What Is a Sip and See Party?

A sip and see party is a gathering to welcome and celebrate a new baby. More casual than a baby shower, it's frequently hosted by the new parents or by close family members,

This informal event is a chance for family and friends to enjoy some refreshments (sip) and meet (see) your newly arrived baby. Sip and see parties can be held in place of a baby shower or in addition to one—whatever you prefer!

Read on to learn about these welcome-baby sip and see parties: hosting, etiquette, theme and decoration ideas, and more.

Why Have a Sip and See?

Friends and family may be eager to visit your newborn, but you’re probably interested in getting into a new routine and getting some sleep whenever you can find a minute.

A sip and see party helps reduce unexpected drop-ins to your house, and it gives your loved ones a chance to visit your new baby.

Having a sip and see is a convenient way to host a group of your loved ones at once, reducing the number of one-on-one visits at this busy time. It’s also an opportunity to feel the love and support of your friends and family.

When to Have a Sip and See

Even if you are bursting to have your sip and see, try to wait to have visitors until at least two weeks after bringing your baby home. This not only gives you more time to recover from pregnancy and childbirth, but also gives your little one's immune system time to develop and become stronger.

Your family and friends are probably very excited to share the joy of your new little one, but establishing your own routine and getting into the new swing of having a newborn at home is important as well.

By the time your baby is about 4 to 6 months old, the two of you will have settled into your routines, and it might feel more comfortable to have a bunch of people around then. Still, the only “rule” for when to have a sip and see is when you think the time is right.

Who to Invite to Your Sip and See

Invite any friends and extended family who you want to meet your baby.

When making your sip and see invitation list, think about how many people you’ll feel comfortable hosting in your home and possibly holding your new baby. If a large crowd might feel stressful, keep the invitation list smaller.

If you have a large extended family and lots friends you'd like to include, consider having a couple of smaller sip and see parties versus one big one. It might take more planning and resources, but you might decide it’s worth it to make the experience more enjoyable and manageable for you.

How to Host a Sip and See

If you’re planning to host your own sip and see party, consider asking a close friend or family member for a little help.

Elaborate decorations or party games aren’t necessarily expected at a sip and see because your baby will be the big focus. Here are some things to do or consider for a great sip and see party:

  • Invitations. Email invites, a Facebook group invite, or formal invitations sent via the postal service are just a few options. Consider the tone you want to set for the event. For example, if you want a relaxed and casual tone at your party, then a Facebook invite could work just fine. Be sure to mention the start and end time, keeping your baby’s sleep schedule in mind.

  • How to decorate? This depends upon your preferences and resources. Remember, after all, that everyone is there to see your new baby! Simple décor with some pics of your little one and perhaps some balloons could be nice if you want to keep it simple. If you want to make your sip and see a grand event, that’s another acceptable option, too. Scroll down to see our sip and see theme and decoration ideas.

  • What drinks to serve? Coffee and tea, along with lemonade or punch, could be served for the “sip” part of the sip and see. Depending upon your preferences, you might add champagne, beer, wine, or a specialty cocktail of your choice. Mocktails could be a nice option for guests who don’t want alcoholic drinks.

  • What food to serve? You may opt for simple finger foods and easy snacks like cookies, finger sandwiches, or chips and dips. It’s also perfectly fine to have something more elaborate like a full buffet or serve a hot meal. When deciding on food, think about how much time and energy you have to arrange it. Asking friends to bring something to share could be an option, or you might like to order sandwiches and cupcakes to make things easier.

Sip and See Themes and Decoration Ideas

Here are a few theme and décor ideas that may inspire you. Make your sip and see as simple or as extravagant as you prefer!

The World Is Yours

Just think of the possibilities your little one has ahead of her! Your sip and see is in honor of your baby, so take it to the top with a “The World Is Yours” theme. Decorate with maps, globes, and flags from different countries of the world.

