Grandparents Babysitting Guide

Baby Bandit and Baby Joe eight weeks old
Baby Bandit and Baby Joe eight weeks old | Source

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.

Young babies are still surprisingly mobile.
Young babies are still surprisingly mobile. | Source

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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Comments 22 comments

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

Excellent tips. Good luck with the grand-parenting. i would add one postscript to your last tip. Yes, carrying a 10-pound baby is like carrying a 10-pound bag of flour except for the fact that the flour does not squirm, squiggle, wiggle, wail or whine.

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 5 years ago from California Author

lol! how very true.

Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Excellent advice especially about FB. I spend a lot of time minding my grand children. I think it is important to know your limitations and give them back before you get exhausted.

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 5 years ago from California Author

Gypsy Willow,Very true. I am a long distance bicyclist so have a lot of energy that many GP's don't. Thank for helping me be more sensitive.

carolyn a. ridge profile image

carolyn a. ridge 5 years ago

Congrats on becoming a grandmother; I have not yet had the pleasure. But I interact with other grandmothers, and there's no one more special than your child's child. Great hub! I hope your ankle feels better.

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jenubouka 5 years ago

Great hub, I think grandparents are a great source of reference and may have more patience than the parent.

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 5 years ago from California Author

jemubouka- So true,grandparents have way more patience than parents. I am amazed at myself,

Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

Congratulations on becoming a grandparent

Being a grandparent is special, we have far more patience and more time too.

One more tip here never outdo the childs parents in the gift area. They are the main providers and as such feel bad if their gift is not as good or as expensive as yours. I learned this the first year of being a grandparent.

A wonderful hub with some extremely good and practicle advice.

voting up

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 5 years ago from California Author

Rosemay50, Thanks so much for the good advise on gift giving.

Good of you to stop by.

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

GREAT advice, tirelesstraveler! Informative and in-depth. LOVED it. And WILL consider using this in the near future "IF" there are ANY babies in my life to babysit. They are all grown up and moved away. Still, a great read. Sincerely, Kenneth Avery from a rural town, Hamilton, in northwest Alabama that looks a lot like Mayberry on the Andy Griffith Show.

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 5 years ago from California Author

Kenneth Avery, Every time I see your name I think why didn't he just call me. We have a very good friend named Kenneth Avery who lives near us. He is a born and bred Californian.

Thanks for stopping by. Good luck on HubPages.

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Wow! tirlesstraveler, small Hub World, huh? That is so cool. And I enjoyed the visit. YOU are cordially invited to my neck of the woods on Hubs anytime. Sincerely, Kenneth

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 5 years ago from California Author

Thank you

kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving and be safe! Kenneth and PS: How about this hub idea, "The DO's, not DONT's of Thanksgiving Gorging"...maybe a how-to guide on eating a lot of great stuff and looking like you are only nibbling. YOU can have this idea. As an early Christmas present.

carolyn a. ridge profile image

carolyn a. ridge 5 years ago

Agreed: never, ever take pictures of your grandchildren or other peoples' babies and post them ANYWHERE -- without parents' permission. At the end of this hub, you got busted for lying -- by your own children! How funny! I love how they know and respect the fact that you love children. Great hub; keep it up !!

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 5 years ago from California Author

carolyn, I enjoy comments from folks who get my humor. Thanks for stopping by.

Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Congratulations on becoming a grandparent, it's just wonderful - your life will never be the same again!!!

Thank you for sharing some excellent advice here, especially about FB and I love that your children found you out at the end of the hub! Best wishes MM

jpcmc profile image

jpcmc 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

we moved to our parent's house so someone can look after tmy daughter when my wife and I were at work. But recently we moved out and got a nanny to look after our daughter. The nanny is doing great but there's a certain level of comfort knowing your child is with a family member.

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 4 years ago from California Author

jpcmc, There is no replacement for family.

kj force profile image

kj force 3 years ago from Florida

tirelesstraveler....great write .." Welcome to the Wonderful World of Grandparenting" sit back and enjoy the ride of your life.....

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California Author

kj, we have another one due in September. I never thought being a grandparent was going to be this fun. Trying to figure out if H.J. would be OK if we took him to Texas to visit his other grandparents. He is pretty little.

kj force profile image

kj force 3 years ago from Florida

tirelesstraveler....How old is baby H.J. ? and if you see him on a regular basis, he probably will feel comfortable with you. If he is clingy to mom and is a fuss budget at time..nix the trip...but otherwise this shouldn't be a problem...We vacationed with our G-C at ages 4 & 2... however...I was the main caregiver, as mom had a job where she we all vacation together...Congrat's on # 2...I still take care of my G-C everyday, as we are all on the same property...being previously a career mom..I am having a blast ! and doing it " right " this more mistakes...hehehe...have a wonderful day .

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