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How Often Should Grandparents See Their Grandchildren?

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The question: “How often should Grandparents see their Grandchildren?” can only be answered by you.  In order to please everyone, there is a fine balance to reach that may require compromise on both sides. 

As you probably know if you’ve read anything else on this website, I am a Grandmother. 

I am writing this article from that perspective. 

Whether you are a Grandma, too, or the one having or raising the Grandchildren and want to share any advice I may have missed, please express your feelings or suggestions in the comments below. 

I’d love to hear from you as we learn how to avoid being a toxic grandparent!

How Often Should Grandparents See Their Grandchildren?

How often should Grandparents see Grandchildren?

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Family dynamics can vary greatly from one family to the next. 

And within those families, individuals are, well, individuals.

How often Grandparents should see their Grandchildren is as diverse as the family they claim as their own. 

The perfect answer to this question will depend on the people involved, both the grandparents and the new parents.

It depends on your family history, the status of your current relationship, your willingness to compromise and work together for the benefit of the child.

Remember, they may be your children, but they are now your ADULT children. Treat them as such if you haven’t up until now. After all, they’re parents themselves.

Here are a few guidelines and suggestions to help you sort through the variables and reach your own solution.

From the time she finds out she is pregnant and throughout the life of the Grandparent/Grandchild relationship, there will be issues that arise, hurdles to cross, boundaries to set, and compromises to be made. 

This will be true until those children reach adulthood and are able to make their own choices about their interactions with their Grandparents.

With the increasing life-expectancy of Grandparents, Grandchildren may have their Grandparents well into their adult years as is the case with my own sons. 

They are in their mid-thirties and are extremely fortunate to still have good relationships with all 4 of their Grandparents, who are in their 80s.

Here are some things to think about when you’re deciding on an appropriate visiting schedule and how much time Grandparents should spend visiting their new grandchildren.

How Often should Granparents visit

Visits during pregnancy

Before the baby arrives and before there is really an issue, take time to look ahead. 

If this is the first Grandchild, especially if it is the first on both sides, circumstances will be different for you than if this is #7.

So this could be the first baby/grandchild for both sets of grandparents.

Or it could be the first baby for these parents. 

Or this may be one of many children/grandchildren that have entered your family.

Local Grandparents will likely have more frequent access than long-distance grandparents, but your visits might be longer – a few days at a time instead of a few hours.

The position of the child in the family will make a difference in the reaction and involvement level you experience.

Before this baby arrives, talk about it. 

Talk about expectations. 

Grandparents, how often do you plan to visit? 

If you’re like most grandparents, you’d love to have frequent contact.

How often is your son or daughter expecting you (or want you) to visit?  Be truthful.  Compromise. 

Refrain from being a burden, intrusive, or nosy.  Remember how you felt as a first-time parent when it came to your own children and your own parents.

Answer questions when you’re asked, but keep opinions to yourself.

And don’t plan on being in the delivery room.  There might be a slight chance you’d be invited, but likely not. 

Unless the mother asks you in, expect to be in the waiting room or at the other end of the phone line waiting for the news.

Respect her privacy, but express your interest. A fine line to walk, I know…

A healthy relationship can be made or broken by the decisions you make at this critical time.

And while you’re waiting, take a look at our Grandmother Journal and start keeping track of things now!


Grandparents Visiting Newborns

Once that baby arrives, especially that first Grandchild, I expect that you as a Grandparent will want to see this child.  Often. 

But you also want to develop a strong relationship and by nurturing the good relationship you undoubtedly already have with the child’s parents.

Hopefully, you followed the advice in the previous section and have made a plan with the baby’s parents – to be helpful, available, and supportive as agreed upon.

If you neglected this step, head there right now. 

The best way to see your Grandchild is through respectful means. 

Don’t drop in, don’t give unsolicited advice, or make comments about their “rules”. 

Instead, call ahead.  Come when you are invited. 

