A few weeks ago I put a poll on Instagram asking moms what would have been helpful for grandparents to have in their homes after the arrival of a new baby. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten so many responses on Instagram! So I’ve put all of your ideas together with mine in to the ultimate guide to essentials new grandparents should have when baby arrives.
To Grandparents: the most common response we heard from the poll is that new parents feel most at ease (especially when visiting from out of town) when there is consistency in the baby products and gear the grandparents have on hand. And when parents don’t have to pack much whether in or out of town.
It really is a gift to new parents not to have to stress about diapers and extra sheets and formula. But to be able to come to grandparents’ homes and relax a bit.
One reader who is a new grandparent told me she took photos of ALL the baby products her daughter at in her home (from the lotion down to the laundry detergent) and bought the same ones for her home. Her daughter was so appreciative!
Now some of these things aren’t absolutely necessary. But if you want to have a well stocked grandparent home this is your list!
Below I’ve linked many of my favorites from when my girls were babies for reference. As with all baby things, there are similar versions of these products at all different price points. You can decide how much you want to invest depending on how much time you think baby will be spending at your home.
Here we go!
- Diaper Changing Necessities: Having diapers and wipes is is SO helpful. This way mom and dad don’t have to worry about packing these essentials each time they visit. And a set place for changing diapers. Every time we visited my mom had a thick quilt laying on her bed with a box of wipes and diapers. A changing pad works, too, but not necessary.
- Sleeping Essentials: A quiet place for baby to sleep makes visiting so much easier! The poll results strongly revealed that a real crib is preferred. Pack n’ plays work, but as babies get bigger they don’t always sleep as well in them. If you’re a grandparents that wants long visits and overnights I would highly recommend investing in a crib and putting it in a quiet place. A sound machine is also recommended. Also note something that could stress new moms out: if the baby is used to sleeping in a dark room he/she might have trouble sleeping in a room without curtains. Consider how you could temporarily or permanently darken the room. My mom would hang thick blankets over the windows when we came. Also: whether you get a crib or pack-n-play you will need extra sheets and blankets as well!
- Baby-Proof Home: This was another top requests from moms! Making your home a safe place for babies and children makes visits more enjoyable for everyone because before you know that little infant will be toddling around! Adding baby gates near stairs and outlet covers are a great place to start and don’t forget to move breakables out of reach. A baby monitor is another safety item that brings peace of mind. It’s not absolutely necessary but nice for parents not to have to bring theirs along during stays.
- A Safe Place for Baby to Play: Continuing on with #3 here! You’ll want to create a safe place for baby to hang out when not being held. You don’t need a ton of things but an activity mat or baby swing are great for infants.
- Bath Time Necessities:– Having towels, washcloths, and baby safe soap and lotion on hand means you are ready at all times. A baby bathtub is not a necessity but something you might consider if you don’t have a good sink in which to bathe baby. Several moms in our poll said it was nice for grandparents to have an extra set of pajamas.
- Feeding Necessities: A few extra bottles, burp cloths, bibs, and pacifiers are so helpful to a new mama. As they get older, a drawer of toddler cups, plates and utensils is helpful (and little ones love “special” things they get to use at grandparents’!). Don’t forget to ask what kind of formula or food they may need in your house. Another tip: once baby is eating solid foods ask mom to send you photos of the type of food she buys so you can have the same on hand for visits!
- Basic First Aid: This kit is a great basic first aid kit for babies. A thermometer, baby Motrin and Tylenol, and diaper cream are also recommended.
- Car Seat: Depending on what kind of car seat new grandbaby has, a car seat base is nice for grandparents’ car.
- Highchair: As baby gets a big bigger, you’ll want to have a high chair on hand for meal time. This Ikea option (Under $20!) is my favorite and this is a compact one as well. Or you could also opt for one that sits in a dining chair. The Bumbo doubles as a place for hangout and also a chair for eating but I would recommend a real high chair if you have the space.
- Toys and Books: Can’t forget about the fun things that make visiting grandparents so special. A few toys and classic children books are a must-have! My mom has a trunk of toys just for the grandchildren. I’ve rounded up many of my favorite timeless toys here and you can get a list of my top 100 classic children’s books here.
For more of my favorite baby items, see my Essential Baby Registry Checklist here. Are there any essentials you would add to the list? We are working on a Gracious Grandparenting blog series so let me know if there are other topics you think we should address!
Here’s a complete checklist you can print for reference!
- Changing Pad
- Crib or Pack n’ Play
- Extra Sheets and Blankets
- Sound Machine
- Baby Gate
- Outlet Covers
- Activity Mat and/or Baby Swing
- Baby Towels
- Baby Safe Soap
- Baby Lotion
- Baby Bathtub
- Burp Cloths
- Toddler cups, plates and utensils
- Formula and Food
- First Aid Kit
- Baby Motrin and Tylenol
- Diaper Cream
- Car Seat or base