Thursday, December 30, 2010

Textural Nursery Begins To Form Again

The Textural Nursery
This nursery isn't just created for someone that's stuck on colour schemes or themes.  It's the basis for creating a purposefully functional space for a blind parent and their family. Many of the things here will help others whom find out suddenly babies do not belong in the same sentence as organized, predictable or simple.
This is the beginning of the Textural Nursery.  Created in AutoCAD 2011 Student Edition and edited within Photoshop into a .jpg.

This simple floor plan is the beginning of my work to try and explain the needs of a blind parent so that they can independantly look after their baby as well as looking good for those sighted that enter it.  Most families aren't all blind or disabled, so thinking of the others involved is always needed.

I used an old Ikea Bookcase/Shelving unit to store baby supplies as the baby was 11 weeks premature and coming home a month before the mother's due date. Their funding to create a nursery was not ready for them.  This unit is in the corner of the window across from the twin bed.  On the shelving are various sized and shapes baskets that are made from different types of reeds and grasses.  Each basket has a purpose.  Why is this? Many baby products are found in identical bottle shapes so they are marked with various raised sticky items.  But these can be lost or loose and become dangerous to a baby if they come off.  To correct this issue we used a basket to hold items for a specific purpose.  You can go to the bookcase and remove a basket with all the diapering items that are needed, another under the change table holds diapers, another basket under the change table holds dirty laundry.  The drawers hold clothing, sleepers in the top draw, shirts in the second, pants in the third, the last held extra baby blankets and burp cloths. 

Yet more baskets would hold bathing supplies. Socks and hats in another basket.  Medical things like thermometer, baby nail clippers, baby Tylenol drops, and gripe water. 

Everything is neatly out of sight, but organized for easy access with or without sight.  They found that when  a pair of dirty socks or other small items of clothing were taken off, it was easier to do laundry if they were added to a lingerie bag that zips up.  Across the closet hanging on the wall was a diaper bag which we used to hold the lingerie bag and extra diaper cream.

Above the crib is a small light that would not wake the baby, but give a sighted person enough light to change a diaper or check on the baby.

The twin bed worked great when the baby was sick, a person could nap and keep an eye on them.  Later the bed became a place to store extra bedding, too large clothes, out of season clothing and the baby can use it.

Toys to distract the baby were in the diaper bag and there were teddy bears on the shelf with the lamp above the crib for baby to look at.  The lamp was actually attached to the wall so that it could not fall into the crib or be accidentally knocked over.

Concerns with baby blankets within the crib were quickly ended with a simple fitted sheet and a sleeping bag.  It's a bag that has a zipper down the front, arm holes and an opening for the baby's head.  The come in different sizes so that they will always fit the your baby.

Most of this is common sense, but it adds up to a lot of pleasure and happiness that might not exist without it's help.

The twin bed they already had and has four drawers which held bedding and clothing that had been given to them that was far too large when they recieved it.  Later they will be large enough to hold the baby's clothing.

The crib was put together without the wheels so that it wouldn't "get away" on the blind parent. Note: Canadian cribs are no longer allowed to have pull down sides.  The blind parent found the pull down sides difficult to use and the crib was left with the side up, however the crib did change into a child's bed so that they could transition the child to the twin bed over time.  This helped with crib withdrawal.

They even found a diaper service that allowed them to use cloth diapers without a single diaper pin ever entering the house.  They found fewer diaper rashes with the cloth diapers than disposable diapers. They also found that the diaper service worked right up to the end of diaper training and at least the first year was cheaper per month than disposable diapers.  This was an important decision to them as they were finanically limited while trying to work out problems with their finanical assistance as no one expected such a sudden arrival.

As you can see the closet, in it was kept a night stand which they used to hold extra diapers and they kept the stroller there.  Note: For the blind parent they found a bar style handle on the stroller made it easier to walk together as the blind parent could follow by holding the handle also.  They went through three strollers until they worked out what they needed.  Large wheels for winter, bar handle with two drink holders (never put hot drinks on a stroller if they tip the child could be hurt),  a large storage area to help hold baby's things and medications for the blind parent.

Note: Have a space to house duplicates of favorite toys so that they are easy to switch out for easy cleaning often. (Favorite toys get dirty and harbour germs, babies often chew on them, if you don't switch them out often enough the baby may not accept the "other" favorite toy.) 

Feeding the baby was interesting as the blind parent did want to help.  When they had to use bottles, they would wash up the bottles and put them in the mircowave to serilize. They didn't have access to a dishwasher.(Note: not all dishwashers get hot enough to sterilize.) Boiling the bottles would not be a practical idea for the blind parent.  Microwave sterilization was the most practical for them.

Two plastic containers were used to house washed versus sterilized bottle pieces.  They would wash these out every day with soap and hot water. There were problems with this system when people from outside the family came in to help.  The government was trying to help by providing paid help for them, however, it was expressed to me that these people were unsure how to help and often mixed up their system causing confusion and second guessing what was where.

If someone is to come into the home, have a written system for them and if the help doesn't work for your don't worry about ending it.  This stress made it difficult for the new family to function easily.

For now this is it.  I'll draw a few perspectives of the nursery so that colour schemes and theme can be seen and post them later.

Happy New Year One and All

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