Remember that there may be another set of grandparents, family members, and friends who also want to see this new baby.

Offer to keep other little ones so their Mom and Dad can have some time with the new addition.

As the newness subsides, the frequency of visits should, too. 

How often Grandparents visit their Grandchildren as newborns will depend on whether they are local or long distance, the previous state of their relationship, past record of behavior, and needs of the parents. 

There is not really a perfect amount of time to spend visiting, only what’s perfect for you and your family’s situation.

You might not think all of this is a big deal, but every little bit you can do to make this transition in their family easier for these new parents will help your cause in a good way.

Don’t push.  Be kind.

How often should Grandparents visit

The question of how often Grandparents should visit their Grandchildren does not necessarily have a black and white answer, either. 

Do you visit too much?  Not enough? 

No matter which end of the spectrum the situation is currently on, it is important to find a happy medium and find the best ways to satisfy both the grandparents and the grandchildren, as well as the parents.

Grandparents Visiting Toddlers

As they grow, babies turn into toddlers. 

They start to walk, speak, and play. 

What a fun time to be able to visit with your Grandchildren! 

Offer to babysit for date night. 

Negotiate a regularly scheduled visit time so everyone knows what to expect. 

Take things into consideration from the parent’s standpoint, too. Work schedules, other grandparents and family, your relationship, physical distance, convenience for the parents, the best interest of the child, and all the other things that come into play with young grandchildren.

Replace a physical visit with a visit on FaceTime.  Here are some ideas for Games to Play Over FaceTime (or other video chat) with Grandchildren.

Technology is a great way to increase how often Grandparents can enjoy their Grandchildren.

How often should Grandparents see their Grandchildren? 

If they have a challenging toddler, the parents might find that  “too often” doesn’t exist. 

The opportunity for parents to have a little “break” may be to Grandma’s advantage!

As a long-distance Grandparent, you could try this option. 

Visit through a book!  Make a photo book with pictures of you and your Grandchild. 

Then whenever you are missed, mentioned in a conversation, or before a FaceTime conversation, your Grandchild can look at the book as a reminder of you.

toddler on computer

Grandparents Visiting Preschoolers

As toddlers become young children – preschoolers-, they can finally express themselves and tell you how they feel and what they want. 

And in my opinion, they are more fun at this age, too. (Just kidding, I’ve loved EVERY stage so far!) 

But, really, they can carry on a conversation, play a game, tell jokes and sing along to the radio.

This is also a good age to babysit. 

The toddler anxiety may have subsided a bit and the idea of a fun time with Grandparents sounds good to your Grands.

And, if you have the proper car gear, the parents might even let you take them places. 

Going to the zoo, a children’s museum, or even for an overnight visit or campout will allow the Grandparents to see Grandchildren more often.

If you are a long-distance Grandparent, this is a great age for recordable storybooks like Under the Same Moon or The Night Before Christmas for the holidays.

Find a way to spend quality time with your grandchildren when they are preschool age. They are developing now, and their ability to remember doing things with you is taking shape.

Visit this post to discover more about making memories here: How to Make Childhood Memories That Last a Lifetime.

Grandparents Visiting Older Kids

The frequency of Grandparents visiting Grandchildren may decrease as they enter elementary school and eventually become teenagers. 

But other types of contact may increase. 

Attend their sporting events, school functions, programs, and other activities. 

Go on short trips together – fishing, to the beach, hiking or something similar. 

Go to a concert, a movie or play, or a baseball game. 

Ask about their interests and let them share things with you that they enjoy. 

Your time together may be less frequent, but can still be meaningful and memorable.

If you are a long-distance Grandparent, it may be possible to have your Grandchild come to stay with you for a week during summer break. 

One of my husband’s fondest childhood memories is of spending a week each summer with his Grandparents and cousins. 

Or meet up with the family for a few days during their vacation, if they don’t mind. 

Find creative ways to visit your Grandchildren.

