Congratulations, grandparents! Whether you are a new grandparent or an experienced one, we hope you will find this information helpful.
- Get the recommended immunizations: A yearly flu vaccine and a Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis-whooping cough) within the past 10 years. These can be obtained from your primary care physician, local pharmacy or health department. Flu and Tdap vaccines are also offered by Yale New Haven Hospital at the “Caregiver Clinic” Wednesdays from 4pm-7pm on the 8th floor of the West Pavilion, call 203-688-7991.
- Take care of yourself - body, mind and spirit
- Take a grandparenting class - Hartford Hospital, “Expectant Grandparents Class” 855-442-4373; Yale New Haven Health Greenwich Hospital, “Grandparenting Today” 203-863-3655 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or //email@example.com">Yale New Haven Health Lawrence+Memorial Hospital “Grandparents: A Special Role” 860-442-0711 ext 2300.
- Take an infant/child CPR class - Yale New Haven Health Yale New Haven Hospital, “Infant/Child CPR” class also covers safety including prevention of common childhood accidents and injuries, 203-688-9355. Hartford Hospital Family and Friends CPR, 860-972-2564; AHATCC@hhchealth.org; the American Red Cross; or the American Heart Association.
- Familiarize yourself with some of what’s new: swaddling, sleep sacks, white noise, “The 5 S’s”, baby wearing, attachment parenting, “Back to Sleep”, baby led weaning, “The 4th Trimester”, NoseFrida® (aka “SnotSucker”), baby sign language, and tummy time.
Tips for Supporting the New Family
- Parents want your support not necessarily unsolicited advice
- No “spectator” visitors for at least the first 2 weeks
- “Think before you post” - respect the parents social media preferences
- Help the new mom rest for 1 hour two times a day for 2-3 weeks for a vaginal delivery and 3-4 weeks for a c-section
- Respect their feeding choices - bottle, breast or a combination.
- Communicate ahead of time how you are willing/able to help when the baby is born
- Helping ideas - bring food, grocery shop, do laundry, clean/do light housekeeping, run errands, do yard work, hold baby, take care of the sibling(s), listen and encourage, give mom and dad a morning/afternoon/evening out or baby-free few fours at home.
Organizations with Grandparenting Interests
- AARP Grandparenting Information Center
- National Association for Grandparenting
- National Council on Aging, 202-479-1200
- The Happiest Baby on the Block, by Dr Harvey Karl (The 5 S’s)
- The Nanas And The Papas: A Boomer’s Guide To Grandparenting, by Kathryn Zullo
- Today’s Grandmother: Your Guide to the First Two Years: A lot has changed since you had your baby! The how-to book to become an active an engaged grandmother by Dr Angela Bowen