Inside: Are you looking for adaptive equipment to help you care for your baby? Read on to find 24 great baby products for parents with physical disabilities.
Disclaimer: All of these thoughts are my own. However, as an Amazon Associate, I may earn a small commission if you purchase from one of the links below.
Do you have a physical disability and a child on the way? Are you overwhelmed and anxious by the amount of information out there for new parents? Do you wish that you can find all of your answers in one place?
Look no further.
As a mom with a physical disability, I know just how hard it is to find adaptive equipment to help care for your baby. When I became pregnant and started searching online for tips on disabled parenting, I quickly found out there wasn’t much out there for moms with disabilities and chronic illness.
There’s nothing more nerve-racking than picturing yourself in a situation where you can’t adequately care for your child.
(trust me, I have these Final Destination moments all the time)
Have you seen my roundup of The Best Advice for New Parents: From 40 Moms with Disability and Chronic Illness? It’s packed with tons of valuable information to help you get through the first year of being a new mom.
Don’t be like me and hold out for three years on buying an adaptive product just because I hate putting my hard-earned money toward something that’s out of my control. This adaptive buttoning hook could have helped in so many situations!
Practice makes perfect when it comes to a physical disability
This has taken me a long time to understand. I honestly didn’t even notice my short fuse and frustration until an occupational therapist gently pointed it out to me one day.
If it didn’t work the first time, I gave up. Then I learned that sometimes it will take multiple tries before I’m able to use a product. This should seem pretty obvious, but it wasn’t to me.
I was terrible at using the adaptive buttoning hook until a few weeks in, now I’m able to button my pants the ease almost every time.
The same goes for putting my son in his stroller. I wasn’t able to get it for the first few weeks. I kept trying, while using different techniques with my feet and eventually got the hang of it.
Now, let’s get started!
24 Clever Baby Products for Parents with Physical Disabilities
- Tushbaby Carrier
- ENERCAKE Cozy Fleece Booties with Grippers
- YUAKOU Baby Lounger
- SnoofyBee Portable Clean Hands Changing Pad
- Pedialift Crib
- Boppy Original Nursing Pillow
- Gertie Cribs
- Moby Baby Wrap
- EazyHold Infant/Child Silicone Adaptive Aid
- Magnetic Me Baby Clothing
- Pampers Swaddlers
- mifold Original grab-and-go Car Booster Seat
- Velcro Baby Bibs
- OrCam MyEye 2
- Wheelchair Accessible Table with Knob Adjustment
- Bumbo Baby Seat with Removable Tray
- Doona Car Seat & Stroller
- Sonic Bomb Baby Cry Signaler
- Unilove Feed Me 3-in-1 Travel Booster Seat
- traveller™ travel cot
- SNOO Crib
- Keychain Rings
- Maxi-Cosi Axiss Swivel Car Seat
- Amazon Alexa
My parents got this for me last Christmas. However, given my extremely limited upper body strength, I haven’t been able to use it. That’s not to say other parents with physical disabilities couldn’t benefit from it.
Reviewers on Amazon rave about how much easier it has made their life. It even stores things like car keys, baby wipes and diapers around your waist, so you don’t have to wander around the house trying to find items with a screaming baby in tow. The Tushbaby Carrier could be great for parents with back pain or upper body weakness.
The other day my husband complained about putting socks on Asher, because “it was hard.” Insert eye-roll here. Either way, putting socks on a baby is difficult regardless of disability. What’s worse is five minutes after struggling to get socks on your baby, he will inevitably kick them off without a care in the world.
These cozy fleece booties with grippers help secure the shoe to your baby’s foot so that he can’t get them off as easily. If you don’t have the dexterity to put these on your child, you could always ask someone else for help and then leave them on throughout the day.
I made the mistake of adding the fanciest baby lounger to my baby registry (*cough* Doc-A-Tot *cough*). This was perhaps the boujiest thing I’ve ever done. Who needs a $175 glorified pillow? While a baby lounger is crucial for parents with physical disabilities, you can save money and purchase a much cheaper option.
What’s great about a baby lounger is that parents with limited upper body strength can leave the lounger on the floor and pull it using the handle as a way to transfer baby around the house. I think wheelchair users could also strap a rope around the handle and attach it to their wheelchair if they need assistance carrying a baby from room to room.
