Grandparents Babysitting Guide
We are going to be grandparents. Every week our daughter-in-law sends out a notice that tells us how her baby is developing. The size of a lentil, then a pea, each week getting bigger and bigger. Our little guy is growing fast.
My husband and I have been getting into practice for some time. Sunday morning, as a mother with a tiny baby was walking to communion, I got a brilliant idea. "Get that baby, you will get more out of the service holding a baby than writing a Christmas Hub". I felt like a football player trying to get to the quarterback, I got there, and offered to hold the baby. The mommy, exhausted, surrendered the baby into my arms. I was in heaven. She got to sit for forty-five minutes, quietly, without anyone asking her a question or crying.
Because of my success with the baby in church, a young couple asked if my husband and I could come to their house and babysit. We had a blast. Holding babies is wonderful.
I have no idea what has gotten into me lately. Somehow becoming a grand parent has made me loopy.
This is surprising, I didn't like kids when I was young.
Letting A Baby Sleep This Way Makes Me Uneasy.
Things You Never Had To think About When Your Kids Were Little
- When you ask if you may hold a baby stay very close to mom. In this day and age everyone is suspicious. Be sensitive. If mom looks nervous back off.
- Holding babies in church can get you other gigs. After church a young gal I know asked if I could babysit for their bible study. She told my husband he could come too. That was a subtle hint.
- Know you limitations. Are you strong enough to handle an infant or small child?
- Brush up on lullabies or have a calming CD.
- Be very calm, relax and enjoy. Showing parents you are capable, calms them. Today's parents, unless accustom to small children, can be'' very nervous.
- Do not take pictures, of your grandchildren or other people babies and post them on Face Book, without parental permission. I was chatting with another young mother at church and she was wondering if she was being hyper sensitive? Some teenagers were photographing her children and posting them on Face Book. She is not being hyper sensitive. I may need to write a hub on why this is not a good idea. Let us say don't do it with out permission
- Say,"No" if you can't or don't want to babysit for your grand baby. We had that rule with my mom and it freed her to have a social life. This is practicing boundary skills.
- Say "Yes" often enough your kids will ask you to babysit.
- Get into shape. Be sure to lift weights .Being fit makes carrying baby much easier. A ten pound baby is like carrying ten pound sack of flour. Unless you do it often it will be hard at first.
- Find out how the parents want you to position the baby when you put them down to sleep. Today's research indicates babies should sleep on their backs.
Sing With The Grandchildren
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Just Because You Did It When Your Kids Were Young
Don't do something just because you did it with your own kids. The new parents of today are very particular about what their children do and don't do. In a the coffee shop this evening a young couple and tiny girl were with grandma. Grandma asked, "Do you want the crayons from the restaurant". Mom replied,, "Thanks for asking me". Then she mouthed we don't have paper. I have it on the best of authorities that napkins at coffee shops work just fine for writing and coloring. I think grandma knew that too. Be sensitive of your kids desires. You did a good job with your children, they will do a good job with your grandchildren. Loving your grandchildren and backing their parents will make your relationship with your son and his wife stronger and more trusting. They will be more likely to want you to babysit for them.
Remember to set boundaries with your time.
If you let your kids play in dirt make sure your daughters or sons-in-law approve, then honor their wishes.
I have a rule called "grandparent's prerogative". Here is how it works. You call "grandparents prerogative" and do something you know your adult child might not do. An example, My son and his kids and I walk/run regularly together. His eldest child is 3 and does a great job of riding his bike with training wheels, 3-6 miles, depending on heat, terrain and how good the snacks have been. One day H.J. asked for a push up a hill. When my own kids were little I would push them. My son doesn't do this with his own son and doesn't appreciate it if I do either. The little boy was very tired and it was the end of the excursion. I knew full well H.J. could do the hill, but explained I was going to use "grandparent's prerogative" and give H.J. a push up the hill. I rarely do this. Since I am not a sweets person this is my way of spoiling the grands.
Never lie to your children or grandchildren.
*My children say," Mom you told us never to lie. You said in the beginning of this hub,'You didn't used to like kids', Mother that is a lie. You have advocated for children, taught children and loved children for as long as we can remember".
Make a mental note don't lie, Your children will rat you out.
When you have three grandchildren under the age of four you are loopy because watching them is like being in a three ring circus.
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