Baby Supplies for Grandma's House
It is So Delightful to Have a New Grandchild - But Be Prepared!
What Do You Need When Your Grandbaby Comes to Visit?
My husband and I have seven grandchildren. When most of them were babies, we went to visit them rather than asking their parents to bring them to see us. This made it easier on their parents, so they would not have to travel with a young infant. The newborns were rarely brought to our house and, when they did come, their parents brought all the supplies they needed with them.
With our newest grandchild, however, our daughter who lives 3000 miles away on the other side of the country flew here with her infant son, and stayed for three weeks. She plans to do this at least once a year, and she hopes to have more children. She does not want to try to bring all the supplies she would need on the airplane, so we told her we would go shopping and buy some of the essentials, especially the bulkier items. Since it has been three decades since we purchased baby supplies, we had a lot of fun!
We knew that, at the very least, we would need a place for the baby to sleep, a car seat and a lightweight stroller. We would also need diapers and similar supplies. Unlike new parents, we did not feel we would have to purchase anything major, such as a baby swing, baby monitor, toys, special towels, clothing, etc. We just needed the bare minimum of supplies so that our grandson would be comfortable during his stay.
Once we had our temporary nursery equipped, I thought other grandparents would be interested in seeing what was available and what we learned in the process. Some things have changed quite a bit since our own children were infants!
A Pack 'n Play is Perfect for a Visiting Grandchild
The first item we needed to select was a Pack 'n Play. This is a combination crib/playpen, which can fold up into a very small package that can easily fit in the trunk of a car. It's perfect for the home or taking a young child on a visit somewhere. Although there are several brands available, we found that they were all very similar.
Pack 'n Plays can also be found in consignment stores or, if you don't think you will need it very long, you may just want to borrow one from another grandparent you know!
Choosing the Right Car Seat
When I was a young mother, we were not nearly as safety conscious as parents are today. If you are going to purchase a car seat for your grandchild, you need to know the weight and height of the child so you get the appropriate size and design. There are styles for infants, toddlers and older children who just need a booster seat.
With a five month old grandchild coming to visit, we had to purchase an infant seat. However, the next time he visits, we will need to have the toddler size seat. There are convertible styles which work for both age groups. Since our daughter is planning to have more children, we decided to get a separate seat for each age group. The time may come when we need to be able to transport more than one child safely!
If you think that this is the last car seat you will need to purchase, then make life easy on yourself and get a convertible car seat.
Infant Seats for the Youngest Children
Below you will find a car seat that is rear facing and designed exclusively for infants. While back in the 1970s and 1980s we moved our children up to front facing car seats as soon as possible. The thinking about this has changed dramatically in the intervening decades. Today, many parents want their children to stay in rear facing seats, which are considered safer, as long as possible. In fact, it is the law in most states ... and you don't want to get a ticket because you did not put your grandchild in the correct type of car seat.
Be sure to check with the baby's parents before buying a car seat for your grandchildren, because many young parents have very specific ideas about the right type of car seat for their children. We purchased the infant seat below and our daughter, like her peers, wants her child to be in a rear facing car seat as long as possible. Other parents may feel differently about the style and brand of seat they want for their child.
Convertible Car Seats
Convertible car seats have the advantage that they work for infants and can be switched around so they will also work for toddlers and young children.
Convertible car seats often cost a little more, but they last a lot longer.
I highly recommend these types of car seats, especially if you expect this to be your last grandchild or the only one you will have.
This is an Excellent Car Seat - But Check with Your Adult Children Before Getting One for their Baby!
We purchased an infant car seat like this one. Later, we will still need to purchase a design that will work with older children. Since we have several young grandchildren, we decided it was smart to keep more than one car seat on hand. If you only have one young grandchild, you may find that a convertible car seat will meet your needs better.
Turn a Bed, Table or Dresser into a Changing Table
You may also need a waterproof pad to keep on hand so that you can have a comfy, sanitary place to change the baby anywhere in your home. My daughter just used a bed as a changing table. However, we put a pad down on the bed to reduce the risk that the bedding would become soiled.
If you have a dresser that is the right height, there are also pads that make it easy to convert a dresser into a changing table. Since changing the baby on a bed hurt my back, I really wish we had had a dresser that would have worked.
You May Want an Inexpensive Stroller
If your kids normally bring a stroller along when they show up with their baby, then this is not an item you will need to have. However, if they are flying across country to see you, then bringing along a stroller may be a lot of trouble. In this case, you will want to have a cheap stroller in your supply closet!
We found an inexpensive umbrella stroller which doesn't take up much room. They can be purchased in many stores and online for less than $30.
Duplicate Diapers, Lotions and Shampoos
You may want to have some of these on hand when your infant grandchild comes to visit. Before you buy any lotions and creams, make sure you check with your children so you know what brand of baby supplies they are already using.
You want to get the brand that the parents prefer. Most young mothers are very particular about what products they use. In addition, you don't want to switch brands and then discover that the infant develops a rash or other reaction.
Fortunately, since you probably won't need the products for very long, you can probably get by with purchasing a gift set that has small size containers of all the different products you are likely to need. You can also buy most of the products you will need at your local grocery or drug store.