Birth Announcement Etiquette

Choosing Birth Announcements

Selecting the right birth announcement is a matter of personal taste and style and knowing, or not knowing, the sex of the baby! Knowing the sex will help make some decisions for you: blue or green for boy birth announcements or pink and lavender for girl birth announcements. There are many other announcements that are adorable in neutral colors. If you are waiting until the birth of the child to find out the sex and would like to order your baby announcements in advance, then ordering one in neutral colors is recommended.

When browsing our entire selection of birth announcements you may see one that you are drawn to and your decision is made. You may want to take the approach of sharing your nursery colors via your birth announcements. If anyone wishes to send a gift, they can take the hint from your announcements.

Photos birth announcements are a great way to introduce the new addition to your family. Keep in mind that it may take a few tries to get the perfect photo and it wall also take time to have them developed and attach them to your baby announcements. No one expects you to send a photo with your announcements, so if you don’t have time for such an announcement don’t fret. You can always include a photo on or with your thank you notes.

Birth Announcements Wording

Birth announcements wording typically start out with some type of introduction such as “We are delighted to announce the birth of our daughter”, then you will go on to list at least the following information: baby’s name, date of birth and parents’ names. Depending on the level of desired formality, the names of the parents may be listed as “Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Peterson,” “Betty and Thomas Peterson,” or simply “Betty and Thomas” on the baby announcement. The baby’s birth weight and length, time of birth, place of birth, names of siblings, and address may also be included. There are many clever ways to word an announcement, feel free to be creative and have fun with it!

Here’s an example of casual Wording – Girl Birth Announcements:

We welcome with love

Carly Ann

Arrived: March 3, 2004

Weight: 8 lbs., 2 oz.

Betty and Thomas Peterson

An example of more formal Wording – Boy Birth Announcement:

Our hearts are filled with happiness,

Our lives are filled with love,

because we have the baby girl/boy

that we’ve been dreaming of

Ryan James

born on March 3, 2004

at 10:30 pm

8 pounds, 7 ounces

18 inches

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Peterson

Some parents are uncomfortable sharing the birth weight of their child in instances of unusual birth weight. Leaving the birth weight off of the birth announcement is completely acceptable. Friends and family may still be curious and ask anyways, but there is no reason it must be included on the announcements.

If you have chosen a photo card that only allows for a few lines of text, then we recommend narrowing it down to the baby’s name, date of birth, weight and length on one line, and the parents’ names.

Plan ahead and write your wording or use our Word Wizard before you order your announcements. Wording can take longer than you think! You can then pick out and order your birth announcements before the baby is born. You won’t have to fuss with the details once the newborn arrives, you can just call in the vital statistics to finish the order.

Birth Announcements: Multiple Births

Often times, the birth of twins, triplets or more will be a surprise to friends and family. When preparing the wording for multiples, it can be fun to use the “twin” theme on the birth announcements. When wording the announcements, be sure to write the babies’ names on two separate lines in order to prevent any confusion. You don’t want everyone to think you’ve just given your child one really long name! You may also send separate birth announcements for each child, which should be mailed in separate envelopes.

Birth Announcements for Parents with Different Last Names

Parents with different last names should include their first and last names as part of the birth announcement, as well as the full legal name of the child. Samples for boy announcement:

Mary Jones and Stephen Murphy

joyfully announce

the birth of their son

Samuel George Murphy


We joyfully announce

The birth of our son

Samuel George Murphy

Mary Jones and Stephen Murphy

Birth Announcements: Divorced or Separated Parents

Divorced or separated parents may choose to send baby announcements separately, with each parent mailing the announcements to his or her friends and family only. In this case, the parent may elect to include only his or her name on the baby announcement. Samples for boy announcement:

Someone new to love

Ryan James Keenan

Born July 4, 2004

7 pounds, 3 ounces

Sara Parker

Birth Announcements: Unmarried Mother

If the mother is unmarried, she should include only her name on the birth announcement. (as shown above) If the mother desires, and if the father gives permission, the father’s name may be included as part of the birth announcement. The baby’s full legal name should be included to avoid questions about whether the child was given his mother’s or his father’s last name. Samples for boy announcement:

