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Old 17.09.2011, 10:21
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Expat aunthood

Hello everyone,

So, exciting news! I am going to become an aunt in March for the first time ever!!

I have a few aunt related questions that I reckon some of you might have suggestions for....

Any ideas on a really good present I can buy for the baby or for my sister or where to get it from (Zurich area)? My mum has already cornered the market in handmade things such as a patchwork quilt...the grandparents are doing all the pram/buggy, cot buying etc between them....we're not religious so there won't be any christening gifts but I think something memorable would be nice - no idea what yet though...

They live back in England, so I'm wondering what I should do about flying back to see the new baby when it's born...has anyone bought a plane ticket before that's completely flexible within the range of a few weeks? Or would it be better just to wait until it's born and fly home the next weekend....or book a flight in advance two weeks after the due date?
I looked up 'on-the-day' tickets with Swiss, BA and easyjet a few days ago and they seemed to be about 200chf more expensive..which isn't too bad but not sure I want to be worrying about whether I can get on a plane or not.

AND I'm wondering about how to spread out my holiday from work next year...from personal experiences is it better to have more time with my new niece / nephew when it is first born or maybe during its first Christmas?? Unfortunately one of more means less of the other, though i can easily go back for a 3-day weekend anytime, the UK being so close and all

Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance for any input,

Boogaloo
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Old 17.09.2011, 10:34
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Re: Expat aunthood

Not knowing how much you wish to spend:

Maybe one of those floor "activity gyms" where the baby can look up and discover various objects and shapes - you can get ones out of wood or fabric.

A personalised cutlery set in silver (type the godparents would usually get), if you wish it to be something to keep.

A visit to a baby boutique will probably give you some really good ideas, so woudl recoomend that; at this stage, practical gifts are usually most welcome.

You can always continue spoiling your nephew/niece more as he/she grows up.
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Old 17.09.2011, 10:41
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Re: Expat aunthood

Nuggihuus has a good selection; see website here:

http://www.nuggihuus.ch/
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Old 17.09.2011, 10:43
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Re: Expat aunthood

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You can always continue spoiling your nephew/niece more as he/she grows up.
Good point.

I haven't decided how much to spend yet, but think I will assess depending on what I find
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Old 17.09.2011, 10:50
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Re: Expat aunthood

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Nuggihuus has a good selection; see website here:

http://www.nuggihuus.ch/
Good site - I'm looking at it now. Do those vibrating baby chairs really work? I saw them on SATC....
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Old 17.09.2011, 10:55
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Re: Expat aunthood

With regard to the flight home, I would check with mum what she would feel most comfortable with. As a new mum, sometimes you just want to find your feet for the first week or so with as few visitors as possible. You could book your flight for a week or 10 days after the due date then you don't run the risk of being too early or feeling like the fifth wheel in the early days after the birth.

As for gifts, seeing as your mum has gone for all the handmade keepsake stuff, you could go for practical and no-nonsense stuff and buy a load of nappies (newborn and next couple of sizes), wipes, bibs, muslins, body suits from newborn to, say 4 months and maybe a warm winter suit, seeing as the baby will be heading into winter.

Pack them all into a decorated (wicker?) basket.

I found all my practical gifts really useful when my son was born.
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Old 17.09.2011, 10:56
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Re: Expat aunthood

Congratulations Aunty to be!

Regarding the plane ticket, all relatives have the same dilema so it will be interesting to hear people's responses ...

My first was born in the UK. My parents did the usual thing and drove down (about 5 hours drive) as soon as they heard he was born. They saw him when he was about 6 hours old.

When my second was due we lived here. My parents ummed and ahhed and finally bought a plane ticket for exactly a week after my due date, and planned to stay for a week. They reckoned that if the baby had not yet been born, it would be born during that week.

As it was, I hadn't gone into labour when my father rang from Manchester airport to say they were on their way. By the time they arrived at Basel, the baby was being born, and they arrived at our home and saw him just 45 minutes old (he was born at home). Who would have guessed that!? Older son popped round to the neighbours for 3 hours and when he came back there was his new brother and his grandparents had come to stay!

So, if you can take a couple of days off work, and tag it onto a weekend, I would plan to be there around the 7 to 12 days or so after the due date - although beware .. my sister was 14 days late with both ...
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Old 17.09.2011, 10:57
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Re: Expat aunthood

no idea

Better than looking online is actually going to one near you - you can check on the link whether you have one where you live.
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Old 17.09.2011, 12:53
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Re: Expat aunthood

Ooh good ideas. I asked her already and she said there's no way I could be an annoyance if I'm hanging around in immediate after-birth time Aware she could change her mind when it comes to it...

The basket with lots of things in is good too. And the winter suit, I hadn't thought about that.

Quote:
With regard to the flight home, I would check with mum what she would feel most comfortable with. As a new mum, sometimes you just want to find your feet for the first week or so with as few visitors as possible. You could book your flight for a week or 10 days after the due date then you don't run the risk of being too early or feeling like the fifth wheel in the early days after the birth.

As for gifts, seeing as your mum has gone for all the handmade keepsake stuff, you could go for practical and no-nonsense stuff and buy a load of nappies (newborn and next couple of sizes), wipes, bibs, muslins, body suits from newborn to, say 4 months and maybe a warm winter suit, seeing as the baby will be heading into winter.

Pack them all into a decorated (wicker?) basket.

I found all my practical gifts really useful when my son was born.
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Old 17.09.2011, 13:59
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Re: Expat aunthood

The very best thing an Aunt can give has no money value - it's called time and ears
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Old 17.09.2011, 16:58
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Re: Expat aunthood

That was lucky with your parents!!

And 7-12 days after hmm...perhaps I can book someting when I have a firmer date, I have a 3-day range at the moment.


