View Full Version : What to keep at Grandma's house?
06-18-2008, 11:42 AM
Baby's due in three days and I just thought about this! Grandma & Grandpa live two hours away and we're planning to spend a couple of weeks with them this summer, just me and the baby, after my husband goes back to work.
What should I get duplicates of to keep there? She has a bassinet so we're good for sleeping, at least within the first month or two. What's a good porta crib for after that? Durable, and of good quality, but not expensive.
I also just thought about getting a second base for the car seat, what else am I forgetting that's useful if you are spending 1 week or more in an alternate location?
06-18-2008, 11:54 AM
Could be a lot of things. I have a pack-n-play at my parent's cottage. We also have an extra swing to bring and leave there. I have 2 bouncy seats, but will likely use both around here.
I wouldn't spend a ton of money on any unless you're really tight on car space, since most things have a short life-span. A Pack-n-play is good and lasts a long time though.
06-18-2008, 11:56 AM
You really don't need the second base. Save yourself 40 bucks.
At grandma's house we had a cheap highchair (when baby was older) and a graco portacrib- not the pack and play, the smaller one. It's name escapes me, but it worked well for us. We had a drawer of clothes there as well as diapers and wipes, and a couple of extra blankets.
That's about it. I held them or had them in a sling when they were little and if I needed to put them down, I'd just put them in the infant carseat for a minute. Neither one of them used a bouncy seat or swing, even at home.
06-18-2008, 12:34 PM
I just made up a kit for a friend's parents who I know really well. I got:
- infant tylenol
- nail clippers
- 3 pack of bottles/nipples
- formula (she finished nursing)
- bug wipes (they live in an infested area)
- sun block (baby is 5 months)
In addition, I'd want to have there or take with me a pack and play, high chair/booster (eventually), and a stroller.
06-18-2008, 12:36 PM
... so our needs are a bit different. She has a variety of things she owns (via a resale store or garage sale) or shares with her Grandma friends (there is a floating collection).
Convertible Carseat (bought new, Costco Seneca)
Strollers - single and double
Crib (formerly had a pack N play)
Supplies she has on hand...my favorite is she has a changing area set up for me and always has the right size diapers. Sippy cups, books, toys, silverware,... bath toys, soaps, tooth paste,...
For me to get there is a trek with the 2, so 1 carseat is all I can handle some times if I am taking them via a business trip. They make it easy.
Does she have other Grandma friends? The only essentials I would say to have equipment wise are bed of some sort and bouncy. That is what we have plus a high chair for the 10 grandchildren at the other grandparent's home. Don't go crazy, everything has such a limited life it disgusts me!
06-18-2008, 12:40 PM
Pack 'n' play definitely, if you cannot transport the bassinet you have. Maybe a waterproof pad, to change your DC anywhere if you don't have a PNP. Maybe a lightweight stroller, or a carrier since you'll be staying such a short time. And definitely the list the PP suggested:)
06-18-2008, 01:02 PM
My parents are local, but the boys spend the night and there are a couple of things we leave there.
Booster seat - Fisher Price - super small, so easy for Grandma to store instead of high chair. Used from 6 months on....
Crib or Pack-n-Play - She has room to leave the crib up all the time. By the time older DS would have outgrown pack-n-play he was fine in the double bed in their guest room.
If you're spending long periods of time there, you'll have to pack a lot of the essentials just to get there. While it's nice to have a dozen bottles/cups/spoons at home, for a week or two, just wash lots of dishes. They outgrow each stage so quickly.
If you are there frequently, the emergency stash of essentials is nice (as long as they won't go bad, or be outgrown before used):
Grandma has never had an extra carseat. We either drive my car or if it's an extended period move the carseat over to her vehicle.
06-18-2008, 02:02 PM
Pack n Play, bouncy seat/ swing, extra change of clothes for all and diapering supplies.
06-18-2008, 02:05 PM
Things I like at Grandmas House:
High chair (We used the FP Healthy Care booster with DS and the Graco hook on chair with DD. I like them both).
Portable swing/bouncy chair (Second hand is great since these things don't get used very long).
Convertible car seat - You can buy this later. While baby is in the infant seat I would just strap it in with the seat belt. Very easy and secure. When she outgrows the infant seat it is nice to have an extra car seat so you don't have to uninstall yours. I bought my MIL the Compass True Fit and I really, really like it. I have given her many car seats to use over the past 5 years and she says the True Fit is one of the easiest.
Stroller - My MIL really liked to take the kids on walks. We've had many strollers and her favorite is a lightweight Combi because she said it is easiest for her to open/close/figure out.
06-18-2008, 02:15 PM
Supplies she has on hand...my favorite is she has a changing area set up for me and always has the right size diapers. Sippy cups, books, toys, silverware,... bath toys, soaps, tooth paste,...[/quote]
My MIL does this for us as well. Always has the changing area set up with the requisite supplies. Now that DD is in the same size diaper for awhile, we leave them there, but we used to bring whatever was left home at the end of the trip.
