Just as parents are eager to welcome the much-awaited newborn baby, grandparents are also excited to meet their newest addition to the family. The birth of a little one will be an exciting new adventure for parents and grandparents, however there will be times when parents will become sleep deprived from late-night nursing and changing hundreds of diapers.
As a result, there is the potential for burning out. A parent could end up feeling inadequate and ultimately suffer from postnatal depression. If situations reach this stage, new parents may want to seek help from their child’s grandparents. For grandparents, you can become a resource for help and guidance as you assist in raising your infant grandchildren.
A word of caution, as a grandparent it will be very important for you to know your boundaries and you help to raise a child. To avoid awkward situations and potential tension between you and your grandchild’s parents, here are 6 tips to raising your infant grandchildren.
Read Up on Baby Care Basics
Many years have passed since you took care of an infant and your baby care tips may be a little bit rusty. Most of the things you know about baby care haven’t changed, but new information and technology to help care for a baby have become available over the years. For example, infant sleeping positions have changed over time and the newest and best baby swings have advanced technology to stimulate a baby’s senses and mimic a mother’s gentle motions.
Offer to Help with Errands
Traveling from one place to another with a new born baby can be quite a hassle. It is a process that requires lots of patience and also needs the mom and infant to be well rested. In such a case, you could offer to help the new parents by making a run to get groceries, diapers etc. A great time to offer to help would be before your visit to see the baby. This will go a long way in helping them adjust to the baby’s schedule and arrive prepared with help.
Time Your Advice Carefully
You have plenty of advice and want to share it, but maybe it’s not during a diaper change or when the child’s parents are becoming frustrated with the baby’s cries. Maybe you are also in a situation where parents of a newborn are discovering the responsibilities of a child with special needs.
If you insist on sharing advice during these times, choose your words wisely or else you will sound as though you are overly intrusive or insensitive to their situation. Carefully pass along your wisdom about baby care, and always strive for encouragement.
Follow the Rules Set by the Newborn’s Parents
For the longest time you have been the one in charge. However, this time it is your child and her partner that are in charge. If your newborn grandchild has a feeding and napping routine, make certain you follow that schedule even if it means that you have to stop watching your favorite television program. The best thing you can do in this case is respect the wishes of the infant’s parents.
If by any chance the infant’s parents do not explain their wishes in a gracious manner or snap at you over minor issues, be sure to remain calm. The culprit here is probably sleep deprivation and stress, all of which can come when one is a new parent.
Offer to Take the Baby Home
Parenting is a beautiful experience but is also difficult to some extent. They could get depressed as a result of sleep deprivation and low self-esteem which in turn gives them a feeling of inadequacy. During the difficult times, help from the grandparents is highly needed.
Offer to watch over the baby from your own home. This will allow the parents to have their own space for a short amount of time and accomplish their own basic responsibilities in their home. The simple offer of taking care of your grandbaby may need to be timed correctly, but if done right you will be able to alleviate the stress of having too many people in the house.
Listen Keenly, Then Defer
There will be many times parents will make decisions that you won’t agree with. However, as difficult as it will be not to say anything, it will be very wise not to say a word. Unless asked directly, you should avoid giving your opinion. After all, every parent will adopt a different style of parenting, and now it’s your child’s turn to figure out what exactly will work for his or her family.