I’m not proud to say this but complete pandemonium breaks out any time I need to change Asher’s poopy diaper. He was less curious about the world when he was an infant, so changing him on the floor wasn’t that big of a deal. Now that he’s older, it’s extremely challenging getting him to stay still long enough for me to finish.
I haven’t used this clean hands changing pad yet, but I’m definitely going to buy it and give it a shot. Anyway that I can distract him while he’s laying on the ground would help get through the rough experience of changing his diaper every day.
When I was pregnant, I looked for side-opening cribs so that I can safely get Asher out without having to lean over and lift him up given my limited arm strength. Turns out, these were banned in the U.S. I resulted to purchasing one of the shortest cribs on the market and leaving the feet off. This works for now, but as Asher grows, we’ll have to figure out another hack.
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There is also the pedialift crib, which is a great option for wheelchair users. With the push of a button, the crib lifts high enough so that a wheelchair can go underneath it and allows you to safely get your child out of the bed.
I tried for all of three days before giving up on breastfeeding. In that time, I learned how convenient the Boppy Pillow is even if you aren’t breastfeeding. The Boppy Pillow significantly reduces the amount of strength required when holding your child. It acts as a neck support for them, if you don’t have the strength to support their entire body on your own.
Sometimes, when I was extra tired, I would sit Asher in it and feed him his bottle that way. It meant I didn’t have to hold and feed him at the same time. I just needed enough strength to lift the bottle for him.
The Gertie Cribs are another great option for parents with physical disabilities. The difference between these cribs and the pedialift is that these stay lifted off the ground, so they’re specifically made for wheelchair users. They’re actually pretty cute, too! (Which is saying something considering the horrific aesthetic of most handicap accessible items.)
Moby Baby Wrap carriers are considered the gold standard when it comes to most mommy bloggers. These are great if you have limited arm strength or need help securing your baby to you if you’re in a wheelchair.
As you may have already noticed, or you’ll soon notice, a lot of products that help kids can also help parents with physical disabilities. The EazyHold Infant/Child Silicone Adaptive Aid is a great example. A parent could attach these to toothbrushes, spoons, forks, hair brushes, pens, etc. to help grip items. These could help parents with cerebral palsy, or they could help a child develop independence earlier.
You’ll hear me talk a lot about Magnetic Me baby clothing on this blog. No, I’m not paid by them, but I should be. Magnetic Me Is baby clothing that uses magnetic closures instead of buttons or zippers. It is extremely easy to dress your baby in these! While they are a bit pricey for baby clothes, you can also purchase them used on Poshmark.
OK, so I know you might be thinking why is she recommending some basic-ass diapers? Hear me out – there is a big, big, BIG difference between these diapers and cheaper options on the market. When it comes to the amount of stress it takes to put on Huggies versus Pampers, money is no longer an issue.
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Remember earlier when I said that changing Asher’s poopy diapers resulted in pandemonium? There’s only one thing that can make it worse, and it’s not being able to get a tab open or securely fastened (Huggies baby wipes are also terrible). If you have any type of physical disability I highly recommend paying extra for Pampers.
The mifold Original Grab-and-Go Car Booster Seat is such a cool idea! This would be a great product for blind parents, as it’s a convenient way to keep your child safe while using public transportation. It’s much easier to lug around than a traditional booster seat and would make traveling with your child a lot easier.
Obviously, for someone with limited dexterity or hand strength, Velcro baby bibs are going to be an easier option than snaps or buttons. These do come with one caveat. As your child grows, they’ll easily be able to to pull the Velcro bibs off, so these won’t last forever. Magnetic Me also makes bibs, which Asher has and harder time pulling off.
We’ve changed over to using bibs that have a compartment underneath to catch food. Of course, I can’t put these on Asher myself, so if someone is in the house, then I’ll ask them to do it. If I’m alone, then I’ll use a magnetic or velcro bib.
The OrCam MyEye is a revolutionary voice activated device that attaches to virtually any glasses. It can instantly read to you text from a book, smartphone screen or any other surface, recognize faces, help you shop on your own, work more efficiently, and live a more independent life!
