OB ABCs

Month 16

month_16Whether they are close in geographic proximity or not, grandparents can play a number of vital roles in the care of your baby.

Grandparents can serve as loving caregivers for your baby and love to dote on their new grandchildren. However, if your child’s grandparents live far from home, it can be difficult to afford grandparents the time for visitation they treasure so much. To keep grandparents up-to-date:

  • If your baby’s grandparents are especially computer savvy, setting up a Skype™ account can allow you to set up a video conference with grandparents so they can see your new bundle of joy’s movements and expressions.
  • Set up a photo sharing account on websites such as shutterfly.com. When you update photos, baby’s grandparents can feel involved with the latest pictures.

If your baby’s grandparents live close by, they can be a wonderful source of advice and support. However, it’s important to establish some mutual ground rules for grandparents and you and your partner to follow:

  • Ask how much contact is too much—are there days and/or times when it would be best not to visit? Because you may feel badly telling them no, it’s best to discuss these wishes before they ever become an issue.
  • Ask the grandparents about concerns on their time restrictions. If they will be watching your child, how much time is too much to ask for? Ensuring you do not take advantage of grandparents’ skills and time ensures a stronger relationship.
  • Let your baby’s grandparents know any rules or disciplinary activities you are working toward for your baby. For example, “We don’t let baby eat a certain food.” Grandparents may not be aware of these limitations and unwittingly reverse a parenting aspect you are working toward.

Whether they are near or far, don’t forget to let baby’s grandparents know how much their love and support means to you as a new parent.

TIPS

  • An estimated 2.5 million American households feature grandparents as the main caregivers for their grandchildren, according to the United States Census Bureau.
  • Mark your calendars! National Grandparents Day is celebrated on the first Sunday after Labor Day.