My husband sponsored a Halloween party for infants and toddlers this weekend. The organizers asked if he could provide something for grandparents. So I came up with this list of things that a grandparent (anyone else) may want to have on hand if they are at least semi-regular babysitters.
Here’s a list of things for grandparents, nannies, aunts, uncles, friends…whomever is your go to overnight babysitter. This list should cover dinnertime, bath time, bedtime and everything in between. Infants, as long as you have diapers, blankets and bottles, don’t need a whole lot of stuff. But when they are toddlers, they have lots more gear and schlepping all that gear every time it’s time for a visit is a pain in the bum! So here are some essentials to have at the ready beyond those the parents will likely stock in the diaper bag.
- A lightweight stroller – You’ll want something that’s light and collapsible that can fit in your coat closet and in your trunk. A simple umbrella stroller should fit most of your needs.
- A potty seat – No grandparent (or anyone for that matter) wants a toddler stuck in a toilet. Get a potty seat for the toilet that can come on and off and can be easily stowed when not in use.
- A travel crib and/or toddler bed – You may want flexibility with the location of your grandchild’s naps. You may also not want to have a crib set up in your office all the time. Get a crib and/or toddler bed that can be packed away easily.
- Outlet covers – Having outlet covers for the easy to reach outlets in the rooms your grandchild will frequent is a must. Get ones that you (not your grandchild) can easily remove in between visits.
- A non slip mat for the tub – Little feet and bums covered in soap and bubble bath are going to slip and slide. Give them some grip with a rubber mat that covers the whole bathtub bottom. Extra points for one with trains, animals or Elmo.
- Small spoons and forks – This is pretty obvious, but your grandchild will have a hard time eatin
g with utensils made for an adult.
- Stainless steel cups with sippy lids – Toddlers have a habit of dropping things. Think hundreds of shards of glass on your floor. Even if they can drink out of a cup, you’ll want one that can hit the floor unscathed.
- Kids books – Children love being read to, especially by their grandparents. Books are calming before naps or bedtime, and a great opportunity for snuggle time. Toddlers like reading the same ones over and over, so 5-10 will do.
- Car seat – Getting a car seat in and our of your car is a big pain in the a….bum! If you can afford it, have an extra on hand and installed in your car before the grandchild gets to your house for easy outings and in case of emergency.
- Baby monitor – Especially since you’re home probably isn’t baby proofed from top to bottom, you’ll want to be able to monitor what your grandchild is doing in the room while they are supposed to be napping. While they are easily portable, monitors are easy to forget to pack up when the parents come to pick up their child.