the time for yourself as you are about the healthcare needs of the person you look after. Invest in noise-cancelling headphones! It may not always be safe to use them, but they really do block out the noise and chaos around you so you can get an undisturbed peaceful moment.'
'It may feel dull, but planning time for your partner or friends makes life easier and ensures you keep your human contact at a decent level. Plan date nights (even if it means staying home but having a special dinner), allocate one evening a week to calling friends and family and see if you can organise a regular group meet up/Zoom to keep you in the loop with your friends.'
'Like anything, it will take a while to make it a fully formed habit. Put your calls/social events in the diary and treat them with the gravitas of a hospital appointment that cannot be easily cancelled.'
'As above, you need a commitment to make your social life happen, but it’s not ideal if it feels like a burden or another thing on your plate. What ways can you make it easier to manage? Delegating works for me. Maybe ask friends with fewer responsibilities to be in charge of calling you or perhaps they could organise a group get-together.'
'You can have a life you are proud to live. It may not be the vision you once dreamed of (is it ever?!) but you still deserve some happiness within it. Sometimes it’s good to take stock, revisit and re-evaluate what’s working and what isn’t.'
'Fresh air – get outside daily if you can, even for short stints. Fresh and nature supercharge your body and mind.'
'Water – has healing powers. A bath or shower offers a quiet space to reflect and relax. Make them special, play music, or a podcast, add bubble's or essential oils.'
'Yoga or movement – If you’re able to, some kind of movement, like yoga or stretching can really help ease tired muscles, prevent strains and calm your mind. The rhythm and the quiet can act as a meditation and done first thing can set you up for the day. There are loads of online classes to follow, and even adaptations like chair yoga for anyone with more restricted movements.'
'Mindfulness – you can make anything mindful if you focus solely on the task at hand. Try it with brushing your teeth. Really focusing on brushing every part of every tooth and thinking of nothing but the brushing action. This hones your mindfulness muscle and every little step towards creating peace within, helps.'
'Creativity offers an escape from life and is an important way to let the brain rest so you can lower your stress levels. Do you have a creative outlet? Perhaps knitting, writing, baking, painting, pottery, or crochet?'
Find out more about Kaddy and her work at carers-collective.co.uk