A guide to help grandparents when babysitting their grandkids

Grandparents are usually the go-to people when it comes to trusting someone to watch over children. With experience and know-how, grandparents are capable individuals that are familiar to the children. One reason why many parents encourage grandparents to babysit, is to allow children to get to know and bond with their grandparents. However, there are a few simple tips that can allow for a less stressful babysitting session between child and grandparent.

Obstacles

Because many grandparents are further along in years, sore muscles and joints can be an issue in babysitting. While adults can usually keep up with rambunctious toddlers and feisty babies, grandparents can find it difficult to take on certain tasks during babysitting. Obstacles around the house can be a huge hindrance, especially in gates or blocked pathways. Constantly lifting knees over high gates or maneuvering around blocked pathways and doors can be bothersome and sometimes hazardous, especially while holding a baby for diaper changes or feedings.

A tip that can help this situation is simply purchasing a safety gate with an opening mechanism rather than a lock in place bar. The Protect Auto Close Gate by Munchkin offers a simple to use swinging gate mechanism that allows grandparents to easily walk through pathways without having to heave kids over or lift knees to get through.  

Technology

Electronic devices, televisions and DVD players can be a savior during babysitting sessions. Whether it’s a child’s favorite Disney movie, the Sprout channel or their kid-friendly tablet device; technology can be a big part in a stress-free babysitting session. While working these devices can be second-nature to most adults, grandparents can find it difficult to work their mechanics.

A helpful tip for grandparents is to ask for clear step-by-step instructions on how to work favorite electronic devices during babysitting. Requesting items are setup prior to the babysitting session can be a huge help to grandparents. This can mean having the DVD player loaded and ready to play, having the television stationed on their favorite channel or clear instructions on how to turn work their tablet device.

Routine

Children thrive in routine, whether it’s their eating schedule or when they need to nap. It’s important for grandparents to know details on their routine during a babysitting session. This can ease stress in trying to figure out what might be wrong with a screaming baby or trying to appease a fussy toddler. Knowing the routine and sticking to scheduled feedings and naps can help maintain their usual regimen. Children can sometimes be weary of the unknown and having a babysitter can heighten this anxiety. Staying on their usual schedule will help them to feel safe in a foreign environment while instilling a familiar routine that will help them to feel more comfortable.

Grandparents are great babysitters for children of all ages. Being able to trust a family member without hiring an outsider is a huge load off the mind for many parents. Following a few simple tips can help to make the experience more enjoyable for your child and the grandparent to encourage future babysitting sessions.