Birth Announcement 101: Etiquette, Wording, Timing, and More

Birth Announcement 101 Etiquette, Wording, Timing, and More
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When your family welcomes new addition, it’s only natural to want to share the joy with family and friends near and far. For those who merit more than a Facebook post, formal birth announcements are the way to go. But what is the etiquette for these announcements? How does one word a birth announcement? When should you send it?

Usually, birth announcements are sent as soon as possible after the birth of the new baby. You can send them to anyone you wish to personally announce the birth too, whether friends or family. You should include the important details about your new baby, and a photo, although many families are eschewing traditional, formal wording for birth announcements in favor of a more personal approach that reflects the family’s personality. 

When to Send

New parents typically try to send the birth announcements as soon as possible after the birth of the baby. This means you should get the announcements more-or-less ready to send before the baby is born. Of course, you’ll have to wait until after the birth to add such details as the new baby’s birthday, his or her weight, and perhaps even his or her gender and name. You can always update the exact wording of the announcement after the baby is born.

Of course, people understand that new parents are busy and that you can’t always find the time to sit down and finish the birth announcements immediately after the new baby comes home. Your first priority should always be taking care of yourself and your new family. If you think you might not have the time to send out formal announcements immediately following the birth, you can opt to make a post to social media or send a group text to family and friends, and then follow up later with a more formal announcement. Email announcements are also popular among busy new parents.

What if you meant to send a birth announcement, but now the baby is six months old? That’s okay – you can still send one. According to traditional rules of etiquette, you can send birth announcements any time in the first six months of your baby’s life, but many people these days may not care or even notice if you fail to meet this deadline. However, if your baby is older, include a photo of him or her as a newborn as well as a more recent photo, so that recipients can see how your baby is growing, and so that it’s clear your new addition isn’t that new anymore.

Birth Announcement 101 Etiquette, Wording, Timing, and MoreChoosing Your Words

Traditionally, birth announcements are in the third person and name the parents first, then the full name and gender of the new baby. For example, a traditionally worded birth announcement might read, “Sarah and Elizabeth Parker are pleased to announce the birth of their son, Tyler Nelson Parker.” If there are older siblings in the family, they can be named after the parents but before the new baby. Follow this with the new baby’s birthday, and his or her weight and length.

However, many families these days are opting for less formal wording. Informal announcements can be worded however you feel best reflects your family’s personalities. Some choose to format the announcement as a letter, using phrases like “bundle of joy” or “new addition.” Some families include quotes from the Bible or other religious scriptures meaningful to the family. 

What to Include 

In addition to including both parents’ names, the names of any siblings, and the baby’s information, you should also include at least one photo of the new baby. Many new parents choose to have professional photos of the newborn taken, while many others simply go with a cell phone picture was taken in the hospital or shortly after the baby arrives at home. When you buy custom baby announcements, you can include one or more photos of your new baby to be printed on the announcements. 

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Many new parents include additional information in a birth announcement, like a link to a social media profile, personal website, online photo album, or blog where friends and families can see pictures and read updates about the new baby and other family members. These fit especially well into electronic birth announcements sent by email or posted to social media.

When you have a new baby, sending paper birth announcements may not be your first priority. But whether you choose to send traditional birth announcements or announce the birth via text or social media, you should give people the details they want – your new baby’s name, weight, length, gender, date of birth, and, of course, photo. Most people will be too excited about your new baby to worry too much about whether you’ve followed traditional etiquette, so don’t be afraid to make the baby announcement work for you.

 

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