So you just had a baby and all of your friends and family want to meet the little bundle. What do you do? You can either let them trickle into your house on their terms and get their germs all over your newborn while you apologize for the house being a wreck, or you can have a baby sip and see party when you’re ready.
Here’s how to successfully throw a baby meet and greet party so you can keep your stress to a minimum without hurting your family’s feelings.
What even is a Sip and See party?
Sip and see parties are also called meet and greet parties. You’re supposed to sip a beverage and look at the new baby.
These kinds of parties aren’t meant to replace a baby shower. They’re just for your friends and family to meet the new guy or gal in town. Instead of your aunts showing up unexpectedly at your door hoping to see your baby the day you bring her home, you can invite them to a party in about a month or two when you’ve kind of got your shit together.*
* Getting your shit together is not entirely possible with a baby.
General protocol and etiquette for a baby sip and see
- Party is set sometime between 1-6 months after birth.
- No gifts requested. (Your crazy aunts will probably bring some anyway.)
- Party size is kept small. Fewer than 25 for sure. 10-12 is a good size. You can have more than one if you need to.
- No longer than 2 hours.
- Snacks and drinks may be served. No need to serve a full meal.
- You can request no kids if you want to. They have lots of germs and no boundaries.
The best location is somewhere else
If you can have the party at someone else’s house or a church or community center, do it. You don’t have to worry about cleaning your house before or after the party. That’s someone else’s problem!
We had ours at my mom’s house and it was so much easier because I didn’t feel like I was hosting a party.
And you can leave at a moment’s notice if you need to. You’re not stuck with 15 people in your house enjoying punch and laughing while you’re trying to calm your baby down. You can leave the party, and it can continue without you.
You can go formal or keep it casual
No, I’m not talking about black tie and cocktail dresses. I mean… unless you’re into that. Then go for it, Mama!
You can invite people formally with printed invitations like these or you can just casually send a Facebook event invite. It really depends on who you’re inviting and how much effort you want to put into the party.
You can play it like a baby shower without gifts. You know: formal invite, a theme, cake, games, and all that. Or you can just text some people to meet at a friend’s house for coffee and meeting the baby.
Cute invites will make your friends and family smile so even if you’re not going all out, printed invites would be a good idea for people that don’t have Facebook or don’t use it often.
Want to print your own invitations at home? Or just make a really cute one to post on Facebook or email? Try making one on Smilebox. They have a couple that are just for Sip and See parties, but you can also customize a baby shower one to make it say Sip and See. They have a bunch of free ones. (If you want a premium one, they have a 7 day free trial so just sign up then cancel once you’re done!)
To theme or not to theme
If you really want to go all out and have a Pinterest inspired Sip and See, you can pick a theme. Create decorations, have a cake (or a diaper cake!), give out party favors, do all that fancy stuff. Have all the fun you want!
Some fun themes:
- Welcome to the world. (Think lots of globes.)
- Thank you, Stork. (Guests can write thank you notes to the stork)
- Meet the new kid. (Give name tags to all of the guests so the baby can “learn their names” and give your baby a fun onesie)
Or just pick color schemes like pink and gold or blue and green to save your energy.
Of course, you don’t have to have a theme. Informal meet and greet parties don’t need decorations or a cake.
What to serve your Sip and See guests
There’s no need to serve a full meal. But a brunch theme would be fun. Serve some easy things like fruit salad, bagels, quiche, or muffins.
Simple snacky finger foods like pretzels, trail mix, or a fruit and veggie tray work well for less formal get-togethers. Chocolate is a good option, too. Set out some chocolates or get some chocolate covered strawberries!
For the sip part of Sip and See, you can offer coffee, tea, lemonade, soda, water, or juice. Or you can punch it up. (pun intended) And if you really want a party, offer wine, mimosas, margaritas, cocktails… maybe not tequila shots. But you get the idea.
Setting rules and a designated bad guy
The whole point of having a party to meet the baby is so that it’s on your terms. Remember, you’re doing this for your friends and family, but you’re the one that sets the rules.
Some common rules for baby meet and greet parties are:
- If you are sick or have been sick even with a common cold, please stay home.
- Please do not kiss the baby. (Get a free printable sign you can frame here)
- Please do not smoke before you hold the baby. Your clothes could contain smoke.
- You must sanitize your hands before you hold the baby.
- Please keep your children at a safe distance from the baby.
You can work out your own rules for how you want the party to go. You can restrict holding the baby all together. Just because it’s a Sip and See doesn’t mean they have to hold the baby. They’re there to SEE the baby, right?
I would definitely make sure everyone knows not to kiss your baby. Along with germs, people could be carrying the herpes virus (i.e. cold sores) even if they don’t have one right now. Herpes is bad news for newborns. Not to freak you out, but babies can actually die from complications from being exposed to herpes. So it’s best not to chance a kiss. Get a free printable sign here to remind people not to kiss your baby. Put it in a nice frame and put it on your serving table.
You can also ask that small children be left with a baby sitter or with another relative. I have a two year old, and she is a germ factory. I wouldn’t want her around a newborn.
Designate a rule enforcer to be the bad guy. This shouldn’t be you or Daddy. It needs to be someone else like a grandparent or your sibling or friend. They can be the one to say “Sharon, you’ve had too many mimosas, you’re not holding the baby.” And Sharon can be mad at them and not you.
What makes your sip and see party a success?
Well, if you can get through it without being stressed out (about the party. Let’s face it, you’ll be stressed out about 475 other things with a newborn) and your friends and family get to meet your littlest love.
Rely on a close friend or family member to help you out, and don’t put too much work into a theme or decorations if you don’t think you can handle it. Everyone’s there to see the baby (and possibly for free mimosas.) Having a cute diaper cake and matching napkins is only a bonus.
Are you planning a baby sip and see?
Or have you been to one? Let me know in the comments below what your experience has been!
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