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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

blind expecting father need advice.

HI there,
I'm writing with the hopes of getting some advice, as my girlfriend who is sighted, and I are expecting our first child. I know nothing about childcare, what to do with a baby, changing a diaper etc, or feeding a baby with a spoon. HOw does one learn these things? Currently I'm employeed full time I work in the information technology field, and I do allright, but the fact of the matter, is my home management skills are those of a typical 30-year-old bachelor. The microwave is my best friend, I eat out more than in, and up until my girlfriend and I moved in together, it was me, and my guide dog. Kim, my girlfriend, has been a saint through the whole process, and truly makes me feel quite special so I guess the advice I'm looking for is as follows.
1. I want to make sure that I am contributing in a valuable way to the household so that Kim doesn't have all the responsibility of doing chores around the house along with working, going to school, and being an expecting mom.
2. Where is the best place I can go to learn those skils that I don't know since I'm working? Since vocational rehabilitation is not an option.
3. Where can i learn the "baby stuff so that I can take an active roll in raising our child?
Any help that some one can give I'd sure appreciate it. Thanks,

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Re:blind expecting father need advice.

For those of you who are parents already and are guide dog useres what do you do when you are pushing your child in the rain in a stroller? What do you use to keep them dry. I was talking to one friend who recommended a rain cover but they do not make one for the kind of stroller that my friend is looklng at.
Thank you

Re:blind expecting father need advice.

Hi, first, I am glad that you want to be part of your child's first days in a very close way. Many guys are flustered about handling a baby. You mentioned that you don't do lots of the work around the house. Your GF could show you how to do some things before the baby comes. Dishes, laundry and such could also lighten her load.
If you can find a few couples who have children, you can offer to babysit them for a while. Actually, you and your gf can do this together. That will give both of you experience. I have seen the dolls, but I prefer the real babies. Alternatively, there are church nurseries, or care centers who would not mind if you volunteered to help with the children. This will at least get you around children.
It is a fact that blind people sometimes do things differently than sighted people. For this reason, I would suggest finding some blind parents, if possible. I say this because I realize that as a blind mother, I don't feed (with a spoon) or change my child like sighted people do.
Let's take changing the diaper.
some blind people feel more comfortable changing on the floor and not on a table or the lap. The baby just does not feel stable on the lap and they are afraid that the baby will fall off the table. So, their two legs become the boundaries for the baby and they change the baby on the floor.
I am saying that sometimes we get the job done, just a bit differently than sighted people. And, each blind person is different, so you have to do what works for you.
But, in order to know, you have to be able to be comfortably alone with the baby and figure it out. For this reason, I would suggest an older infant or younger toddler first. A child from 1-2years old. Then, you can work your way down to the new born.
You won't feel so worried about the baby's head and dropping him.

Benefit of Yoga and Prayanam in Eye Disorders

Dear friend,I am from India and I am blind by right eye due to cataract then before retina detactment and left eye having spactacle for near and distant.I consulted with so many doctor but no one give perfect treatment or said my problem is critical and there is no perfect medicine for this but once I heard about Yoga and Prayanam and started the both then after six month my spactacle removed and my blind eye becoming healthy but slowly.So you can easily find Yoga and Prayanam Classes in your location if you life.
S Bargate

Re:blind expecting father need advice.

First of all, congrats to you & Kim:-] Secondly, its nice to see you being proactive and seeking advice - that will go a long way in helping your girlfriend.

I don't know how much you can see (shadows? some light? nothing? no idea) so I'm not exactly sure what will work for you. I personally am legally blind due to my peripheral field being down to 5 degrees in each eye. I have a 2 1/2 year old, and am a single mom (separated from husband when baby was not even 2 months old). So a lot of the things I've learned with my little one was because I have to do this on my own, which fortunately you don't:-]