Create invitations that look similar to a passport. Serve foods and drinks that represent a few of your favorite countries. For example, serve French canapés, Greek olives, Hungarian goulash, or Italian wine.

Sweet Honey Bee

Your baby brings lots of sweetness to your life, so honor the new addition to your beehive with a bumblebee theme. Decorate with lots of black and yellow balloons or streamers. Create little bee cutouts with construction paper and hang them around the room.

Serve some cookies or cupcakes with decorative bees and honeypots on them. Let your friends and family know what the buzz is all about with invitations shaped like honeypots with little bees on them.

Our Shining Star

Think gold or silver, glitter, and champagne. Your shining, sparkling star is brightening up the world! Decorate with gold balloons and sprinkle glittery confetti on tables around the room. Find gold or silver chrome letter balloons and spell out your baby’s name with them.

Star-shaped cookies or finger sandwiches cut into star shapes can finish the theme along with some lovely chilled champagne.

The Sweetest Thing

Your little one is the sweetest thing, as could be the fabulous dessert bar that you might like to have if you pick this theme. Serve bowls of candy, doughnuts with bright sprinkles, and pieces of fruit on sticks...it’ll be a sugar rush to remember!

For drinks, have a big bowl of your favorite fruity punch or a variety of fruit teas.

Decorate with every color of the candy rainbow including colorful streamers and bright balloons.

Sip and See Party Tips

  • Offering hand sanitizer at the door when your guests arrive is a good idea. Don’t hesitate to ask your guests to wash their hands or use the sanitizer before touching your baby as well.

  • Don’t add extra work on top of your new parenting duties. Ask family or friends to help prep for the party and, if the party is at your home, ask for help or hire help to clean up after the event.

  • Make sure your guests are clear on the end time of your party so you and your little one can quickly settle back in to your new routine without over-tiring yourselves.

  • Give your guests gentle guidance on party attire. Think of clothing that’s baby friendly. For example, your guests will probably want to wear something that can be easily laundered and something that will be comfortable against your baby’s skin. However, if you’d like to have a dressier sip and see, then let your guests know that too when you send the invites.

The Basics of Sip and See Etiquette

There’s some basic sip and see etiquette for both you and your guests. Here are some things for you to consider:

  • Do guests bring gifts? Unlike a baby shower, gifts aren’t typically expected at a sip and see party.

  • If I don’t expect gifts, but guests bring them, what do I do? Even if you don’t request or anticipate gifts, some of your guests probably won’t be able to resist bringing something for your baby. If so, after thanking the guests, set the gifts aside and open them after the party, following up with a thank you notes.

  • Is it necessary for my guests to hold my baby? Many of your guests will probably want to hold your little one, but if you start to feel uneasy about passing around your baby, or if you see that your baby has had enough, feel free to keep your keep your baby in your arms only—or maybe in a bouncer. If you’ve been invited to a sip and see party, here are some etiquette basics for you:* What to wear? If you hope to hold the baby, be sure to wear clothes that will be comfortable against the baby’s skin as well as free from strong odors like heavy perfume or cigarette smoke. Don’t forget that babies can drool, so wear clothes you don’t mind getting a little sticky.

  • May I hold the baby? Take the mother’s cue about whether or not it’s OK to hold the baby. Her little one may simply be tired from being passed around, or the mom may feel uncomfortable about so many friends and family holding her new baby. Always ask first, and always wash your hands before holding or touching the baby.

  • If I feel a little ill, should I go? If you feel sick or have any symptoms of illness, skip attending the sip and see. Your hosts will deeply appreciate your thoughtful choice.

  • Should I take a gift? If you were invited to an earlier baby shower, You have no obligation to bring a gift, nor is one expected. If you do opt to offer a gift, something simple like a monogrammed bib or a book would be nice. You could also ask if there is a baby registry and look there for ideas.

Sip and see parties are all about giving your guests the opportunity to share in the joy of your new baby and perhaps sip on a refreshing drink while you catch up. For your sip and see, have fun and enjoy the company.