Becoming a grandparent is often described as one of the most rewarding roles in life. Grandparents are often seen as the head of a family, as care-givers and rule breakers who spoil their grandchildren. Despite the importance of this role, the preparation side of things can easily be overlooked. Online, site after site provides parental advice, but what of the new grandparents, what do they need to prepare them for their distinct role?
At babocush, we've compiled a list of things that we consider to be grandparent baby essentials. Some baby equipment can be shared because we know that having a new baby is by no means easy on your bank balance, so it’s a good idea to avoid doubling up where possible.
- Getting there - The car seat
It is illegal to put a baby in a car without a car seat. From the moment your grand baby is born, they will need to have a car seat or at least access to one.
Find out if any friends or family members could make another car seat available to you and whichever seat you end up using, make sure everyone is up to speed on how to attach it and on how to secure your grand baby in it. Rules and regulations have changed a lot in recent years so as a grandparent, don’t be afraid to ask your children for guidance.
- The duplicate drawer – Nappies / diapers, lotions and more
Find a drawer, maybe in the kitchen or bathroom that replicates the products your grand baby is used to. Stock it with the same brands of nappies, lotions and other products such as shampoos. It's important that you don't expose babies to an array of different products as their skin is more sensitive than that of an adult, so consistency is the safest option.
Another advantage is that you can shop in bulk and have the same products, thus saving some money for all involved. This space is also perfect for a small collection of spare clothes.
- Light outings - A light-weight, inexpensive stroller
Unsurprisingly, grandparents like to parade their latest and cutest family member whenever and wherever they can! To make this possible, having a foldaway stroller can be very helpful and can benefit multiple family members. Having a foldaway stroller at a grandparent's house also reduces the clutter moved back and forward during family visits.
While you want a basic, second stroller, be sure to pick something with adequate sun cover in summer and similar attachments for rain. As mentioned above, very often a family member or friend could have one occupying a garage or attic, so don't be afraid to ask.
- Rest and relaxation - A cot / basket
Initially, sleepovers will be limited as parents try to find their feet and build a routine for their baby. After some time, they will be more comfortable with their baby spending a night away and grandparents are usually their first point of contact for this. In their infancy, a bassinet may suffice, but grandparents should consider a longer-term solution like a portable crib.
Very often grandparents have converted old bedrooms into storage spaces or transformed them into living spaces. A portable crib can be set-up at the foot of a bed and when the baby returns to his / her parents the bed can be stored away until the next visit.
- Contentment for grandparents - a babocush, of course!
You won’t be surprised to see that we've included our babocush cushion, and here’s why! As well as the obvious comfort that it offers, it also gives a well-deserved break to grandparents. As much as you may want to hold your grand baby all day, the babocush allows you to set the baby down securely and within eyeshot without erecting any bouncers or cots, so you have a chance to enjoy a well-earned cup of tea.
You can watch on with peace of mind whilst your grand baby rests, soothed by the gentle vibrations and heartbeat, which replicate the familiar womb experience. The cushion is extremely lightweight so it won't take up space in your home and can be easily transported until the next visit.
As grandparents and parents will know, if you have visited our website and social pages, we love hearing your feedback. If you think we've forgotten anything, head over to our Facebook page and let us know! Our online groups exist to allow parents and parents-to-be to share and receive their best and most challenging experiences.