Dear Savvy Auntie,

I will be a new aunt in about four weeks!

What do I need to be prepared for at the hospital? Should I bring anything to the hospital?

Delivery Day Auntie

Dear Delivery Day Auntie,

Oh the Aunticipation of a new baby niece or nephew!

Savvy Auntie founder, Melanie Notkin, author of Savvy Auntie: The Ultimate Guide for Cool Aunts, Great-Aunts, Godmothers and All Women Who Love Kids (Morrow/HarperCollins) has a list of Do's and Don'ts for delivery day, excerpted from her book. These tips should help you navigate this precious day.

Delivery-Day Dos and Don’ts

DON’T expect to be in the delivery room. That is VIP access only, and unless you have been Mom’s birthing partner during all her prenatal classes, you are not on the list as her plus-one.

DO develop an “Auntie Plan.” About a week before the due date, discuss what the mom-to-be would like your responsibilities to be for the big day. It may involve your staying at the hospital to keep long-distance relatives informed of any updates. If she’s got other kids, you may be most needed back on the home front to pick them up from school, babysit, and so on.

DO dash back home if labor lasts awhile to whip up some homemade food for the rest of the brood stuck back at the hospital. You’ll start earning Savvy Auntie brownie points before your niece or nephew even gets here! (In fact, come to think of it, you should definitely bake brownies.)

DO whatever laundry and housework needs doing back at the parents’ house. Feed and walk the pets; make sure things are tidied up nicely; put a lovely final touch on the nursery with a vase of fresh-cut flowers. (Tulips are a savvy pick because they’re a low-fragrance flower; strong scents may make a newborn baby fuss. Make sure the buds haven’t opened yet so they’ll be in beautiful bloom by the time Mom and baby arrive home.) Return to the hospital with a pillow or blanket that will add a touch of home to Mom’s hospital stay.

DON’T forget your cell phone! You’ll need it to alert Mom’s list of friends and family she wants notified. (Get their names and numbers before the big day arrives.) If you’ve got a smartphone, use it to coordinate Mom’s network of friends via e-mail or Facebook.

DON’T overstay your welcome once the little boo finally arrives. Mom is probably dying for some sleep, and if it’s the parents’ firstborn, they’re going to want some quality time alone with baby and each other.

Hope that helps! And we hope mom and baby (and Auntie!) have a healthy, happy, stress-free delivery day!

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