9 Must Haves Every Long Distance Grandparent Needs


I think I want to invent Grandparent Showers! I mean we have Bridal Showers and Baby Showers but the Grandparents need stuff, too, as they enter in the new phase of their lives. I think I’ll do that in another post.

I am the proud Grandmother of 2 boys 7 weeks apart. It’s almost like having twins! And they both live halfway across the country! I wish we were closer but we’re working it out.

Distance Grandparenting is a real thing. It has its challenges. One challenge is staying connected. Seeing my boys, knowing what’s happening in their development, celebrating their milestones is my career now! So, I have found 2 vital tools to help make that happen.

Staying Connected

The 2 Most Important Must Haves that we have that keeps us connected are FaceTime and an Amazon Prime account. I FaceTime with my grandboys multiple times a week and I am always buying them things to let them know I’m thinking about them.

When They Visit 

Another challenge of long distance grandparenting comes in the form of the kid’s visits to your house. Both of my kids have to either drive or fly from 5 states away to come see me. So, what they can bring when they come is limited. I wanted to help them out by having some things already here so that they wouldn’t have to bring them.

Now, we are just in the first year of the boy’s lives, so I will amend this list as they grow. But for now, the only things we need to really concern ourselves with are sleeping, eating and bathing.

Grandparents love to share, so if you will tell your friends you might have generous people who will let you borrow or have some of these items. Otherwise, go to a second-hand shop, yard sales or an online listing to buy them. There’s no need for you to get brand new stuff since it will only be used a few times. When your Grandchild has outgrown the item, you can loan, donate or give it away.

7 Must Haves Every Long Distance Grandparent Needs At Their House

  1. Pack n Play – there are several versions of this wonderful portable crib. You can check with your Grandchild’s parent to see if you need any of the bells and whistles like a bassinet or changing table. Remember, look for a used one in good condition.
  2. Bathing tub – there are several versions but we found the Summer Infant 1-2-3 tub the best. It has a net sling or hammock that the infant can lay in and then that hammock can be removed for an older child. I didn’t go for it at first because I was thinking it would be too bulky to store when they were gone, and it is, but it is better for the baby. The smaller, fold-up one just didn’t work for us. Make sure you have towels and washcloths. We didn’t buy “baby” ones, we just used what we had. You will want to splurge for some bath toys! Haha! bathtub
  3. Floor mat for play – after a long drive in a car seat or a long flight your Grandbaby will want to stretch out. So, get a large quilt or a floor mat specifically for tummy time. You can use a quilt you have or you can buy a specialized mat with attached toys. I just pulled out the old quilts that my children used on their beds when they were little and that meant a lot to share that memory with their own children.
  4. Rocking chair – I didn’t want to have to spend a fortune or redecorate my living room to accommodate an upholstered rocker so I bought a reasonably priced and sized one from Ikea. It was great because we could move it from the living room to the bedroom as needed.
  5. Baby seat or high chair– even though you won’t believe it, the baby will not be held for the entire visit to Grandma’s house! Also, if the baby is just beginning to eat solids, you’ll need a place for the child to sit to be fed. I bought a reasonably priced small swing, but we only used it once. However, my daughter-in-law found a reclining high chair and we wished we had it at our house when they visited. I will look into this to see if would be appropriate for their ages next time they come. Go ahead and buy feeding spoons in bulk, those things disappear! reclining-high-chair
  6. Stroller – this is a necessary item and one that takes up so much room during travel. It is nice if the kids don’t have to worry about having to bring one with them. Again, go for used but in good condition.
  7. Doorway Jumper – we used to call it a “Johnny Jump Up.” This was the hit of the visit for my 4 and 6 month old. We bought two from amazon and hung them in the doorway and let the kids go to town. We all enjoyed it so much!


{Shameless proud Grandmother photo!}

Now you’re ready for a great visit!




27 thoughts on “9 Must Haves Every Long Distance Grandparent Needs

  1. These are such great suggestions. My mum has recently started bartering her toys with other grandmas who are in similar situations. It helps trade out some of the gear that baby outgrows for new stuff at literally no cost.

  2. I’m blessed to have my grandbaby living so close that I take care of her during the day while her parents work. My oldest daughter will be having my second grandbaby in August and she lives close enough for me to do the same for her. I don’t know how I’d do living far away from them. I’d probably move. LOL Those grandmother showers? We’ve been discussing that for over a year now and I think it’s a wonderful idea!

  3. These are such great ideas, Jill. I also have two young grandchildren (19 months, and 4 months) who live in other cities (3 hours away). Even with this shorter car ride, having toys and essential items at Grandma/Grandpa’s place makes it easier for everyone.
    PS – I love your idea of a ‘Grandmother Shower’!

  4. All great ideas. Look at those precious babies you have. Thank Jill you for sharing this post at the #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. I shared it on social media.

  5. Oh my goodness your grandchildren are so adorable. I’m lucky my grandson only lives 10 minutes away and I see him every week. You have listed some really good ideas to have on hand for visits though. It must be hard not seeing them regularly but I bet you certainly make up for it when you do. Have a great week and I’m stopping by from Blogging Grandmothers Link Up.
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond 🙂

  6. Great list! I have everything but the doorway jumper! Thank you for sharing at #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty

  7. First things first, your grandbabies are adorable! Now on to business, this is a great article. I wish I had thought of grandmother bartering when my babies were babies. What a great idea. Thank you for sharing at the #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. I have shared on social media.

  8. Our grandbaby lives 2 hours drive away and we have a few things on hand but her parents prefer to bring their own cot and pram (her mum is a great believer in consistency – and it seems to work). I love that photo of the babies at the end – aren’t we blessed to be grandmothers?! 🙂
    Leanne | cresting the hill

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