Grandparent’s as Babysitters?

My mom was always my first choice when it came to finding a babysitter for my children and when I was a little girl, my favorite place to go was Grandma Layne’s house.  So when I ran across a study published by Pediatrics (the official journal of the American Association of Pediatrics) that said, “Odds of medically attended injuries were decreased for children who received care from grandparents,” I wasn’t surprised. Most nanas watch their grandchildren like a momma bear watches her cubs.

Statistically accidents are 50% less likely to happen when nana is watching the children.

More Findings from the study…..

*The research finds that compared to organized daycare or care by the mother or other relatives, having a grandmother watch a child was associated with a decreased risk of injury for the child.

*According to the researchers, the odds of injury were significantly greater among children whose parents never married compared with children whose mothers stayed married throughout the child’s life.

*Similarly, odds of injury were greater for children living in homes in which the father did not co-reside.

Accidents Still Happen

Even though I believe this study I know that accidents still happen, even with nana watching. A few years ago Abby and I were playing with some jewelry (children’s make your own jewelry) when for no reason at all Abby stuck a blue jewel up her nose! To say I was shocked would be an understatement.

“I didn’t aim too, Nana,” she wailed.

How do you not aim to stick something up your nose? I think what she meant was “I thought it would come back out,” and it did. After a trip to the pediatrician’s office.

What Makes Nana a Great Sitter?

The same thing that makes anyone a great caretaker….love, patience and the belief that children (especially little ones) need to be watched like a hawk!



  1. I also watch our grandson on a half-time basis and would give my life for his. He is only 5-months old, but there is nothing that I would rather do then watch him grow and become all he can be. I am blessed to have this opportunity. Alot of young families do not have the option to allow the grandparents to watch their children due to the distance of miles between the parent and the grandparents. My husband always mentions that he is so glad that I’ve always wanted to “retire” from my professional career when our grandchildren were born, if there was a need for daycare, I would be that answer! We can’t imagine our grandchildren to be in a fulltime daycare setting and like I said we are blessed that this is not the case for our family.

    Thanks for the great articles that your publication continues to provide.

  2. As a grandmother of 8 (and another on the way)I have done more babysitting than I could ever count up…including some very regular time with 3 of them last year while their parents were working…Truer words were never spoken. I watched them like a hawk…haha. I was having a conversation with one of my daughter-in-laws just yesterday and told her, “There isn’t anyone on this earth (besides the two of you) that loves them quite as much as I do.” I had no idea that Grandmahood would be one of life’s best blessings so far. But is it ever! Have a good day! Debbie

  3. Becky Jessie 7 Mar, 2011

    I watch my granddaughters (age 2 years and 6 months). Although I am very tired at the end of the day, I can’t think of anything I would rather be doing or anywhere I would rather for them to be. This is the best ‘job’ U have ever had!!

  4. We raise two of our eight grandchildren. They have not had any ear infections or colds (knock on wood) like they use to living with their mom. In fact they have not had any ear infections or anything major. Thanks for the info. you posted. 🙂

  5. Martha todd 7 Mar, 2011

    Teresa, as a nana myself, I love to keep my grandchildren, but it upsets me when I hear grandparents complaining about keeping their grandchildren. I have an agreement with my daughter.. If I don’t feel like keeping them, I don’t. I guess part of the problem is that many parents take the grandparent babysitting for granted.. We love our grandbabies with all our hearts and I will never complain. I am very blessed! I have seen in our schools how many grandparents are raising their grandchildren. That’s a problem…it takes a village to raise children, but God also gave babies to young people for a reason! I love Austin, Madi, Tyler, and Tucker and I plan on being around to enjoy Brittany and Brad’s children one day!

  6. I think one reason why grandparents keep children safe is because their attention is so intently focused on them. If we were with the kids 24/7, we’d be more likely to relax our vigilance. But since we’re not with them all the time, we want to focus on them, and that makes us better sitters.

  7. Most of us have seen our own children do things we never expected, so we know from experience what those little darlings can (and do) get into. New parents and babysitters just don’t expect the unexpected.