How to share your hard-won wisdom – without driving new parents mad


Changing lifestyles and the fact that more mothers than ever are returning to work after having a baby mean grandparents are increasingly playing an important part in childcare.

But sometimes, while it's a great way to lend your support, and a lovely excuse to see the baby, it can bring with it the occasional clash in child-raising styles.

Giving AND TAKING advice

Every parent-child relationship is different. If you see your family often, you might be used to exchanging views on everything from how to cook the Sunday roast to managing money. But if you don't see each other regularly, bear in mind that your opinions might seem like they're coming out of the blue.

When you offer tips, watch how these are accepted. If they're welcomed, great. But some new parents feel they have failed if they're not ‘in control'.

If you suspect that's the case, take a more subtle approach. Eventually they will trust their own instincts, grow their experience and be more relaxed about taking advice from others.

Remember, you're never too old to learn a new way of doing things! Take an interest in what your son or daughter has discovered as a new parent, too.

Slip off the rose-tinted specs

When we look back at how we got on as new parents ourselves, it's easy to forget the tough stuff. Try to avoid comparing your grandchild's progress in milestones like sitting, standing, walking, first teeth and potty training with your own son's or daughter's.

Every child is different, and there's nothing quite so disheartening as hearing how easy someone else found sleep training, or getting their toddler to eat vegetables. If you really think about it, these key moments probably didn't happen overnight, even if that's how you remember it!

But do recall the good times

One of the loveliest things about the arrival of a grandchild is that it awakens memories of your own children's early years and sometimes even your own childhood. So share your stories (especially the funny ones). It's a great way to remind the whole family that bringing up baby isn't always plain sailing.

Some things never change

Pampers made your new-parent life easier, and they can do the same for your son or daughter now they are a new parent themselves, so why not buy them their first pack?

With a wetness indicator, they'll know when their baby's nappy needs changing and won't waste time or money changing them too early.

They're also carefully designed for different stages of your grandchild's growth. For example the newborn nappies have a unique mesh layer, which absorbs runny poo and draws moisture away from the baby's skin, keeping the baby clean and comfortable.

And a happy baby is at the heart of a happy new family, so your child will definitely appreciate you passing on this advice!

For more about using the right nappies as your baby or grandchild grows, visit

Have you found ways to share your experiences, as a new mum or as a grandmother, that made a positive difference? We'd love to hear about it. Share your comments below

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