Grandma Essential Baby Supplies: Throw a Shower for a First Time Grandma!

Snuggle NestThis Grandma remembers how hard it is to be a parent.  Lugging all of the paraphernalia for a visit or trip anywhere is a chore.  Being a long distance grandma, I decided that I would make it very easy for the parents of our grandchildren to visit.  I personally think it makes the parents of our grandchildren consider coming more often!

Before each visit, I get an updated list on diapers and supplies, food and “beverage” and snack requirements, baby tylenol, new toothbrushes and toothpaste (which always go home) and anything else the grandchild is currently using.  When the grandchild is old enough, I ask them which cereal and drinks and snacks they want.  I then have all the supplies in my house when everyone arrives, paraphernalia free.

It also means having what the grandchild needs at your house.  Yes, we bought a full size crib–a closeout floor sample at a local store (old cribs may have safety issues so we could not buy used).  Yes, Grandpa put it together and took it apart at each visit.  Yes, we needed to rent a storage bin.  However, we amortized the cost involved in making our home welcome to the parents of our grandchildren over four grandchildren.  We have now passed down the outgrown crib to another grandma for her two baby grandchildren.

So what else did this Grandma find indispensable to have for a baby at grandma’s house?  Here is the list.

Snuggle Nest.   This was indispensible for a young baby and continued to be used as a changing table for older babies.  Our toddlers even used it as a comfy television seat.  Our daughters got theirs after I found it.  Here is how Amazon describes it:

The Snuggle Nest is a portable infant sleeper designed to offer baby more comfort and stability in the adult bed. Sturdy, vented, support walls enclose baby, providing closeness and a sense of security. Baby’s comfort is taken to the next level with two options for soothing sound: Brahm’s Lullaby and Womb Sound by Pediasleep.comr. A soft LED nightlight enables easy checks throughout the night and a new Comfort Mesh LinerTM provides a more comfortable surface for baby. Great for co-sleeping, napping, travel, and also as a changing area and for moms with C-Sections and preemies. Lightweight and compact for travel.

Click here to buy for less than $50.

Pac-N-Play.  Again, think basic model for grandma’s house.  Costco has a highly rated basic for less than $45.  A pac-n-play is essential for when baby needs to be left alone for a few minutes (think bathroom break), as an alternative safe play area in grandma’s house, and as a second “crib” when the second baby arrives.  This you can buy second hand.  Try CraigsList.

We got ours as a hand me down for free.

High Chair.  This Grandma went on Consumer Reports site  and picked the cheapest of the recommended high chairs.  Our daughters got the highest rated and most expensive.  I think they liked ours better.  What they liked best is how easy it was to clean and that the positioning allowed a younger baby to sit as it went back far.  This year the highest rated most inexpensive is the Fisher Price E-Z Clean, similar to the one we got, which is sold at Walmart for less than $80. Click here. Here is what Consumer Reports says:

This Fisher-Price high chair is a CR Best Buy. It was excellent in overall performance, and was very easy to use. Seat height is adjustable with 4 positions. Seat back adjusts to 3 positions. Weight: 18lb. Size: Small; projected footprint is 530 square inches.

HighsRelatively compact. Flip design gives more clearance at sides and back. Tray is very easy to attach and adjust. Multiple seat-height settings add versatility. Harness adjustment system is excellent, making it very easy to adjust straps to fit child. The chair as a whole is judged easy to keep clean. The seat cover is machine washable, and easy to remove and put back on.

I bought an inexpensive booster seat for when the grandchildren outgrew the high chair.

Foam Alphabet Floor mat tiles.  Let’s face it.  We are not as baby-proofed at our home as the parents of our grandchildren’s home.  We can try.

But, we can find a contained space for baby.  To make the contained space safer, we found foam floor tiles that make a large soft mat.  We covered the tile floor and let baby, toddler, and small children at play without worry.  We used it as a learning tool as well.  Click here to buy enough to cover a small room.

Baby Monitors.  We got a few of these as the parents of our grandchildren kept taking them home.  Of course, buy the cheapest.  They bought expensive complicated ones.  Easy and cheap was our motto.  This year Consumer Reports recommends as the best cheapest model, Safety 1st Glow & Go 08022, so popular it is out of stock often.

Strollers.  We went to a store and looked at discounted floor models on closeout.  We got a steal, a Peg Perego discontinued model for one third of retail.  That is exactly what you should try to do.  Who cares if the fabric is not the current model.  As usual, our daughter took it home.  When the second stroller we found got taken home, we went and bought umbrella strollers, the cheapest we could find at Toys R Us or Target.  Our daughters loved them.  They are light, compact, and easy to lean back and still push when the babies are little.  They come with sun covers and even come in double strollers.  This is one item to consider buying new as you can find it so inexpensively.

Digital Stick Thermometers with Covers.  We use them as adults now.  I think everyone should have them in their home.  These are not expensive.  Up & Up Target brand is loved by Consumer Reports for nearly everything and that is their recommendation for $4.50.

Potty Seat.  I bought Dora and Diego for less than $10.

Bouncy Seat.  Get the cheapest vibrating kind.  Less than $30.

Swing.  This is a must if an infant is visiting.  Even grandma cannot hold the baby 24 hours a day, although I must say I really wanted to.  I was able to find a used one on CraigsList.  I have used CraigsList to find toddler bikes with training wheels used for $10 too!

Child proofing essentials.  There are just some essentials we need when grandchildren visit: electric plug covers, edge cushioning, door handle guards.  Just examine grandma’s home and how contained the grandchild can be.  The parents of your grandchildren will appreciate your efforts in this regard and not put them in the difficult position of having to speak to you about safety at your home.

Microwave sterilizer and set of bottles.  Buy the same kind of microwave sterilizer as the set of bottles the parents of your grandchildren are using.  Buy eight bottles and extra nipples in a few sizes to save buying them later.  The parents of your grandchildren will take some home.  These will have to be replaced.

Sippy cups, baby spoons, baby bowls.   Again, ask the parents what to buy and the parents of your grandchildren will end up taking some home.

Toys, books, etc.  For a young baby, grandma is the best toy.  Your grandma friends will visit and bring small toys when they come to meet your grandchild.  It is up to the Grandma to decide what to do here.  Always check Toy Portfolio and buy what they recommend.

This Grandma thinks it is time that we grandmas help each other by throwing a baby shower for the grandma-to-be and help her to stock her home!  For fun, make it a toy and book shower assigning an age group to each guest, for example, and limiting the cost if you need to (you could go as low as $5 per guest and still have each bring a toy and a book!).  This way there is a variety at grandma’s house.

Happy times and such




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