I recently flew to Texas to meet my new nephews and there are a few things I learned:

  1. Twinning is very hard.
  2. Aunting is the best.

First, I wondered if twins were just twice as hard as being a parent to one, or if the difficulty was exponentially higher. The answer is exponential. I had a second baby after I had a one year old and that was bad, but the early weeks with twins was worse. But the good news is twin moms won’t know the difference, not until they have a singleton.

So why is aunting the best? Well, of course we moms love our little ones, but being an aunt is a whole other level of awesome. We get to swoop in with our gifts, our love, our “I heart my aunt onesies” and then we get to go home for our full eight hours of sleep.  Of course, when our sisters or brothers call to remind us they are still the parents of infants, we are a shoulder to cry on, but we aren’t in the thick of it.

As a mom and an aunt, I have a bit of perspective on both. If you are about to be an aunt or uncle for the first time, here are a few things you can do to for the children of your siblings.

Practical gifts – those first few months are not the time for crazy noise makers. The early days are a good time to let Mom know she matters too. Maybe grab her lunch from her favorite place, or a nice breakfast. Do not go for manicures or spa days. New parents aren’t usually up to leaving their newborns for relaxation days early on. Save those for gifts later.

Brush up on the basics – If you are a first-time aunt or uncle, you might need to know a few things about babies. You may even have to study up. For example, tiny babies need their neck supported, you can’t just lift them. When you feed a baby, you have to burp them after about one ounce of food. Once you’ve changed a diaper, you might have to change it again, and then again.

Try to help – Babies fly through diapers and if you are confident enough to try, you should give diapering a whirl. It would be a big help to the mom. If you don’t know how or don’t feel confident, just cater to mom. Grab her tea and lunch. Offer to hold the babies so that she can eat a meal in peace.

You can save – If you aren’t ever planning to have kiddos of your own, you could open a savings account for the new little apples of your eye. You can check out 529 plans and compare the benefits of various plans at Forbes.

Be an aunt on trend – There are seriously sites for aunts on the web. One of the most popular is SavvyAuntie.com. Any savvy aunt can read up on what’s happening for aunts, like back to school tips and gift giving guides. The gift giving guide is on point, recommending some of the on-trend toys my kids have been talking about.

Score serious Cool Aunt Points (and give Mom and Dad the gift of a quiet house) by taking your nieces and nephews out for the day.

Here are just a few places to take them:

Sky Zone Trampoline Park in Oaks

Rebounderz in Lansdale

LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Plymouth Meeting

Dave & Buster’s in Plymouth Meeting

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