If you think you and/or your DC will visit the grandparents often, it's probably worth investing in a pack n play to keep at their house. Ditto on the carseat base, but only if they'll be driving the baby fairly often. If it's only occasional, you can strap the seat in without the base.
When we visited my ILs for a week after DD was born, my MIL bought a bouncy at a consignment shop. It was convenient, but like the pp said, you could use the infant seat.
06-18-2008, 02:40 PM
My parents are local and they have kindly bought some things of their own. Here's what they have gotten in the last few years for ds:
Crib and bedding
FP Booster chair
Toys (train table, balls, legos, and a few baby toys)
Carseat (my mom keeps it in her car for just-in-case)
Diapers and wipes
Baby hair/body wash and lotion
Books (mainly our old ones!)
Safety items like those outside the cabinet locks for under sink cabinets when ds is there and the door handle things so ds can't accidentally fall down basement steps.
When he was a baby, I also kept a bottle there and a few bags of ebm in their freezer for times when ds got hungry before his next feeding if I had dropped him off to run a quick errand. It came in handy.
DS slept on a blanket on the floor when he was really little and I didn't want to put him in the crib upstairs.
My mil lives about 2 hrs away and we really don't have much of anything there. We just take it with us when we visit since babies/toddlers outgrow things so quickly. We take our pack-n-play with us, any special food for ds, toys, booster seat, toiletries, and of course our carseat travels with us. I am somewhat of a minimalist though when it comes to packing for ds. I figure things like nail clippers, thermometers, and tylenol can be bought if we get into a bind so I've never really traveled with them.
06-18-2008, 05:57 PM
I go to my parents' place each week and I used the pack n play from the beginning. My folks have one set up permanently in the guest room. I would say in the beginning you would use the bassinet feature, then later you could take it out. A bouncer is also really handy to have there when you need to put the baby down, but not in the bedroom.
This is for later, but I also have a collection of take n toss straw and sippy cups that live there, as well as a couple of take n toss spoons. My MIL has one of each at her place and we only visit once or twice year. It's just nice to not have to tote that along. We also have a First Years booster seat there. I wanted to get another, but there was this recall so now we have this cheap no name booster seat that makes me :32:but it gets the job done.
Since I'm there so often I keep a stash of diapers and wipes there as well. One pack lasts a long time. We also have a small collection of toys and a rock n roll trike over there. Early this year we scored a secondhand little tyke play structure on CL, and it's in their backyard (they have a big backyard).
06-18-2008, 09:57 PM
I'm not sure if you'll need this (especially at the beginning) but our major must-have at both grandparents' houses is extra pacis. We always lose them when we're there & then we can just forget about sleeping. Of course DD is extremely picky about which one she likes, so we can't even run out & buy more.
I agree to make up a small kit of tylenol, baby shampoo, etc to keep there. Also nice to have diapers and wipes, we've always taken our own but usually run out.
06-18-2008, 10:29 PM
We spend a long weekend at my ILs nearly every 6 weeks. They live 7 hours away, so what ever we don't have to pack is heavenly. They've borrowed a PNP and stroller from a friend, and we usually bring a (crappy) booster that straps onto a regular chair.
One thing my MIL did that I greatly appreciate is using plug covers. She bought them and we put them in together.
In a perfect world, I'd have:
my own stroller (is is a POS but has bigger wheels and is easier to use than the borrowed one)
one of the Fisher Price boosters that are like a highchair seat without the legs
shampoo/toiletries (CA Baby and A&D ointment)
plastic bowls (I like the 'safe' plastic ones from IKEA, not a grotty old butter tub or tupperware :)
a few toys (balls, dollies, cars)
a pack of diapers
a place to change baby (so I don't have to unpack the diaper bag for changes then bother with packing it back up to go out)
safe food (DD has allergies, so we grocery shop upon arrival)
oh, and I wouldn't be sleeping on my (40+ year old) DH's twin bed. Gross, and deserves a post in another forum...
for the big stuff like a PNP and a stroller I'd buy one at a consignment shop or off Craigslist. If your DC loves a swing or bouncer I'd get a used one to keep at Grandma's, but would hold off on buying until you know that your DC loves it. Congrats, BTW!
06-19-2008, 06:19 PM
Thanks so much for all the great suggestions! We have duplicates of a lot of items from my shower that either were not returnable or not worth the effort to return (books, baby shampoo, pacifiers, washcloths) and it sounds like lots of them will get some use at Grandma's!
06-19-2008, 10:59 PM
I would also get most of the extras for grandma's from a resale shop. I am not having any more children, but I still have my boppy, umbrella stroller and pack n play for guests. My BF had a high chair that attached to a chair, and it was great. I would get one of those too.
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