So you’re a new Grandma? In order to make visits to your home easier for your Grandchild (and their parents!), it’s good to have a few things on hand. Here are some starter supplies every new Grandma needs.
Starter Supplies New Grandmas Need
As a new Grandma, did you ever wonder what supplies new Grandmas need?
Some Grandmas live close by, others a little farther away, and there are those Grandmas who live many miles away from their Grandchildren.
There are Grandmas with one brand new baby Grandchild and the Grandma with older Grandchildren.
I’m a Grandma with two Grandchildren, but others have many more.
In other words, every Grandma situation is unique. Our needs differ, our time with our Grandchildren varies, and our connections depend upon a lot of factors out of our control.
So, no matter how many Grands you have, their ages, their location, or the amount of time you get to spend with them, you want to be the best Grandma you know how to be.
I’ve made a list of items that you may want to have available at your home for those times your Grandchild visits. Consider their ages, how often they visit with and without their parents, and how many Grands you have in your life.
Look over the list and see if any or all of these items would benefit you when your Grands are in your home.
A list of other gift guides can be found here.
If you are long distance and only see your Grands occasionally, it may be appropriate to borrow items from friends instead of purchasing them. If the items at your house will not be in use every day, it really isn’t necessary to go “top of the line”. Garage sales and thrift stores are options for second-hand items, as well.
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The monitor I have is a simple one that lets you hear the sounds being made in the baby’s room. There are fancy ones available now that let you see the room and the baby, too. It’s amazing how technology keeps making our lives easier! Check out these new-fangled monitors that do it all.
If you aren’t accustomed to children in the house, you may have forgotten how to sleep with one eye open. Heavy sleepers may not hear that little one cry during the night or an older child get up and wander the house. A baby monitor will let you rest, knowing you will be alerted to anything going bump in the night.
Even if Mom packs a diaper bag, you never know when there may be an emergency. The babysitter’s son broke his arm and I picked up my niece who was in her care. Poor thing was wrapped in a makeshift dishtowel diaper when her mamma came to get her. Having some wipes and diapers on hand sure would have been nice.
Keep these supplies available “just in case”. You never know when they may come in handy. If you see the baby is close to outgrowing the supply you have on hand, pass them to mom and restock the next size up. Be a Boy Scout: Be prepared.
If you are changing diapers, you may not want to do this directly on the carpet. Or on your dining room table. Having a changing pad like this one would come in handy. Avoid a messy situation with a washable changing pad.
This is pretty obvious. Every baby needs a nice, comfortable blanket. And you probably already have some sort of blanket that is soft and baby-appropriate. Get it out, wash it up using a mild baby detergent (or whatever Mom prefers – be careful of soap allergies – always ask), and have it ready when the baby comes to visit.Even if you don't plan to bathe the baby, you never know when dinner or diapers may get messy enough to warrant full-on water instead of just a damp cloth.
Even if you don’t plan to bathe the baby, you never know when dinner or diapers may get messy enough to warrant full-on water instead of just a damp cloth. Be ready with a baby-soft towel and washcloth.
Bibs, a spoon, a bowl, and a bottle. It would be helpful to have the same type of bottle that the baby uses at home. Have Mom supply this for you, or ask her what type baby uses. It is easier for you and for the baby to drink from the same style of bottle as they use at home. And bibs – because carrot orange is hard to get out of white onesies.
To entertain this little one, furnish rattles, teething toys, and other baby toys. A bored baby is a cranky baby.
It is never too early to read to your Grandkids. Even newborns can listen, look and enjoy hearing you read to them. Start with baby books and progress to more difficult books as your Grandchildren age. Pass Down the Love of Reading to your Grandchildren.
If the baby will be left in your care:
Emergency phone numbers
Phone numbers for parents, the child’s doctor, the poison control center and the local hospital emergency room are important numbers to have on hand in an emergency. If your Grandchild is visiting from out of town, having the emergency numbers for local services is a good idea. Of course, you should know 911 or the appropriate emergency system number for your area. Chrissie, at Joy Through Chaos, has a great printable just for this purpose!
If parents are leaving the baby with you, have them complete a release for emergency treatment, just in case you have to authorize any medical treatment in their absence.
New Grandmas should have supplies to treat fever, bumps, bruises, cuts and diaper rash such as Children’s Tylenol, a baby thermometer, a bag of frozen peas, and ointment for a sore bottom. In this area, too, it is best to obtain advice from the parents before purchasing or administering any medications.
If you have to leave home with the baby for any reason, you must have a car seat. This seat must be appropriate for the child’s age and weight and having a fairly new model is a requirement. If you get a used seat, it is important to know for sure that the seat has never been in an accident and it must have a current date. (They are dated and expire, just like your food.) Your best bet is to purchase an inexpensive new one or have the parents leave the seats from their own car for you to use in an emergency.
Car seats must also be installed correctly. The local fire station was very happy to show me how to properly install my seats and did it for me the first time. While I don’t continuously keep their seats in my car, I now know how to securely attach them to ensure my Grandkids will be safe when they are with me.
Some car seats for infants are detachable with a base like this that stays in the car. If your Grandchild has this kind, you can simply purchase a base for your own car. Be sure to get the proper brand and base that matches the car seat they are using. The seat portion can then serve as a pumpkin seat – a dual purpose item.
Having a crib or Pack & Play to use for sleep will keep the baby confined and safe during the night. As with the car seat, these must also meet current standards for safety. Most likely the baby’s parents will have recommendations for you. Take note of their instructions regarding any equipment used with their child. You certainly don’t want to be responsible for any harm to your Grandchild that results from poor choices in this area.
Maybe I’m a little old-fashioned, but there is nothing like cuddling a brand new (or any other) baby and rocking in your chair. I think every Gram should have a rocking chair. Mine is the same one I used to rock my own boys when they were babies. There is also a comfortable Lazy Boy recliner for longer periods of Rock-a-bye-Baby.
Little ones love music and often like to have something playing when they are falling asleep. Some prefer complete darkness while others need some light – especially in an unfamiliar place. In case the favorite teddy was left at home, Grandma can come to the rescue with a bedtime snuggle toy like this Glow Worm or this Pillow Pet Dream Light.
If you Grandchild uses a binky, you sure don’t want to end up being the babysitter when the binky is left at home. Pay attention to the preferred kind and have one stashed away. Bring it out only if necessary, but having it could be the difference in a night of ugly crying or a night of peaceful sleep.
Crawler – 2 years
Add these things as baby reaches appropriate developmental milestones.
Outlet covers, gates, cabinet locks, cord, and any other potential hazards should be addressed.
You may not be able to keep your eyes directly on this mobile child every minute while in your care. After all, there are bathroom breaks and other moments where a little confinement becomes essential. An item like this allows you to turn your back for just a quick bit while knowing your Grandchild is not in harm’s way.
Whether this means a high chair, a booster seat or some other alternative method, when your Grandchild is old enough, you want to include them at the dinner table.
When it’s time for potty training, it helps if the cycle continues at Grandmas house. Here are two options for potty chairs – one that fits on the toilet directly, or an individual, separate one like this. There is even one that has a ladder (this is cool).
Get all the supplies a new Grandma needs!
It’s true that you don’t need everything you see or everything on this list. Your Grandbaby will be just fine, even if you don’t have it all. But stocking your house will make it easier for your Grandchild’s parents to bring them for a visit. And that’s the goal. Make it easier for them, which will benefit you in return.
Keep Passing Down the Love,
If you missed the previous posts in the #AtoZChallenge series,
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