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How To Prepare For A Special Needs Baby

Even though we often can't imagine life with a baby with special needs, it does happen regularly, and even the most well-prepared parent is often unprepared for *this* kind of special babe.

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Of course, the last thing any parent thinks of when they find out they are expecting is to prepare for the possibility that their child might be disabled. With better diagnostic techniques and better understanding of invisible disabilities as well as visible ones, parents have more tools at their disposal than ever before.

And while there are common (and not-so-common) disabilities, many parents don't know how to prepare for their extra special special needs child. Here are some of the ways you can prepare for life with a special needs baby.

Instagram: @dren54

Of course, some disabilities are detected prenatally. This is why it's so important to have your prenatal scans and tests at the time that your care practitioner suggests. With a better baseline and knowing what to expect, the better you'll be able to support you child when they arrive.

There are also birth defects that can go undetected until after your baby is born. When that moment of elation turns to fear, it's important to have support surrounding you. Sometimes, when babies have a birth defect, early intervention can mean all the difference, so having support from friends and family will help you through the unexpected transition.

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After the news of your baby's disability, you may experience grief. This is a perfectly acceptable emotion to feel, and it's good to work through your feelings with a therapist, councilor or other health care practitioner that can support you.

You may also want to seek out support through local or national groups that help the caregivers of children with similar disabilities. These communities can be an excellent resource.

Instagram: @robyndixon10

If you have other children, it's important to explain to them the extent of their sibling's disability in terms that they can understand. If you have older children, use them! They make great helpers, and they'll feel a part of the action when their new baby arrives.

Your children may also feel grief or other strong emotions before or after the arrival of a disabled sibling. It's important to remember that they, too, have big feelings and may not understand why they have them. It's a process for everyone involved.

Instagram: @specialolympics

Don't forget, your baby loves you just the same, so don't forget to breathe, take it all in and remember that this baby will hit their own milestones, celebrate in their own way and love you just for who you are.

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