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With a little one on the way, all parents tend to feel overwhelmed at times. If you’re a soon-to-be father or mother living with a disability, you have unique circumstances, but a little planning and careful preparation can be a big confidence booster. Follow these tips so you can go into parenthood well-equipped and self-assured.
Put the Future First
None of us like to think about the inevitable, but all parents need to consider what will happen to their child should something happen to them. One way to ensure your baby’s future is secure is by putting your final wishes in order. Have a last will and testament prepared, ensure your life insurance is up to date or get coverage if you haven’t already, and purchase a burial insurance policy. By putting these pieces into place now, your loved ones won’t have to make those difficult decisions or cut through red tape while in the midst of emotional turmoil.
Buying Baby’s Things
Something all moms and dads look forward to is outfitting themselves and their homes for their bundles of joy. Depending on your situation, there are numerous off-the-shelf baby items that can help keep you and your infant comfortable and safe. For instance, there is an abundance of strollers and baby carriers available, and new designs come out all the time with varied options and structures. As Disabled Parent points out, you can evaluate the designs with your personal requirements in mind, such as the height of the handles, portability, how user-friendly they are, and whether you can operate features comfortably. Before investing in any products such as baby gates, toys, cribs, or strollers, research features and options through online reviews so you ensure you find the best products for your circumstances.
Preparing Your House
If your home could better support you in terms of efficiency and navigation, making changes before your little one arrives means you’ll have an easier time keeping up with diapers, feedings, and, all too soon, a crawling and toddling child. Certain kinds of home modifications tend to be especially useful, such as having an entryway that is fully accessible and step-free, easy to reach light switches and outlets, and widened doorways. There are countless changes you can make to your home, so one way to effectively weigh your priorities is to print a safety checklist and assess your house. If finances are a concern, This Old House notes that there are several organizations which can assist you with remodeling, such as Habitat for Humanity International and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Do you have a budget already set up for your household? Many families don’t, and if so, now is the time to get organized. Creating a family budget doesn’t need to be complex, but you should know where every dollar is going. You should include all your income sources, reduce that by all your expenses, and end up with a zero balance. In your expenses, there will be fixed and discretionary items. The fixed items you can’t control but you know what to expect, such as your house payment and utilities. Discretionary items, meanwhile, are things like eating out and clothing. You can cut discretionary items if your budget is in the negative. If you have a positive, put the extra into savings. NerdWallet offers a free budget worksheet to help with your numbers.
Everyone gets nervous when a baby is on the way. Prep for the future and invest in equipment and modifications that will keep you and your baby comfortable and safe. Soon, your little one will arrive, and with these simple actions, you’ll be ready.