Grandparents Need to Know

Grandparents need to know various techniques when babysitting your grandchildren. On this page, I will discuss CPR training, car seats, changing diapers or soothing a crying baby.

Grandparents Need to Know:
CPR Instructions for Infants

Grandparents need to know the new CPR Instructions for infants. If you attend Grandparenting Classes, you will be taught how to do the new CPR guidelines on babies. See this discussion below on CPR from the television show, The Doctors. If you aren't familiar with these new guidelines, please ask a medical professional or attend a local CPR training.

Grandparents Need to Know:
Car Seat Installations

What are the best of the car seats for your grandchild and how do you install a seat?

While attending the Grandparenting Classes, a variety of car seats were discussed and installation was discussed. Each chair is different, so you will need to read the instructions carefully. If you didn't have an opportunity to take the class, go to the local box store with your child and decide on which car seat you should purchase.

The class instructors also suggested that we have our seats tested to make sure that the seats were installed correctly in your car. Give your local fire department a call to ask if they still check out the car seat installations.

If you decide not to purchase a seat, you can either switch cars with your child or transfer the car seats into your car when you have to take your grandchild to a doctor's appointment or for a treatment.

It is recommended never to buy a second-hand car seat since it could have been damaged in a wreck and you wouldn't know that it doesn't work properly.  Although you will find these seats much cheaper at consignment or garage sales, it isn't worth the risk!

Graco Twin Car Seats

The Chicco Keyfit 30 car seats were purchased for our twins due to meeting weight limits of less than 4 pounds. Each had bases and were easy to transfer. We also had bases for our cars. Now at 9 months, the twins will be moving on to other car seats that fit their weight limits.

Grandparents Need to Know:
Buckle Up!

Babies are now required by law to be buckled up! The phases that we follow in Texas and enforced by the Department of Public Safety include:

Phase 1: Rear-facing seats: Infants: Birth - 35 pounds. Rear-facing infant or rear-facing convertible safety seat as long as possible, up to the rear-facing height or weight limit of the seat. Properly install rear-facing in the back seat.  Children are usually changed to forward-facing by their second birthday.   

Phase 2: Forward-facing seats: When children outgrow the rear-facing safety seat, they should ride in a forward-facing safety seat as long as possible, up to the upper height or weight limit (40 - 80 pounds) of the harnesses. Usually 4+ years old. Properly installed forward-facing in the back seat. NEVER turn forward-facing before 1 year old AND 20-22 pounds.

Phase 3: Booster Seats: After age 4 and 40+ pounds, children can ride in a booster seat with the adult lap and shoulder belt until the adult safety belt will fit them properly (usually when the child is 4'9" tall). MUST have a lap/shoulder belt to use a booster seat.

Phase 4: Adult Safety Belt: Once children outgrow their booster seat (usually at 4'9", 100 pounds) they can use the adult safety belt if it fits them properly.
Lap portion low over the hips/tops of thighs and shoulder belt crosses the center of the shoulder and center of the chest.

Graco(above) and Britax Car Seats are just a few of the seats available.

Large selection at any baby store. Make sure you check out all options!

Grandparents Needs to Know:
How to Change a Diaper


Ready for Diaper Changes!

How to change a diaper as explained to us in the NICU. This is an example using disposable diapers.

  • Remember, never to leave a baby unattended during this time.
  • Assemble all the supplies: diapers, wipes, diaper cream, etc. close to the changing area
  • Open the clean diaper and place it to the side.
  • Lay the baby on his back and remove his pants
  • Slide the clean diaper under the dirty diaper.
  • Open the used diaper--slowly. (Protect yourself if you have a grandson or he might surprise you!) You may also want to check the side of the diaper to see if the baby has had a bowel movement.
  • If the diaper is only wet, simply pull out carefully, fold over and put it out of the reach of the baby. Use a wipe to clean the bottom and then use the clean diaper to complete the process. Use diaper rash cream (Aquaphor or other products) on his little bottom. Leave at least 1 finger's space between the stomach and diaper as you close the diaper.
  • If the diaper is soiled, lift the baby's ankles to access and clean his bottom. This may require several wipes. Put the dirty wipes in the dirty diaper. Then cross over the sides to seal it tight and put out of the reach of the child.
  • Apply diaper cream and the diaper rash cream as described above.
  • Then open clean diaper. Lower the baby's legs and fold up the front flap, then fasten the side tabs.
  • Use hand sanitizer before you touch baby again.
  • Then dress the baby and dispose of the dirty diapers.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly.

Grandparents Need to Know:
Soothing a Crying Baby

Grandparents need to know how to sooth a crying baby may include many of the following:

  • Is he hungry?
  • Need a dirty diaper changed?
  • Have reflux?
  • Gas?
  • Or just throwing a temper tantrum?
Crying Bab

Remember, this technique while rocking your grandbaby. Often a baby will just have gas when he is fretful. Lay the baby gently over your lap or across your shoulder to help relieve these pains.

Walk around in the house with a swaying motion.   This might resemble a slow dance, but no fancy dips!

  • You should also try singing or humming to your grandchild.
  • Also, offer a pacifier to suck on.
  • We have found that these methods are very comforting when trying to calm a crying baby.

Please watch this YouTube video on "How I Swaddle My Baby" to see various techniques to show your baby that you love and are carrying for him.

Grandparents Need to Know:
Bathing your Grandbaby

Bathtime years ago

Kids love bathtub toys, especially the yellow rubber ducky!

Babies love baths!


We all remember when we first bathed our own children. I can remember a nervousness the first time I put my baby in the bathtub because babies are slippery when wet! I can remember wanting someone to help me during the first few times that I bathed my daughter!

Whether my husband or my Mother was needed to hand me the soap or hooded towel, I felt more comfortable.

I have assisted in bathing my grandsons, but not totally on my own. I probably won't take on this task until they are older and can climb into a bathtub!

Grandparents need to know specific facts including:

Then follow the above instructions for changing a diaper, soothing a baby, swaddle a baby and give your grandchild a bath!

Find more grandparenting ideas online at our Home Page Grandparenting Essentials

In this section, I've provided the areas that I feel important when you are babysitting.  

  • What do you feel that I may have left off?  Please share your comments with us below!

What do Grandparents Need to Know?

I have discussed various techniques I felt important for babysitting your grandchild.

So what have I forgotten?

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