Safety and Efficiency: Tools and Resources for Disabled Parents

Safety and Efficiency: Tools and Resources for Disabled Parents

I was contacted by Ashley Taylor of and she asked if she could write an article for my Blog. It didn’t take me more than a moment to be both honored and humbled by her request and interest in Basket Express.

Her story is one of strength and courage. This is the request that she sent to me.

My husband and I both have disabilities. We’ve always wanted children, and knew that because of our disabilities becoming parents and parenthood, in general, would require extra planning and prep. From the get-go we started saving for IVF treatments and making modifications to our home that would make us and our future children safer. Along the way, we’ve picked up a lot of great resources on planning and preparing for parenthood as parents with disabilities and we’ve learned some valuable lessons, too.
Can I write an article for your website with advice for people with disabilities on how they can prepare their lives and their homes for parenthood? Today, my husband and I have two amazing kids, and I thought this might be a good way to show my gratitude to the universe for all the ways we’ve been blessed.
Imagine how I felt when I read this story, and the shivers that went up my spine when she sent me this information, which I gladly share with you today.

The days when disabled people were considered unfit to be parents are behind us thanks to the efforts of organizations like Through the Looking Glass, a resource that provides training and services for the disabled. Their advocacy, and that of others, has made it easier for the disabled to find products that help them care for their children effectively and efficiently. Many have been forced to use their creativity and ingenuity, devising new, more convenient ways to breastfeed, change diapers, and bathe their children. Performing these tasks is a lot easier with tools that can help save time and allow parents to multitask, an important capability for any parent. Fortunately, there are many products with designs and features that can make it easier to care for your child, both independently and safely. (Also remember that any modifications you make to your home, such as an entrance wheelchair ramp or widened doorways, may be a great help to subsequent owners.)

Wheelchair ramps can be works of art! Check out these pictures of home that have used their ramps to accent their flowers!


Accessible sleep space

This has long been a major hurdle for disabled parents. The traditional baby crib configuration is incompatible for most disabled parents, especially those who are in a wheelchair and can’t reach into the sleeping space. The Cocoonababy is a soft, cushioned platform with no sides or attachments. Your baby is safely secured with an adjustable strap that can be removed quickly for diaper changes. The Cocoonababy is light and easy to carry as you move around the house. For parents who prefer the conventional design, a side-opening crib allows parents to reach directly inside.

(I don’t know about you, but I had no idea this existed, let alone how important it would be for parents with disabilities.  The baby looks so comfy, and I can understand how easy it would be to use this great bed! )

Breastfeed with ease

Finding a comfortable breastfeeding position is a subjective thing for moms. Some prefer to breastfeed while lying in bed without having to move their child around. An adaptive cot with one open side can be wheeled up to the side of your bed, allowing you to lie on your side while feeding and keep your baby safely next to you while you sleep. It’s an ideal multitasking product – you can breastfeed, burp and put your baby to sleep all without having to change location. If you prefer a more mobile solution, the Breastfeeding Sling lets you feed your child anywhere. Its padded shoulder strap allows you to feed for as long as you need without getting tired.

(Don’t forget the privacy involved with breastfeeding, not only for the baby but for the mom as well.  As an able-bodied mom, I remember the issues I had breastfeeding Lauren. I imagine these are magnified 10-fold for a disabled mom.)
Convenient potty training

Potty training time can be a real challenge for disabled parents. If your mobility is limited, it’s difficult to be as encouraging and physically supportive as you’d like. Many training aids are heavy and difficult to move or lift with ease. The Disney Baby Winnie the Pooh Training Seat is lightweight and clips easily and securely to the top of your toilet seat. It’s also an excellent option if you need to move it between bathrooms.

(Oh, my, the joys of potty training! Just when you think it’s mastered, the “fun” can start all over again!  I guess the best part is this takes a short period of time and then it’s forever!)

Bath time

This is one of the most challenging tasks that disabled parents face. The inflatable Bambino Duck Bath is a light and convenient alternative for parents with limited reach. It can be placed on a low table to take the strain off your back when lifting or stretching. The soft sides can be pushed down easily for improved access.

(It was difficult enough for me, at 5’2″, to bathe Lauren in the sink or tub.  Somehow we manage. Imagine having to “manage” on a daily basis when you are disabled. It’s a good thing these kids are so resilient!)


In-vitro fertilization is a proven successful alternative for couples having trouble conceiving, but it can be a pricey proposition, with couples paying an average of $19,000. You can defray some of the cost by using your Flexible Spending Account or Health Savings Plan. Shared risk or IVF refund programs can also help you prepare for the financial burden. As expensive as it can be, IVF has been changing lives for the better for decades. According to Qunomedical, “The success and availability of in-vitro fertilization have given hope to many infertile couples who have not been able to conceive. Since 1978, 5.4 million babies have been born worldwide with the help of IVF.”

Ergonomic efficiency

Thinking in terms of your physical challenges can help you identify tools that will make it easier to provide care. There are products and resources that make bathing, feeding and dressing your little one much easier. Remember that the best products are those that provide ergonomic efficiency.



