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Tips for new grandparents

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Becoming a grandparent for the first time can be an exciting phase of your life. However, there’s also the potential for it to cause problems, especially in your relationship with your child and their partner. Here are some top tips on how to survive that initial new baby time.

Start the right way

Even from the pregnancy, becoming a grandparent can cause problems between yourself and the parents. It’s important that you realise it’s different from being a parent yourself and that you need to take a step back in the control that you have. You want to be there for your son or daughter and their partner, but not in a way that forces your point of view on them. As a grandparent you need to make their life as easy as possible and not be the source of any stress. Talk to them about when they’d like you to visit, especially when they’re in the hospital and just arrived home. It’s natural that you’ll be excited and want to see your new grandchild as much as possible, but you also need to allow them to have space to become a family.

Remember they’re the parents

This is your time to be the grandparent, which doesn’t come with all the responsibilities of a parent. Times have changed considerably since you raised your children, so don’t be too eager to offer your advice. It might be construed by them that you’re trying to take over and could lead to tension and arguments. Instead, make sure that you’re there to support them and offer guidance when it’s asked for. However, it’s entirely up to them how they raise their child, even if it’s not how you’d have done it. Don’t be quick to dismiss their choice of name, even if it’s something completely different and not to your tastes. This is a personal decision for them, whatever your feelings are. They need to be able to make their own mistakes, as long as this doesn’t harm the child, and they know you’re there for help if they need it.

Be careful what you buy

Having a new baby can be extremely expensive and most parents are happy for families to help them out financially. However, don’t just buy items without asking first, especially if they’re big pieces. They’ll probably appreciate your help, but there are certain decisions they want to make themselves, such as the type of pram or car seat they want.

Build a relationship with your grandchild

tips for new grandparentsBabies are not always fun from the very beginning and it might take time for them to get to know you. Don’t worry if they start screaming as soon as you hold them, as this might just be because they’re away from their parents. Try and spend time with them as much as you can, so that they get used to you. They’ll soon be giggling away in your arms and giving you lots of hugs and kisses.

Stick to their rules

For many new parents it’s important to get a baby into a routine, especially when it comes to their sleeping and eating. If you’re looking after your grandchild try and stick to this as closely as possible, otherwise you could end up causing problems. The healthcare guidance on what babies can and can’t eat and when to introduce certain foods has changed. Don’t automatically assume they’ll want to start weaning them as early as you did and follow their lead.

Offer help

Sometimes children don’t always want to ask for help or a bit of a break, so let them know that you’re there if they need you. Even just a couple of hours of babysitting so they can get some jobs done would be appreciated. If you’re staying with them, make sure that you pitch in with jobs such as cleaning and washing up.

Don’t take it personally

Lack of sleep and hormones can make new parents extremely short and irritable. If they don’t appear grateful or start snapping at you, then you’ve got to give them a certain amount of leeway. Once everything’s settled down, they’ll soon be back to normal.

The most important thing to remember when becoming a grandparent is to cherish every moment, as they’ll soon grow up. Be there for both your child and grandchildren and you should have a good relationship with all of them.

 

 

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One Response to “Tips for new grandparents”

  1. Nicola

    I became a grandma in February at the age of 37 and was so worried about everything but my daughter and I are very close and appreciates all my help and advice especially after I have just had my 5th child!! But I love it and don’t see my grandson as a grandson (very strange) but more like my own and yes lovely to hand back but having only 6 weeks gap in him and my daughter means they grow up as friends as well as Aunty/nephew!! My second grandchild is due in November and I can’t wait and my daughters know I’m always here for them no matter what and I love them all and my growing family 😀

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About Catherine Stern

About Catherine Stern

Catherine Stern is a freelance writer with a background in marketing and PR. She currently writes web content on a range of subjects, from finance and business to travel and home improvements. As a working single mum of two young boys she understands the pressures that today’s working parents face and the topics they want to read about.

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