Products for Parents with Spinal Cord Injuries or Weakness: Baby Products

Universal/accessible design of the home from an occupational therapy and a construction perspective. This blog is part of a quest for cool, convenient, functional design that makes life safer, easier, and as maintenance-free as possible. It's about the lifestyle.
It's difficult to parent a newborn when physically able, much less when you have a disability. Not to say that it can't be done though, for sure, and here's some products that can help:
  • Feeding:
$35ish, depending on style desired
1. The Boppy. Well-known (overhyped?) as the "Breastfeeding Pillow", it really is helpful with positioning and stabilizing the baby during feeding. And other tasks, really, just don't let baby-kins fall asleep in it.



 $15.95
2. Podee Baby Bottles - Handsfree Feeding System. The name says it all. Created for twins, I think these baby bottles would help any mother.

3. Bumbo Baby Seat. This seat is now recognized for the parents who placed their children in the Bumbo, then on a counter...and the children fell off the counter and onto the floor. Use with common sense, but this seat is easy to use and positions children beautifully for many tasks - feeding, playtime, and more.
  • Sleeping
We hope that your children sleep, and here's some user-friendly options to get them in and out of their bed.
 $899 plus $59.49 shipping
1. Babee Tenda 5-in-1 Safety Converting Crib. The unique feature on this crib is the door, allowing wheelchair users to sneak in and place their child to sleep easily. This crib will grow with your child, from crib to toddler bed to twin headboard. The extra money for accessibility and growability is worth it, in this case.

Bassinets and Co-sleepers are popular for when the baby is young.



$79.99 plus $14.99 shipping
2. The Tender Vibes Deluxe Rocking Bassinet features wheels for portability from room-to-room as well as a physical structure that will allow a wheelchair user to get closer to the baby while putting the baby in and out.

If the parents are sure they only want an "in-room" solution, a co-sleeper may be right for you.
www.amazon.com $129.99 plus $19.20 shipping
2. The Summer Infant Rest Assured Sleeper has a hard shell that will protect the baby from movement and spasms, but will keep the baby easily within arms reach.
  • Changing Tables
The best options that I have seen for wheelchair users are either a portable changing pad, or fold down changing tables (like in restaurants, only nicer). People who create standard changing tables are certain that everyone must want storage under the table. Which makes it extremely difficult for a wheelchair user to position themselves to change a squirmy baby. Silly people...
BabySmart Cooshee Changer
1. On the cheaper end, a portable changer like the BabySmart Cooshee Changer may work.

But, maybe it won't and something heavier duty is required. In which case, a fold down changing table may be required.
Fold Down Baby Changing Table, natural birch
www.amazon.com $379.00 plus $19.49 shipping
2. Fold Down Baby Changing Table, natural birch

OR, my favorite:
Nathi Changing Table Color: Mossy Green
www.amazon.com $600 - free shipping (it's the least they could do)
3. Nathi Changing Table. Isn't it gorgeous? and doesn't it look super safe?
  • Transport
The method that the parent uses to get their child from point A to point B must be made by the parent (as with any of this stuff, but maybe more so). Some parents *love* strollers. Some love Baby Bjorn's. Some love slings. And it seems that no matter what the parent uses, they are quite devoted to that method of carrying/pushing their child.
I think that using a wheelchair and pushing a stroller is quite a task, unless someone else is pushing the entire train. For parents in wheelchairs I recommend baby carriers - easy to use and don't add a lot of bulk.
Product Details
1. The Baby Bjorn Baby Carrier Original Organic in Walnut is a very user friendly choice, the front lays down easily to slide your child in or take them out. Note the absence of a waist strap - easier for the parent to put on and off while sitting in a wheelchair, or with limited shoulder range of motion.
  • SwingTime!
The Cradle Swings are a good option because the wheelchair user can roll in the middle of the swing and slide the child in and out. Just be sure to evaluate how the tray moves to allow the child to get in and out - some trays move, some don't. Some slide off easily, some flip up.
Fisher-Price Cradle Swing
www.amazon.com $99.54 with free shipping
1. Fisher-Price Cradle Swing. Looks super comfortable, does this come in an adult size?

I love babies. They are so cute and cuddly, and congratulations to all of you parents out there, or parents-to-be. There are so many products available, the best you can do is research, talk to others who have "been there", and look at your specific situation. Again, (do i really need to say this again? sorry, i feel like a broken record), an Occupational Therapist can help guide your research if you have any limited cognitive or physical disability to help determine what products are going to fit best in your life. Happy Trails!

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