Babies & newborns Sunnybrook Magazine – Spring 2017

A grandparent’s refresher course on baby care

Family photo

Grandparents Marion and Mark Frankel, who attended the Babycare for Grandparents Workshop at Sunnybrook, are pictured above with their daughter Julia Trainor, her husband Simon Trainor and their twin grandsons, Elie (grey top) and Levi (blue top) Trainor. (Photograph by Doug Nicholson)

With two grown daughters, Marion Frankel and her husband, Mark, anticipated becoming grandparents in the near future – just not three times over in the span of five months.

“Our daughter Julia gave birth to twin boys on December 8, and our other daughter, Dara, is expecting a baby in May,” Marion says.

While attending a prenatal class at Sunnybrook, one of the Frankels’ daughters heard about a different class on offer – one specifically aimed at grandparents.

“With three babies on the way,” Marion says, “we wanted to make sure we were ready.”

The Baby Care for Grandparents Workshop, the first of its kind in Canada, runs once a month at Sunnybrook. “The class is for anyone who will be helping to care for a newborn,” says Kerry Grier, a patient education specialist at Sunnybrook who leads the program.

“We cover all the newest recommendations, so everything that’s taught in the class is evidence-based.”

Apart from brushing up on baby-care skills, Marion and Mark found that the class gave them valuable insight into their new role as grandparents.

“It made us think about what our part would be once the babies were born, like how to be better communicators with our daughters, and an understanding of when to be supportive and when to step back,” Marion says. “It’s really helped us enjoy this new experience to the fullest.”