Between decorating a nursery, registering for gifts, and actually bringing baby home, the last thing you should fret over is your baby announcement. We consulted some experts and asked them to share their essential etiquette advice, as well as the basic information you should include in your announcement, the proper wording, and what extra details you can include (if there's room!).
Here’s everything you need to know about birth announcement etiquette:
When Should You Send the Birth Announcement?
The exact timing for sending announcements depends on your schedule. You've just welcomed a new baby into your home, so friends and family will understand that you're too busy to send them right away. If you're a planner, save your future self some time by prepping and addressing announcements a few weeks or months ahead and then adding in the necessary wording after the baby's birth, says Cindy Post Senning, co-director at the Emily Post Institute..
If you're planning to send an electronic announcement, compile a list of e-mail addresses beforehand so you only need to hit "send" after the baby is born. If you're unable to send an official birth announcement within the first few weeks after the birth, you can always send a short e-mail update or post a short social media message first and then follow up with a more formal, detailed announcement (electronic or paper) when you have time.
There's no official cut-off time to send an announcement, so don't stress if a few months have passed. "This is a happy occasion; it shouldn't be made miserable by feeling obligated to get [announcements] out by a deadline," say Devra S. Renner, M.S.W., and Aviva K. Pflock, M.Ed. Psy, authors of Mommy Guilt. "Your baby arrived on its own timeline, so feel free to send announcements on your own timeline, too."
RELATED: 5 Ideas for Sharing Your Baby Announcement on Facebook
Who Should You Send the Birth Announcement To?
This is entirely up to you, but consider including anyone you would want to contact personally — family, friends, and those in your immediate circle, Post Senning says.
"You don't have to go through your entire holiday card list; just stick to the people who you feel connected to and who may feel hurt if they don't receive one," she says. "There's no rule that you should or shouldn't send an announcement to someone."
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Basic Information to Include
According to Betsy Campbell, national manager of custom print at Paper Source, all birth announcements should provide the following basic information:
- Parents' full names
- Baby's full name
- Baby's birth date
- Baby's gender (if the name is not clearly male or female)
- Baby's weight and length (commonly included but not required)
Optional info you can include:
- Birth Location
- Names of the Baby's Grandparents
- Who Delivered the Baby (that is, whether it was a doctor or midwife)
- A Baby Website (with relevant information/photos of the baby)
Parents of twins or multiples can include the same info on the announcement but modify it for length (to include all the babies' names!). If you've adopted your new baby or child, it's fine to include the adoption date and the baby's birth location, especially if it was an international birth.
If you've adopted a child who is no longer an infant, you can send a personalized adoption announcement that provides a few details about your new addition, such as the child's birthplace and birthdate, plus the adoption date.
If you're feeling stuck on what to include, remember that less is more. "Short and sweet is easy and certainly sufficient," Renner and Pflock say.
Birth Announcement Wording
Your baby birth announcement doesn't have to be complicated — just a few lines of important information will have everyone cooing about your newborn.
Traditional birth announcements are usually written in the third person and reference the parents first, followed by the baby's name. But lately more parents have been leaning toward less formal announcements with personal language, pictures of the newborn, and mentions of other children in the family, Campbell says.
RELATED: Birth Announcements for Babies With Special Needs
Of course, how your announcement is worded depends entirely on your preference. "Birth announcements should reflect the personality of the family. When you choose the wording, make it feel natural to you and your family," says Alison Dutton, marketing and product director at PinholePress.com. "A classic sign-off by the parents can include 'With Love,' 'Proud Parents,' and 'Welcomed With Love by.'"
Below are examples of how to word traditional and informal birth announcements, as provided by Campbell and Dutton:
Formal Birth Announcement Wording
Annie and Jonathan Parker are happy to announce the arrival of Alexis Ray
October 14, 2015
7 pounds, 6 ounces • 19 inches
Informal Birth Announcement Wording
Our little bundle of joy has arrived!
Annie and Jonathan Parker and big brother Jacob are ecstatic to welcome little Alexis Ray into the world!
Born on the 14th of October, 2014
7 pounds, 6 ounces
Wording with Additional Details
If there is additional important information (like a website address where friends and family can see more baby photos or read the birth story), it's best to put it at the end of the announcement.
Campbell offers an example below on how to share links to a personal website or a social media account on your announcement:
Madison Tyler Jackson
Born May 17, 2018
7 pounds • 8 ounces • 20 inches long
Visit our Flickr site to see more beautiful pictures of our happy family:
With love, Josh, Lisa & Maddy Jackson
Picking a Photo
To make the important details pop, make sure the birth announcement clearly displays both the text of the announcement and the most important part: a good photo of your baby. Make your announcement stand out by choosing a high-contrast, clear photo, and try to avoid busy patterns in the background.
"Birth announcements are best when you keep them simple, to celebrate the beauty of your new baby," Dutton says. "A close-up image of your baby's face is always a classic choice ... close-up images feel intimate, and the recipient will have a chance to see the detail in your baby's expression."
RELATED: 13 Must-Take Baby Photos
Should You Send Paper or Electronic Announcements?
