With my burgeoning experience as a grandparent and the response to the recent ‘Six Guidelines for Grandparents’ (
www.babydoc.com.au/six-guidelines-grandparents/) I’ve thought of a few more, which I hope will help the older generation tread the fine line of assisting the new parents without interfering.

1)            Names. You named your babies, now leave it to them to name theirs. If they want to call him T-Kool…. smile, nod and don’t say a word!

2)            Always ask the mother whether you can touch or pick up the new baby. As a grandparent you don’t have the right (and mum’s are sometimes emotionally very delicate.)

3)            Always wash your hands before handling the baby. It’s clean and indicates thoughtfulness and respect.

4)            If you haven’t had a Boostrix vaccination in the last 10 years, get one. Immunity from vaccination (or infection) to whooping cough wanes fairly rapidly. Certainly childhood immunisation does not last until adulthood. Babies cannot be vaccinated against whooping cough for a few weeks and they rely on everyone around them being immune and not harbouring the germ.

5)            Don’t forget that parenting style and baby management practices have changed a lot since you had yours. For instance, a generation ago it was standard to use firm hand-off routines to run your new baby’s day. We now realise this is unnatural and unhelpful. If mother wants to carry the baby in a sling all day and bed share with the baby at night, it’s fine and the parents’ decision.

6)            If you are staying with the happy couple, give them some time alone with the baby.

7)            Always have a positive attitude (even if you have to bend the truth). “You wait till 6 weeks! I was dead on my feet by then” doesn’t cut it..

8)            Never say, “I told you so” to the parents. Actually avoid it throughout your children’s entire life. If it’s true, they’ll get it anyway.