Outdoor Activities for Kids: Passing Down the Love of Nature

Experiences and Opinions of Other Grands

In writing this article, I interviewed several mothers and Grandmothers. 

Here are a few of their comments about Grandparents visiting Grandchildren.

Lisa says:

“It’s obviously a personal thing and depends on your relationship with them but as someone whose family lives thousands of miles away, we would love to have grandparents around for our kids and they would adore it, too. Believe me, you miss them when they aren’t around…”

Carrie says:

“As a Grandparent, I adore my Grandchildren. 

Every minute we spend with them is precious. 

Talking with my daughter-in-law about how often we visit was really helpful. 

They appreciate breaks from the baby and giving them a chance to get away for an evening is fun for us, too. 

We have agreed to say when it’s too much or not enough.  This understanding has made for a great relationship between us!”

Josie says:

“My parents live close by but have little interest in spending time with my kids. 

It makes me sad that they are missing out on all the advantages of a close relationship with their Grandparents. 

And my kids are pretty awesome – their Grandparents are missing out, too!”


Patricia says:

“I’d love to see my Grandchildren more often, but they live far away. 

We visit occasionally and stay for a few days at a time. 

When we aren’t there, we still keep in touch about once a week through FaceTime.  (Here are some games you can play through FaceTime, in case you aren’t sure what to do.)

I’ve even started writing letters to them which they LOVE! 

I still feel like we have a close relationship because we are determined to stay in touch.”

Melissa says:

“My mother-in-law won’t go away. 

She drops in whenever and stays forever. 

Good grief, she acts like my baby is HER baby! 

I want them to be close, but there should be some rules.  Why can’t she take a hint? 

Thanks for bringing this up, I’m going to have a talk with her and let her know it’s not OK.”

Do you agree with any of these?

What do you think?

Is it possible for Grandparents and their children to agree and compromise on how much time is enough time for grandparents to spend with grandchildren?

Are you as grandparents willing to spend time with your grandchildren on a regular basis, and are you, as the child’s parents, willing to allow them access to their grandchildren?

Are we all willing to do what is in the child’s best interest, provide emotional support for each other, and help grandparents develop strong bonds with their grandchildren?

Please feel free to leave your comments and let me know how you feel about this subject.


Setting Boundaries for Overzealous Grandparents

10 Top Tips for a New Grandma 

So, How Often Should Grandparents See Their Grandchildren?

Determine how often Grandparents should see their Grandchildren for your own family.

Each phase will offer its own challenges. 

Remember to take a step back and think about the perspective of the other people involved.

There is a fine line between being there too much and being seen as overbearing and meddlesome, and not being there enough and viewed as uncaring and apathetic.


Talk to each other. 

Set boundaries and expectations. 

Be willing to compromise.

The bond between children and their Grandparents can be a rewarding experience. 

Studies have shown good relationships between Grandparents and Grandchildren to be instrumental in creating a solid emotional foundation.

Find a balance between the child’s needs, the child’s parent’s needs, and the grandparent’s needs.

Always remember that everyone should do what is in the child’s best interest.

Do what you can to ensure Grandparents and Grandchildren have an opportunity to make a positive and fulfilling connection.

How often do you see YOUR Grandchildren?

And Keep Passing Down the Love,

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Tuesday 16th of January 2024

so my daughter whos 12 had a baby 9 momths ago so he stays with me everyday so i go to work but its either hes comming with me or hes going to school with her so i tkae care of him so between me na dmy daughter its 50/50


Wednesday 16th of August 2023

My daughter and her husband live 500 miles away. They had our first grandbaby at the end of June. It is the first grandbaby on both sides of the family. We were there when the baby was born and spent two weeks.

