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New Auntie Needs Some Advice

(25 Posts)
AuntieN Sun 23-Sep-12 14:00:00

Hello!

I am new here! I have just become and Auntie for the first time. I don't have children myself, but want to be a good Aunt to my new niece.

First off, I would like to spoil my niece at Christmas, although she will only be six months old come December! I have no idea what to buy her, and I don't want to clutter my brother's house up with useless stuff. Can some one advise me where to look for suitable gifts? I know nothing about little ones at all, so this will be a real learning curve for me as much as my brother and his wife.

Incidentially, is there an area on these boards for Aunts and Uncles?

PS. Also posted in Toys area, but then thought that might not be the best place...

ByTheWay1 Sun 23-Sep-12 14:09:28

My number one tip would be to find out what size they are before buying anything clothing related! We had a lot of lovely things given to us that were wasted because they were the wrong size in the wrong season - so a winter jumpsuit for 6 month old - but they were that size in the summer...

Oh - and don't buy anything like bath oils/fragrances unless asked to.

A pretty (but washable) blanket is a good standby gift as they are forever being puked/pooped on...

An0therName Sun 23-Sep-12 14:20:23

Firstly the best thing you can do it be a support to your DB and SIL - if you are near by take round the odd meal - either take away or if you cook cassorole etc that they can heat up- offer to take baby out for a walk in the pram at the weekend or baby sit when they are older - note some parents might not want you tobut I am sure they would appriciate the offer
Presents for the under about 2s can be a bit wasted - on the children -as they are not preditable and don't really notice- so ask the parents what would be useful
Books are a good idea as they last - board books like "thats not my teddy" - there is a whole series are great

bbface Sun 23-Sep-12 14:33:16

You sound lovely! Like my lovely sister, who is a fab aunt to my ds (2.1).

So, my advise if that for Xmas, buy a couple of really nice pieces of clothing, that generally parents do not really justify buying because so much other stuff to buy. I am thinking, the White Company (20% discount voucher knocking Around).

Then buy baby a little something, a board book, a musical instrument, something with buttons that she can press. JOhn Lewis have a lovely toy section.

Save your money for later. Trust me, when she gets to two... There will be so many options!

RavenVonChaos Sun 23-Sep-12 14:33:31

Open a saving account and put money in for birthday and Christmas. Buy a small token gift that has approval of parents. 6 month old babies don't really need anything much. Better to spend time at park or offer to take her swimming?

I have three dc's and they have all had way too many soft toys etc. it's a waste of money.

ButtonBoo Sun 23-Sep-12 14:35:31

What a good Auntie you are!!

At 6mo they'll usually have just started sitting up. They'll be practicing hand eye coordination and be much more interested in noise, reflection and moving parts. They still love bright colours and will be able to notice smaller details. They'll probably be teething (or soon will be) so anything solid to gnaw on will go down a treat.

What about something like a wooden Ark or Farm - a nice keepsie. Board books with bright colours. Stacking rings or cups. Sophie the Giraffe (squeaky teething toy). Hanging bouncer for the door. Activity table. One of those beads on a wire cube things (DD has one but don't know what it's called!)

Don't bother with boots/shoes. Their feet are too 'new' to be confined in footwear at this age. No matter how cute they look. A funky winter hat?

I'm sure I'll think of some more... Will be back!

susiegrapevine Sun 23-Sep-12 14:37:27

Best thing my sisters bought for my ds when he was 6 months which was at christmas was a baby walker. He loved it but also I asked for them to get it for him. Best just to ask what they would like for your neice as they will know best and I live in a small flat and don't want too much clutter!

ButtonBoo Sun 23-Sep-12 14:37:57

Ooooo...a sheepskin! Great for winter smuggles AND perfect for the obligatory embarrassing naked baby photos!

AnathemaDevice Sun 23-Sep-12 18:11:31

Books. I second the suggestion of the 'That's Not My...' books. Maybe some classic toddler stories (The Gruffalo, Each Peach Pear Plum, The Very Hungry Caterpillar) that will last for a few years. (It might be a good idea to get the board book versions so they survive being chewed on!)

Maybe you could start a tradition of buying a special book every birthday/Christmas? One of my aunts used to get me a book or book token every year, and it was always one if my favourite gifts.

lola88 Sun 23-Sep-12 18:31:06

Congrats smile i was a proud auntie before a mum and i loved it, it's like having all the good bits with none of the bad smile

I would just ask what she needs and think ahead, lots of shops like ELC have age groups on toys. I got some crawl along toys for DS when he was 6 months might be an idea.

MoelFammau Mon 24-Sep-12 00:49:55

Trying to recall what my DD loved at 6 months.... It was only 10 months ago but the brain does tend to fog over.

My Dad bought her a push along wooden trolley with blocks. 6 months is a bit young but she's had masses of use out of it. She also loved the spinning top and a big ball with glitter in it.... oh, and a bath-time bubble maker.

If it was a gift for the parents, a nice soft sheepskin for the buggy would be lovely. We could never afford one but really appreciated the little secondhand one from friends.

MoelFammau Mon 24-Sep-12 00:59:28

Also, 6 months is the weaning stage so some funky cutlery and bowls could be an idea?