I’m not positive that this would work, but I looked all over the internet for wheelchair accessible changing tables. I couldn’t find anything available on the market, so this may be an option for a parent in a wheelchair. It’s a wheelchair accessible desk that adjusts using a knob. Theoretically, you could put a changing pad on top and use it as a changing table. It’s expensive, but maybe you could find one used or sell (or donate) it once you’re through with it.
The Bumbo Baby Seat with Removable Tray would be a great option for parents with physical disabilities that restrict them from lifting their child into a highchair. We used the cheaper version of the Bumbo seat, but, to be honest, it didn’t last that long. By the time Asher was steady enough to use it, he didn’t want to be constrained to a chair. Honestly, I didn’t know that this was an option for feeding. If I could go back and do it again, I would buy this and try it.
This is another great functional product recommended from a blind parent. The Doona Car Seat & Stroller is a lightweight travel system that transitions from car seat to stroller in seconds. It’s lightweight enough to carry upstairs, take with you on public transportation and navigate busy city streets – all while not disturbing your sleeping baby.
The Sonic Bomb Baby Cry Signaler is a great product for parents who are deaf or hard of hearing, because it can pair with the Sonic Bomb BL300 Strobe Receiver and alert a parent to the sound of a baby crying through blinking lights. However, it does have several bad reviews. Another option, which may be better, is the Sonic Bomb Dual Alarm Clock with Bed Shaker.
When I was searching for the Bumbo baby seat with removable tray, I came across this Unilove Feed Me 3-in-1 Travel Booster Seat. I think this will be another great option for parents with physical disabilities.
If you don’t mind forgoing a conventional crib, parents with limited arm strength could also try the traveller™ travel cot. It stays on the ground, so you don’t have to lift your baby at all.
Founded by author of The Happiest Baby on the Block and baby guru, Harvey karp, the SNOO bassinet is a responsive crib that rocks and plays white noise when your baby wakes up. Granted, this doesn’t work for every baby, but we had a lot of success with it. It’s one of those things that I would recommend for any new parent.
You can rent the snoo for a monthly fee. But since your baby is only supposed to use it for 6 months, we split the cost with another family who was conveniently having a baby 6 months after us.
Cute baby clothes with zippers aren’t entirely out of the question for parents with physical disabilities if you add keychain rings. We added these to all of the baby items that had zippers including the snoo, clothes and diaper bags, and I was easily able to use them even with my severe dexterity limitations.
For parents with mobility issues, the Maxi-Cosi Axiss Swivel Car Seat is a great option to help get your baby out of the car. It’s helpful for parents with limited upper body strength, back pain and lower mobility limitations.
The Amazon Alexa is such a great addition to our house. We originally only had one in the kitchen, so we could play music while we were cooking. Then, I realized how convenient it would be to have one in the nursery.
All from the sound of my voice, I can turn on the lights in Asher’s room, ask her to order more formula and diapers, play white noise and music, and unlock the door to our house. There are additional products you would need to utilize all of her capabilities. I would highly recommend trying to make your house as “smart” as possible if you are disabled and have the means to do so.
Have you seen my post on How to Thrive at Montessori Parenting When You’re A Disabled Mom? It’s packed with tons of valuable information to help make parenting easier when you’re a disabled mom.
Final Thoughts on 24 Great Baby Products for Parents with Physical Disabilities
I hope this list of baby products for parents with physical disabilities helped you feel more confident that you have the necessary tools to succeed when it comes to you caring for your child. With the right tools to help, parenting with a physical disability can become a lot easier.
My goal for this list is to keep adding products to it. I want this to be a collaborative list, therefore, I need your help! Please feel free to comment below and give me more suggestions that I can add to the list!
One more thing, a general trend that I found was that baby items meant to make traveling easier frequently had the added benefit of helping parents with physical disabilities. Because they are usually more lightweight, these types of products might be good to look into.
Do you have any suggestions on baby products that could help parents with physical disabilities? Tell me below in the comments!
Allie Schmidt is a rare disease advocate and disabled mom living with motor neuron disease. She founded Disability Dame in 2020 to provide tips to other moms living with disabilities and chronic illnesses.
In her spare time, you can find her traveling with her husband (she's been to 38 states and 16 countries!), watching reruns of Survivor, or tending to her near-constant sunburn from spending too much time outside. You can follow her adventures here.