Goin' to Grandma's House
April 8, 2010 11:31 AM   Subscribe

When we have our baby later this spring, and after I go back to my p/t job, my mom is going to take care of our son a few days a week. I'm looking for tips on what sorts of "supplies" my parents should keep at their house and what we should shuttle back and forth. They'll have their own Pack & Play and their own carseat, but what else? Any other tips to make this as easy as possible for everyone would be much appreciated, too.
posted by trillian to Human Relations (18 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I think my parents are the proud owners of the following: extra wipes, extra diapers, a few extra clothes, a few toys, a few books, diaper cream, infant Tylenol, thermometer, 1 bottle. It doesn't take much.
posted by rabidsegue at 11:37 AM on April 8, 2010

Bibs/receiving blankets. The former to protect baby's clothing, the latter to protect grandma's. ;-)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 11:40 AM on April 8, 2010

Do you plan on breastfeeding/pumping, formula feeding, or mixing the two? If using formula, they make these great formula "straws" (like a pixie stick, but fat) that mix up to 4 oz. of formula and fit neatly in an 8 oz. tall bottle. We keep those on hand for travel, but also for babysitters and family member caregivers ... it seems to take a lot of the anxiety out of mixing up formula, especially for people who haven't done it in a while (or ever). If you're doing just formula I imagine they'll just buy formula, but the "straws" would be a good emergency backup supply, or a good emergency backup if you're doing primarily breastmilk but want to have on hand some formula just in case. (And of course extra, sealed individual servings can be donated to a respite nursery or women's shelter, while opened big containers can't be.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:42 AM on April 8, 2010

Either a stroller or baby carrier or some fashion may be useful, depending on your preference.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 11:43 AM on April 8, 2010

Do you plan on breastfeeding/pumping, formula feeding, or mixing the two?

Ooh, good question that would make a difference in the answers. I'm planning on breastfeeding exclusively, and pumping while I'm at work.
posted by trillian at 11:43 AM on April 8, 2010

High chair when the baby is ready for table food. A simple one that straps to a dining chair should be sufficient.

I usually carried my babies in a sling but I loved my bounce chair when I couldn't carry them. If they weren't sleeping I would strap them in and set them next to the shower, or wherever I was around the house doing chores.
posted by Fairchild at 11:46 AM on April 8, 2010

Dipes, wipes, clothes.
posted by k8t at 11:54 AM on April 8, 2010

Please don't take offense at this, but even if you're pumping, sometimes you get unlucky. Someone spills a bottle, or the baby has a growth spurt... If you don't like Eyebrows McGee's suggestion, you can buy shelf-stable pre-mixed 8 oz cans of formula. It's just a useful emergency option that keeps grandma from panicking. (I guess if you had a great supply, maybe they could keep a ration or two of your frozen milk instead.)

Other than that? Basically what you'd put in a diaper bag for yourself - k8t's list, thermometer, and your pediatrician's phone number.
posted by synapse at 12:19 PM on April 8, 2010

Extra swing. Like, the kind you find at yard sales now for cheap money, doesn't have to be fancypants. And yeah, stroller. Extra clothes, extra receiving blankets.
posted by kpht at 12:36 PM on April 8, 2010

If you haven't gotten it/them already, the Graco car seats that become detachable carriers work great (I would assume others make similar seats), and you could save your parents the expense of getting a separate carseat all together (all they would need is the "base" that remains in their car).

This arrangement worked wonderfully for my wife and I, who both drive to work and picked up/dropped off using both cars.

here's an amazon result for the type of seats I'm talking about.
posted by pkphy39 at 12:41 PM on April 8, 2010

Seconding the bouncy chair! Mine liked it better than any of the battery operated devices we put her in.

Some babies like swings.

Also a list of first aid procedures, written large, laminated, and placed in a prominent area of the home. Of course I don't know your mom, but my own experience has taught me that grandparents sometimes have very outdated ideas of how to treat injuries.
posted by Knowyournuts at 12:47 PM on April 8, 2010

Give the grandparents a credit card tied to your account. Makes things lot easier when diapers runs out, paying for gas or when they might be motivated to do grocery shopping.
posted by zeikka at 1:32 PM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Everything. Really. Diapers, clothes, toys, first aid, bath stuff, you name it. In essence, they're making a second home for the baby. If this is a regular thing its much, much easier to have the things there than drag them around.
posted by anastasiav at 1:59 PM on April 8, 2010

Little newborns need mostly clothes, diapers, wipes, and food. They tend to sleep on people during the day (well, mine would not sleep if you put him down) so, blankets for that.

If you are going to use a sling or swaddle blanket, then you need to make sure your sitters know how to use them too.

(cannot recommend swaddle blankets enough, and they make them with the velcro now, so they're easy peasy).

Also, if you are cloth diapering, the newfangled kinds use inserts and velcro and probably need a tutorial for grandmas used to pins, plus a dirty-diaper bucket for used ones.
posted by emjaybee at 2:11 PM on April 8, 2010

Nthing above. We have two sitters during the week and they each have:
- a place for the baby to sleep
- car seat
- cheap umbrella stroller
- extra clothes
- diapers
- wipes
- bottles
- formula
- tylenol
- thermometer
- sunblock
- sunhat
- random toys/books/blankets

It's just easier than trying to remember who has what. The only thing that was expensive was the extra car seats, but we decided in the end it was worth it.
posted by dpx.mfx at 2:13 PM on April 8, 2010

Have they forgotten? Are they worried or concerned? ;) Don't try to reproduce your home there, they'll find what works for them and let you know. It's natural to want to do this, if you're nesting - but really, they'll need very little at first and will find out more of what they need as the baby grows. A lot will depend on who you get, you know.

But, they'll likely need a first aid kit/course for infants, perhaps (information and best practice has changed so much over the years) and information about your preferences for treatment in emergencies. And yes, the views on sun protection and talc and things like that have changed over time too - so maybe a copy or two of books that you're following and chatting about it.
posted by peagood at 2:43 PM on April 8, 2010

Umbrella strollers are great and don't take up much space. If you have one, they don't need a high chair til they're trying to feed themselves, too.
posted by lemniskate at 3:49 PM on April 8, 2010

My in-laws keep my triplets for the weekend sometimes, and we don't have to bring anything over. It's awesome, but a lot of stuff. They have

- pack n plays
- high chairs (the space saver type that are strapped to regular chairs)
- toys
- car seats
- strollers
- diapers
- clothes
- shoes

and their specific needs like a nebulizer and the meds that go with it.

Of course, I recognize that my ILs went possibly a little bit overboard, I think the most important items are the ones for sleeping and feeding.
posted by pyjammy at 11:34 AM on April 9, 2010

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