One of the most precious moments of life is when you hold your little bundle of joy in your hands for the first time. So if you are planning to celebrate your new baby’s birth, a sip-and-see party can be a perfect way of sharing your happiness with your friends and family. Spending a nice time as you socialize with your friends and dear ones amidst all the challenges of parenthood could give you a breath of fresh air. Also, you may have all your close ones gather at one place and time to see your newborn instead of each guest arriving at different times to congratulate you. Read on as we discuss all you might want to know about a sip-and-see party, some typical etiquettes, and fun ideas for this party.
What Is A Sip-and-see Party?
A sip-and-see is a welcoming party for the baby. Unlike a baby shower, this is not a large congregation but a small informal party, where the parents set a date and time for friends and family to meet the baby.
The party is quite simple and easy to host as all you need to provide are some refreshments to eat as a part of the celebration. While the guests go gung-ho over the cute baby, the parents get an opportunity to dress up well and get a break from the routine.
Why Is This Party Called Sip-and-see?
This tradition originated in the Southern parts of the US, where the new parents would invite their family and friends over to ‘sip’ some refreshments and ‘see’ the newborn baby. Thus, the name sip-and-see.
When To Hold A Sip-and-see Party?
The new parents usually host the party two to three months after the baby is born. However, there are no hard and fast rules as the purpose of this party is to introduce your baby to the world. Therefore, parents can organize it based on their convenience. Do take care that your baby is old enough to withstand the stress and resist the infections that could spread from people.
Why Do New Parents Have A Sip-and-see Party?
Your immediate family and close friends might visit the hospital or your house to see the baby. But for others, you can hold a sip-and-see party because it comes with some advantages.
- By setting a special date, you can avoid the unexpected visits at random timings. This will give you time and space to recover from the childbirth, and bond with the baby.
- A sip-and-see party will give the busy new parents the time they need to make the house, as well as themselves, presentable to the guests.
- Newborns do not have a well-developed immune system. Hence it is good to keep the little one away from frequent visitors. As a sip-and-see party is held once the baby is old enough, the risk of infection is less.
- The guests can avoid the embarrassment of disturbing the parents and the baby at an odd time.
A sip-and-see party provides an ideal setup for both the new parents and the guests to meet and greet each other. This party can also serve as a great reminder of the love the parents and the families have for the child. Jillian Harris, a blogger and a mother, says the video recording of her daughter’s sip-and-see party will remind her daughter in the future how much everyone loved her. She says, “If Annie (her daughter) is watching this in ten years, I just want you to know you’ve only been on this world for six weeks. We’re already obsessed with you. We love you so much (i).”
How To Host A Sip-and-see Party?
If you are a new parent and planning to host the party, then read on to know the different things you need to plan for it.
- The guest list: You can invite both male and female guests to a sip-and-see party. Usually, close family and friends are invited but you may extend your invitation to the neighbors, colleagues, and others too. However, it is good to have just a small gathering.
- Invitations: Once you have fixed the date, time, venue and the guest list for the sip-and-see party, get the invitations ready. As this is less formal than a baby shower, the invitations can be simple and handed over to the guests just a few weeks prior to the day. Make sure you mention the start and end time of the party so that the guests come on time. Ensure you call only close family and friends and not every acquaintance.
- The drinks: Traditionally, coffee or tea is served to the guests, but you may add champagne, beer or wine to the list based on the tastes of your guests. You can also make a punch, fruit mocktails and other juices for kids and guests who do not have alcoholic drinks.
- The food: You may not be able to plan an elaborate menu full of exotic eatables for your guests to dine. So, go for simple snacks such as finger sandwiches, macaroons, chips and dips, cookies, chicken wings, etc. But if you want to arrange an elaborate menu, then you may do so. You can ask the caterer for a sample of the food items before you place an order with them.
- The decor: It all depends on your interest and the time and resources you can spend on it. If you are planning a simple party, then keep the décor simple with just a few pictures of the baby, and some DIY paper designs. On the other hand, if you have a theme in mind, then plan accordingly. We cover more about the decors in the below section.
