Life moment: Preparing for grandkids
Becoming a grandparent is one of life’s most exciting key moments, however it can also be one of the most challenging. There’s a balance you have to strike between being there for your children while they go through this immensely demanding but happy time, and overdoing the whole ‘grandparent role’. They’ll need support and help, however they may also need space and time to relax and digest everything that is going on around them.
Here’s some tips on how you might be able to prepare for the experience ahead.
Time to get nostalgic
This is the perfect time to dig out baby pictures of your children and put them into a scrapbook. You can share this with the parents-to-be, helping to inspire them and get them thinking about the experiences they want their children to have. Hidden in the attic you may also find long-forgotten about toys or family heirlooms, that with a bit of dusting and fixing, could be the perfect gift for the new baby.
You could also show them your family tree if you have one – there might be some name ideas hidden amongst the branches.
Brushing up on babysitting
You’ve already been through it, so you know best, right? Well, maybe not. It’s probably been quite a few years since you’ve cared for a new baby, so getting refreshed on the latest child-care practices might not be a bad idea. There are courses available to help you get up to speed, and develop the skills and knowledge that are relevant to helping raise a grandchild.
Sharing is caring
In most families, there is another set of grandparents, (and in some cases, it can be three sets). If you have not spent a lot of time with the other side of the family, then you could arrange a social occasion to get to know them better before the new baby arrives. This also might give you the time to talk about names that you may be called by your grandchildren. Sometimes these can come naturally, however you may want to come up with your specific names to avoid confusion from the start of the baby’s learning, and your son or daughter can begin getting used to calling you your chosen name.
Preparing the home
There’s no doubt that you’ll be having the grandchildren over a lot from when they’re babies to when their toddlers. With this in mind, you’ll have to stock up on your own necessities, such as nappies, baby wipes, spoons, cups, bibs, and even extra dummies in case one goes missing.
It’s also worth having a look around your home and thinking what you’ll have to baby proof – there’s some great tips on our Twitter page this month, such as using an elastic band to stop cupboard doors from opening, or adding foam around sharp, low corners. For anything precious you don’t want lying around, you can pop it onto high shelf in a wardrobe, or perhaps think about moving them into storage – you can get a small space at Big Yellow for as little as one week.