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 //