Ross and I are expecting our first child, but we have plenty of parenting experience thanks to our nephews and nieces. This will come in handy once Baby P. arrives.
In particular, Penny, who is two-years-old, has been like a daughter to us.
Many people have questions about how we'll parent nonvisually. But like anything else, there are tools, techniques and methods that'll allow us to accomplish the usual parenting tasks without vision.
Once adopting some of these techniques and learning to adjust, nonvisual parenting is quite simple and does't necessarily require more work than parenting with vision.
Problem-solving skills are essential for nonvisual parenting. I've dealt with quite a few parenting tasks to date, and it hasn't taken me more than a few minutes to figure out how to do something nonvisually if I've never done it before.
Changing diapers can be tricky whether you have sight or not. There are a few things to remember when changing diapers nonvisually.
• To check the diaper, smell is always helpful. But if you're like me and don't have the greatest sense of smell (I have not been able to smell the foulest of odors at times), feeling inside the diaper is a viable option. Before doing this, grab a wipe or towel of some kind just in case.
• Set all the necessary items out beforehand. Set them out in a way that will be easy to retrieve while changing baby. I keep items as close as possible, lining each up in the order I will need them.
• Whether using a changing table of some sort or floor, secure baby to the surface. This is especially important once they're moving and mobile. If there's lots of moving, struggling, twisting and turning, I use my leg, gently draping it across baby or applying gentle pressure to their tummy with my hand.
• Since items are already set out within reach, I don't have to worry about keeping an eye, or hand, on baby while searching for diapers, wipes, etc. Tactilely making sure all traces of mess are gone will substitute for looking. I prefer to place dirty diapers behind me so that baby can't grab them.
• Diaper rashes can often be identified tactilely, too. Hot or bumpy areas often indicate a rash, and if baby cries out when a certain area is touched, a rash could definitely be present. If in doubt, ask a friend or family member to come over and check.
• Checking the direction of pull tabs will help me identify which way to place the diaper.
You are done and baby has a fresh diaper on. Not so difficult after all. More wipes may help when dealing with messy diapers, but once adjusting to the process, a ton of wipes won't be needed unless Baby P. leaves a super-duper pooper!
As for an update, I am now five months along and feeling as well as one can at this point. Baby P. is doing fantastic! He (it's officially a boy) is very active, and I can already feel him moving around.
He's measuring a week ahead of schedule, which is good since a concern with my pregnancy is that he won't grow enough during utero. We are excited and counting down the days.