One of the exciting things about the holiday season is the opportunity to visit with grandparents and extended family members. If you are a grandparent looking forward to the grandbabies coming home for the holidays, there are a few things you might want to stock up on that you might not have thought about. Though I’m not a grandparent, I have watched my parents and in-laws embrace the role of Nonna and Papaw and learned several things from our experiences. Here are six things that grandparents need to keep in their house so they are ready for the grandbabies to visit and make memories together.
6 Things All Grandparents Need
Pain Relief of Choice:
All parents handle childhood pains differently. Whether you prefer natural remedies or the traditional fever reducers, you should talk about pain management with the grandparents before they have their first overnight visit. I will never forget the night my teething baby was crying and hurting all through the night. My Dad quickly headed out to the all night pharmacy to pick up the pain relief medicine that I had forgotten to pack. To this day, my parents have made sure they always have a bottle of medicine on hand for the kids if they need it.
Tip: Make sure all grandparents are aware of your preferred method of pain relief. If you choose to not use over the counter medicines, make sure they know how you handle teething and fevers.
You may want to stock the medicine cabinet for the grandparents. What should you include? Your pain medicine of choice, something to relieve the pain of teething, a medicine dropper, and thermometer are great items to start with. You can even buy your own New Parents Survival Kit
Both sets of grandparents have always had a comfort object or stuffed animal that stays at their house that the kids have looked forward to getting out when they arrive. This animal never goes home with the kids but is always there. Whether it’s a floppy purple puppy named Petey or a big teddy bear, our kids knew that there would always be a stuffed animal to welcome them along with grandparents.
When the kids started potty training, we used a Dora The Explorer Soft Potty Seat. At first we had to pack it up and take it every time we went to visit. But then the grandparents decided to invest in their own potty seat and just keep it in their bathrooms. That made it easier on everyone. Some small boys need a stool to help them when they are potty training. Consider adding a Step Stool to your bathroom décor so it will be ready when the grandkids are visiting.
Toys or Swings:
Small kids love to explore. If you want to protect your expensive, delicate china from baby fingers, then give those hands something else to play with. Many grandparents have a toy chest or shelf with bright, shiny toys just for the grandbabies to enjoy. Even my 95 year old Grandma keeps a toy box full of fun things for the great-grandkids to play with when they visit. By offering something fun to do, the kids are less likely to get into your valuable collections of dainty glassware.
Kids are often known to drop dishes and spill their drinks as they are developing their fine motor skills. Eliminate some of the stress at mealtime by offering kid-safe plates and bowls. Some families like to keep some fun kids dishes on hand for the grandkids. Others just want the kids to learn how to use the ‘real stuff’ from the earliest years. Whatever you choose to serve your grandkids, just be prepared with an extra towel and know that there will be spills.
What do you keep on hand so you’ll be ready for the grandkids to visit? Do you have special things that only come out when the babies arrive? I’d love to hear how you prepare for holiday visits with the family.
This article first appeared in the print edition of the Advocate Messenger, Danville, Kentucky 11/15/15.