Grandparenting Class is ‘Gift’ for First-Time Grandmother

Admittedly, it has been some time since 58-year-old Catherine Collins has cared for an infant. As she prepared to become a first-time grandmother, she decided a refresher course might enhance her parenting credibility with her pregnant daughter. For help, she turned to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.

Several friends recommended the Grandparenting 101 class offered through the hospital’s Childbirth Education Program, and Catherine eagerly enrolled. She even took a long-time friend, who is also preparing to become a grandmother for the first time.

“We had a great time in class,” Catherine said. “So many things have changed since we had children. I wanted to learn about the latest and greatest techniques for baby care ― and I did. I loved having the lifelike baby dolls to work with in class, and I was chosen to have the poopy diaper during one session, so I felt quite honored.”

Besides relearning how to deal with some of life’s little messes, Catherine gained valuable insight into the importance of having skin-to-skin contact with the newborn, car-seat installation, proper umbilical cord care and the “whys” of placing a baby on his or her back to sleep. Another great take-away from the class was learning about the five “S’s” to calming an infant: Swaddling, Side/Stomach placement, using Shhhhing to mimic sounds heard in utero, Swinging and Sucking.

“We try to make the once-a-month class as comprehensive and upbeat as possible,” said childbirth educator Linda Woodson, R.N., B.S.N., who teaches the class. “It is such a great class to teach, and the grandparents really seem to enjoy the depth of information provided.”

Catherine’s first grandchild is due in mid-October, and the grandmother is ready. When asked if she would recommend the class to others, the answer was a definite “Yes.” In fact, she has four friends who plan to take a session later this year based on her feedback.

“My daughter is my only child, and she will be depending on me a lot to help with initial child care after the baby is born,” Catherine added. “Her husband has a demanding job and works many hours, so I want to be there for her. What a great gift it is for me and my family to have the Grandparenting class available through such a trusted source.”

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