Being an auntie is so much fun! You don’t have to be the one that disciplines them or grounds them. You just get to be the fun auntie that they want to hang out with. When it comes to birthdays and Christmases, I can go a little overboard. I know it isn’t about the presents and more about presence. But it is so nice seeing their face light up with a gift that you have given them. There can be things that I see when I’m out and about, and it just makes me think of them. Their parents are going to get them the standard gifts and the things that they ask for. So getting them something fun and special is so nice for me. Not too annoying and noisy, though. You know you’ll get payback from that from their parents one day!
When your sibling is expecting a baby, there might be quite a few things that you want to get them. Everyone is excited for a new baby, and it is nice to be able to help out. I think it is a good idea to check with the parents first, though. Going out and just buying something without checking might be a bit of a no-no. They will more than likely want to shop and browse for things like baby cots themselves. You could always contribute to it, though. Things like nappies, wipes, and burp cloths are always a winner. Noone is ever going to be mad at getting them as a gift!
A baby shower is always a good indicator of things that they might like. Some people register for gifts, so it is handy to be able to get things that they definitely want. It is also a nice idea to throw a baby shower as a gift before the baby arrives. It is such a special time, and a baby shower is a great memory to have; especially if it is their first baby.
When the baby is born, then the fun auntie duties can begin! Quite often the parents will have everything that they need by then. Some of the best things you could do for them is to offer to babysit. Sometimes it might even be that they are in at home, but you just take over while they have a nap. The tiredness can be overwhelming for first-time parents, and that type of ‘gift’ is worth its weight in gold. Other thoughtful gifts could include making a meal for them or just heading over with chocolate. A new mum would love a little pamper time. You could buy them some food shopping or just come over to clean the house a little for them. Gifts of time are a great idea and mean a lot to new parents.
When it gets to the baby getting a little older, then it is time to get all of the fun gifts and trips out. For up to their first birthday, they are learning quite a lot all the time. There is still a physical limit of all that they can do. So getting something like a walker is a great idea. They can navigate their way around the house, and it will help them to learn to walk. Things like building blocks are a great idea too. It will help their fine motor skills and development. Pull along toys are a great idea as they will be learning to walk and can drag it along with them. They look so cute being able to pull a little toy along with them.
For preschool age, craft kits are a great idea for little ones. They love to get a little messy and creative. It is great for their development too. Painting is a great idea; pretty much anything that they can cut and stick. A sticker book or a little chalkboard easel is a great idea. If it encourages them to make an organised mess rather than making a mess on a wall, it is onto a winner with everyone!
When they get to school age, there is a whole world of things that they will need or be into. First of all, if you want there to be nice to your sibling and their other half, you could offer to help out with the cost of school things. For your niece or nephews birthday, you could get things that foster their interests and hobbies. Quite often they have an interest in dinosaurs or in space, so you could get things that go along with those themes. At school age, children may be interested in collecting things. It could be Star Wars figurines or anything Disney related. Adding to their collection pretty much makes you the most awesome auntie ever.
Books are always a winner with school aged children. Start off with books that they will be able to read. Then they can build up and move on to different and trickier books. Rhyming books are a great way to help them learn words and sounds, so Dr. Seuss books could be a good place to start.
As they get even older, gifts that allow them to risk a little are a good idea. Now hear me out, I’m not talking about any super extreme. Things like a chemistry set are a good way to allow them to learn. But they can experience a little risk in the things that they are making. Though not real risk really.
Trips out are always a fun thing to do with your niece or nephew. It is something that you will both look forward to. Think about trips to the zoo, a day at the farm or even the beach. Having family members that they are close with is so important. Quite often there might be things that they don’t want to talk to their parents to. But if you build up a close relationship with them they should be able to share these types of things with you.