“Rules” grandparents need to know

Use this easy-to-follow chart to ensure that your babysitting expectations are in sync with your parents or in-laws!

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What greater comfort than knowing that your kids are safe in the care of their grandparents? After all, there’s no one in the world you’d trust more with your precious peewee than your parents or in-laws ― whether it’s to babysit now and again or care full-time for your tot when you return to work after your maternity leave.

Grandparents are a boon not only because they’ll dote on the kiddos like crazy, they can share priceless life lessons with the next generation.

In return, the grandparents benefit from spending quality time with the little ones, since they won’t just feel useful, but wanted as well. This boosts their self-confidence and keeps them feeling young and active. In fact, recent research shows that caring for grandchildren lowers an elderly person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, while the strong grandparent-grandchild bond offers anti-depressant benefits for both the young and old.

And while it seems easy enough to just drop bubba off at your folks’ home with little more than a well-packed diaper bag, remember that the last time grandma or grandpa cared for a little one was several decades ago ― and things have changed a lot since then! So that everyone gets off on the right foot, why not present a printed copy of this infographic for their reference when you drop bubba off?

Infographic: Lim Jae-Lynn

Photo/Illustration: iStock

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SLEEP UPDATES

Never let baby sleep in a car seat, swing, rocker or bouncer as these hold a higher risk that she may choke, breathe abnormally, or fall victim to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Plus, your little one may rely too much on the bouncing and rocking motion to fall asleep and may not learn to sleep independently. Cribs should also be free of bumpers to ensure junior doesn’t get her hands or legs stuck in them. If baby really doesn’t want to sleep in the crib on her own, strap her in the carrier for a bit ― she might just be craving some human contact.

WHEN BATHING BUB

Never leave a baby unattended in a tub, as they can drown in water that’s less than 3cm deep. Little ones also hate getting water in their face and hair, so use a clean, wet face cloth to gently clean their face. When washing her hair, pour water away from bubba’s face and gently bend her head backwards, so water and soap won’t get in her eyes.

NO WATER AND SOLID FOOD BEFORE 6 MONTHS

Unless a doctor recommends that your baby starts earlier, little ones don’t need solids until they are 6 months old. Even then, don’t expect them to lick the bowl clean. Food is just for fun until they are about a year old, since breastmilk or formula should still be their key source of nourishment till then. Also, don’t add rice cereal into their milk in the hope that they’ll sleep longer on a full tummy. This is an outdated practice that can do more harm than good ― not only can this give baby a tummy ache, she won’t be able to differentiate between solids and liquids.

MILK PREP 101

Always test to make sure milk is at the right temp by placing a few drops on your wrist where the skin is thinnest and most sensitive. Also, never heat up milk in a microwave as there could be hot spots that might burn bubba’s tongue. All leftover milk should be thrown away after the safe period (no longer than two hours for breastmilk, one hour for formula milk) and bottles washed with a proper bottle brush and soap and sterilised.

PLAYTIME POINTERS

No screen time is necessary for children below age 1, especially infants as they’ll have many things around their environment to explore and keep them busy. Growing children also love tactile activities, so take them swimming or let them play in a sandbox or on a patch of grass. It’s a great way for them to enjoy some fresh air and improve their gross motor skills.

CAR-SAFETY RULES

Read the manual to ensure that the car seat is age appropriate and make sure to properly install it. It should either have the latch system or uses the seatbelt to secure bubba, not both. Remember, putting junior in the wrong type of car seat is as good as putting her in no car seat!

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