The idea of practicing on a doll is a great one, but if you know someone who would be willing to sit next to you and help you learn how to diaper their baby, that would be even better. Because what dolls don't do that real babies do is squirm! I always used a changing pad on a changing table, and always positioned my body so that I was blocking my daughter onto the table at all times. Diapers & wipes are within easy reach. Always have the clothes ready beforehand so that its easier as well. Avoid clothing with buttons, which are a nightmare with a squirming baby (mine hated to be changed!!! lol), snaps and zippers are your best friend:-] When zipping up an outfit, I always put my fingers at the top, so that I never accidentally snagged her skin at the top. I nursed my daughter, so that was easy enough:-] Then when she started eating regular foods I was able to cope pretty well because I do have some central vision. When I went to places like a restaurant with my family, before she was able to sit up in a highchair but she wanted to eat I would bring her bumbo chair. Yes, I'd put it on the table, but I would be right next to her, my mom would be on the other side and she was always safe (never, ever walk away from them when they're in the bumbo chair because they can get out when they're bigger) that way she could be up, see what was going on, safely eat without choking, and I could easily see her.
If you use public transportation, check out the Graco safeseat and stroller frame. I liked the safeseat model because the baby could stay in there much longer (up to 30 inches & 30 lbs), and the stroller frame was very lightweight and easy to fold & carry onto buses and into taxis. When you are using a stroller or highchair, and want to give them a toy, look into making some straps that have velcro on one end to go around the toy, and can attach to your stroller/chair on the other end. Trust me, it will make your life a lot easier. I can't really give any advice on things like putting bells on their shoes, clothes, etc. because I am also hearing impaired and that didn't work for me. I did use a vibrating baby monitor that also lit up when she was crying which helped me. (I do have hearing with my aids in, but there are times when its a challenge) I later purchased a baby monitor that has a sensor pad attached to it that you place under their mattress. When they don't move for 10-15 seconds, the alarm goes off. You can adjust the sensitivity, place the pad where you want it, etc. Worked great for me, because she was a very light sleeper and this way I didn't constantly wake her up checking on her. Also, now that she's in a toddler bed, I still use it and she never ever gets up from her bed without me giving her permission because she knows the alarm will go off. Because of that, I feel safer knowing that she won't be able to get up in the middle of the night and mess around the house and possibly get hurt.

Its amazing how much stuff comes with such a little wonder like a baby, so its important to go ahead and start getting organized now. Having a place for everything makes it easier to keep things clean, which will make it easier for you to navigate. Also, go ahead and babyproof your place now if possible. You don't want to be scrambling later when he/she is walking and trying to figure out what to baby proof then. If you start now, you will get in the habit of keeping your house clean and babyproofed and that will go a long way towards your peace of mind (as well as Kim's!)

Sorry this is so long, but I have lots of advice if you would like to contact me.

Lots of luck, and remember - above all else enjoy your time with your baby, because it flies by so quickly!!! :-]

Re:blind expecting father need advice.

You sound like a typical expectant Dad to me. Although your attitude of wanting to be involved is better than a lot of first-time dads. I had to teach my husband all about how to take care of our babies. If your girlfriend doesn't know she will have to learn too. The nurses at the hospital can show you how to change a diaper, hold a newborn, swaddle, feed a bottle, burp, etc. You'll be surprised how quickly you'll pick it up. Pretty soon you'll be an old pro!

Congratulations on your coming baby!

Re:blind expecting father need advice.

Yes, in fact there are dolls that are like babies. In high school, I did something in my health class where we were given a doll to assimulate taking care of a baby. The head even flops back so that you can practice holding the baby properly. It can also be set to cry every few hours and you feed it and change it. i believe the parenting classes also do stuff like this. I'ts all about searching for these kinds of things in your town. Maybe you and Kim can ask her OB/GYN about these programs and classes or maybe you can join a birthing class that can give you more info.
Trust me, this is hard for even sighted people like I said earlier. The first time one of my best friend's newborn got sick I had to spend the weekend at her house because she needed that 24-hour tech support.

Re:blind expecting father need advice.

So is there a place that I can find anatomic dolls of a baby? If you go to the parenting clases that are offered, do they do things like this? Baby's aren't computers, so there is no instruction manual, and I don't expect there is a "baby techsupport line"

Re:blind expecting father need advice.

I have no children but I started to help raise my mother's three boys when I was seven so the baby stuff you are talking about is very possible. Keep in mind that not even sighted men know how to handle the stresses of a first child. The thing is, they have an advantage over us, they can see and model what they see. In your case, you may want to see if there is a program where someone comes to your house to teach you these skills, like a center for the visually impaired. I know they will do things like that since you can't go to a school that rehab provides.
Also, if you and Kim can get a hold of a baby before you have your own, try asking her too show you how to hold it, how to feed it, maybe try changing diapers on a doll before doing the real thing.
I hope this helps. If you'd like, keep posting on here and I can answer your baby questions to the best of my ability.
Good luck to you and Kim.

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