I cried when we left. I’ve never experienced this kind of love, it’s different than with my own children, and I can’t wait to go back. But my daughter made it clear that she didn’t want me to come back while she’s still on maternity leave because they want some personal time, which I understand and respect. So I tried to be patient and waited for a time that she would suggest that I could come. But that conversation never happened, so I sort of invited myself for the end of October when the baby is four months old. I had given my daughter and son-in-law the choice that I could come in October November or December and for them to discuss and maybe pick a month. I would like to stay at least one week because of the distance that I have to drive, and she told me I could stay a week or two, whichever I preferred, and any of those months would work. So I picked the end of October because it is still decent weather and I can go do things with the baby.

But I also feel guilty because it wasn’t an invitation, it was more like an “OK you can come if you want to,” but if I would’ve waited for an invite it probably wouldn’t have been until the baby‘s first birthday.

Now I am wondering if maybe visiting at four months is too early. But if I wait longer it will be in the cold months. I also didn’t want to wait until Thanksgiving or Christmas because this is their first holiday with the baby and I want them to be able to spend it by themselves and establish their own holiday customs, and then before you know it the baby will be a year old. I would like to see her again while she is still a baby, while I can still hold her like a baby and while she might still remember me. We do FaceTime and she sees our faces on there, but to me it is not the same thing as holding her and loving on her. My husband, on the other side, is not eager to go back until the baby is one year old and he can she can be more interactive.

Am I being selfish for wanting to back go back when the baby is only four months old? Should I have waited in till I got an invitation from my daughter?

Also I have to add that they will be doing something untraditional, she has the better paying job and the better health insurance, so she will be going back to work at the end of September, while he will quit his job and be a stay at home dad. He had expressed to her that if I wanted to come back he would prefer it while she is still on maternity leave so can be there with me, but as I had mentioned, she wants the rest of the maternity leave for herself, him and the baby. But really anytime after she goes back to work it is only going to be my son-in-law that’s home with the baby. I don’t know if this will be awkward when I stop by. He’s a very reserved young man and I feel like he may not want me to stop by every day or every other day for an hour or two. I’m not sure how this is going to play out, and now that I finally have the trip planned, I’m not so sure if I am making the right decision. Anticipation and joy has someone turned into doubts. I want to see my granddaughter more than anything, that’s all that’s on my mind, but if I’m causing any kind of discomfort I’m not sure if I should go.


Friday 14th of July 2023

We live 150 miles away from our grandkids, and usually try and visit for a weekend once every 4 to 5 weeks, recently we were told the 6 weeks works good for them. I love both the kids so much, and it makes me sad, as that is 8.5 visits per year. And they just had birthdays age 2 and age 6, so much fun right now, and that as we all know will be short lived. I just don't understand. It hit me very hard, I love these 2 so much, and we play and have so much fun. and we try and do everything the way our daughter and husband want it done. It breaks my heart.


Wednesday 8th of February 2023

We have 2 daughters. 1 lives in Florida and 1 lives in Texas. We live in Pennsylvania. How often should we visit the grandchildren? The wife and I still have at least 8 years until we can retire. Flights to FL are reasonable but flights to Texas are not. The older daughter started having children 7 years before the other daughter. We have been down to FL a few times more than TX. The younger daughter is upset that we don't go see her more. We want to see our grandchildren yet we/I want to do other things as well. Do I sacrifice my plans for them? If I wait for retirement, I may never get to accomplish my plans.


Wednesday 16th of June 2021

Loved this info. However, aside from FaceTime sessions, I’d like advice on how often to visit my 2 month old granddaughter so she remembers me each time i come and we continue to grow close. I went there and helped for her second month. We are across the country from each other.


Thursday 17th of June 2021

It's difficult when you're far away, isn't it? Here are some ideas. Record your voice in a few of those recordable books - they have many to choose from now. Hearing your voice may help her remember you when you visit in person. Make a photo book with pictures of yourself and family, you holding her, etc. and have her parents share it with her often, reminding her of you. Visit in person as frequently as you can. I know that's a tough one when there are miles between you. FaceTime is still a great option. She can see you in person, hear your voice and interact with you there. Good luck!

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