1. Make every day count

Whether or not you’re actually there for the first smile or the first steps, make the most of whatever moments you do witness.

2. Celebrate even the small wins

Celebrate every milestone (big or small)! Bring along  a camera or a journal when  you visit your grandchild so you can preserve those beautiful moments. 

3. Use technology to your advantage

If you’re grandparenting long-distance, ensure you’re on stand-by for those all-important family video calls. 

4. Spend mindfully

Tempting as it is to shower your new grandchild with gifts, it’s worth checking whether the parents already have something and whether they really want it — especially when it comes to big items like a stroller or crib. 

5. Stay active

Schedule a time for exercise, and treat it like any important appointment. In this way you enhance your well-being and have more time to enjoy your grandchild.

6. Offer advice if asked

It’s not always easy, but try to refrain from offering unsolicited advice. Allow the parents to be the parents, and be there to offer your counsel if asked! 

7. Help out when you can

Let the parents know that you’re ready and willing to help out when needed. Whether it’s cooking or cleaning or providing childcare a couple of days a week so the parents can rest for a while, another pair of hands can be invaluable. 

8. Follow their rules

First-time grandparenting can be just as exciting as first-time parenting, but ensure that you stick to the rules laid out by the parents (even if you think you know better). 

9. Don’t feel like you have to Super Gran

Yes, it’s gratifying to be an active grandparent, but make sure you don’t run yourself into the ground in the process. Set limits for yourself and remember that you can also say “no” when necessary. 

10. Seek opportunities for quality time

Try to spend quality time with your grandchild. It gives you those moments of connection that you crave while also providing priceless support to the parents. 

11. Encourage the new parents

Whether or not this is their first child, every new parent can benefit from your encouragement. Reinforce your confidence in their skills, cheer them up and let them know they can handle every obstacle that arises .

12. Pick your name

What will your grandchild call you? Nana, Grandma, Granny, Yiayia? Pick a name that’s meaningful to you! y

13. Buy some children’s books

Reading to a child is a great way to connect, so  put a bit of time into choosing some books to read together. Hearing your voice, getting to know you, and gaining an early appreciation for reading are only a few reasons for reading to your grandchild. Be an educational new grandma!

14. Love this child…

Remember that every child is different. Accept this child unconditionally, expressing your love at every opportunity. Your relationship with your grandchild starts the first moments you are together. 

15. …and learn to share this love 

There are other people in this child’s life who want to show their love, too. Giving space to others will serve to enrich your own experiences with your little person, who has enough love to go around. Be a generous grandma. 

16. Don’t take things personally

Sometimes misunderstandings arise between new parents and grandparents. t Try to give the new parents the benefit of the doubt that they love and respect you, but are struggling through this new adjustment. Use compassionate directness to express your feelings.