Even as you plan the party, you need to consider a few things with regards to the convenience of your baby.
Things To Consider While Hosting A Sip-and-see Party
The center of attraction is the baby. But they are too delicate to be handled roughly. To make it easy for both the baby and the guests, here are a few guidelines you might want to follow:
- The timing of the party must be such that it doesn’t disturb the baby’s sleep schedule. Also, limit the party duration to two hours, to avoid wearing out the baby.
- It is good to host the party at your house as you will have all the necessary things handy. But if that is not possible, keep the venue as near as possible to your house.
- Keep a handwash or sanitizer handy for the guests to clean their hands before handling the baby.
- Guests would look forward to having a glimpse of the baby. Try to limit the handling as it might overwhelm the baby. If the baby is sleeping, the guests might quietly see the baby and come out.
- Place a scrapbook on a table and ask the guests to write their best wishes to the baby. You can add these to the baby’s journal, which will be a great memento.
- Use a little creativity and cut out animal shapes and stars out of cardboard. Ask the guests to write their wishes on each piece. Tie them together to make a crib mobile, and hang it onto the baby’s crib.
What Are The Guests Expected To Do At A Sip-And-See Party?
Only close friends are invited to a sip-and-see party. As a guest, you can keep these things in mind.
- Gifts: You can buy a present for the baby or the parents as a token of love. A pack of diapers or a colorful board book would be good choices.
- Stick to the timings: The timings mentioned on the invitation are given with great thought. They usually coincide with the baby’s active time. If it is inconvenient for you to attend, you may decline the invitation. However, if you decide to go, arrive on time so the baby and parents are happy.
- Seek permission to hold the baby: Though the party is to get introduced to the little one, it is better to ask for permission from the parents before you hold the baby or kiss them. Some parents may be worried about infections and may refuse to allow handling, which is okay.
- Check for illness: If you have a scratchy throat or feel sick, it might be a good idea to skip the sip-and-see party. Babies have an immature immune system, and it is better not to risk the spread.
- Dress comfortably: Make sure your clothes are soft and do not have any pointy or prickly bits. If you get a chance to hold the baby, rough clothes might accidentally scratch their sensitive skin. In case there is a dress theme, follow it so you are not the odd one out.
Since a sip-and-see is an informal party, you need not worry about entertaining the guests. They are there to see the baby and grab a quick drink. However, you may want to try a particular theme for the day.
12 Simple Sip-and-see Theme Ideas
1. Welcome to the world:
The party is in the honor of the newborn. So, you can have the appetizers and desserts set on a table, and the background can be your baby’s name or the words “It’s a boy!”. You can also print posters of “Welcome to the world, little one” and stick the pictures of your baby. A ‘welcome home’ cake will be a good addition.
2. Dessert bar:
Spread the sweet news of the arrival of your baby with some desserts. The center of attraction for this theme is the dessert bar. Fill it with cookies, cupcakes, macaroons, candies, anything and everything sweet.
3. Flower theme:
This theme suits a girl sip-and-see party. Choose pink or any other color for the decor, and buy or prepare some paper flowers. You can use fabric lettering of your baby’s name to decorate a corner. You may have a dessert bar or a popcorn corner filled with different varieties of popcorn.
4. Flamingo theme:
This is a fun and bright theme. Since the idea revolves around Flamingos, pick the colors pink and brown for the decor, drinks, and food. Use flamingo-shaped bowls and stuffed flamingos for the decor.
5. Outdoor sip-and-see party:
If you have a spacious backyard and ample open space, then organize a sip-and-see party outdoors. You can set up the tables and chairs, and arrange food and drinks for the guests in the backyard. However, keep the baby covered and protected.
6. Princess/ prince sip-and-see:
This classic theme never gets old. From invitations and decor to the food you serve, make it grand and glittery for your little princess/ prince.
7. A bee theme:
A new bee arrived in your beehive. Buzz the word to your friends and family with this bee theme sip-and-see party. Incorporate the idea in the cake and desserts too, and have the decor in yellow and brown colors to complete the look.
