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7 Things Every Grandparent Needs For Their New Grandchild

SPECIAL FROM Grandparents.com

Yippee! The baby is here. And that probably means you’ll be spending as much time as you can with your new grandchild at your house. Translation: You need stuff for the baby at your house so your kids don't have to lug the baby’s gear back and forth. (Trust us, it's worth the expense.) The array of baby products to buy is dizzying, so we've cut through to give you the only seven essentials you'll definitely need. And if you're a long-distance grandparent, consider borrowing these items from friends before your grandchild visits.

  • 1 A Lightweight Stroller
    Taking walks with your grandchild is one of life’s great pleasures. People walk by, oogle and praise your adorable grandchild
    Amazon
    Taking walks with your grandchild is one of life’s great pleasures. People walk by, oogle and praise your adorable grandchild. But you want to make sure that the stroller you buy isn’t too heavy for you to push or cumbersome to use. You’ll want a stroller that: is sturdy has a five point harness to keep the baby secure has a reclining seat back so the baby can lie down and sleep And before you opt for the lightest of all strollers, an umbrella stroller (named for the curved shape of its handles), know this: Yes, umbrella strollers are light and usually the least expensive option out there, but they are generally for children over 6 months old, so if you’ve got a new grandbaby, you’ll need a sturdier stroller.

    Our favorites: Britax B-Agile Stroller reclines, folds up flat and is easy to use. Plus, Britax is a company known for it’s attention to safety and detail. Cost: $199 Buy it now! Quinny Yezz Stroller is super lighweight (11 lbs) and is stylish to boot. Cost: $279.99 Buy it now!
  • 2 Portable Crib
    Cribs can cost hundreds of dollars and take up a lot of space in your den or spare bedroom, but you need somewhere for the li
    Amazon
    Cribs can cost hundreds of dollars and take up a lot of space in your den or spare bedroom, but you need somewhere for the little one to sleep (and rest when you need a rest!) One of the best inventions ever—portable cribs/play pens. They fold up to store almost anywhere when you’re not using them, and they are great for sleeping and putting the baby somewhere safe to play. Plus some portable cribs come with a bassinet attachment and changing table for when the baby is a newborn. Our favorites:
    Graco Pack & Play Playard with Bassinet, Napper and Changer. This portable crib is our hands down favorite, and can take your grandchild from newborn to infant to toddler. It comes with an oh-so-convenient changing station and bassinet. Cost: $89 Buy it now! Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light 2 is super easy to set up, is ultra-light, weighing just 11 lbs, and it can take your grandchild from newborn to age 3. Cost: $239.99 Buy it now!
  • 3 Booster Seat
    When the baby is an infant you can hold her and feed her a bottle, but when she gets older she'll need somewhere to eat. High
    Amazon
    When the baby is an infant you can hold her and feed her a bottle, but when she gets older she'll need somewhere to eat. High chairs can feel like they're taking over your kitchen, so opt for a booster seat instead. Choose a booster seat that:
    has straps that securely attach it to any kitchen chair has a safety belt is recommended/approved for infants (Most babies are ready for a booster seat when they can sit up for long periods of time without lurching forward; around 8+ months).
    Our favorites:
    Kids R Us Deluxe Booster Seat has a detachable tray and three height positions so it grows along with your grandchild. It's the closest thing to a high chair while being a booster seat. Cost: $20.46 Buy it now! Brica Fold N’ Go Travel Booster Seat stores anywhere and has a three-point harness to keep kids secure. Cost: $19.99 Buy it now!
  • 4 Little Spoons
    Such a small item, but when you don't have it, it can be a nuisance. Metal spoons are too hard and too big for the baby's tin
    Amazon
    Such a small item, but when you don't have it, it can be a nuisance. Metal spoons are too hard and too big for the baby's tiny mouth. Spoons are inexpensive and you'll be happy to have them.
    Our favorites:
    Gerber Graduates BPA Free Soft Bite Infant Spoon. Soft and durable at the same time, plus they're made with BPA-free plastic. Cost: $6.54 for a pack of six. Buy it now! Nuby Hot Safe Spoons. Great looking and also BPA-free. Cost: $2.98 for a set of four. Buy it now!
  • 5 Books
    Grandparents can go crazy buying loads of toys for the newborn, but really, babies don’t use many toys. They find you far mor
    Amazon
    Grandparents can go crazy buying loads of toys for the newborn, but really, babies don’t use many toys. They find you far more interesting. Better to spend your money on some classic books that you’ll be able to read your grandchild again and again.
    A few favorites to consider: Is Your Mama a Llama Buy it now! Guess How Much I Love You Buy it now! The Very Hungry Caterpillar Buy it now! Goodnight Moon Buy it now! I’ll Love You Forever Buy it now! And if you do want to buy a few toys, we recommend a soft baby-friendly mirror, like the Sassy Crib & Floor Mirror, for them to look at themselves, and a flexible teething toy that they can hold such as the mega-favorite Sophie the Giraffe Teether from Vulli.
  • 6 Gym Mat
    Even if you want to, you can’t hold the baby all the time! A gym mat is a clean place to put the baby down and has activities
    Amazon
    Even if you want to, you can’t hold the baby all the time! A gym mat is a clean place to put the baby down and has activities attached to it so the baby can look at things and play as she gets older. There are loads of different kinds of mats out there. We like ones that have lots of flaps and activities, as well as black and white fabric, since those are the two colors babies can focus on first.
    Our favorites: Baby Einstein Caterpillar and Friends Play Gym, has adorable animals, is bright and lively and has lots of activities. Cost: $43.80 Buy it now! Genius Babies Activity Play Mat is black, white and red, which is great for newborn eyes, and has lots of hanging items for baby to swat at and play with. Cost: $59.95 Buy it now!
  • 7 Bath Tub
    One of the most anxiety-provoking things you can do with the baby is bathe her. She's so little, and you don't want her to ba
    Amazon
    One of the most anxiety-provoking things you can do with the baby is bathe her. She's so little, and you don't want her to bang her head. If you’re nervous about bathing the baby, then a mini-bathtub will make it a whole lot easier. They're designed to hold the baby in place, and many have a sling to hold newborns. Our favorites:
    The First Year's Infant To Toddler Tub with Sling is adjustable, has a drain, and is perfect for newborns all the way up to toddlers. Cost: $16.20 Buy it now! Fisher-Price 4-in-1 Sling N Seat Tub basically grows with the baby, and can be used for when the baby is big enough to sit up. Cost: $39.97 Buy it now!

You also might want to consider...

  • A car seat - Simply put: Installing them and de-installing them is a bear of a project. You need to make sure they are super-secure, which can take a lot of time and sweat. If you'll br driving the baby around a lot, it's worth it to invest in one. Before you choose a car seat, check out Consumer Reports Car Seat Buying Guide.
  • Bottles/sippy cups - Ask the parents which brand they use, since babies are often very particular about their bottles and cups, then keep a few in your house in case the parents forget to bring them.
  • A rocking chair - Yes, it's a big expense, but babies do love motion, and holding a baby and rocking him to sleep is what it's all about. You'll be glad you have it. And then when they're too big to be rocked, you can donate it to another new grandparent.
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