Disabled Mum's Go To Guide | Adaptive Baby Clothes & Accessories!

(Title Image incorporating baby Ava in cute headband) 

Accessibility: This post features Image Description for Visually impaired readers

Let's face it baby clothes can be a real faff even for able-bodied parents, so throw a disability in the mix and you've got a double whammy of frustration trying to do zillions of press studs, correctly while baby i well off then that's great but many aren't. So having tailored baby garments for me just wasn't financially do-able.

It took me about a month into motherhood, after getting increasingly frustrated having to ask my PA/relative to be on "standby" during nappy changes just to do the flipping things up, to find ANY remotely suitable options. Though the most helpful things clothing wise I've come across were i save a bit of time and stress. Less time struggling, more time soaking in the wonderful little one you've created!

Here goes...

1. Use eBay, FB baby and toddlers selling pages, friends and family to aquire SECOND HAND baby clothes.

(IMAGE: Two clipart people carrying an eBay parcel)

Why you may ask? Those press studs/poppers will be much easier to do if they've already been worn in some. You will stumble bundles upon BUNDLES of second hand baby clothes on eBay, many washed, ironed and as good a NEW. Let's face it they grow out of them so quick, ask any Mum... alot of babys have clothes they never got to wear before they grew out of them! Save those pennies and your fingers...

2. Zip up sleepsuits and dresses (if you have a girl)!

(IMAGE: Ava sporting a variety of zip-up sleepsuits at various ages!)

I've noticed that for some reason the
sleepsuits that come with zip fastening in the UK start from about 3-6 months and are mostly fleece material. However if you go online to eBay (😂 can you tell I have an eBay addiction yet?) you can find people selling these sorts from American brands such as Carters™ and they go upto 5-6 years old!

3. Pull standard baby vests (aka bodysuits) up and down by the shoulder "envelopes" and just don't use the press studs between the legs...Simple!

(IMAGE: 3 examples of "envelope" shoulder on different styles of baby clothes)

Originally intended for when baby has a poo-nami 💩 so you don't have to pull a soiled vest up over baby's face to change them. Having these expandable shoulders on most bog standard vest gives you the option just not using the press studs between the legs altogether. Win win!

4. Sometimes it's easier just to put them in a 2/3-piece outfit. Let's face it...

(IMAGE: Baby model showing off cute 3-piece clothing set - inc. t-shirt, shorts and headband)

You can find these "first outfits" (as they're sometimes referred to) in Mothercare/TK Maxx/Matalan etc... They usually consist of some really comfy footed pants with a very stretchy waist band, little stretchy top with envelope shoulder bits and a matching hat. See Ava's 3-piece outfit above 🔺

5. Consider Cloth Nappies. They come in hook-and-loop (aka Velcro) or popper fastenings!
(IMAGE: Ava wearing a Little Lamb™ brand cloth nappy with popper fastening)


As cloth nappies velcro is easier to grip than trying to unattach the fiddly paper tabs of a disposable nappy, it may be easier for some people to go Cloth! Plus you'd be doing your bit for our wonderful planet at the same time! My top brand recommendations for simplicity and strength issues are; Little Lamb™  and Tots Bots™ Easyfit range.

6. Magnetic fastening clothes!

(Pictured: An off white traditional looking newborn sleepsuit with collar and magnet fastenings in place of press studs/poppers)

I didn't know these existed until recently. Pretty cool right?! Their range isn't very big as they must be new and getting a feel for the demand of this type of fastening, but if you'd like to check them out CLICK HERE to go to Magnet Mouse London Ltd

7. Cover-all bibs to avoid frequent changing of clothes!

(IMAGE: Waterproof full sleeve apron style bib with food catcher pocket in 3 colours)

You want to make life easier for yourself where possible too. Especially during the weaning stage. If you struggle dressing your baby, the last thing you want is EXTRA changes ontop of what's necessary. These bibs are fab! All you have to do is wipe/rinse them off and baby's clothes stay clean underneath. No more changing clothes after every meal! They come in assorted fastenings behind the neck such as velcro, string tie or press studs/poppers. You can find a wide variety here on Amazon

8. Keep those sockies on...with Socks-On!

(IMAGE: Socks-On™ is a stretchy elastic that resemble sandels, that you put on top of baby's actual socks) 

It's hard keeping track of the most tiny of baby clothes, yep I'm talking about baby socks! I'm sure we have borrowers in our house who are capturing all the girls socks. I'm forever finding more odds than matches with every wash. Socks-On is such a useful product. Saves you putting them back on a thousand times a day and ultimately losing one or the other! Sound familiar lol. Plus babies kick their socks off without even trying and that's more bending to pick them up and more energy trying to get it back on. Just for it to keep happening. I'm sad they only go upto 12 months as our Ava will take her socks off at any given opportunity and stashes them all over the house. I'm constantly buying more! #thestruggleisREAL 😂

9. Tactile baby clothes for Visually Impaired parents...absolutely adorable and practical!

(IMAGE: Examples of tactile clothing. Some include plush 3D images on the front, different textures or embroidery)

Thinking outside the box here for parents with low vision/Partially Sighted or Blind with these tactile type clothing that is available on the highstreet in places such as Next, H&M and online Etsy shops (renowned for their talented handmade designs). Just search for words such as tactile clothing, 3D babywear, embroidered dress/top/hat etc and this will be such an easy way to distinguish between your baby/child's clothing.

10. Baby sleepers/nightgowns/nighties. An American dream ;)

(IMAGE: Essentially baby night Gowns, only the trim at the bottom is elastic for easy nappy changes!)

These are such a fab idea! I've seen these on YouTube American family vlogging channels. I've seen them appear once in Mothercare here in the UK. So this maybe something you definitely have to purchase online if you're not in the US.

--

Although the UK have come quite a long way in Adaptive clothing for special needs children (props to M&S Kids Specialist Clothing Range!), the same cannot be said for products aimed at disabled parents. In the meantime we adapt with what we have available to us and in time as more and more persons with disabilities feel empowered to embark on parenthood, without a doubt I'm sure society (and designers!) will follow to make baby clothing and accessories more Adaptive too :)

If you have any baby clothing or accessory tips or product ideas that you've found invaluable as a disabled parent yourself OR you think you know of something that parents with a wide variety of disabilities might find a game changer, please share in the comments section!

Lucy At Home