These days you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone unfamiliar with the tradition of a baby shower. While the term “baby shower” is relatively new, pregnancy and childbirth celebrations are ancient.1,2 Baby showers have developed their own traditions and etiquette over the years. And while baby showers are still the “norm” these days, many women choose a very popular alternative instead. Have you ever heard of a “sip and see”?
What Is A Sip and See?
This newer, casual spin on a traditional baby shower is a party thrown after the baby is born. Essentially, guests are invited to ‘sip’ on refreshments while they ‘see’ the baby. Usually planned by the parents, this Southern tradition is becoming more common. It is a great low-key option that allows family and friends to mix and mingle in one fell swoop. While some may choose to have a sip and see instead of a baby shower, you can probably expect to receive some baby shower gifts (who can resist?!). But some choose to include a small registry, which is entirely up to you.
Who Should Have One?
If this concept piques your interest, check out these 5 reasons to skip the baby shower and have a sip and see instead:
1. If this isn’t your first baby.
Many families who already have one child may opt for a baby sprinkle or a sip and see. The main difference is that the sip and see occurs afterward. If you’ve had your kids close enough together, you’ve likely already had a baby shower with a gift registry. You probably don’t need everything you did the first time around. This smaller soirée focuses less on the gift-giving aspect. Instead, it allows everyone you love to celebrate with you in more of an open-house format.
2. When you don’t live in your hometown.
Geography can limit the kind of party that you can throw. A sip and see could be the best option when a family doesn’t live in their hometown anymore but would like to introduce the new baby to lifelong family friends. With more and more families moving away from home for various reasons, what better way to celebrate your newest addition than with a homecoming party to welcome your new family?!
3. If you want to keep early visits to a minimum.
It’s completely normal not to want visitors right after having a baby. Many parents are nervous about germs and perhaps prefer privacy in those first few weeks or months. So if you’d like to keep all those unexpected guests from coming to see your new addition at random times, then a sip and see could ease your worries. Those early days are so precious. Visits from friends and family to see the new baby can be stressful, tiring, and disruptive as you get a handle on life with your newborn. If you’re following the CDC’s recommended vaccine schedule, by 2 months, your baby has built up their immune system and has had several shots that may lessen exposure and the potential for getting sick.3
4. A reason to party (and feel like an adult again).
Hopefully, after a few weeks post-birth, you’ve had a chance to settle into some semblance of a routine. You can finally manage to comb your hair and shower regularly. A sip and see and a good glass of pinot could be just what the doctor ordered to feel like a normal person again! This is a great way to corral everyone all at once for those much-needed adult conversations. It also takes some of the pressure off this time around because all eyes will be on the baby, letting you relax a little.
5. It’s less expensive.
Baby showers typically come with the headache of paying for it whether you or someone else is hosting. A sip and see is a great way to cut back without looking like you’re cutting corners. Even better, the party is planned on your own terms. There aren’t any expectations regarding venue, décor, food, and baby shower games. So that gives you a ton of freedom to decide how long people stay, what food you serve, and who gets invited, making it much easier to keep costs down!
Now that you know what a sip and see is and how it can be an excellent alternative to a baby shower, it’s time to start planning yours! If you need a little inspiration, continue reading to learn how to host a sip and see, complete with simple steps for hosting a stunning, alternative soirée!
How to Host a Sip and See
In November, we welcomed our third baby and first daughter, Isla! Her due date was always questionable because my first baby was nearly two weeks late, and my second was three weeks early. This unpredictability made me too anxious to have a baby shower in the last trimester, thinking I would end up going into labor nowhere near the birth center. So we settled on a sip and see to take place after her arrival. Once she finally made her debut, I couldn’t wait to introduce our little girl to all the incredible women in my life!
Our celebration was sincerely lovely. It’s a day I will never forget, as the outpouring of love for our tiny infant daughter was incredibly heartwarming! This mama’s eyes swelled with tears multiple times throughout the brunch. It was just a fabulous fete filled with friends and family.
Follow along for a peek at our party and a few simple steps for hosting a stunning sip and see:
First, find your venue.
Easy enough, you need to find the perfect location for your event! For me, it was one of my favorite restaurants back in my hometown of Houston, Tiny’s No. 5. It was the perfect setting for a ladies’ brunch as it had that vintage chateau feel that I swoon over. The food was amazing, and they had an onsite bakery for the cake! Atmosphere and convenience are big things to consider when venue shopping, so be sure to inquire about any extra services they may offer when you host a sip and see.
Second, select top-notch vendors.
When planning the event, I wondered what better way to welcome my daughter into the world than to surround her with amazingly wonderful women who could do anything. So, I decided to hire women-owned businesses for the party exclusively! And that’s where the fun began!
Rachel Tieken with Halfmoon Lettering was the uber-talented calligrapher behind the chalkboard wall that greeted our guests! You might recognize her beautiful work from Nina’s sweet shower for baby Liam! We were so happy with what she was able to create for Isla!
Our flowers were completely Instagram-worthy and created by Melinda Garcia of Longstem Box. What I love about Longstem Box is how giftable the arrangements are in these chic boxes. I am definitely dropping hints to my hubby for future anniversary flowers, ha! But boxes of blooms aren’t the only thing Melinda has mastered. She also made a floral cake topper and a custom garland for the cotton candy cart!
Speaking of cotton candy, I was introduced to Abigail Diaz of Lush Puff at the Baby Chick Mother’s Day Soirée and immediately thought of her when I wanted something fun, whimsical, and PINK for our sugary sweet baby girl! The cotton candy favors were absolutely unique and memorable. So, if you plan to host a sip and see, think outside of the box when it comes to treats for your guests!
The cookies were handmade by the incredible baker Samantha Trate of Joyfully Sweet. Not only were they beyond gorgeous works of art, but they were melt in your mouth delicious. When hosting, I have learned that just because something is pretty doesn’t mean it will taste good. So do your research. Be sure your baker of choice uses the highest quality ingredients.
Third, leave the photos to a pro.
The last thing you want to be worried about when hosting a sip and see is who will capture the precious moments from your party. I can’t tell you how much more time I was able to spend with my guests, thanks to Tia Ray from Capturing Moments by Tia.
The last step for hosting a sip and see?
Relax, join your guests, sip some much-deserved champagne and soak in every second of baby cuddles. When you have entrusted reliable professionals such as these, you can truly be present and worry-free come party time! Enjoy mama!