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Kelly Alfieri

Birth Announcement Etiquette

Ready to introduce your new arrival to your inner circle? Here's what you need to know about birth announcements from when to send them out to what they should say.

Mail a printed announcement, send an e-card, text it, Facebook it, Tweet it...there have never been so many ways to let your family and friends know when baby has arrived. The good thing is that there’s no bad or wrong way to spread the happy news, so choose what suits your personal style. Here are some more tips and how-tos to help as you put together birth announcements for baby.

Send birth announcements to any friends and family that you think would like to celebrate the arrival of your newborn. Be sure to include anyone who came to your baby shower. If you're working with a budget you could send printed announcements to just your immediate family and closest friends and then do an email announcement or a Facebook post to let everyone else know.
Send out your announcements as soon as possible, but if it takes you a little longer etiquette says you have up to six months to get them out. And don't worry—if yours don't arrive right away everyone will understand that you've had your hands full with baby. If you do want to get your cards out sooner than later it helps to do a little prep while you’re pregnant. Whether you choose a printed announcement or an e-card, pick out your design before baby arrives. Once baby is here and you have his or her stats, get all that info to the site or store where you bought your announcements and they should be able to turn them around pretty quickly for you. If you opt for printed announcements, figure out what you would like to write, buy your stamps and address your envelopes while you’re pregnant–this will speed things up so all you have to do once you get them is pop each one in the envelope and drop them at the post office.
Decide whether you want to include a photo(s) on your card and think about what you want it to say. An announcement usually has an introduction that includes baby's name (the intro can be as straight-forward or as sentimental as you choose), the birth details (baby's birth date, weight and length, plus time and place of birth, if you like), and the parents' names, followed by the names of baby's siblings (you can include fur siblings too if you have pets).

Printed Announcements
Choose and customize a photo birth announcement at one of our favorite sites like Tiny Prints, Minted, Shutterfly or Paper Culture. Prepare for a bit of brain overload as you sift through thousands of adorable cards–but eventually you will have to narrow things down and choose one.  Browse Etsy to find a unique, handcrafted announcement–you can even get a customized announcement as a PDF file that you can print at home. If you're more of a bricks-and-mortar type, drop by your local stationer’s shop and choose a bespoke announcement but expect to spend a lot more for it.  You can also order custom-printed announcements online from one of our favorite stationers like Egg Press, Luxe Paperie, and Papyrus.

Digital Announcements
Sending an e-announcement might seem like it lacks formality for the occasion of a birth but with so many clever and adorable cards online, it’s actually a terrific (and thrifty) way to go. Paperless Post e-cards are as gorgeously designed as anything created by a high-end stationer and your first 25 cards are free when you sign up for the site. Pingg offers charming, artist-designed announcements from names like Martha Stewart, Wee Gallery and Hello! Lucky. Or try Red Stamp—this iPad and iPhone app has more than 400 stylish announcements that you can send by email, text, Facebook, or Twitter or as paper postcards.

Plus, more from The Bump:

Ways to Tell Your Partner You're Pregnant

Registry 101: What to Skip

Who to Put On Your Birth Announcement List

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