6 Tips to Become a Modern Grandparent!

modern grandparent tips

Becoming and being a grandparent is a wonderful adventure. I know, I’m the grandmother of 8 and love this time of my life. There are so many things I did wrong and wish I could change now. What I can do is share with all of you grandparents, or grandparents-to-be, 6 tips that will make you a welcome guest in the new family’s home.

But first, I’d like to welcome you to the Grandparent Club!

Whether you go by Nana, Mimi, Grammy or Grandma, Papa, Grampy, Gramps or Grandpa, it’s all the same…..YOU’RE A GRANDPARENT! But how do you rise to MODERN grandparent status? Follow these 6 tips….that’s how.


  1. READ UP

    Things have changed A LOT since your now grown babies were babies. I mean, A LOT. Where do you find good information though? Start with solid websites like the AAP or WebMD or even the CDC. Here is where you will find accurate, up to date information and references backed by scientific studies. Knowing current, factual information is imperative in supporting today’s new parents.


    You are gathering information, not TELLING the new parents all of this gathered information. File it away until the topic comes up. New parents, especially your own adult children, hate being told what to do. But if they ask…..share the information you’ve gathered, but only about the topic they’ve asked about. Keeping this boundary will protect your relationship!


    I’m sure you’re so excited about your grandbaby coming to visit, maybe even having a sleepover. Be prepared. Know the latest safety standards for babies and IMPLEMENT them! Read up about Safe Sleep, and create a safe place for your grandbaby to sleep. Really, it’s as simple as a modest Pack and Play….no bells and whistles, no special anything. Then grab a couple of tightly fitted sheets and some good swaddle blankets and that’s it for a safe space for your grandbaby to sleep. (You can find all of these recommendations on our Amazon Baby Checklist here.)

    Look around. What needs shored up or covered to protect your moving grandbaby. Is there a clean space to help care for feeding supplies? Are you going to be the caregiver for your grandchild after their parents return to work? If so, you might want to gather these simple supplies.


    Today’s parents are (sometimes) overloaded with information and want to sort it out themselves. They are deciding on parenting styles, cloth or disposable diapers, breastfeeding, pumping or formula feeding….. the list is endless! Their choice may not remotely be your choice. The bottom line: they are the parents and they get to choose. Unless your grandbaby is in immediate danger, step back, take a breath and wait for them to ask your opinion. And when you give it, be gentle. If your grandbaby is on a tight schedule, keep it. If your grandbaby is fed on demand or not allowed to have solids until one year old, honor that preference.


    I know, you can’t help yourself! All you want to do when you go for your first visit is to HOLD THAT SWEET BABY. I say, earn that privilege like you earned allowance as a child. Do a task. Make a meal. Tidy up. Then….and only then….offer a shower or time to eat a warm meal or a nap while you hold the baby. See where I’m going with this. In my experience as a postpartum doula (and grandmother), I don’t know a new parent out there who wants to “host” guests while recovering from childbirth, adapting to a new baby and surviving on little sleep. This is your time to take care of your “baby”. They need your help and don’t want to ask.


    YES, there is such a thing. If you want to gather all of the latest greatest information, learn all of the new techniques and philosophies, find your nearest grandparent class like the Grandparent Bootcamp offered by Family Tree Doula Services .

NOW you have 6 great tips to being the BEST (and most MODERN) GRANDPARENT EVER! Enjoy that sweet grandbaby!

Family Tree Doula Services is a postpartum doula agency serving Portland, Oregon and the surrounding area. Our team of professional postpartum doulas provides in-home, daytime and overnight care for babies and parents. We provide care to birthing, adoptive and intended parents alike. Our postpartum doulas offer families unbiased, non-judgmentalI emotional, physical and educational support from the time a baby is born through their first year. Owner and Certified Postpartum Doula, Sheryl Cooksley, takes pride in providing exceptional customer service and a warm, friendly, “outside-of-the-box” approach to caring for Portland area families.

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Family Tree Doula Services

From the day you leave the hospital...to the day you no longer need us, we’ll help you adjust to life with your new baby and give you all the tools you need for a healthy, confident start.

Not a client yet? You'll find many of our favorite tips & resources for new parents here on our blog.  Learn more about our daytime, overnight, and live-in postpartum doula services as well as our postpartum support offerings for intended parents.