MyGoldenNotebook Mon 24-Sep-12 09:59:58

I've recently become an auntie too = to a beautiful three month old DN smile It's so exciting! I have a 4 year old DS and a three month old DD myself and I would echo what others have said about six months being too young for many toys. There's no point in her having oodles of expensive plastic or knitted bits and bobs that she will soon grow out of. In just another nine months or so she will begin to have her own ideas about what she wants to play with (pots and pans, sticks in the garden, your phone!) and if you really want to splurge on expensive toys I would wait till then.

I'm going to get DN beautiful clothes for Christmas and some books - I'm thinking of classics like The Hungry Caterpillar and some from the That's Not My ... series as others have said. Funky weaning gear is also a good idea. If you can afford it you could offer to buy an essential piece of kit such as a highchair.

My SIL always buys the most beautiful, thoughtful gifts ... just grogeous things from Hamley's, John Lewis etc ... mostly though, my SIL is a lovely auntie to my two because she is always so enthusiastic and loves spending time with them. They love her to pieces especially my DS, for that reason alone.

VikingLady Mon 24-Sep-12 11:21:04

Ask what they want that they can't justify wasting money on as a luxury, like certain big toys. Or maybe they want help buying a state of the art baby monitor, if the baby will be 6m - we did!

Also things you can't have too many of, like huge bibs. The ones with sleeves!

IsSamNormansDad Mon 24-Sep-12 16:43:38

Depending on budget, space in their home - a jumperoo. DS & DD loved theirs. We have passed ours on to a friend with a baby now smile

CherryBlossom27 Mon 24-Sep-12 16:50:45

Aww this is such a nice thread smile

I'd think about getting a walker like this www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0002MG6ZE/ref=asc_df_B0002MG6ZE9814330?smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&tag=googlecouk06-21&linkCode=asn&creative=22206&creativeASIN=B0002MG6ZE

The baby won't be old enough to walk at 6 months, but will enjoy the flashing lights, music and buttons to play with and it will be something they grow into.

I think DS liked anything musical at 6 months to be honest! It was a noisy caterpillar like this one that made him crawl for the first time (he was trying to reach it) www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B001T8A6X8/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_2?pf_rd_p=103612307&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B001R0ZPK2&pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_r=0MVADXBE8PX2YF3QTQD1

Books are also good, DS loves looking at the pictures.

SkiBumMum Mon 24-Sep-12 17:38:58

I think sleeping bags are good pressies as you use all the time and think of the buyer. We always say this is auntie's GroBag etc. My Sis just bought my baby a hungry caterpillar jack in the box for her 1st bday. She loves it!

mum4041 Mon 24-Sep-12 19:31:11

you sound so lovely. I think the nicest thing a friend brought one day for my dd was a helium balloon. She was crawling - probably a few months older but she absolutely loved it.

My dd got this from her aunty and loved it for years:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Haba-Toys-Mouse-house-soft/dp/B000EF5IKS/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1348511242&sr=8-8

This book my dd and several of her friends loved for years:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Counting-Colors-Seek-Find-Book/dp/0312501374/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1348510360&sr=8-2

We also got given some gorgeous building blocks like these (although I think these ones are overpriced and would probably be cheaper elsewhere).

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Haba-Toys-Building-Blocks-Sevilla/dp/B001327LO2/ref=sr_1_40?ie=UTF8&qid=1348511387&sr=8-40

JeanBodel Mon 24-Sep-12 19:32:44

When my kids were 6 months (in fact at any age) the best present would be a day out with their aunty.

AuntieN Mon 24-Sep-12 19:48:36

What great answers! Thanks everyone! I live several hundd miles from my brother, so can't pop around, butcould definitely do a weekend trip.

I adore books so, the title suggestions are great, I will take a look at those.

I had an idea... I love to write, and I thought about writing her a story each year at christmas and on her birthday. I am no Beatrix Potter or JK Rowling... Do you think that is silly?

clippityclop Mon 24-Sep-12 19:56:03

Presents bought for my girls when they were babies which are still loved today include various lovely books with messages written in the flyleaf, pretty bedroom lamp, colourful cotton knit blanket (Boots?)which they use to play with their dollies a Build-a-Bear bunny with loads less than the usual amount of stuffing in so it's nice and floppy plus some clothes for it, silver locket with name engraved on it, big china money pig, bath toys, map of the world they can stick postcards from you on.

mum4041 Mon 24-Sep-12 20:46:03

Not at all I think it's a lovely idea. Even better if on a cd or something.

plipplops Mon 24-Sep-12 22:24:29

The story idea is fabulous. My sister and her husband made a book for each of my kids, a sort of 'this is the world when you were born' sort of thing. Scrapbook with loads of photos of me and DH, our house, our families, where we were living/working and what was going on in the world etc. Love the idea of a special story for your niece.

Regarding presents I agree with not buying too much tat, although second the helium balloon, someone once sent DD a massive balloon in a box for her birthday and she loved batting it around (all the more so once they start to deflate and make loads of noise!)

A sheepskin would have been lovely too.

Books - Guess How Much I Love You, and No Matter What are really special.

Will have a think about anything else...I wish one of my sisters would have kids I'd love so much to be an auntie!

Kiwiinkits Thu 27-Sep-12 03:45:41

Merino sleeping bag

ShobGiteTheKnid Thu 27-Sep-12 04:04:26

My sister, who lives abroad, did the story book - she recorded it on CD as well. Best present ever smile

Also SIL made beautiful fabric height charts. Equal best present ever. smile

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