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How to: Send a Birth Announcement

By Kelly Haramis, Chicago Tribune – 07/24/2005 – 12:00am

As a first-time parent, you want to tell the world about your new bundle of joy. Do you use the ease of e-mail or have the special occasion engraved in gold?

Sue Fox, founder and president of Etiquette Survival, said in an e-mail: “It is fine to follow the new trends of electronic photo announcements, just make sure that your friends, colleagues and family members receive the e-mail and the announcement is done tastefully.” Fox, the author of “Etiquette for Dummies” and “Business Etiquette for Dummies,” also offered these helpful tips:

– Have a plan. “Select a couple [of] styles of announcement at least two months in advance. This will give you an opportunity to order samples ahead of time. If you do not know the baby’s gender, be sure to have one of each gender-specific design selected.”

– Decide on the style. “If it is going to be a custom-designed card, select a good quality card stock. There are huge selections of unique birth announcements. Make sure `daddy to be’ is involved in the design.”

– The stats. “The announcement should include basic information: the parent(s)’ names, bab(ies)’ name(s), birth date, birth weight and length. If the birth weight is an issue, it is not necessary to include. You can include a photo if you like, though some parents prefer waiting.”

– Send early. “Try to send the announcement as soon after the baby’s arrival as possible. Given the schedule you will have, that could be challenging. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask family or close friends for help in preparing and mailing the announcements. They will understand that you have other pressing issues to deal with.

“As with most announcements or greeting cards, a personal note or handwritten signature is not always necessary. Your friends and family will understand.”

– Presents. “It is not proper to include gift information or gift registry request. Recipients are not obligated to send a gift just because they received an announcement.”

– Spreading the word. “The purpose of birth announcements is to inform your friends and family of the birth of your child. You should send them to everyone you think might want to share in your exciting and special news.”

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