When your son can’t hold his head up, let alone sit in a bath unaided (and almost a year ago grew out of his baby bath) what do you do?
For a while we’d just get in with him. And that worked well until bath time was combined with toilet time (I’ve never jumped out of a bath faster). Then we tried a towel on the bottom of the bath, and filled the tub with an inch or two of water (imagine lying naked in a puddle). Blah. It works in a pinch but it’s not especially enjoyable for Mikaere.
We tried an otter seat. An expensive £200 seat with straps that looks like it’s made from pvc pipes. Not super ideal, because it’s got legs and because the bottom of our bath is rounded, those legs push the seat pretty high, so to cover Mikaere’s legs with water we have fill the bath to the very brim. Epic fail. All round fail.
Then our OT suggested the Bealift Chair. It’s a frame that sits on top of the bath, and lowers Mikaere gently into the bath. Perfect. She bought one over to trial (Mikaere really didn’t love it the first time he was in it)
Now, if we could have afforded to drop £420 on a baby bath seat I would have just bought it. But there are other things we’d rather spend the money on, so it was through the NHS we went. But the thing with sourcing anything through the NHS is that you have to wait for everything. It takes about six weeks to wait for the fitting appointment, and another six to get approval through all the chains of NHS management. Once approval is through, they order and at some mystery point in the future it’s delivered.
So you wait and wait and wait and wait. Then, when you’ve given up on the bath support seat ever arriving and are trying to figure out how to change out the bathtub to fit the chair, you get a call from medequip delivery, who want to deliver an unknown parcel in approximately a months time.
It arrived. Eventually. And it worked like a treat.
I think using the support was the first time Mikaere had ever had a proper, submerged bath. Needless to say he fell asleep in its warmth and screamed when it was time to come out. But he was supported and in the bath and came out clean. Win! Thank goodness. Bathing! Now a fun thing!
It’s insane how funding the right piece of equipment can alter the quality of life your kid has. It makes all the faff worth it. To put it in perspective, it took approximately 8 months to from looking to arrival. I suspect that moving forward, finding that right piece of equipment will happen a lot in our future. We’re absolutely living the special needs life.