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BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENT TIPS
Our professional Consultants are trained to assist you with birth announcement etiquette and selection of announcement items, wording, ink color, font and envelope choices. Through the years, our consultants have been collecting and gathering information on birth announcement etiquette and tips. This etiquette guide contains the questions our consultants are most frequently asked by our customers.
Q: When should we select our baby's birth announcements?
A: Most of the time, parents prefer to choose the announcement before the arrival of their baby to make it easier once the baby comes. However, it is fine to wait until after the baby has been born (and in some cases necessary if the baby's gender is unknown).
Creating the mailing list for your announcements prior to the baby's birth can also save stress once the baby is born.
Q: What are some special considerations for birth announcements sent by one parent?
A: If the mother and father are divorced / separated before the baby's birth, the mother may still wish to send a birth announcement with both parents' names (despite the marital situation/relationship between parents). In this case, instead of the announcement being addressed and sent by Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, she will use the name she plans to go by (i.e. Ms. Mary Smith) and the father's name (i.e. Mr. Michael Johnson). She will need to include the baby's last name on the announcement. Divorced parents may opt to each send announcements to their respective friends/family members separately.
If the mother is widowed, the mother may choose to either use Mrs. James Johnson on the announcement or Mary Johnson and the late James Johnson. If the single woman has not been previously married, she would use her name and the title she goes by (Ms. Mary Smith). She will need to include the baby's last name on the announcement.
Q: What information should be included on a birth announcement?
A: 1. Introduce the baby
2. Statistics (date, time of birth, weight and length). The weight may be omitted (especially in cases of premature or large births). If the baby is adopted, the day the baby came home may be added.
For help with wording, please visit our sample wording for birth announcements.
3. Nickname, if any may be added.
4. Older siblings: You may include all the family members' names in the signature or you can have the older child introduce their new baby brother or sister (John announces the arrival of his sister Jenna). Many families choose to include the names of the family pets as well.
5. Parents' names: If the last names are different, the last name of the baby and of each parent could be included for clarification. Otherwise, it is okay to include just the parents' first names. *Note: If the baby's middle name is the mother's maiden name, it is best to include the baby's full name, but then use only the parents' first names in the signature (Paul Jackson Smith... James and Mary).
6. If wanted, the grandparents' names can also be included underneath the parents' names. They should be identified as grandparents.
7. What are special considerations when announcing twins, triplets, or other multiple births?
The parents can send one announcement.
Q: What should we consider when sending an adoption announcement?
A: The parent(s) will want to wait until the baby/child arrives home before sending their announcements.
It is important to choose an announcement with a style/design that is age-appropriate (if the child is a toddler or older, it is best to stay away from "baby" designs). The date of their birth (if known) may be included as well as the date of the baby's arrival, which is commonly called "day brought home" or "gotcha day" or "day brought into our hearts." The state or country of the baby / child's birth may be included.
Q: When should birth announcements be sent?
A: We recommend sending birth announcements as soon as possible after the birth of your baby / babies. The ideal time frame is 2 weeks-2 months after the birth, and we recommend sending them no later than 3-4 months. If the announcements must go out later than that, one option would be to include it with a holiday card or family letter.
Q: Who should be sent birth announcements? And will they feel obligated to send gifts?
A: It is customary to send an announcement to everyone you think will want to know about the birth. Although it is always nice for the recipient of a birth announcement to return a note of congratulations to the happy parents, they are in no way obligated to send a gift.
Q: Should the parent-to-be send a written thank you note for a gift?
A: A written thank you is always appreciated. If the person who gave the gift was not present at the shower, a written thank you is suggested. Proper etiquette suggests the expectant parent-to-be sign his/her own name to the thank you on behalf of the baby, not the baby's name. This is because the baby obviously is unable to do the thanking themselves. However, this is a matter of personal discretion.
Although it is neither obligatory nor expected, it is courteous for the expectant (or new) parents to invite the host/hostess of their shower to lunch or invite the host/hostess and their guest to dinner to say thank you for hosting the shower.
Q: Should a thank you card be sent for lent items?
A: Many times, friends and relatives will lend maternity clothes, baby clothes, and baby equipment to help defer the expenses of a new baby. For such favors, no concrete repayment is expected. However, it is a polite gesture for the new parent to give a small gift to show their appreciation (such as a nice plant with a thank you card). It is always proper to offer lent clothes back unless the person specifically directed you to keep them or pass them on. For thank you notes sent after the baby has been born: generally, the newborn's full name (or at least first and middle names) will appear on the front or top of the thank you card or stationery. View the collection of baby shower thank you cards and baby stationery.