Product in Focus: Parent Essentials
3 July 2023
What is assistive technology? It is the term for any piece of equipment or technology that helps a person complete their daily tasks.
This can be taking care of themselves, including showering, eating, or changing, but with a baby or toddler, a parent’s daily tasks will include looking after them as well, and this can be different for a parent that has a disability.
AT doesn’t have to be overly complicated or cost a fortune – it can be as simple as a Velcro bib or a nursing pillow – but sometimes a larger piece of equipment is exactly what is needed.
Whether you are a brand-new parent, or you are experienced in childcare, the right piece of AT can make all the difference, so here are our suggested AT solutions for parents with disabilities.
This fully adjustable bed and cot is great for mobility aid users, particularly wheelchair users, or any parent who may need easy access to their child’s cot. The legs are height adjustable, meaning that users can lift or drop the cot to suit their needs, and it has lockable wheels to easily move the cot from room to room if need be. The Lotte Bed features side opening doors, which can be opened using one hand, that allow for wheelchair access, or for parents who need easy transfer without lifting or bending. When not in use for your sleeping bundle of joy, this bed also can double as a play pen, or be converted into a toddler bed as your child grows.
Bellman Baby Cry Pager Pack
For parents who are d/Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or respond better to visual cues rather than noise, the Bellman Baby Cry Pager Pack is the perfect alternative baby monitor. The Bellman Visit Baby Cry Monitor acts as a normal baby monitor, listening out for your baby’s crying or irregular breathing, however, it connects to the Bellman Visit Pager, which parents can easily put in their pocket or attach to them. The pager will vibrate and alert you via an LED light that your baby is crying, and you don’t have to worry about wearing it while you are sleeping either – it also comes with the Bellman Visit Bedshaker. This handy tool slides under your mattress and produces a vibration that will wake you up when the baby monitor is triggered. If you’re still worried about missing it, you can also purchase the Bellman Visit Flash Receiver, which will notify you via a bright flash of light in your choice of colour.
→ check out the Bellman Baby Cry Pager Pack and Bellman Visit Flash Receiver or see more alerting devices for vision and hearing difficulties
Kneeling on cold tiles and bending over a bath can be difficult or inaccessible for some parents, which is why the CharliChair is a great piece of assistive technology. Perfect for holding and bathing your baby, it can support up to 17kgs of weight for toddlers as well, and is non-slip and corrosion protected for use in the shower. With height and recline adjustment, it is easy to customise the CharliChair to what you and your baby needs, and it features a safety harness to ensure your child is safe while bathing.
Universal Stroller / Wheelchair Board
For parents who use a wheelchair, especially parents of toddlers and older children as well as a newborn, the Universal Board is a great addition that will allow kids aged 2 – 5 to stand and ride behind your wheelchair, pram, or stroller. Older kids will love being able to tag along!
Other small pieces of assistive technology can also make a difference in every day life with a baby or toddler, and many are available at baby or department stores.
Here are some more suggestions of AT that parents might find helpful:
- A portable security belt that can be used on chairs to keep the baby in a seated position
- A baby sling/harness that can be worn by the parent to enable the baby to be supported and carried while allowing the parent to have full use of their arms.
- Safety harnesses attached to the child to allow them to walk in arms reach of the parent.
- Bibs with Velcro fasteners or pull over style may assist parents with fine motor difficulties.
- A rubberised plastic bib with front pocket to catch spills and reduce need for cleaning.
- Baby bottles with Velcro wrap so the bottle does not need to be grasped by the parent
- A breast-feeding support pillow that can be secured on the lap while sitting.
- Changing pads that have foam cushion with higher sides to help keep the baby in place.
- Disposable diapers with Velcro closures may be easier to fasten for parents with fine motor difficulties. Cloth diapers also can have key rings attached to make grasping easer.
- Baby clothing with manageable fastenings or pull over tops with scoop necks.
Want more assistive technology options for you and your family? Visit our Around the Home page for our AT Guides.