Off to Grandmother's house we go! Whether it's a day trip or the first time your child is spending the night away from home, a trip to Grandma's house can cause both excitement and anxiety -- for all of you. By prepping your child well in advance and packing a bag with everything Grandma and your child need, you can have your little one visit with relatives and have a positive, safe and comfortable experience.
If you're planning for an overnight visit to Grandma's, you'll need to pack pajamas and a change of clothing and underwear. Even if your child isn't staying the night, putting an extra outfit in her backpack may be helpful if she spills something or -- if she's in the midst of potty training -- has an accident. For cooler weather, an extra sweater may be necessary. Overnight trips also require a toothbrush, toothpaste and any other tools for your child's bedtime routine.
Spending time away from parents can make any child nervous, even if she loves being at her grandma's house. By packing a few familiar security items, such as a stuffed animal or special blanket, your child may find comfort when she's missing home. Just make sure that Grandma knows the role of the security item and when to offer it to your child.
Grandma's house may seem especially unfamiliar if she doesn't have a lot of child-centric activities around the home. By packing a few of your child's favorite activities, you ensure that your little one stays engaged while visiting Grandma. A few fun games, books, dolls or trucks, puzzles, crayons and even a number of DVDs can help your child feel more at home at Grandma's.
Before you zip up your child's backpack, consider all of the instructions that Grandma should know to keep your little one safe. You may want to create a list of emergency numbers to give to Grandma in case of an accident. Some of the other things to include on your list are: how to properly use your child's car seat, rules that your child must follow, a general outline of the usual household routine, instructions on bedtime, how to react to illness and what to do should your child seem upset. By packing a list of instructions, you'll feel more comfortable and Grandma may be a bit relieved as well.
- Help for Worried Kids: How Your Child Can Conquer Anxiety and Fear; Cynthia G. Last
- KidsHealth: Traveling Without Your Child
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