What are your greatest fears about becoming a new parent? Every new parent feels anxiety and fear when taking on this new role. However, if you are living with a disability, you may have some extra concerns on your mind. Thankfully, all you need to be the best mom or dad is patience, planning, and some important parenting tips.

Create a Safe, Comfortable Home

As a new parent, you want to ensure your child is surrounded by warmth and love. It also helps, however, to make sure your family is surrounded by safety and comfort at home. Before you welcome your new child into your life, take some steps to make your home as accessible, safe, and stress-free as possible. Small accessibility changes to your home can make it much easier to keep up with your little one — and much less likely that an accident will occur. You may want to look into swapping out any steps for a ramp, grabbing expandable hinges for any doors, and replacing old floors with skid-resistant options, to prevent serious falls.


Of course, you will want to take care of some other childproofing tasks as well. Use a whole-house guide so you can go room by room to search for potential hazards. Trivial things that may have not mattered in the past, such as leaving candles within reach or plastic liners in your trash cans, can pose a serious risk to a small child’s safety. So, it’s a good idea to begin thinking of these hazards beforehand.

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Build a Solid, But Flexible, Budget

Raising a child takes a lot of hard work, but it can also take quite a bit of money. The latest national figures show that the costs of raising a child to adulthood can be around $233,610 or more depending on various factors. Those basic costs include food, shelter, education, and other essential needs. If you need fertility treatments or are planning on adopting a child, the expenses can be even higher; you can expect to pay anywhere from $8,000 to $40,000 more than other new parents tend to spend.

In order to take on all those extra costs, as well as your existing financial responsibilities, a well-organized family budget is a must. Even if you already have a budget, you will need to make some adjustments. You will need to think about how your new family member will factor into your health insurance, benefits, and taxes. It’s also a good idea to start a savings plan. There are so many small ways families can save without taking anything away from their quality of life. You can cook some healthy meals at home or look for help with childcare to put more away for college, a home, or your emergency fund.

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Find Your Network of Support

It may not always take a village to raise a family, but it does help to have a network of people you can rely upon when you are a new parent. For one, bringing a baby home is a major adjustment, and every new parent has tons of questions. From getting help with nursing to finding the right assistance for children with special needs, knowing where to turn can take a lot of stress off of new parents. When it comes to having a baby, many local hospitals offer classes to assist new parents with various questions, concerns, and practices. You can find classes to support you through childbirth choices teach you basic care techniques such as changing diapers. Speak with your healthcare provider about local options that may be tailored to your needs, but also know that you can find support in other parents as well.

Parenting is hard work, but having a disability doesn’t have to make it any harder. Just be sure to follow some basic planning advice, build your network of support, and stay patient as you adjust to your new role as a parent. Congratulations on this exciting new chapter of your life! 

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Ashley Taylor

Ashley Taylor is a freelance writer, photographer, and advocate for people with disabilities.