What Is a Sip and See? Invitations, Themes and Decoration Ideas

The Post-Baby Shower: What is a Sip & See?

April 6, 2020

The Post-Baby Shower: What is a Sip & See?

The Post-Baby Shower: What is a Sip & See?
The Post-Baby Shower: What is a Sip & See?

The majority of baby showers in the US occur before the new baby arrives—but with the current COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and need for social distancing, many expecting parents aren’t able to celebrate with loved ones before their baby is due. For those who would still rather have their shower pre-baby, a virtual baby shower is an option. On the other hand, others might prefer to hold out until the social distancing order is lifted so they can celebrate with in-person, face-to-face connection.

If you’ve never heard of having a baby shower post-baby, meet the sip and see party.

What Is a Sip and See?

Sip and see parties have been a thing in the South for a long time, but they’ve recently grown in popularity in the rest of the country. But what is a sip and see? It’s exactly what it sounds like: close friends and family come over to sip a beverage and see the new baby. Think of it as a baby welcoming party!

A sip and see happens anytime in the first few weeks or months after the birth or adoption of your baby. It’s scheduled for a designated date and time so that all guests can come at once rather than a steady stream of family and friends ringing your doorbell over the course of several days. That way, the new (exhausted) parents don’t have to entertain for more than about two hours total.

A sip and see is usually hosted by the new parents in their home to prevent the need to travel with a newborn and so that the party can move at the family’s own pace (baby may be setting the party schedule). If you have a close friend or family member who wants to host for you, that’s great! But they should be mindful of your baby’s schedule and your needs as a new family.

While traditional baby showers are action-packed with things like party games, lots of gifts and potentially a full meal, sip and sees are a much more mellow affair. You can include games if you want, but don’t feel pressured. The typical sip and see has some light refreshments, background music, and maybe a few cute decorations, and we recommend no more than a dozen guests at one time so baby (and you) doesn’t get overwhelmed.

If your baby shower plans were affected by the coronavirus outbreak, we totally understand if you’re mourning the loss of a celebratory gathering and want a post-baby shower to make up for it. But keep in mind: while a big party might sound like a fun idea now, it’s a different story with a newborn or a new adoption. So if you’re thinking about having a party that’s a little more lively, consider waiting until your baby is a few months old and your household is firmly settled in their new routine.

Ideas for a Sip and See Party

As a new parent, your plate is going to be pretty full with feeding and sleeping schedules, so your party doesn’t have to be an all-out themed bash (and let’s face it, no one will notice if the party doesn’t have a theme because they’ll be so focused on your baby). But having a few party-like elements can help make things fun. And we can’t stress enough that we recommend keeping it fairly simple—you’re going to have enough going on between caring for your little one and keeping up hospitality. A few coordinated beverage and snack options, light decor and matching invitations is all you really need to set the stage for a special event like this.

If you have a good friend or family member who wants to help out, this is a great way to get them involved. Have them shop for refreshments or decorations, or invite them over early to help set up.

Sip and See Themes

A lot of popular baby shower themes can easily be repurposed for a sip and see—like a backyard baby-que, nursery rhymes or the obvious choice: a tea party—but if you’re looking to take things a little easier in the coordinated party department, these themes make for a light and fun atmosphere to welcome baby:

Sip and See Invitations

Just like any other baby shower, sip and see invitations can be printed and snail-mailed or sent digitally via email. Most online card companies have a selection of invitations for post-baby showers, and the cards usually say “sip and see” specifically. We love the options at Minted, Paperless Post, and Etsy.

Since one of the key upsides to a sip and see is getting to show off your newest arrival, why not take advantage of baby already being here by putting their sweet little face right on the invitations? Check out these photo invites from Paperless Post.

Included on the invitation—along with all the typical information like location, registry info, date and start time—should be a specific end time. Don’t feel bad about being strict about it; otherwise, you may have some guests overstaying their welcome.

Sip and See Decorations

Whether or not your baby-welcoming party has a theme, try to keep the decorations simple so you can limit set-up and take-down time. Some colorful balloons or streamers, a nice tablecloth for the refreshment area and some tableware make for simple and pleasant party decor.

What Gifts Do You Get at a Sip and See?

Since a sip and see party happens post-baby, you probably have most if not all of the essential baby goods already—car seat, stroller, carrier or wrap, basic clothes and a small diaper supply. If you don’t have the essentials yet, be sure to let your guests know so they can prioritize those things.

If the essentials are taken care of, then most sip and see gifts will likely be an assortment of smaller gear items like a swing, bouncer or play gym, toys, books, clothes and keepsakes (especially gifts with baby’s name engraved). And don’t forget about diapers; you can never have enough of them.

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