A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

15 Funny Things Only First-Time Grandparents Can Relate To

It's okay to admit that you might sympathize a little too much with your daughter's growing belly.

Grandfather holds granddaughter on hands. mother playing with her daughter
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You can’t get over the shock: Your baby just had a baby

You still can’t look at your daughter without seeing the sleeping, chubby-cheeked infant she used to be. And now that baby has her own chubby-cheeked infant? And she looks like a carbon copy of your baby? Craziness—of the best kind! Read up on the true story behind Grandparents Day.

Portrait Mother, grandmother and baby are smiling and hugging. The concept of happy generations.

You might sympathize a little too much with your daughter’s pregnant belly

Who cares if yours is mostly filled with beer and burritos? You can still bond over being unable to find pants that fit and having heartburn. Just don’t talk about your “delivery” plan though—that’s a step too far!

Mother Lying On Sofa At Home Playing Clapping Game With Baby Daughter
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You might be even more excited about the baby than their parents are

First-time parenting comes with a host of anxiety, expenses, and upheavals along with the joy. First-time grandparenting, on the other hand, is all the fun minus most of the worries. This means you get to have all the excitement without stressing over midnight feedings or diaper blowouts. Just try not to rub it in too much.

Asian grandfather holding grandson and walking in the garden

You start identifying as “grandpa” before the baby’s even born

As soon as you see that little kidney bean on the ultrasound picture, you adopt the title of grandpa… and wear it on a T-shirt… and wear that shirt everywhere. So what if that grandbaby-to-be doesn’t even know who you are yet? They will soon enough, and you’ll make sure that “papa” is the first word they say. (Okay, maybe the third, after “mama” and “dada.”) You’ll definitely want to check out what grandparents are called in other languages.

Grandparents With Their Grandson Spending Lovely Time At Cafe

Babysitting? More like babyplaying!

When your kids leave you alone to babysit your grandchild, it’s the perfect opportunity to feed them nutritious food and put them down for their nap promptly at 1 p.m. while you do the dishes. Or… feed them treats, sing the silliest songs you can think of, dance around the kitchen, and completely miss naptime because you’re having so much fun. Of course, you’ll still do the dishes because you do remember just how difficult being a first-time parent was (and you want them to let you babysit again). These are the 18 best books for grandparents to read to their grandkids.

An elderly grandmother holds a small beautiful baby on her wrinkled arms. family generation. Youth and old age

Your cheeks hurt from smiling so much

There’s joy, and then there’s grandma-holding-her-first-grandchild joy. You can’t stop smiling—and you don’t even care if it’s giving you some little eye crinkles. Those are smile lines, and you will wear them with pride! In fact, you might even name them after each grandbaby. Here’s how one grandma stays close to her grandkids even though they live 800 miles away.

Adorable baby boy lying in his crib playing with mobile at home in the bedroom

Setting up cribs and car seats isn’t any easier this time around

Despite all the technological advancements of the past few years that have simplified so many things, baby products are still ridiculously complicated. Remember how long it took you to put together your first child’s crib? Yeah, you’re still gonna need to block out the whole evening, Grandpa.

Beautiful baby boy in grandmothers arms at home
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You know your kids are old enough, but you’re still totally surprised when they get pregnant

You’re still 26, right? (At least you feel 26!) So what do these kids mean when they say you’re going to be a grandmother? How could this even happen? Wait, you know how this happened! Don’t think about it! Just jump for joy… after the shock wears off!

Grandparents Lying In Bed At Home Looking After Baby Grandson
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She totally smiled first for you, oh yes she did!

When you were a first-time parent every milestone was a new and sometimes daunting adventure. Now, however, as a first-time grandparent, you can appreciate each little milestone for exactly what it is and enjoy the moment because you know how quickly they fly by. And if you were the lucky one to catch his first bubbly grin? It’s because you already knew what to look for. This grandfather’s adorable gift to his granddaughter is bringing the internet to tears.

Grandmother is kissing her baby grandson - indoors scene. Proud Grandmother Holding Baby Grandson. Senior woman hold little baby boy. Multi generation family playtime
Dragana Gordic/Shutterstock

You need nap time just as much as the baby does

You will always volunteer to leave the party for your grandchild’s nap time. You tell your kids it’s because you want them to be able to stay and enjoy the fun, but the truth is you’re as tuckered out as the tot. Plus, everyone knows that grandpa-baby naps are the best naps.

1 year old cute baby boy learning walk with grandpa, most old people in China are in charging of taking care of their grandchildren
Yu Zhang/Shutterstock

You finally understand why your mom cried when you had your first child

Babies have a way of bringing generations together, no matter how many holiday fights there were or how many hours apart you live. Just like becoming a mother helps you appreciate your mom, becoming a grandmother helps you appreciate every woman who came before you.

Laughing baby on bed
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It wasn’t funny when your son peed on you, but it’s hilarious when your grandson pees on his dad

There’s something so gratifying about seeing your kids finally getting payback for all the times they pooped, peed, and wiped boogers on you. Of course, you’d never wish a urine stream straight to the eye on your son, but that doesn’t mean you can’t chuckle when it inevitably happens. Don’t miss these 18 hilarious parenting stories that’ll make you laugh out loud.

Grandmother is kissing her baby grandson - indoors scene
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Soothing a baby is like riding a bike, and you still got it (mostly)

It took you years to hone your parenting instincts so that you could tell the difference between the “I need to go to the hospital” cry and the “I’m faking it to get my sister in trouble” cry—and you still can. Plus, you can rock a baby to sleep like a seasoned pro. However, there are some reflexes that aren’t as quick anymore, which is why you’ve got spit-up on everything you’re wearing.

Grandfather And Grandson Playing With Toys On Floor At Home
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You love being with them, but you also love being able to give them back

Giggles, cooing, smiling, and talking? Put my granddaughter right here—she needs grandpapa! Poop, barf, snot-cicles, and non-stop crying? Take your daughter; she needs you.

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Wait, what was life before grandchildren?

Having your first grandbaby is life-changing. In fact, it’s so life-changing you might wonder if you could even call what you were doing before grandkids “life” at all. Next, be on the lookout for these signs that your baby (or grand-baby) really trusts you.

Charlotte Hilton Andersen
Charlotte Hilton Andersen is a health, lifestyle and fitness expert and teacher. She covers all things wellness for Reader’s Digest and The Healthy. With dual masters degrees in information technology and education, she has been a journalist for 17 years and is the author of The Great Fitness Experiment. She lives in Denver with her husband, five kids and three pets.