As important as your daily activities and amenities are to your parenting abilities, the way you care for yourself also plays a part. A warm bath each evening, a chapter of a good book while your baby naps, or a moment of quiet with a warm cup of coffee in the mornings can all enhance your mental health. And there are plenty of ways your friends and family can encourage you to focus on self-care. A gift basket with your favorite things, a bouquet of fragrant flowers to brighten up the room, or even just a friendly phone conversation and well wishes are all great gift ideas for new moms. With Mother’s Day around the corner, it’s never too early to drop a few hints…

Daisies and butterflies  Top 'em Off with Fruit and Flowers  

Thinking in terms of your physical challenges can help you identify tools that will make it easier to provide care. There are products and resources that make bathing, feeding, and dressing your little one much easier. Remember that the best products are those that provide ergonomic efficiency and make life a little more comfortable for your entire family.

No matter the road you took to become a parent, it was and will continue to be an exciting journey. As a disabled parent you will face obstacles and have to make some modifications to your home and life, but at the end of the day you are a parent just like everyone else. Welcome to the ride!

Courtesy of


OMG!! Cinco De Mayo Story

Southwest gift basket

OMG! Cinco De Mayo Story!

Remember I told you there are 3 holidays happening right now?  Well, here’s a great story about the second one!!  Actually, it’s tongue and cheek, and I hope you’ll enjoy it!
Most people don’t know that back in 1912, Hellmann’s Mayonnaise (known as Best Foods on the West Coast) was manufactured in England. In fact, the Titanic was carrying 12,000 jars of the condiment scheduled for delivery in Vera Cruz, Mexico, which was to be the next port of call for the great ship after its stop in New York. This would have been the largest single shipment of mayonnaise ever delivered to Mexico. But as we know. the great ship did not make it to New York. The ship hit an iceberg and sank. and the cargo was forever lost. The people of Mexico, who were crazy about mayonnaise, and were eagerly awaiting its delivery. were disconsolate at the loss. Their anguish was so great, that they declared a National Day of Mourning which they still observe to this day:
The National Day of Mourning occurs each year on May 5th, and is
known of course as, Sinko de Mayo!
I just couldn’t resist, and I thank my friend Kenny Knaster for sending this to me!
Cinco de Mayo—or the fifth of May—commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). We refer to it as Mexican Independence Day, and in Phoenix it’s a great day of celebration and parties.
Never mind that this year it happens to be 3 days before Mother’s Day and 5 days before Mexican Mother’s Day!
We love love love to celebrate holidays!
Here are a couple options for you! Fresh flowers (of course) and southwest gift baskets!
Southwest gift basket  Go To Flowers for Mom
Southwest Party Grande                    Go To Flowers for Mom
How do you celebrate these holidays? We’d love to hear from you!
Tina and Pamela

Is Your Mother the BEST EVER?

Mine is. This is Goldie Smith.


She’s the BEST mother a girl could ever have. She was a professional woman before we had professional women (she ran my dad’s CPA office long before it was in vogue to do so) and kept us 3 kids out of trouble at the same time! She’s still active the Denver community. She’s proud to have 3 marvelous children, Sheldon, a prominent attorney, Gary, an ads specialty salesman, and me, your gift basket designer. She also has 3 amazing grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.

When I grow up, I want to be JUST LIKE HER!


Pamela lost her mother 7 year ago. She was Rena Smith, a wonderful baker and housewife.


She helped put Pamela through Michigan State University where she studied floriculture and began her career as the amazing floral designer you know in Phoenix. I had the pleasure of knowing Rena during the final years of her life when she came to live at Chris Ridge Village, and there wasn’t a recipe she didn’t remember or a tip she wouldn’t share. May her memory be a blessing.


If your mother is living, we invite you to remember her with fresh flowers on Mother’s Day. Pamela and I will be designing, and we’ll be delivering, the freshest flowers in the Valley of the Sun, and we have a network of florists across the country with whom we work who can design and deliver for mom wherever she lives.

girl blockbasket for hughesashley 2

Please feel free to use this blog for any thoughts about your mother that are in your heart.

Let the magic of Roadrunner Florist Basket Express convey your love for mom this year!

What’s in 2 weeks?

ashley 2      Mother’s Day 2 weeks away

We love designing flowers and gift baskets  for Mother’s Day!

fruit nuts and plant

We have friends whom we have known for years and years (Pamela’s been in the floral industry for more than 45 years and at this location for 36) who contact us every year for Mother’s Day! We know the moms…they are part of our extended family.

cube B   We deliver Mother’s Day Flowers and Gift Baskets

If mom is in Phoenix, we design and deliver the freshest floral arrangements (and unique gift baskets) .

If mom is anywhere in the world, we work with a network of florists who can design and deliver flowers for you, too.

cube 37  It’s not too early to contact us today!  602-246-0695


all white by tina

We know many people who have lost their mothers and this is a difficult time for you. May their memories be blessings.