The first few weeks at home with your newborn are a precious but also a taxing time for you. Not only are you recovering from birth, emotional and exhausted from the round the clock feeding, you’re also trying to figure out exactly what this bundle of love needs from you and when.
So having guests drop in one after another to see bub (and your messy house!), may not be ideal for you or your baby. Enter the Sip and See baby viewing party.
What is it?
A Sip and See is a gathering of your nearest and dearest to celebrate the arrival of your newest family member – at the same time and in the same place. The ‘Sip’ part stands for drinks but these need not be alcoholic. They can simply be tea and coffee if you prefer.
It can be hosted by a friend, your mother or you could even have it at the local pub. By making it drinks, you are keeping things simple for everyone. You can serve food if you want to, but think easy-to-serve finger food, like cupcakes (made by someone else!), a cheese platter and a few bowls of this and that that people can help themselves to. It can occur at any time of the day that suits you and your baby.
How to throw one
It’s best to invite guests early on, soon after your baby’s birth. That way they won’t text you at 9pm when you’ve been sleeping since 8pm to arrange a visit the next day. They’ll know there’s a ‘baby viewing party’ happening soon and that you’re so excited they’re invited. You can send out traditional paper invitations, but it may be easier to send out a group text or even make a Facebook event.
Sip and See gifts
Expect to be buried in baby gifts. A Sip and See is a bit like a baby shower, only it’s held after bub’s been born. If someone else is organising it for you, a ‘suggested gifts’ list is a great idea so you don’t end up with five Sophie the Giraffe teething toys. A frozen meal is also a practical gift idea if you’ve already had a baby shower and have been spoilt with pressies.
Set some rules
If you don’t want your new baby being passed around the gathering like pass the parcel, simply tell your guests you’re happy for her to stay sleeping in her bassinet or being held in your arms. While some guests may not understand your concerns about your baby and germs, they should respect your feelings. Also, don’t be afraid to place the hand sanitiser at the door upon your guests’ arrival.
Have an end time
Now this is important. You don’t want the Sip and See to spill into a drawn out thing where you leave feeling like you want to go back to hospital where there are set visiting hours. Have a finishing time and state this on the invitation. Two hours from the start time will keep things short and sweet and everyone will know when it’s time to say goodbye.
You can still have one-on-one time
A Sip and See baby viewing gathering doesn’t mean you can’t still have that lovely one-on-one time with good friends at a later date. It will simply cut down on the line up of visitors in those first few hectic weeks. You can arrange a visit with these special peeps and a time which suits you and your baby later.
Chances are these are the kind of people who won’t blink an eyelid at your messy house and will even start folding your washing as you feed your baby. These are the angels you really want around you as a new mum!