Grandparents can be both a dream and a nightmare when it comes down to helping you take care of your newborn. Some grandparents know their limits and offer help with whatever you need. At the same time, some grandparents might want to interfere and take over things while making you feel inadequate, unintentionally. If you need help taking care of your newborn and want your parents to be involved, then be sure to communicate with them. Be assertive on what you need help with and what is not welcome.
On the other hand, grandparents should never forget that they were new parents once and did everything they could do, but this is your time now. So, grandparents should give the new parents some space and ask them what help they need before assuming. A healthy environment will exist if better communication is done.
They say that it takes a village to raise a kid, but most likely, you only need a few moms and dads in your corner, and that can definitely be your parents too!
It depends on the parents of the newborn whether they want the grandparents to be involved in taking care of the newborn. In comparison, some parents wish the grandparents to come in and help after a few weeks of the baby’s arrival.
Till then, they want to bond and figure out things as a family. On the other hand, some parents would wish the grandparents to be helping out right off the bat, as soon as the baby comes home.
Some mothers would love some help with the chores and cooking food while she bonds and spend time with their baby, and some moms might want someone to hold their baby while they take a shower or have a little ‘me’ time while the baby is taken care of.
All these mothers are right; everyone’s needs can be different.
Grandparents should ask the new parents how they can help instead of assuming what the parents need help with because this is where mother-daughter conflicts arise and eventually drive them apart.
Pros of having grandparents to help out with a newborn
Ask any kid- they will say that grandparents rule! Kids are always so excited to meet their grandpa and grandma, and they’re not wrong. Grandparents are a great company and love their grandkids abundantly.
For them, their parenting days are over, and now they can spoil their grandchildren by buying them gifts, making them their favorite dishes, or taking them out for ice cream for dinner.
And who can blame them? Remember your childhood with your grandparents, and I bet it must be amazing.
So, when there’s a newborn, having the help and company of grandparents can be very helpful, especially for first-time parents who’re still figuring out how to take care of the infant.
Having raised their children, grandparents may help you in figuring things out, like if your baby’s crying even after feeding, it’s very easy for first-time parents to freak out, but your grandparent might tell you that all your little one needs for you to hold her and make her feel safe.
It can be pretty panicky when it comes to figuring out what’s wrong with your baby, and leaning on grandparents to help you out isn’t bad. It’s a blessing for you to have a person helping you out who’s already done this multiple times in their lives.
Giving you a ‘me’ time
Those initial days can be havoc, especially if you’re sleep-deprived and judging everything you do for your baby. Postpartum depression is a serious thing, and women can ignore it and assume it’s just how they are.
With grandparents around, you can ask them to help you out cooking food or doing some chores while you can relax and be with your newborn while things are being taken care of.
Cons of having grandparents to help out with a newborn
If some grandparents are willing to help you in any way you want without crossing boundaries, there are also certain grandparents who might become a nightmare for you.
It might become more of taking care of the grandparent’s tantrums rather than bonding with your newborn.
If they’re a blessing, they can be proving to be a hindrance too.
Many mothers and mothers-in-law may want to take charge of taking care of the newborn, telling you how to take care of an infant or how you’re doing it all wrong.
The know-it-all grandparents are not only a nightmare, but they can also make the new mother feel inadequate, who’s already suffering through drastic hormonal changes.
Grandparents might invite themselves over and over or extend their welcome and give you no privacy or time to spend with your family.
Conflicts between parents and grandparents
Minor conflicts might arise every time the grandmother might be visiting. The grandparent might not accept your parenting style and might assert their parenting skills, for they have raised multiple children without any problem, and all of them have turned out fine.
I’m not even talking about major conflicts, but minor disputes like how they want to apply a little honey on the pacifier or that sleeping on the stomach causes no problem for the baby.
I know how often I had to bite my tongue so that there’s no new problem rising in my house because taking care of a newborn is a 24/7 job, and I didn’t want any more trouble than I already had.
There were so many times I was made to feel that I didn’t take care of my child properly and that maybe the diaper rash my son’s having is from something of my doing.
This can become a trauma for young, new mothers, and it was only when my mother-in-law went away to help my sister-in-law that I finally got the freedom and space to raise my kid, and I know I will always do what’s best for my kid.
Should you invite the grandparents to look after your newborn?
This question is personal for every couple. You know how your parents are and are aware whether they might actually be helpful to you or be too bossy and try to teach you how to parent.
I feel I should have done better with my mother-in-law and laid down some ground rules.
It would be best if you told them that times have changed, and whatever they did to raise their children was with the help of the little information they had. But now, with science, we are much more advanced and know what’s actually right and wrong for children.
Communicate with your parents and tell them they are welcome to help out with the baby, but they should adhere to your guidelines.
Stand your ground, but don’t insult or hurt them because, after all, all they are doing is out of their unconditional love for their grandchild.
So, understand where they’re coming from and meet them in the middle. Tell your parents how you want to do things and ask them to respect your wishes. Please don’t end up giving them an ultimatum of not letting them see their grandchildren because that’s straight-out harsh and cruel.
Have an adult conversation about everything related to your baby, and go on from there.
Should newborns have visitors?
You should only let your newborn meet people you’re comfortable with because a newborn baby still has a developing immune system and is still fragile. So, you can keep the visitors to a minimum, extending to only close friends and family.
What should every first-time mom know?
Firstly, go with your instinct. Second, you will not spoil your baby if you hold them for too long. Breastfeeding is best for your baby, but formula is also great for your baby if breastfeeding isn’t an option for you. Ask for help when you need it, and most importantly, take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally.
How often should you bathe your newborn baby?
Thrice a week is enough. There’s no need to bathe your baby every day until your baby becomes more mobile. Bathing her too much can dry out her skin.
Whether or not you need the extra help depends on you, but having grandparents around you isn’t bad if you have a healthy conversation beforehand.
Grandparents can really be a boon for first-time parents or for parents having more children because they can help you out by taking your kids off your hands while you spend time with your newborn.
If you’re uncomfortable having the grandparents around or you disagree with something they’re doing, then make sure to put your reservations across them in a loving manner.
Meanwhile, let us know how you’re dealing with the grandparents and if there are any rules you’ve established.