This is a post I’ve been meaning to write for ages but never quite got round to. One thing I found when I joined the strange new world of additional needs is that I had no clue what sort of products were available to help us. Not the big equipment sort of things like special needs buggies or high chairs – occupational health and physio have been great with those. But the sort of products that fulfill a need many parents aren’t even aware of. Some of these products were recommended by other parents of disabled children, others I have come across myself. Parents of toddlers may also like them! Sorry about the bad quality photos but still waiting for our camera to be sorted out.
Click on the title for each product to take you through to the company. Mostly these are in the UK, apart from Dr Barman’s which are also available on Amazon, etc. (I’ve not received any freebies or payment for promoting these – purely writing this as I hope that others may benefit too.)
Tot seat – This has been a fairly recent purchase. Pudding doesn’t like staying in one place too long (even during his favourite activity which is eating) but settles down when he is secured in. He is getting far too big for standard high chairs and meals out had become punctuated by dashes to recapture him. Not ideal, particularly when I was managing him by myself on visits to Manchester. I knew there must be a solution out there somewhere, and found this – a cloth ‘chair’ that fits over every seat that I’ve tried it on and fastens at the back to keep him secure. All the pictures on their website were of it being used by babies or toddlers so I got in touch to ask about whether it would be suitable. The reply came back very quickly explaining that other parents of special needs children had found it useful too. The adjustable straps mean it can fit many different builds, though you do have to be careful not to leave them alone where the child could tip the chair over. I went ahead with the purchase and have not been disappointed. It’s simple to use, very portable and makes eating out so much easier.
Dr Barman’s Toothbrush – I used to despair of keeping Pudding’s teeth even vaguely clean. If he wasn’t running away, he was chewing the brush and I knew that 20 seconds of brushing wasn’t going to win me any medals from the dentist. A discussion in one of my Facebook groups led to buying this toothbrush. Three heads that can brush all the teeth surfaces at once? Oo, yes please! (I have found that it tends to get a bit gunked up, but combing the bits out seems to work…). Edit – nowadays there seem to be a lot more similar brushes on the market!
Safe sip – this works by magic. Ok, ok, I know, that it’s actually something to do with physics. A clever little silicone top that you can stretch over any cup or tumbler. Put in a straw and hey presto! you have a non-spill cup. I didn’t believe it despite a recommendation but it really does work as long as the straw is fully in. Pudding can drink from a normal cup, but has problems with clumsiness or deliberate spilling so this is excellent to have in your bag for emergencies.
Go To Bed covers – the duvet cover in this set zips to the bottom sheet which also has an integral pillow case. That way, nothing can be kicked off or lost in the night. Doesn’t work for everyone – as proved by someone I recommended it to – but it’s been great for Pudding. We will probably have to make the transition from cot to bed sometime soon, and I’m hoping that this will make things easier. (Not cheap, and I did try to save money at first by using his existing duvet but he kept kicking it down within the cover. The one they sell poppers into the cover and stays much more secure.) Available in single and cot bed sizes. Edit – we now use the single bed size and continues to be a hit!
ID band – Many of you will have gathered by now that Pudding is a bit of an escape artist. I keep a pretty close eye on him when we’re out and about, but do often worry about the ‘what ifs’ of him running off. Another worry is about a medical emergency happening when he is not with me. His key workers know the important things to be aware of, but what if someone else was handing him over to a paramedic? If his IDDD was mistaken for a normal portacath and they tried to access it for bloods, it could be nothing less than disastrous. Both these problems have been sorted by this wrist band. It has the medicalert symbol signifying important medical information. On the reverse there is space to engrave name, contact details and so on. And it looks cool too! (The company have a few different designs – this one had the most space for his complicated medical details.)
So that’s my current list of favourites – if you’ve got any other suggestions, share them in the comments!