Your challenge: You’ve got a trip to grandma + grandpa’s house on the horizon, but their home isn’t prepared like yours. While at your place, you’ve stockpiled enough diapers for a small daycare, have an activity gym for every room, and know *just* the right lighting to get baby to sleep, but the grandparents’ house isn’t quite ready for baby. Yet.
The solution: Keep it simple, but get prepared in advance of your visit—from daily schedules to family activities, mealtime prep, babyproofing and sleeping arrangements.
You’ll want to share your typical daily schedule in advance (particularly if there’s a time-change involved), so the grandparents know when to expect naps, meals and bedtime. If you’re planning family activities together during your visit, aim to agree on them in advance of your trip, so to avoid any misunderstandings. And make sure to include unstructured time to simply enjoy your adorable little one together. (Pro tip: Regional zoos are a great source of entertainment + exercise for young families.)
Mealtime: Grandparents aim to please, so let them know what you like to feed your little one so they can shop in advance. You can even order grocery delivery direct to their house to make sure you get the products and brands you prefer. Don’t forget to grab a portable babyseat to set up impromptu breakfast stations at grandpa’s kitchen. (Pro tip: A few extra food pouches in the diaper bag never hurt anyone.)
Sleep: A portable playard is clutch: it can serve both as a cozy sleep environment, and a safe place to keep your little one when needed, since a grandparents’ home is less likely to be fully babyproofed. You can use white noise apps on your phone to help drown out unfamiliar noises in the new space and help baby (and you) get your ZZz’s. If you’re dealing with time changes, take it slow. Let baby rest whenever she wants to during your journey, (so don’t try to mess with naptime on the airplane, if possible) but once you’ve arrived, aim to keep to the schedule of your new time zone. The body adjusts more quickly if you go with the natural rhythms of the night and day, wherever you are.
Play: There’s nothing more interesting to a little one than a brand new space. (Have you ever watched your baby marvel at a shiny new lamp?) While there’s no need to buy every toy in town, having the grandparents gift a few small toys and games for your visit will 1. make everyone smile and 2. keep baby entertained so you can take a little break, too. Speaking of breaks, a low profile baby bouncer will keep your little one safe and entertained during your visit, but store neatly away once you’ve left.
Pro tip(s): Grandparents will be SO excited to have you and baby in town, so try to be flexible in areas where you can bend (why yes of course Aunt Betty can stop by to see the baby!). Going with the flow as much as possible will make it easier for the grandparents to understand when it’s time for you to stand firm (ahem: bedtime).
You’ve got this.
Motherly + Kids 2 provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
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