The moment your baby is home, priorities change. Birth announcement etiquette may not be at the top of that list, but there are ways you can get them out sooner than later.
Standard birth announcement etiquette says that you should send your birth announcements anywhere from a few weeks to six months after your baby is born. Earlier is better: families want baby stats, a cute newborn photo and something to put up on the fridge.
But the reality of caring for a newborn is that your list of things to do usually falls by the wayside. We had our announcements printed and sealed for weeks before we were able to get all the addresses we needed, and to this day we find random, rogue announcements around the house.
Still, it’s possible to juggle your newfound baby duties and still get out a beautiful announcement to friends, family, Disney World – whoever. Here are five tips to getting them out on time without losing your mind.
1. Get your mailing list together early.
“Just as in creating a guest list for an event, you will want to create a mailing list for your birth announcements,” says The American Wedding. “This will not only give you an accurate count of how many announcements to order, but it will also take the stress off of creating the mailing list after the baby has arrived.”
You can start this process while you’re still pregnant: make a running list of family, friends, colleagues and other contacts to keep track of how many announcements you’ll need, and where they’re going. You can even create a spreadsheet or Word document to keep track of everyone’s names and addresses.
If you’re unsure of who to include, consider that most people would love to get a formal announcement of your little one’s entrance to the world, so don’t be afraid to err on the side of making that list longer. Ordering more cards can also lower your price per card at sites like Tiny Prints.
2. Pick a design in the last month of pregnancy.
There are far too many birth announcement designs out there to wait until the last minute. While you have some baby-free time, consider picking out some of your favorite options.
“You’ll want to choose a design during the last month of your pregnancy,” says Shutterfly. “Then when baby arrives, you’ll just need to fill in the details (date, weight and length) and order the announcements.”
Any legwork you can do before your baby arrives is worth its weight in gold, and simply plugging in your baby’s stats down the road is much easier than starting from scratch.
3. Give quick, easy updates – followed by a formal announcement.
Be realistic about what you can get done with your announcements, and if you know it’s going to be months before they go out (like ours), then consider giving your list an informal update to hold them over until something more substantial comes their way.
“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,” says Jessica Remitz at Parents Magazine.
Going the social media route? Consider using Canva to create a free, personalized social media design that will look just as good as many announcements do. Or, go with something symbolic like Beyonce’s The Birth of Venus-inspired birth announcement. Doable, right?
4. Speed it up with a generic card.
“If you can’t find a traditional birth announcement that you like, consider just making a generic card up with a photo of the whole family, or go for a holiday card instead and include a couple photos,” says Alpha Mom’s Amalah.
The birth announcement process involves picking a design, customizing it with your baby’s stats, printing, addressing and mailing them – that’s a lot to do for a family that has a new tiny person hanging around the house.
If you can’t find the time to do all that, a simple blank card set with photos and stats inside will still be appreciated by friends and family.
5. Wait a few days (or weeks) to really capture your baby’s good looks.
Your list is ready, design is picked out and your baby’s birth stats are ingrained in your head. You may want to rush a photo at this point, but it’s worth considering that your baby might not look his or her best right out of the womb.
“Many new parents prefer to give themselves a few days or even weeks to capture the perfect images,” says Liz O’Byrne at PhotoAffections.
With misshaped heads, baby acne, blotchy skin and all kinds of other newborn conditions, it’s a good idea to give your baby a few days or weeks to work out the kinks.
Once they outgrow some of these temporary issues, you’ll be surprised, looking back, how much they changed in just a short time.
Birth Announcement Inspiration
Need ideas for your announcements? Here’s a look at some of our favorite birth announcement resources:
- 100 Photo Ideas for Birth Announcements
- 20 creative birth announcements that will break Instagram
- 15 Things A Birth Announcement Would Say If It Was Completely Honest
- Sweet Birth Cards Cleverly Open Up to Reveal Baby’s Arrival
- The Best Birth Announcement Ideas on Pinterest
- Unique Birth Announcements