8. Simple sip-and-see party:
If you want to have a simple yet elegant sip-and-see party, then this idea is for you. Organize the party at the comfort of your home. You can set the food and drinks near a corner and decorate the table with balloons, and buntings. If you have a fireplace, then decorate it with your baby’s name.
9. Safari theme:
This is a fun and exciting theme. Decorate the food and drinks table with lots of flowers and leaves thus giving it a safari look. You can also decorate the place with stuffed animals to bring the safari to life. Add details such as animal cupcakes, lollipops, candies, etc.
10. Nautical theme:
You can have a sailor theme cake and nautical cupcakes. Decorate the place with navy blue and white colors. Wrap the cutlery and napkins using nautical-themed strings and stickers.
11. Hot Wheels theme:
Here’s yet another exciting theme with cars. Paint the old drums and use them as tables to serve food. Follow the same color pattern for the cupcakes, candies and other appetizers.
12. Chicago theme:
If you live here or are a big fan of the windy city, then this theme is for you. Pick blue, white and red — the colors of the Chicago flag. You can also place a Ferris wheel cupcake stand to complement the look.
Choose an idea that is as lovely as your baby. But make sure it is not too much stress for the baby and the mother. In the next section, we answer a few FAQs of the guests.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do I need to bring any gifts?
If you have already given a gift to the newborn during the baby shower, then you need not bring one to the sip-and-see party. However, if the host has written nothing objecting gifts and if you do not like going to the party empty-handed, then you may carry simple gifts such as nursery books, baby rattles or a monogrammed bib.
2. Can I hold the baby?
If the baby is holding onto the mother and is not comfortable being passed on to the guests, then refrain from scooping up the baby. Also, always ask the mother before reaching out for the baby. Most importantly, wash your hands before touching the baby. If you have a cold or cough, keep a distance from the baby. The hosts will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
3. How long can I stay?
If the hosts have mentioned time, then always reach the party on time and do not overstay. The baby and the mother would need to rest, so always have the etiquette to leave on time.
4. What should I wear to a Sip-and-See party?
A Sip-and-See party is a casual event, so you can be dressed in a comfortable dress, jeans, or khakis combined with a stylish blouse. If the party has a dress code or a theme, you can pick an outfit that goes suits the code or the theme.
5. How long should a Sip-and-See party last?
Sip-and-See parties usually last for around two to three hours. However, it depends on the host if they want to keep it for a longer duration, especially if they have many guests attending it.
6. Should I have a photographer at my Sip-and-See party?
It depends on your budget and preference. If you have the budget for a photographer, then you can hire a professional who can click good pictures of this memorable event. However, it’s not compulsory, as your guests can also take photos and share them with you.
7. Should I have a dress code for my Sip-and-See party?
Having a dress code for a Sip-and-See party is entirely up to you. You can have a theme party if you have always wanted one. However, it is best to keep it casual as it will be easier for you to arrange the party, and also, the focus of the event will be the baby, not anything else.
Raise a toast in honor of the newborn. The birth of a baby brings many changes in the parents’ life. Take a little break from these tasks by hosting a tiny sip-and-see party. This party could give you an excuse to dress up and catch up with your friends as they meet your little one for the first time and add to your merriment. Just ensure to host the party after the baby’s immune system is developed to avoid the risk of any infections. Also, request your guests to maintain proper personal hygiene during the party. Once you’ve taken these minor precautions, a sip-and-see party is easy to organize and would be an excellent stress-buster for new parents.
Infographic: Invitation Wordings For Sip-and-See Party
Your bundle of joy is now in your arms, and you are hosting a sip-and-see party to share your happiness with your loved ones. Keeping this infographic handy while planning for the party will help you make your invitation more creative and eye-catching.
- A sip-and-see baby party or a welcoming-a-newborn party is an informal gathering set up by the new parents.
- If you are planning to host one for your baby, make sure to plan and consider important aspects like timing, venue, menu, and events for entertainment.
- Deck up your outdoors with simple themes, like a flower theme or a bee theme, make some delicious cupcakes and candies, grab some fresh drinks to set the mood for a fun baby-welcoming party with your loved ones.