Being a Grandmother has been heartwarming and fun and a learning experience. It’s been quite a few years since my own baby care days. What’s interesting is I ask my Grandma friends for tips, just as I asked my Mom friends for ideas and advice back in the day. We can always learn from those who go before, right?
One question that has come up, is there any gear I should have for my home? I have found that yes it is easier to have a few things at your house. Parents don’t have to lug so much stuff around just to come over for dinner and your grandchildren adjust more quickly to your house if you have a few items they use again and again. Most of the gear I have acquired is second-hand. I make sure it is as clean as possible (then clean it again at home) and in good working order before purchasing.
The first item I bought was a Pack ‘N Play. This portable crib was recommended by one of my daughter’s friends, and we have used it quite a bit. We started off sharing it, but she eventually bought her own because we used it that much. I paid $30 and it has been worth every penny. We set it up for short babysitting stints in the beginning, and now my granddaughter uses it for the occasional sleepover.
A stroller may not seem like a necessity, but when I saw this one at a thrift store for $20 I couldn’t pass it up. As my granddaughters get older and I get to babysit more, it will be very useful for strolling around the neighborhood, or just sitting in while we blow bubbles in the backyard.
Your family or friends may still own some things from their baby raising days. It certainly doesn’t hurt to ask. Luckily this high chair that belonged to my husband’s family was still hanging around in a garage when I needed it. It is a small folding high chair that will fit in a closet. I will admit that it probably doesn’t adhere to today’s safety standards and we will never leave a baby in it unattended. All of my children used it when we visited their grandmother and there were never any issues. Obviously this is something you won’t need for awhile and there other options, such as seats that tie onto chairs.
Most importantly you need toys and books, and sooner than you think. I had saved a few of my children’s toys, like the Fisher Price barn and animals and some dolls. It’s a good idea to get them out before you think you need to so you can wash them or make any repairs. Also, I saved most of our kids’ childhood books. I recently brought them out to a bookshelf so they are more accessible. Already my older granddaughter looks for her toys when she comes over to our house.
In my short Grandmother tenure (a year) these are things that I have found to be very handy to have at my house. My motto is, the more convenient and fun it is, the more they will come!