The other day I stood before my postage scale, weighing a package I'd put together to mail off to Bubby and Baby Mac—Batman jammies for Bubby, a cute short set for Baby Mac, and a special toy for each—when I thought, "Here is yet another thing I've purchased, yet another thing I needed as a grandma."
It's not the Batman jammies I considered a grandma necessity—though considering Bubby's Batman infatuation, purchasing the set when I saw it in Target did indeed feel urgent and necessary. No, it's the postage scale that was a true and necessary addition to my house since becoming a grandma. I mail a lot of packages, and it's so much easier to do it all without leaving home (or standing in long post office lines) thanks to a scale, a USPS.com account, and a friendly neighborhood mailman willing to pick up from my doorstep.
Maybe only long-distance grandmas need a postage scale, but there's no doubt every grandma has had to stock up on myriad goods and gadgets to make the grandparenting gig run a lot more smoothly when the grandkids visit.
Below is a list of things I found to be must-haves and life-savers when I happily host my grandsons. Most I've accumulated little by little—which is really a lot considering I've only been at this less than four years—and a few remain on my wishlist. New grandmas and grandmas-to-be may want to print and post the list in a prominent place, then plead with family and friends to help stock the house with the grandma necessities.
• portable crib or play pen
• sheets and receiving blankets
• baby monitor
• baby bottles and baby utensils—for babies, of course
• toddler feeding sets—bowls, plates, and utensils for those who feed themselves
• sippy cups
• baby gates
• child-proofing gadgets for outlets, doorknobs, cabinets, toilet seats
• bulb syringe—just in case Mom forgets to pack it
• baby bathtub and bathing supplies (mini towels and washcloths plus shampoos, lotions, etc.)
• bathtub ring (the ones with suctions cups) to keep safe those too big for the baby tub but not yet stable in the real bath tub
• non-skid appliques for the bathtub bottom
• nightlight for guest room
• booster seat for feeding at the table (or heck, spring for a real highchair)
• potty chair
• step stool to access the real potty
• age-appropriate toys (for indoor and out), art & activity supplies, books, movies, and music
• car seat for transporting (especially handy for grandmas who help out regularly with daycare, or when traveling to and from the airport with long-distance lovies)
• the aforementioned postage scale for long-distance grandmas
• a web camera—not just for long-distance grandmas
• Bubby's favorite: Gloworms for bedtime (this grandma's saved from when Bubby's mom was little)
• And, of course, a rocking chair
I must say that with all that's necessary when stocking Grandma's house, I'm baffled as to why baby showers for grandmas-to-be have not become a trend among today's extra-involved and uber-attentive generation of grandparents.
baby in bucket photo: stock.xchng
What other necessities should be found in a well-stocked grandma's house?