It’s so strange when our parents morph into grandparents because we've decided to become parents ourselves. Having a baby is powerful and can quickly change the entire family dynamic, which means grandparents can often be the strongest support system for a new mom. A loving set of grandparents can easily improve any post-baby day, especially in those demanding newborn months. So make no mistake, there are more than a few things only the best grandparents do right after their daughter has a baby. Hopefully, your parents-turned-grandparents fall into that category and act accordingly.
I was fortunate enough to have my own parents around when my son was born. He was born sick, so he spent months in the NICU and my parents kept watch whenever I was too exhausted or needed a break. They made sure I drank water and ate meals, because I would often forget. My father built me a rocking chair so I could lull him to sleep when we finally were able to bring him home. My mother did all the laundry for weeks just out of the goodness of her heart. And even before he was born, they helped set up my baby shower along with my sister-in-law, just because that’s the sort of people they are.
That's not all amazing grandparents do, though. Here's a list to get those parents started. After all, I can only imagine how exciting and overwhelming it is to have your baby have a baby of their own:
They Visit As Soon As Mom Says It’s Cool
Depending on whether it’s physically possible, the grandparents will do their best to visit once the new mom is cool with it. That might mean they’re in the delivery room, or it might mean they book a flight a month postpartum. Either way, they do their best to be there in person if they can.
They Bring Tons Of Baby Clothes With Them...
If they’re nearby, grandparents will often bring the baby cute little baby clothes every time they visit. I mean, honestly, who doesn’t love shopping for baby clothes? I’m already excited to, someday (in the far, far, far distant future), become a grandmother myself and buy my grandchild some adorable threads.
... And Stay To Wash Them
If your baby's grandparents are able to visit in person, they might be willing to do the laundry. Some might even fold it. The real gems will put all those clean clothes away.
They Always Bring Food
Nothing beats a home-cooked meal when you’re a new, sleep-deprived, can-barely-stand-up-so-there-is-no-way-you-could-cook new parent. The best grandparents will either come over and cook for you, or bring a meal from home (maybe even several so your fridge is all set, too).
If they can’t make it, they might send gift cards or set up a meal train. Honestly, you’ll be happy with a soggy bag of McDonald’s french fries, so anything helps.
They Bring Their Daughter A Gift
Their daughter just had a baby so, you know, that's reason enough to celebrate. Yet, the moment a baby is born all focus shifts to the tiny human, and the human who made that tiny human possible is often forgotten.
A good grandparent doesn’t forget to bring something a little extra for their daughter (anything from some comfy pajamas to a gift certificate for a much-deserved mani/pedi with an extra coupon for free babysitting). There's no way they're going to forget their baby.
They Don’t Act Like They Know Better Than Mom...
It can be extremely frustrating when a grandparent acts like they know everything simply because they’ve lived longer. While there is wisdom in age, it’s not everything. Plus, when grandparents go over the parent’s heads it causes the daughter to be unable to essentially learn to be a mother.
... But Totally Give Advice When The New Mommy Asks
All that said, new moms are usually open to advice, so long as they ask for it first. I know I was willing to listen to my mother when I really needed help. It was only when I already knew what I was doing that my mother's suggestions would come off as unhelpful and somewhat irritating.
They Don’t Criticize Mom Or Her Home In Any Way
Don’t talk about mom “losing the baby weight.” Don’t mention how tired mom looks. Don’t sneer at the messes all over the house. Good grandparents are positive and encouraging and supportive. They don’t tear down their children after they've just had a child (or children) of their own.
They Ask Mom How She’s Doing
This is so simple, but many folks forget about mom and focus on the baby. A good grandparent will check-in on their daughter, and often. issues.
They Don’t Overstay Their Welcome
Some people, even grandparents, can’t always take the hint when someone wants privacy. But sometimes a new mom is tired, and she just wants to lay around in bed in her underwear with her baby. Good grandparents know when to make themselves scarce.
They Make Sure Mom Knows They’re Available For Babysitting
And finally, good grandparents make sure mom knows they’re around to babysit whenever she’s too tired or needs a break. That’s not to say they always have to be available, but it sure is nice when they are.