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A New Boomer Grandma's Tips for Buying the Right Stuff

Only two weeks till I become a first-time grandmother - and I desperately need some baby basics. I'm told that the must-have item these days is the Pack 'n Play. That's what we used to call a playpen, children, but now it's a "play yard, complete with options like "micro-fleece newborn napper station, changing table attachment, night light (!), music player (!!) and detachable toy bar. As someone who came of age in the '60s, may I just say: Shoot me now. On the other hand, all my new-grandmother friends swear by this thing. Click.

Baby bump, pregnant woman
My granddaughter

The second-most-recommended item: Sophie the Giraffe. Apparently babies go nuts over this French teething toy. OK, it is kind of cute, but $25? I think we can skip this one. Ditto baby monitors. I'm as forward-thinking as the next boomer granny, but I'll be keeping tabs on this little one the old-fashioned way - by hovering over her bassinet and holding a mirror up to her mouth, just like I did with her mom. >> 9 Nasty Things to Throw Away Today Back in the olden days, when I became a first-time mother at the then-ancient age of 28, there was so much less  stuff! But while some of the modern accoutrements are completely insane ( lighted baby-wipe warmers? thousand-dollar strollers? baby whirlpool baths??), I've gotta say I'm loving some of the new gear. Like the cute nursing pillows that make breastfeeding comfier for both mom and baby. Or the foam floor chair that doubles as a booster seat. Both of these are ready and waiting at my house for when Beth and the baby come to visit. True, they're not essential, but I want to make my place as mama- and baby-friendly as possible. >> Get travel discounts with your AARP Member Advantages. Here's my winnowed-down list of six essential items for new grandmothers.

  1. Portable play yard.
  2. Infant rocker chair.
  3. Baby thermometer.
  4. Baby carrier.
  5. Stroller.
  6. A few board books - because it's never too soon to start them reading.

What have I missed? Is there a product you swear by that helps keep your grandchild happy? Please share with the new-grandma class!   Also of Interest

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