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Preparing for the new arrival

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There is plenty you can do to prepare yourself before the baby is born, including thinking about the equipment you will need to enable you to care for your child. Sources of information include:

  • midwives – who can advise you on what equipment might help you
  • occupational therapists – who can visit you in your own home to help you determine what potential problems you might have, advise on how to carry out daily tasks, and help with adaptations that might be necessary
  • Ricability – who publish consumer reports on products for disabled parents, such as baby carriers and high chairs
  • your local Disabled Living Centre – can give you the opportunity to try out equipment
  • other parents – with whom you can exchange ideas on parenting in person or on the Arthritis Care discussion forum

Choosing baby equipment when you have arthritis

The choice of equipment for a young baby can be bewildering. Remember to try before you buy – a fancy pushchair might look good, but can you actually open and close it? Some of the considerations when selecting equipment include:

  • baby carriers – look for simple fastenings, a light back frame and padded/wide shoulder and waist straps
  • high chairs – choose a light chair that is easy to fold/unfold and move, with an easy-to-use harness
  • prams/pushchairs – look for ones that are easy to fold/unfold, lift and operate, with simple fastenings and handles that are comfortable to grip
  • cots – choose a cot with adjustable sides or a side that opens completely, and at the right height for you so you do not need to bend too much
  • car seats – choose a seat that you can carry and remove from the car easily

women pushing a child in a push chair

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