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Monday, June 24, 2013

Top Ten Pieces of Advice for New Grandparents

We are excited that our good friends are expecting their first grandchild this summer!  Knowing they have been very focused as parents, we are sure they are preparing well for their first grandchild. Having been there a few years ourselves, we have some ideas we hope will inspire them, and perhaps others, as well.
  1. If you can’t be present for baby’s birth, get involved in a group text-chain to keep in touch with family/friends who are present and can text pictures of those first precious moments of life. As the baby grows, Skype each other to stay current.
  2. We’ve steered away from giving clothes as gifts, simply because I remember as a mother how fast my sons outgrew things! Better grandparent gift-giving options are......books, toys, money, or keepsakes.
  3. For holiday and birthday gifts, always ask Mom and Dad first for suggestions, so they can decide age-appropriateness and whether their space can hold a playhouse or riding toy, etc. This also discourages duplicate gifts.
  4. Keep a crib or pack ‘n’ play at your house for overnights and naps. Our Baby Einstein CD has also been very helpful for lulling the babies to sleep.
  5. Keep extra sets of blankets, diapers in the baby’s size, bottles, sippy cups, and other items at your house for grandchild-sitting.
  6. We have sets of plates, bowls and silverware in our grandchildren’s favorite characters (Lightning McQueen of Cars and Dora the Explorer) so each has his own personalized grandparent-land dining experience.
  7. Learn how to master your DVD player and DVR on your cable, so the grandkids can watch their favorite movies and recordings with you. YouTube also has many choices. We love watching Reading Rainbow’s version (narrated by Pete Seeger) of the story Abiyoyo with the grandkids.
  8. Organize digital photo albums on your computer and online albums to share. SkyDrive is an online photo-sharing option we use with family far away.
  9. Plant perennials like Knockout Rose bushes in honor of each grandchild. They grow like crazy, are easy to care for, and the blooms greet us cheerfully at our window daily. The grandkids enjoy helping trim and gather the flowers for indoor bouquets.
  10. Keep crayons, colored paper, glue, and other craft items handy; you never know when you could spontaneously break out into craft sessions with your grandkids. Pinterest has some great ideas to investigate for all grandparent-crafters.
Contributed by Kathy Bolger, Senior Graphic Designer, Today’s Woman magazine.


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