Welcome and congratulations to all new grandparents!
You have raised your children and now you will have plenty of time to devote to hobbies, travel or particular interests. But wait! You receive the wonderful news that there is a grandchild on the way and start to feel that tremendous excitement and anticipation!
You happily look forward to and welcome the times you may be called on to babysit the new precious one. No problem, you think. After all, you did raise your own children successfully. It has been quite a while since you have had to care for a young child and this blog is written for you as a quick review for taking care of children the second time around.
Before you say,” But I always want to babysit so that my grandchild and I can become closer!”, consider
- Babysitting on call, whenever you are needed. This will interrupt any plans you have made for the day.
- Babysitting all day. This can be very tiring, especially if the child is cranky because of illness or if the child is a very active one, particularly if the parents are delayed getting home at the end of the day.
- Babysitting for 2 or 3 hours at a time. This will leave you, hopefully, with enough energy and time to complete other tasks or appointments you have planned.
- Babysitting all the time while the parents are at work. This will leave you with no time for yourself or your other interests, but then, you may not care because you will have no energy left for this.
- No babysitting at all. This will leave you with plenty of time for your own life, but very little time with your precious grandchild.
- Babysitting at the child’s home, alone or with your spouse. This means you have to be very familiar with running the household e.g., things like the water shut-off valve, breaker box, etc.
- Babysitting at the child’s home while the parents are present but busy with tasks like painting, wallpapering, etc. This means you will have to handle the child yourself and attempt not to interrupt the parents’ work which is difficult when the child is very active or cranky and wants his Mommy or Daddy.
- Babysitting for long periods of time may sound like a good idea now but consider how much energy you will need for a crying baby or a very active toddler.
- Babysitting at your home, alone or with your spouse. This means you have to make accommodations for your grandchild’s presence e.g., place for napping, child-friendly menus, safety.
What to have on hand, either purchased or brought from the child’s home:
Diapers, bibs, blankets, formula or breast milk, pacifier, extra clothes in case of spit up, throw up, diahrrea or spills.
A safe place for sleeping with no pillows, heavy blankets or pets on the same bed as the child.
Favorite stuffed toys or blanket, extra clothes, sippy cup, appropriate utensils and dishes for the child’s age group and an even safer place for sleeping.
Older than toddler:
Favorite stuffed toy or blanket, extra clothes, activities to keep the child busy and active.
What you take for granted living in a childless home may present a danger to an active child. Take some time and look around your home from a child’s point of view and you will find that some readjustment may be necessary. Review this article on childproofing a home and use it as a guide: http://parentingtips.chattymandy.com/childproof-your-home/.