Birth announcement wording and etiquette

Learn the who, what, when and how of announcing a new family member

By Ellen Brenneman
Birth Announcement Wording #Hallmark #HallmarkIdeas

If you’re like most new moms, you’ve probably been texting, emailing and tweeting nonstop since the birth of your little bundle of joy. And you’re also undoubtedly busy with feedings, changings, baths and all the other little tasks that seem to eat up every last second of a new mom’s life. Given the ease of connecting digitally and the difficulty of finding time to do anything that requires extra time and effort, you might be tempted to skip the formality of paper birth announcements.

But before you do, take a few minutes to consider the baby you might be throwing out with the bathwater (pun intended). After all, the time-honored tradition of a printed birth announcement isn’t really about “announcing” anything these days: It’s about creating a personal, touchable keepsake that your friends and family can treasure for a lifetime, and that you can look back on when you flip through the pages of your baby book.

If that thought strikes a chord with you, read on to learn how to get those “official” baby announcements off your to-do list and into the mailbox.

Time lineFirst off, relax. Even though it would be nice to get your birth announcements out within the first month or two, etiquette says you have six months. That gives you a little more time to pick a design that suits your style—and your baby’s personality. Plus the longer you wait, the more adorable photos you'll have to tuck inside.

Who gets one?Friends (old and new), extended family, co-workers (current and former), yoga buddies, classmates…don’t hold back. No one is going to be offended that you thought of him or her at one of the peak moments of your life. If they had a baby and you'd want to know, include them.

StyleYou’ll know best what style reflects your personality. Cutesy? Modern? Formal? Retro? You can even divvy up your list and choose more than one style. Or get creative, and upload a favorite photo of your baby to a website that lets you print announcements on demand and design around it.

Essential Info

These elements are essential:

  • A lead-in, such as “Our new little sweetie is finally here!” (This is only necessary if the design you choose doesn’t already include a lead-in.)
  • Baby’s full name and the parents’ names. Write the mother’s name first unless you are using the more formal “Mr. and Mrs.”
  • Date of birth

Optional Info

These elements are optional:

  • Baby’s weight
  • Baby’s height
SAMPLE BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENT WORDING
Multiple births
Treat these the same as a single birth, but put the babies’ names on separate lines.

Ryan James Bradshaw
8 lb 3 oz
17 inches
Adam Sidney Bradshaw
8 lb 2 oz
18 inches
born October 28, 2008
Mary and Edward Bradshaw

Parents with different last names
Write the mother’s full name first, followed by the father’s full name.
Stephen Andrew Gaines
born on July 12, 2008
at 8:03 a.m.
9 lb 3 oz
18 inches
Allison Carter and Robert Gaines

Unmarried mother
Include the baby's full legal name and the father's name if that's acceptable to both parents.
Kyle Edward Smith
born August 31, 2009
7 pounds 2 ounces
Jeanette Johnson

Adoption
In the case of adoptions, wait until after the adoption is final.
James and Samantha Gooding
are proud and happy to announce
the arrival of Emily Rose
born April 2, 2009
and welcomed into our home
on June 12, 2009

Gay and lesbian parents
Use both parents’ full names.
Christa Devlin and Johnna Miles
are proud and happy to announce
the arrival of
Susan Annette Devlin-Miles
born on October 2, 2009

Second, third, etc. babies
Include parents’ and all siblings’ names.
Pete and Lisa Schiff are proud to welcome
Adam’s baby sister
Roxanne Marie Schiff
who was born on May 28, 2009
weight: 8 lb 5 oz
length: 17 inches

Divorced or separated parents
Each parent sends announcements separately.
Logan Lindstrom Forsberg
born June 18, 2009
7 pounds 2 ounces
Traci Lindstrom

Ellen Brenneman has been a Hallmark writer for 28 years. Off the clock, she plays the roles of backyard astronomer, handbell ringer and editor of her Sierra Club group's newsletter.


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