Landing pads

One of the keys for my husband (aka Wheeler Dad) and me to independently parent Hannah has been several of what I call “landing pads” placed strategically around the house. I’ve heard other parents wish for

another sets of hands, but we’re additionally challenged

with the necessity that at least one hand is always needed to push our manual chairs. We’ve figured out ways to carry Hannah around the house and out in public. It’s sometimes difficult to complete certain tasks though while we’re holding her. Here are the landing pads in our home that help us get things done:

  1. Baby in her swing
    Swingin and sleepin are favorite pastimes around here. Bailey occassionally brings her favorite toy (Alfie!) in hopes Hannah will throw it. Maybe someday!

    A swing. We use Fisher-Price Starlight Papasan Cradle Swing: Hannah usually hangs out here at the beginning and the end of our days. She loves the mobile and she’ll hang out there if I’m doing something in the living room, answering the door, doing laundry, or otherwise scurrying out. It holds her attention the longest of all the landing pads.

  2. A high chair. We use Fisher-Price Space Saver High Chair: We keep it just outside the kitchen and in the dining room so she can watch me while I prepare a bottle or sit with us while we’re at the table. She can seem most of our living areas from this height and she’s generally content if I’m within her sight. It’s about the height of me in my wheelchair so it’s a fairly easy transfer. This is another place she can “land” when I need to do something relatively quickly.
  3. A soft place to land: We use two different Boppy pillows. One is the traditional Boppy and the other is the newborn lounger Boppy. They allow her to sit up, lay down, or lounge and I keep them in whichever rooms we’re frequenting. It gives her a safe place to hang out on the couch with our dogs and the lounger is just high enough that I can put her from my lap to the floor before I also transfer out of my wheelchair down to the floor to pay.

    baby on boppy

    Perched in her Boppy lounger

  4. A bouncer: We use Fisher-Price Playtime Precious Planet Bouncer: This one is placed (quite strategically!) in our largest bathroom. She can bounce away while I’m getting ready in the mornings or (if she’s still awake) taking a bath at night.

One of the ways we’ve made our landing pads most accessible is by removing all the trays and things that hang in front to make getting Hannah in and out easier. Now that we’ve got our confidence and (more importantly) she’s developing the desire and skills to bat at toys though, we’re slowly putting them back. If this makes getting her in and out impossible when she gets heavier, we could find other ways to play and stimulate her though.

There are lots of other favorite places to play and nap around our place, but these “landing pads” are our most frequent go-to’s for a place for Hannah to sit safely so we can have use of both hands, our laps, or both! I’ve (obviously!) never been a mom without a disability, but I imagine landing pads would be relatively useful for them too. What do you think?

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17 Responses

17 comments

  1. Bonnie says:

    Kara, I love your blogs, and this one struck a cord. I take it for granted, the use of my two hands with a baby-and I adored my boppy!! I saw once a picture of you (or Hannah’s dad?) with a baby sling on…you should check out babycenter.com’s babywearing group-there are tons of great carriers that makes things hands free and might come in handy in various situations as Hannah gets older! She is a real doll baby:)

  2. janie moore says:

    She looks like the happiest baby of all time!!

  3. I get it…I totally get it…although my husband and I decided against children, the reason was not because of the coinflip chance of the child having my skin problem (EB)…it was because we really weren’t in love with the idea of having a child. Simple as that. I think people are surprised when you try to explain that the disability is actually the least of your concerns, because *you* know how to deal with it. Yes, having genetic testing is important, but not necessarily as to decide what to do as opposed to being prepared.

  4. Kara says:

    Thanks Bonnie! I’ll definitely look into that. We’re always looking into new options for baby carrying…it allows us to transport her safely and independently as many places as possible.

    I sure hope you are right Janie:)

    @Kim-I completely respect that decision! We also felt like preparation was the greatest benefit from genetic testing but now that I look back….I’m not even sure what exactly we would’ve prepared! Little things maybe (like clothes that had more snaps-than the zillion that most do anyways) but there really are few differences when they’re tiny.

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