If you just had a baby (congratulations, by the way!), or if you know someone who has, chances are you’ve heard all about sip and see parties. So, what is a Sip and See Party? Essentially, they are fun, simple parties that new parents hold to introduce their new baby to friends and family.
Sip and see parties are popular because they offer the perfect opportunity for everyone to meet the newborn baby all at the same time, and for the new parents to avoid the hassle of entertaining multiple guests separately every time they come over. After all, we all know how stressful that can be!
That’s why sip and see parties are so great. They make everything so simple; you get to invite everyone at the same time, have them sip on refreshments as they catch up and get to know each other, hold the baby briefly, then leave. It’s the ultimate casual, no-pressure gathering.
Why have a Sip and See?
Goodness knows how tough those first few months after having a baby can be for new parents, especially moms. After all, no one wants to have to go through the pressure of organizing some grand soiree with a baby juggling on one boob. You’ll be so sleep deprived all you’ll want from life is to sleep through the night just once.
With a sip and see party, you will take the pressure of planning out of the equation, and you will also get to avoid all those people dropping by all the time. Of course, that’s a win-win!
History of the Sip and See
This concept has been in existence for quite a while now. It originated in the South, where new parents would invite their friends and family over to literally sip tea, coffee, punch or whatever refreshments and see the new baby.
It was such a great idea that it spread across the country over the years. Now it has become so popular that everyone is doing it.
Sip and See vs Baby Shower
So the main difference between a baby shower and a sip and see party is the fact that the former happens before the baby comes while the latter happens after. Also, you can hold a sip and see for all your kids, while some people frown upon baby showers that are held for baby number 2 or 3 (often called Baby Sprinkles).
Another difference is that a sip and see is a more casual event compared to a baby shower. In fact, you can even hold it in an open house format (as many parents do!), so that guests come and go as they please. But this has to be within the set visiting hours, of course. As long as you stop by, enjoy some refreshments, and cuddle with the baby, no one cares what time you arrive or leave.
Additionally, parents can attend a sip and see party with their kids, unlike in a baby shower where kids are almost never invited. Baby showers are super-formal, adult-only affairs while sip and sees are more laid back.
However, it isn’t as common for new parents to have a gift registry for a sip and see as it is for a baby shower. This, of course, does not mean that you cannot have one. Some parents choose to sign up with gift registries while others give guests the opportunity to get them something they didn’t get from their baby shower gift registry. As much as most guests won’t show up empty-handed, don’t expect everyone to bring something.
Who to invite to a Sip and See?
One of the best parts about sip and sees is the fact that you get to invite whoever you want, because there’s no hard rule around this. This means friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, even that weird cousin that you like but no one else does. Everyone is fair game.
Most people, however, only ever end up inviting a small group of people, usually close friends and family. Why? Simple: the smaller the gathering, the less stressful it is. At the end of the day, though, it is your baby, so you get to choose who can come and who can’t.
When do you have a Sip and See?
A sip and see is usually held in the first month or so after the baby is born. Most new Moms will want to wait a couple of weeks to allow themselves to settle into having a new baby, so will wait a little while to throw their sip and see. But there are no hard and fast rules, if you are keen for an earlier Sip and See, then go for it!
How long does a Sip and See last?
A Sip and See usually lasts for only a couple of hours. It is typically not a long celebration, as the needs of the new baby and new Mom need to be considered. Oftentimes, a Sip and See party is held mid-afternoon to allow guests to pop in and out fairly quickly, see the new baby and perhaps enjoy some light refreshments.
How to host a Sip and See
If you are planning to host your own Sip and See, then a good idea is to ask a close friend or family member for a little help with the planning. Remember, you will have your baby’s schedule to work to and so a little help will go a long way.
Sip and See Invitations and Guestlist
Of course, the first thing you have to do is come up with a guest list and the invitation. You’ll then send the invitations out, which you can do via e-vite or mail, whatever works for you. Also, make sure there are refreshments! It doesn’t even have to be something complicated, just put something out for people to eat. The good news is, no one really expects anything from a new parent. Everyone knows you are dealing with many diaper changes and sleepless nights, so relax.
Keep your Sip and See party short
Next, you have to clearly state when the party begins and when everyone is expected to leave. Casual as it may be, you have to specify what time everyone leaves. There’s cleaning up and getting back to your routine, so let everyone leave early so that you have enough time to do that.
Sip and See Decorations
Don’t go overboard on the decorations. Again, no one expects much. The type of decorations you put up will depend on your interest, how much time you have on your hands, and the resources you have. If you want something low key, then a few pictures of the baby, balloons, and a beautiful centerpiece will do. Another sweet idea is the baby’s name in helium balloons.
Sip and See Sip Refreshments
Traditionally, people serve tea or coffee and soft drinks. But you can add wine, beer, champagne, punch, juices or mocktails. It’s best to have both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks because of kids and other guests who don’t take alcohol. For food, ditch an elaborate menu and go for simple snacks like finger sandwiches, cookies, chips and dips, macaroons, etc. However, if you are going big and want to organize something grand, you can serve a buffet meal. Again, it’s a sip and see party, so just do whatever rocks your boat.
Sip and See Entertainment
Really your new baby is the star of the show, so you shouldn’t need any additional entertainment! You can choose to hold conversations as people enjoy holding the baby. Or have a few games for people to play. There is a good chance, though, that most people will be more interested in holding the baby than playing games, so if coming up with game ideas sounds too stressful, don’t bother.
Ideas for a Sip and See
There are many ways to make your sip and see party cute and fun. Here are a few ideas:
A sweet addition to our family. Your menu can have all the sweets you can think of. Serve cupcakes, milkshakes, cookies, cake, puddings, ice cream, and other sweet treats. Plus, have colorful decorations around the treats table.
Welcome to the world. Serve an international menu: English scones, Thai noodles, French croissants, Chinese dumplings, etc. In addition, you can serve wine from different parts of the world.
A star is born. Serve star-shaped cookies and hang gold stars around the room.
Cute as can bee. Have a bee theme and hang cute bee pictures, and have flowers in the room. You can also have cute cuddly stuffed bears around the room. For the menu, serve all things honey. This includes honey scones, tea mixed with honey, iced tea mixed with honey, ice cream and honey, fruit dipped in honey, etc.
In the spotlight. Take pictures of every person when they hold the baby. Then you can make a memory book or a collage with the pictures. Remember to email everyone the photos so that they can also remember that beautiful day.
Do you bring gifts to a Sip and See?
Most guests tend to bring a gift for the new baby to a Sip and See. Sometimes the new parents have a baby registry that you can choose a gift from. If not, then a small new baby gift is always welcomed. Ideas include baby clothes, diapers, keepsake items, blankets and baby books.