Alright, I admit it – I am not a supermom. I can’t do it all myself, at least not without losing my mind, and I’m glad I don’t have to. With a full-time job, a toddler and a new baby I’m grateful to have a mother-in-law who’s willing and able to provide daycare. My husband and I are lucky to both have flexible schedules, but the kids are still at Grandma’s about four hours every day. Since it looks like this is going to be a semi-permanent arrangement I think it’s time to buy Grandma a few baby-care essentials instead of hauling everything back and forth.
The hubs and I made a list of the most important items his mom should have at her house. Since she’s already providing free childcare we don’t want her spending money on things the kids need every day. Here’s what we came up with:
1. Car Seats
Sometimes Dad drops the kids off and I pick them up, sometimes Grandma comes to get them; the constant shuffling of car seats gets confusing and it’s only a matter of time until someone who needs the car seats won’t have them. We need to furnish Grandma’s car with a new car seat for each of the kids. Besides, it’s a hassle for her to lug those seats in and out of her SUV all the time.
2. A Crib
Grandma has a fun foldout bed for our toddler to sleep on, but the baby really needs a crib. Portable cribs aren’t that expensive and I think my mother-in-law would be able to actually relax when the kids are napping if she didn’t have to keep checking to make sure the baby was alright. Plus, we could always use it if we ever get to travel anywhere again.
There are always some toys that are favorites, especially for our toddler. Buying an extra set of building blocks or an activity center to leave at Grandma’s house would make things easier and may prevent a meltdown in the future. Oh, and those favorite books too. Naptime is a lot easier with “Goodnight Moon” on your side.
4. First-Aid Kit
Of course she’s an experienced mother and I literally trust her with my children’s lives, but I know I’d feel better if we put together a first-aid kit that included all the same things we use at home. Our kit has the basics like bandages and ice packs, and also some children’s Tylenol for pain or fevers, some children’s Benadryl, those natural teething tablets we like, a thermometer, antibiotic cream and emergency numbers.
5. Storage Units
OK it may not be essential, but I know my mother-in-law is used to having a neat house. If we’re going to bring all these extra things to live at her home we should also supply her with some organizational strategies. A few of those stacking bins would be great; they don’t take up much space and their light enough that she could carry them around the house as they’re needed.
I know we’re lucky to have family helping us with the kids, but we don’t want to take complete advantage of Grandma. Making sure she’s equipped with all the basics will make things easier for everyone and we’ll feel better knowing she’s not out spending her Bingo money on baby wipes!
Lindsey is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area and she writes on behalf of Sears and other deserving brands. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.