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Baby on Board: Tips for the First Year of Parenting as a High-Level Quadriplegic

Joshua J Basile

Quadriplegic father Josh Basile is pictured with his infant son and young daughter. His son is strapped to his chest with a sling and his daughter is wearing a blue bath robe and cuddling her younger brother as she sits on Josh's lap. Josh has light skin, short dark hair, and a big smile as he sits in his black power chair.

“There’s a whole new world of trying to figure out how to contribute and be a part of this new environment.”

We love to spotlight parents and families to help normalize disabled parenting – and it’s all the more special when one of those parents is a longtime Help Hope Live supporter.

New Mobility interviewed Josh Basile about his first year with son Calder as a new “quadfather”.

Josh has found creative ways to support Calder and his partner, including simulating the weight of a baby with a 10-pound bag of flour strapped to his chest and learning to use his mouth to carry and change the kiddo.

A cross-body baby wrap helps Calder hear his dad’s heartbeat. Hook-on high chairs let Josh roll up right beside Calder. A Bluetooth baby rocker allows Josh to change the rocking frequency with voice commands.

Seen from over Josh Basile's shoulder, infant son Calder sits in a black baby carrier that is hooked onto Josh's black power chair. From the back, Josh has short dark hair and light skin.

When he couldn’t find all the quadfather supplies he needed, he collaborated with engineering students to create a new kind of baby carrier. Josh was also the fifth person to test out the MouthPad device, which lets him bond with Calder as well as five-year-old daughter Faeble, reading her digital books without the use of his hands using its unobtrusive interface.

“Being able to get as close as possible to the little guy is something I’ve always found to be special.”

Josh is the founder of Determined2Heal and SPINALpedia. He makes his well-informed support for pursuing work with a disability available to Help Hope Live clients through our Ready to Work program and Hope Talk.

Written by Emily Progin