Your parents and in-laws are excited for their new roles in the growing family just like you and your partner. They might be just a phone call away if you need a last minute babysitter, especially in the days and weeks after labor when you’re totally exhausted. There’s good chance grandparents will want to bond with Baby and be there to answer all your questions about raising an infant.
If you’re occupied with breastfeeding and diaper changes, grandparents can step in to cook or clean around the house. However, you might not want Grandma or Grandpa to invite themselves over everyday until your “baby” is 18, so how do you balance it?
Different parenting techniques
Grandparents might be adamant about everything from burping methods to the best kind of mobile above the crib, and the endless tips and interjections could put you at your wit’s end. Even though their intentions are good, you want to do things your own way, and times have changed since they raised kids.
As tempting as it may be to scream in response to unsolicited advice, try not to be insulted, and remind them that you’ve done your research.
Let them help without breathing down your neck
If they’re offering to help, use Grandma or Grandpa to help you out with everyday activities that new parents just might not have enough hands for, like taking pictures, running errands, and cooking. They’ll feel like they’re contributing and you can get some alone time with Baby when you need it.
Of course grandparents want to get some time to cuddle Baby, but if that’s all they do, they run the risk of just doing the fun part, instead of helping out in useful ways. That’s fine, too, but grandparents who are just dropping by to get some quality time with Baby are really making social calls, and you get to set limits on those as you need them.
Let them spoil their grandchild
Grandparents love to shower kids with gifts, and you might come home from the hospital and realize your registry left out a few items! They’ll probably be window shopping and see the cutest little shoes or find a colorful pacifier to keep around the house, so let them know if you’re in need of something – they may be eager to pick it out.
The bottom line
Grandparents are notorious for loving their grandbabies, so make sure you get your parents or in-laws involved in Baby’s life! You may be a grandparent yourself one day, and then it will be your chance to play the role of the wise matriarch.