Surprise! Your sibling just let you know that they’re expecting a child, and the only one more excited than the parents—is YOU!
You’re finally getting a perfect bundle of joy to play with and spoil rotten, and the best part is, you have none of the terrifying responsibility of raising that little cutie.
But what else should you expect when you’re about to become an aunt? Here’s our list of things to come and how to navigate it all. Trust us—it’s gonna be FUN.
1. The week (and day) of your niece/nephew’s arrival will be a busy one. If you’re lucky enough to be in town, try to be patient and do what you can to help. Instead of texting them every five minutes asking what.is.happening, deliver a meal to the hospital for them. Order a bouquet of fresh flowers for the new mom. Choose a special book and write a sweet note in the front cover to your new niece or nephew. Or, if you’re really close with your sibling, be the best sister ever and make sure their house is ready for the family’s return. Wash their sheets, fold their towels, or leave a meal in their freezer for those inevitable days they won’t have the energy to cook. If you’re separated by distance, send a card or gift in the mail as a pleasant surprise when they return home. The littlest things will be so appreciated.
2. You’re gonna want to hold that sweet babe right away. When you meet the new member of the family, wait for the parents’ cue on holding him. Give the grandparents the first chance, and stand by supportively until you’re asked if you want to hold him, too. Wash your hands right before, and then—when you finally get to gaze into that sweet baby face—soak it in. He’s here! You’re an aunt! Have someone snap a photo of the two of you so you’ll remember that special moment forever.
3. When you’re not with them, you’ll miss your niece/nephew more than you ever thought possible. FaceTime is a beautiful, beautiful thing.
4. When you do get to hang out, you’ll start getting REALLY used to Thomas & Friends, Dinosaur Train, The Octonauts, Daniel Tiger, Sesame Street, Bob the Builder, etc. Maybe you’ll even start quoting the characters. Singing the songs. You know, normal aunt stuff. (By the way, can you tell I have nephews? 😉 )
5. You’ll start learning basic but valuable parenting skills. As the youngest of three children with almost no babysitting experience, I had basically ZERO prior knowledge of children at all when I became an aunt. Luckily, my sister and brother-in-law were willing to teach me pretty much everything I know. From dirty diapers to naptime to bathtime, you’ll really start to get the hang of it. And at the end of the day, you get to go home and sleep through the night. If kids are in your future, though, you’ve got some great skills tucked away for later.
6. One word: babysitting. Who doesn’t need to build an impressively long train track every now and then? Or dress up their favorite stuffed animals? Or eat applesauce in a blanket fort? Being an aunt is seriously fun.
7. Watching them grow up will be so, so sweet. From their first day of pre-school to losing teeth to tee-ball and ballet, you’ll love watching those kids go from tiny babies to walking, talking people in the real world. Enjoy every moment—it goes by quick!
So congratulations, new aunt! Your life is about to get a whole lot sweeter, and we know you’ll be absolutely amazing. Tell us about your experience with aunthood in the comments. We love hearing about all those little nuggets!
// photo by Josh Willink //
Co-Founder | Kristen is a ninth-generation Texan with a taste for quality margaritas and even better books. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2013 with an English & American Studies degree, meaning she knows entirely too much about Ernest Hemingway, dependent clauses, and the Puritans. In “the real world,” she is married to a pretty awesome US Air Force pilot, loves planning their next adventure, and is probably telling her rescue dog, Ralph, how handsome he is. She’ll start the first draft of her novel, just as soon as she finishes this cup of coffee. Promise.
5 thoughts on “So You’re Going To Be An Aunt”
I was ten when I first found out I was going to be an aunt. Eighteen years and thirteen nieces and nephews later, I think I’m still learning how to be a good aunt! I’ve definitely been much more comfortable with the kids when they’re babies and toddlers –it’s been hard at times navigating my role as not quite a big sister/not a mom, especially with my eldest niece. But I love those kiddos with my whole heart, even if I can’t always remember how old they are 😉
Elise, you sound like the best aunt ever! And to thirteen nieces and nephews! Yes, I feel like the relationship aspect of being an aunt comes into play more as they get older. Sometimes I think my oldest nephew looks at me now like “Wait, you’re not my mom, you’re not my sister… What are you??” Haha. It’s so much fun and very rewarding, though. (I get their names mixed up now though. 😉 )
I just found out, on Sunday, my little (21-year-old) brother was having their first child. The mommy was having issues with swelling (due to diabetes), and she had gained about 20 pounds in the last month. Finally, she did a pregnancy test, and POSITIVE! They went to the ER, and we got the biggest surprise – she was 35 weeks along, and they induced labor!! Whaaaa??!!! Yes. Huge shock to everyone. My precious niece was born last night around 8:30pm, and I finally got to lay eyes on her today (she had to go to NICU due to a slightly early delivery). She’s perfect, and I’m am the proudest aunt to my sweet baby niece. I’m in love! Thank you for this post!
Sorry for the typos – I’m doing this on my phone!
Thanks so much for your comment, Jennifer. I am so glad mama and baby are healthy and happy! What a wonderful surprise. Aunthood is such an incredible experience, and I’m sure you are going to spoil your new niece with all the love in the world. (How could you not?!) I wish you joy in all your adventures to come with your sweet niece.