When your new baby arrives, you’re probably excited to share the news with friends and family. Although social media has made it possible to share news far and wide with everyone from your best friend to your second-grade teacher with the click of a button, many parents prefer a more personalized approach. Instead, they opt to send more traditional baby announcements. Not only does sending a printed card allow you to share a photo of your adorable new arrival and vital stats with friends and family who don’t use social media, but it also allows you to be a little creative and show off your baby’s personality.
Before you become overwhelmed by the idea of one more thing to do after your baby is born, keep in mind that it’s not mandatory – and you don’t have to do it right away. Etiquette experts note that it’s acceptable to send birth announcements several months after the baby is born. In fact, you might prefer to wait until your baby isn’t quite a newborn, so the photo actually reveals what he or she looks like. Relatives will be anxious to proclaim that your baby looks exactly like mom or dad, but it’s usually close to impossible to tell with a newborn. Waiting a month or two to take the announcement photo ensures you show off your chubby cheeked, bright eyed baby – not a red-faced, angry newborn.
Now that you know you have some breathing room as to when you should send the birth announcements, what else do you need to know?
Who Should You Send Them To?
Ideally, you should send baby announcements to friends and family who would be interested in knowing that you’ve had your baby. However, your budget may dictate a smaller list. At minimum, you should include immediate family, anyone who was invited to your baby shower, and your closest friends. It’s also a nice gesture to send an announcement to your obstetrician or midwife, to say thank you for their help during your pregnancy and delivery.
What Should They Say?
Although recipients will be delighted to see a picture of your new bundle of joy, they want to know the details: Date and time of birth, weight, length, and place of birth. It’s also good to include the parents’ name, and any siblings or pets. How you choose to present this information is up to you. Some people stick to the straightforward, traditional announcement: “Mary and Joe Smith announce the arrival of their daughter, Jane Smith.” You can also be more creative in how you introduce your little one. For example, some people have designed announcements from the perspective of a sibling or pet, while others opt to share more amusing vital stats, such as the number of diapers changes so far, or the hours of sleep lost. How you choose to introduce your baby to the world is up to you, but don’t be afraid to have some fun or get a little creative.
Making the Process Easier
Life with a new baby can be overwhelming, and you might not feel like you have it in you to send out announcements. That’s fine – you don’t have to. But there are some things you can do to make the process easier, starting before the baby is born.
Start thinking about your announcements before your baby arrives. If you have a theme for the nursery, or there was a particular theme for your shower, use that as inspiration. You can select the style of birth announcement ahead of time or narrow it down to a few options, so you aren’t overwhelmed when it comes time to send them out.
Work with a printing service. You can purchase announcements to fill in by hand, but that’s going to require more work. Instead work with a printing service that allows you to simply fill in the information and add a photo online. You can even order envelopes that are pre-printed with your return address, or if you want to splurge, some will even mail the announcements for you if you provide the mailing list. If you are sure about the design you want, you may even be able to pre-order the announcements to be completed at a later date, and request the envelopes be sent ahead of time. That way, you can begin working on addressing and stamping the envelopes before the baby arrives, and you’ll only need to slide the card in and seal later on.
Sending a birth announcement might feel old-fashioned, but it’s a welcome tradition – after all, who doesn’t want to receive god news in their mailbox? Use these tricks and sending your cards will be easy.