There’s plenty of information out there about what products you need when traveling with a baby, what fits in the overhead compartment of the plane, or what makes a hotel more baby-friendly. But I had a hard time finding recommendations on what to buy when you’re only going a few miles (or more, in my case) from the grandparents house.
Those items you want to leave there with them that will give you peace of mind that your baby is safe (because let’s be honest, some of the things our mothers did with us probably aren’t safe anymore) and also give them the confidence they can take care of baby while you’re away. I’ve focused on products that also last a long time with your kids because there’s no point in spending a ton of money on things they’ll age quickly when they won’t necessarily be using them frequently.
Here are my recommendations on what to leave with the grandparents:
What: Starting with the basics, this BABYBJÖRN Travel Cradle is a safe place for your baby to sleep when they’re not home (and even home!). We are big fans of clean design.
Why: It’s lightweight and easy to set up, making it perfect for long trips or short visits. As it folds up, it’s easy to store behind a couch or in a closet, meaning baby doesn’t need a dedicated room. It grows with baby and is safe for ages 0-3, meaning you’ll get many of use out of it.
A sound machine
What: A sound machine is highly recommended to help babies sleep better and longer as it blocks out all outside noise. This top-rated Hush version creates natural fan-based sounds and can be muted anywhere.
Why: Compact and easy to use (no need to mess with confusing technology or download an app), anyone can use this one. Plus, the rechargeable battery lasts up to 12 hours. Our family takes it with us wherever we go and it even helps me sleep better!
What: Babies cross many of nappies so make sure grandparents are prepared to succeed by leaving them more than enough. Eco Pea nappies are eco-friendly and gentle on your baby’s bottom.
Why: In my experience, not all diapers are right for all babies. Mine needed a specific level of absorbency (they were big wetters) and also needed rash control (constant pooping). By leaving the exact brand of diapers you like and your baby is used to, you can ensure both baby and Grandma have fun while you’re away.
What: these Mary Meyer Soft Blankets are both cute and cozy. The sloth is both comfy and playful, making baby feel more secure sleeping away from you.
Why: Children love loveys and I find it smart to buy two (or more!) of the same lovey to have in case of emergency (say, when it needs to be washed, if one gets lost, or to keep it at the Grand parents) .
What: the Toki rug Playmats not only come in adorable and stylish prints, but are a safe place to put baby on the floor for solo play, tummy time practice, or to take adorable photos.
Why: These mats can fold in half for easy storage. The cover is removable and machine washable in case of an accident. They are a best seller for good reason, and not only ideal for indoor use but also outdoors to keep baby away from grass and dirt.
What: This BABYBJÖRN Bouncer is an all time favorite for a reason – babies love it and parents love everything their babies do too (I’m guilty of it!).
Why: The mesh bouncer is ideal for all weathers and is made with super safe fabrics. No batteries are needed to entertain baby as the bouncer moves with the kicks of their legs. It’s perfect for the grandparents’ home as it gives them an extra set of “hands” (so to speak) when they need to cook meals or shower. It folds flat making it easy to store anywhere. Suitable for children from 0 to 2 years old.
What: A playroom is another way to safely entertain baby while developing their skills and senses. The Lovevery Gym is an all-time favorite because of the wide range of activities baby can do in it.
Why: This gym really grows with your kids, which means grandparents can use it for a very long time. The rug is machine washable and the whole thing can be broken down and folded up for storage in the closet.
What: This traditional set keeps little ones busy without the bright colors you’d expect from their plastic counterparts, which will likely make Grandma happy.
Why: The possibilities are endless and when playtime is over they can be neatly stored in their wooden box.
What: Some babies really like their milk or formula warmed up. If you have one of these babies, don’t worry because the Baby’s Brew Portable Bottle Warmer will make your life (and grandparents’ life) so much easier by heating to the exact perfect temperature in seconds.
Why: This bottle warmer will give grandparents peace of mind that the milk or formula they are giving baby is absolutely safe. Plus, the formula dispenser ensures the right amount will be in each bottle mixed.
What: Mushie plates Not only are they shatterproof, but they’re also dishwasher safe and super stylish, meaning they won’t clash with grandma’s style or give her an extra chore.
Why: You don’t want your kids breaking their grandparents’ fancy china (is that still a thing?) so send them off with these plates that don’t look like kids’ plates to make sure everyone stays happy while you’re away.
What: We all know how important nutrition is in the early years of our children’s lives, which is why this Yumi Subscription Service is great to have. It takes the stressful thinking and meal planning away from baby while ensuring they get the best blend of quality and variety.
Why: Grandparents will love giving baby their first solid foods, especially without having to do any preparation in advance. Yumi jars can also be stored frozen to be ready when needed.
What: Anyone who has ever bathed a baby in a tub knows how hard it can be on arms and knees. Enter the PUJ bath kneeler to make everyone happy during bath time.
Why: They may be lively, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a little more comfort. The compact design is foldable and small enough to store in any bathroom for the next visit.
What: the BABYBJÖRN Toilet Trainer Seat is perfect for on-the-go use. It rests on the ordinary toilet seat and prevents small children from falling. It comes with a hook to hang near toilets or behind doors.
Why: For older children starting their journey on potty training, this seat is great to have anywhere, as it will give them the confidence and security they need to use the bathroom, without having to to lug around a large plastic toilet. Thanks to the rubber on the outer sides, it does not slip and children can sit on it safely.
This article was originally published in September 2020. It has been updated.
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