A ‘welcome to the world party’ for your little bub!
By Holly Brunnbauer
The moment you share the arrival of your new baby with the world (via Facebook of course), all of your family and friends will be squealing with delight to meet them. Any mother who has gone through this before will recall how overwhelming and sometimes darn annoying it is to have a revolving door of visitors in the hospital and at home. This is exactly why a sip and see event is what you need. Ummm…ok but what the heck is a sip and see? It is basically a birth after-party where you set a date and time for close friends and family to come over and meet the baby all at once. Obviously as the name implies, drinks are provided for sipping and the baby is passed around for seeing. In this post I will share with you the down-low on how to host a sip and see and lots of extra tips to help make it easier for you.
Who do I invite?
As with any event you host, the guest list is completely up to you. Unlike a baby shower where only women are traditionally invited, a sip and see is inclusive of both women and men and also children. You might decide that it’s an exclusive family event or perhaps you are happy for family to pop in at any time and want to only include your dear friends. It is completely up to you.
Decide on your guest list before your baby is born. With all the wonderful, new-parent chaos going on, you will most likely forget people. It won’t be intentional, it’s just that you will be in the thick of mum life and little details like this will get lost.
Keep it small
Keep the numbers small and reasonable. You will not have the time to cater to large groups. Nor do you want to clean up after a huge house full of people.
What do I provide?
As the name suggests, you are expected to provide drinks and there is a little cheeky undertone that this is referring to alcoholic beverages. It’s not one of those ‘let’s get wasted’ kind of events, so a few bottles of wine to offer is more than acceptable. Some snack style food to accompany drinks would be a great addition too.
Get shopping delivered
Getting to the grocery store with a newborn is a mighty challenge. Make life easier by opting for some online grocery shopping delivered straight to your door. Some of them also deliver alcohol too.
Keep it simple
If you want to provide snacks, skip the whole “I’ll make organic, wholefood canapes from scratch.” Make it easy on yourself and have things that do not require hours of preparation. Also DELEGATE to your partner and grab on for dear life to anyone that offers to help! It’s their fault for asking.
This day is as much about introducing your little one to everyone as it is about you connecting again with family and friends.
When do I have it?
A sip and see occurs after the baby is born and generally within the first four months. There is no golden rule though and if you are new mum there will be some things to consider as to when is the right time for you:
- Due dates are a wonderful thing for the 1% of women who actually have their babies on or close to it. However, for the other 99% of us (like myself who was 11 days over!) your baby will most likely be born at an unpredictable time. Also, your hospital stay or child’s might be longer than anticipated. This makes it challenging to have a particular set date.
- Your child’s health is paramount, so if you feel that you don’t actually want a lot of people around your child when they are in the early newborn phase, then cancel or postpone the event. People will understand and if they don’t, you won’t have time for ‘those’ people anyway.
- Once the date is set, a start and finish time needs to be decided. I emphasise FINISH time because you will not want lots of people lingering around for hours. These will be the people who say “sleep when the baby sleeps” and will be chatting your ear off whilst your baby is sleeping and you’re clearly not. Two to three hours will be enough time to catch up and let everyone have a little cuddle of your new babe.
If you set a tentative date before the birth, let your guests know that the date may change depending on circumstances. Or wait until your baby is born and assess the situation.
Set the time so that’s in between meal times (e.g. 2pm). That way you don’t have to provide a time-consuming, full lunch or dinner meal for everyone. Just more canape style or snack food that will be easier for you or your partner to prepare.
Where do I host it?
A sip and see is generally hosted in your own home. This will make life a million times easier as what you’ll come to learn is that getting out of the house with a newborn is a military operation of EPIC proportions. However, if someone offers to host it for you (with cooking and cleaning included in the generous offer) then JUMP at the chance. That way, when you have had enough, you can leave and then it’s all over.
Prepare the day before
If you decide to have it at your house, do all the house prep the day before. Don’t assume that you can clean, set-up and have it all done on the day. Whenever you have a false sense of “I’ve got this whole mothering biz under control”, a nappy explosion/scream fest/all night waking party will occur. Every single time!
Why should I have it?
So you might have had a baby shower and you might like to have a big first birthday, so why a sip and see as well? A sip and see doesn’t have to be an elaborate celebration with Pinterest inspired dessert tables. In fact there doesn’t need to be a party decoration in sight. It’s a casual event of gathering your close friends and family in one place at one time. When you have a baby, everyone around gets super excited and they rush at you all at once. As you’re trying to get to know your child and develop your parenting style, the constant interruptions of people dropping in will begin to overwhelm you. Also, you will get to a point where you will crave adult interaction. On the day, there will be so many people who will jump at the chance to take your baby off your hands, plus you might even con them into changing a nappy or two. This day is as much about introducing your little one to everyone as it is about you connecting again with family and friends.
The moment you become a mother, you suddenly understand why other women with children post a million photos of them on Facebook. You will be obsessed with your baby. It’s okay, it happens to us all. You will also be the person who is always taking photos of your child and never be in them yourself. At your sip and see, explicitly ask someone to be in charge of taking happy snaps of the day. That way, you’re sure to actually have photos of you and your child together to treasure and of course share on Facebook.
About the author: Holly Brunnbauer.
Holly is a mother to one gorgeous (cheeky) little toddler. She is the proud owner of Something Special Photo Booth which provides a boutique booth experience in Melbourne. Something Special Photo Booth is known for its stylish booth and deluxe props which are both exclusive and unique to her business. She loves to blog about event-related topics and interview inspiring businesses in the events industry. Holly is also an eLearning specialist who creates online learning for adults. When she is not working, she loves long walks with her fur baby – Giuseppe, the beloved family pug.