A survey by the National Association for Grandparenting in 2018 revealed that about 23% of adults had no memories of bonding with their grandparents. Having grandparents involved in the life of a child is proven valuable to their overall development and well-being. There is a special bond between grandparents and their grandchildren, as it is something different from that of siblings and parents. However, if you are a grandparent-to-be, there are expectations you need to ensure you are giving your family the best help possible. This step is critical, especially when the new families are often overwhelmed and unsure of how to handle a newborn during the beginning stages.
Catch Up on New Parenting Methods
You will face many challenges transitioning from being a parent to your adult-child to a grandparent. Parenting rules have changed over time, making babysitting a new child more challenging than it was decades ago. You can expect to have a rough time with the new parents when you offer parental advice regarding feeding, bathing, clothing, or putting a baby to sleep. Learning the current methods of parenting can help you establish a smooth relationship with the newborn and the parents. Consider seeking advice from friends who have already welcomed their first grandchild, educate yourself through books, or take classes specifically for grandparents. Alternatively, you can ask the new parents to provide guidelines about their style of parenting.
Consult Before Buying Baby Items
With a new baby, you might feel tempted to go shopping and pick what you think is appropriate for them. But before you do so, communicate your plans with the parents. Chances are, they have received dozens of baby clothes and toys or would prefer you buy specific items if you insist on shopping for the baby. It is understandable if you want to go overboard and shop for essentials like a playpen or carrier. Nonetheless, you still need to check with the mother before buying what you think is best for them. With a variety of choices available, any mother would want to weigh their options first to ensure they are choosing the right baby gear that fits their needs. It is best to give them time to shop around for baby carriers that offer comfort and support when carrying the child around.
Follow the Parents’ Lead
Naturally, you will feel responsible for sharing your experiences and opinions about everything related to raising a baby. However, to avoid any conflicts with the new parents, always offer advice that is non-judgmental and non-critical. Keep in mind everything about parenting has changed since you became a parent. Thus, respect the decisions new parents make from birth procedures to baby naming, proper feeding and even sleeping routines.
Allow Bonding to be Natural
Grandparents expect to build that special bond with their grandchildren right from the state. Unfortunately, bonding does not happen automatically. Newborns will cry when you hold them despite making funny faces and baby talk. Instead of setting self-expectations, focus on ways you build a strong bond with your grandchild. Give them time to adapt and feel comfortable near you. Once the bond grows, it will surprise you when they want to spend more time with you.
Becoming a new grandparent is an exciting time, but it also comes with new challenges. If you are looking forward to building a strong relationship with your grandchild, you will need to prepare for the changes along the way. Brush up on current parenting trends, offer support without overbearing, and enjoy your new life has a beloved nana. Remember, you have a vital role in your grandchild’s life, so strive to create a bond while they are still young.