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Congratulations Aunty to be!

Regarding the plane ticket, all relatives have the same dilema so it will be interesting to hear people's responses ...

My first was born in the UK. My parents did the usual thing and drove down (about 5 hours drive) as soon as they heard he was born. They saw him when he was about 6 hours old.

When my second was due we lived here. My parents ummed and ahhed and finally bought a plane ticket for exactly a week after my due date, and planned to stay for a week. They reckoned that if the baby had not yet been born, it would be born during that week.

As it was, I hadn't gone into labour when my father rang from Manchester airport to say they were on their way. By the time they arrived at Basel, the baby was being born, and they arrived at our home and saw him just 45 minutes old (he was born at home). Who would have guessed that!? Older son popped round to the neighbours for 3 hours and when he came back there was his new brother and his grandparents had come to stay!

So, if you can take a couple of days off work, and tag it onto a weekend, I would plan to be there around the 7 to 12 days or so after the due date - although beware .. my sister was 14 days late with both ...
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Old 17.09.2011, 17:00
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Re: Expat aunthood

I'm hoping the baby will be born with its own ears

But yes - wise words

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The very best thing an Aunt can give has no money value - it's called time and ears
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Old 17.09.2011, 20:45
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Re: Expat aunthood

Personally, I think the tie of birth and those first days afterwards, are most importnat for the partner to be bonding with the new baby and for both parents to be spending tie together, working out what works best for them - muddling through, but without having extra folk around.

Sure it's great to have a supportive relation or two around, but remember that the parents and baby are the most important at this time. They will all be tired and will all be stressed with the sudden changes, lack of sleep, not knowing quite what to do.

Someone who is on call to come up with a meal, cups of tea etc will be appreciated, but if you are taking on that role, don't be offended if the cup of tea is abandoned, or the meal gets cold because the baby is in need of attention, or if the mother ( father too) decides to have a sleep in the middle of the day and leaves you alone in the lounge, to amuse yourself.
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Old 17.09.2011, 22:02
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Re: Expat aunthood

Maybe wait til her partner/husband has finished his paternity leave. Then visit and be willing to help with cleaning, washing etc.
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Old 17.09.2011, 23:44
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Re: Expat aunthood

This is not at all a Swiss gift, but I can highly recommend these guys for a memorable gift (especially for a UK mom, although they deliver here too if anyone else is reading this!):
http://www.babyblooms.co.uk/

Essentially they make flowers from beautifully rolled up baby clothes - little socks and vests and babygrows and craft them into beautiful bouquets. I've sent 4 of these now to new mums and they have all been blown away with them - they really are gorgeous. And useful - because you can never have too many vests and babygrows!

They deliver quickly too so you can order when the baby is born and it'll get there within a few days.

In terms of visits, here I'd go with what the parents wish - ask them if they'd like you to come and help out or if there's something you can do and do that. Some people want lots of people around, others prefer privacy so take your cues from the parents.
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Old 17.09.2011, 23:48
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Re: Expat aunthood

I became an aunt for the first time in April. I thought I wouldn't feel any different. But I DO! She is the best baby in the world! I LOVE her & miss her every single day!!

Congrats on your upcoming aunthood!
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Old 18.09.2011, 00:01
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Re: Expat aunthood

Aawww what sweet thread
Congrats boogaloo!

I love the Ovale shop for special gifts (very pricey but also very special). I'm not sure if their website is available as I'm not able to view it (iPad = no flash), but here it is anyway: http://www.ovale.com/
I would recommend buying clothing etc in England as you will save a TON of money and they have so much variety there!
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Old 18.09.2011, 00:16
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Re: Expat aunthood

Being an Aunt is FAB FAB FAB. I turned a new milestone this year when my niece had her first baby (a girl) which is the first of a new generation........incidentally I am to be called The Great Aunty Vallers ....Great Aunt Vallers is not acceptable

Anyway, it may cost a little more, but I got my sister, my niece and great niece (I still can't get used to that) silver bracelets, each slightly different. Okay I took advantage of the exchange rate dip and splurged on Tiffany ones, but sis and niece loved them and I am hopeful that "the" great niece will also like it!

A practical thought is all those little remedies for colic, nappy rash etc etc, that new parents don't necessarily know about but all my friends with children swear by. So different things I got for my niece was - Baby teas - Fennel Tea, and Camomile - she couldn't find it in UK and felt more comfortable having stuff made for babies and her daughter had colic; also from a UK pharmacy - Infacol, Kamillosan (I think it is called - yellow box, tube of cream for nappy rash).

As someone said earlier, it is the time you spend there just getting on with things like tidying up, making meals, ensuring that your sister has something for breakfast, lunch, has drinks handy, ironing, grocery shopping etc that help the most especially in the first few weeks when everything is new and the father may have returned to work.

Have a great time - it gets even better as they get older.
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Old 18.09.2011, 00:17
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Re: Expat aunthood

No idea if you can get them in Switzerland but I bought a "paci chain" with the baby's name in wooden beads on it. You can clip the chain on baby's jacket so if paci falls out of the mouth it won't drop on the floor
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Old 18.09.2011, 00:34
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Re: Expat aunthood

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Being an Aunt is FAB FAB FAB. I turned a new milestone this year when my niece had her first baby (a girl) which is the first of a new generation........incidentally I am to be called The Great Aunty Vallers ....Great Aunt Vallers is not acceptable
I LOVE IT! I'm Tia Mia. It was either that or Auntie Em. (My full name is Emilia). But not sure I like the Auntie Em/ Wizard of Oz reference!

Oh, I meant to say, I got my niece (Love saying that!) a painting from a local artist for her bedroom. It was a small square piece with a little black haired girl on a swing. My niece, she's got my hair.
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