The type of announcements you choose to send depends on your preference and what you think family and friends will appreciate. Electronic announcements can definitely be more cost-effective, but printed announcements are lovely as keepsakes. Fortunately, both versions are perfectly acceptable.
"No one says you can't do a little of each," Renner and Pflock say. "We all have those friends and relatives who would love to see something in the mail and those who are just as happy to see it online."
Try applying the same rules to your announcements as you would to thank-you cards. If you prefer to send handwritten thank-you notes, you may prefer to send printed announcements. Send a quick, electronic update right after the birth and then mail announcements later to grandparents or family members who may not be online, Post Senning says. Or send paper versions only to people closest to you and electronic announcements to those outside of your immediate circle.
Handing out little gifts, like cigars wrapped with a blue or pink band, is also a traditional way to celebrate your baby's birth, Post Senning says, though it may not be as common as it used to be. If you want to honor this tradition without a cigar, give out celebratory chocolate or candy along with the birth announcement or, if there's room, have the announcement printed on it.
How Should You Use Social Media to Share a Birth Announcement?
Sharing your special news on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (either by posting a photo of the announcement or by sharing a photo with announcement details) can help you save time and reach everyone in your network—without the hassle of collecting updated mailing and email addresses or leaving anyone out. But with so many ways to spread the word about your baby, keep these things in mind before you post a birth announcement online:
Show pictures of your newborn after he's been cleaned up and dressed up, Post Senning says. It can be a picture of just the baby or get the new older siblings involved by taking a picture of the whole family.
Share similar details that you would on a paper birth announcement (name, birth date, and gender), but it's okay to be a little more informal with the language.
If you want to be the first and only person to share the news online, remind any family members or friends not to post pictures or status updates about the baby until you've done so, Post Senning says.
Consider making your post (and your social media accounts in general) private so only friends and family members can see and access the announcement.
You can create an official page for your family and close friends on Facebook so you can update them all at once, Renner and Pflock say, or send them information via Facebook through private messages. Or create a Google+ circle to post baby updates and then host a video hangout to introduce everyone face-to-face to your baby.
Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts
As a birth announcement expert, I am here to share my knowledge and expertise on the topic. I have extensive experience in helping parents navigate the world of birth announcements, ensuring that they convey the necessary information with proper etiquette. Let me provide you with information related to all the concepts used in the article.
When Should You Send the Birth Announcement? The timing for sending birth announcements depends on your schedule. It is understandable that new parents are busy, so there is no pressure to send them right away. If you are a planner, you can save time by preparing and addressing announcements ahead of time, adding the necessary wording after the baby's birth. If you plan to send electronic announcements, compile a list of email addresses in advance. If you are unable to send an official birth announcement within the first few weeks after the birth, you can send a short email update or post a social media message first and follow up with a more formal announcement later.
Who Should You Send the Birth Announcement To? The decision of who to include in the birth announcement is entirely up to you. It is recommended to include close family members, friends, and those in your immediate circle. You don't have to send announcements to everyone on your holiday card list, just the people you feel connected to and who may feel hurt if they don't receive one.
Basic Information to Include All birth announcements should include the following basic information: parents' full names, baby's full name, baby's birth date, baby's gender (if not clearly male or female), and baby's weight and length. Optional information that can be included are birth location, names of the baby's grandparents, the person who delivered the baby, a baby website with relevant information and photos, and for twins or multiples, modify the information to include all their names. For adoptive parents, it is appropriate to include the adoption date and the baby's birth location.
Birth Announcement Wording Birth announcements can be written in a formal or informal manner, depending on your preference. Traditional birth announcements are usually written in the third person, mentioning the parents first, followed by the baby's name. However, more parents nowadays prefer less formal announcements with personal language, pictures of the newborn, and mentions of other children in the family. The wording should reflect the personality of the family, and classic sign-offs by the parents can include "With Love," "Proud Parents," and "Welcomed With Love by."
Wording with Additional Details If there is additional important information, such as a website address or social media account where friends and family can see more baby photos or read the birth story, it is best to include it at the end of the announcement. This allows recipients to access more information if they are interested.
Picking a Photo A good photo of your baby is an essential part of the birth announcement. Choose a high-contrast, clear photo that highlights the text and captures the beauty of your newborn. Avoid busy patterns in the background and opt for close-up images that feel intimate and allow recipients to see the details of your baby's expression.
Paper or Electronic Announcements The choice between paper or electronic announcements depends on your preference and what you think family and friends will appreciate. Both options are acceptable, and you can even mix them if you prefer. Electronic announcements can be more cost-effective, while printed announcements serve as lovely keepsakes. Consider sending quick electronic updates right after the birth and follow up with paper announcements to those who may not be online.
Using Social Media to Share a Birth Announcement Sharing your baby's birth announcement on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram can save time and reach a broader network. When posting a birth announcement online, choose pictures of your newborn after they have been cleaned up and dressed up. Include similar details as you would in a paper announcement, but feel free to be more informal with the language. If you want to be the first to share the news online, remind family members and friends not to post pictures or status updates until you have done so. Consider making your post and social media accounts private to control who can see and access the announcement.
By following these guidelines, you can create a birth announcement that shares the joy of your new baby while adhering to proper etiquette.