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Family Life

As a grandparent, you may become the person providing part-time care for your grandchild at times, perhaps on a scheduled day or two during the week or for a few hours here and there.

As a grandparent, your role is unique and important. You are not just “another babysitter.” You have a fundamental connection, providing the continuity between generations that your grandchild will come to understand and respect.

Take advantage of this irreplaceable role. Your involvement with your grandchild, introducing her to your own world, is especially valuable. Treasure it. Make the most of those special days when you are the babysitter, and offer to do it regularly if you’re able. Share stories with your grandchild (and read to him regularly).

At times, you may not be the actual caregiver for your grandchild, but rather you’ll take him to and from a child care center or babysitter. You can make sure he is transported safely in an appropriate restraint, and provide another set of eyes to evaluate the quality of the center or sitter, which will help your grandchild’s parents feel secure in their own choice of a child care setting.

As you know, times have changed, although caring love is still the universal and timeless ingredient to helping children to thrive. Educate yourself on the new medical discoveries since you raised your own children by asking your grandchild’s parents to share information. The medical profession has learned a lot about having infants sleep safely on their backs and on safer over-the-counter medications for illnesses, as well as many other things. It keeps us young to learn new things.

By the way, if you’ve accepted the responsibility of picking up or dropping off your grandchild at regular times, introduce yourself to the responsible person at that site and provide them with your telephone number as a contact person.

And remember, when driving with your grandchild, be sure he is properly buckled in a car safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt at all times. At your home, make sure that you secure any of your personal medications so that your grandchild can’t accidentally ingest them.


Last Updated
Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5 (Copyright © 2009 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.