Someone new to love

Ryan James Keenan

Born July 4, 2004

7 pounds, 3 ounces

Sara Parker

Jordan Keenan

Birth Announcements: Gay and Lesbian Couples

Gay and lesbian couples should include both of their first and last names and the full legal name of the child in the birth announcement along with the general information detailed above. Sample for girl announcement:

It’s with much joy and pride
that we introduce to you
Shauna Cole
July 31, 2003
8 pounds, 3 ounces
20 inches

He fills our heart with much love
Sandra Lion and Erika Lynne

Birth Announcements: Widowed Mother

A mother that becomes widowed during her pregnancy may indicate her name on the birth announcement as either “Mrs. Thomas Peterson” or “Betty Peterson.” The husband may be referred to as “the late Thomas Peterson,” if desired, or the mother may elect to include her name only. Sample for girl announcement:

Proudly announcing

Jean Rochelle

November 21, 2003

4:00 am

6 pounds, 8 ounces

Betty Peterson and the late Thomas Peterson

Baby Announcements: Adoption

The addition of an adopted child to the family most certainly warrants a baby announcement. When selecting the wording for the announcement, state when the child was born and when the child was received into the home of the parents. Sample for girl announcement:

Marcus and Elizabeth Harris

are proud to announce

the arrival of

Jessica Lynn

Born January 18, 2004

and welcomed into

her parent’s hearts and home

on February 3, 2004

If the child was adopted from a foreign country, information about his or her birth country may also be included. Sample for girl announcement:

Marcus and Elizabeth Harris

joyfully announce

the arrival of

Jessica Lynn

who has come from Romania

to join our family

Birth Announcements: Parents and Grandparents

Grandparents’ names can be included on the birth announcement if you wish for them to share in the joy of announcing the new family member. Their names would be appropriately listed on the line below the parents’ names. Sample for girl announcement:

We reached for the stars
and got an armful of heaven
Kelly Marie
brightened our lives
on December 1st, 2003
5 pounds, 8 ounces

Loving parents and grandparents

Dean and Kelly Thompson

Mark and Lynn Thompson

Birth Announcements: Second and Third Babies

It is perfectly acceptable to send birth announcements for all babies, no matter where they fall in their birth order. Parents may choose to include sibling names as part of the birth announcements, or even have them announce their new baby brother or baby sister into the world. Sample for boy announcement:

Daniel has a new hand to hold!

His baby brother

Ryan Lane

Was born on

January 13, 2004

5 pounds, 8 ounces

Mark and Lisa Walker

When to Order and How Many?

When ordering birth announcements, it can be tough determining how many you will need. Deciding to whom you are going to send the birth announcements is important before placing your order. Do you want to send to just close family and friends, or will you also be sending to coworkers, out of state relatives etc. as well? The birth of a child is a celebrated event, so as a rule of thumb, feel free to send an announcement to anyone who would like to share in your special news. Just as in creating a guest list for an event, you will want to create a mailing list for your birth announcements. This will not only give you an accurate count of how many announcements to order, but it will also take the stress off of creating the mailing list after the baby has arrived. The more you can do in advance the better because you won’t have the time or energy later.

Be sure to order your thank you notes at the same time as your baby announcements. You will most likely be receiving gifts before you get a chance to drop the announcements in the mail!

When to Send

It is best to send your birth announcements as soon as possible, preferably within a month after the birth of your baby. If more than three months have passed since the baby’s birth, consider including the birth announcement as an insert along with a holiday card or an announcement that includes news about the entire family. Your friends and family will be forgiving knowing that you are busy taking care of a new child.

If you have your baby announcements and wording picked out, your guest list established and a helpful husband or good friend on board, then the task is made simple and doable. You can pick out and order your birth announcements before the baby is born. You won’t have to fuss with the details once the newborn arrives, you can just call in the vital statistics to finish the order. When the announcements arrive you can just run the envelopes through your printer and drop them in the mail. Some vendors may send your envelopes in advance so that you can hand address them before the baby arrives.

Have your birth announcements weighed at the post office and buy your stamps ahead of time. That will also save you a trip when you have your hands full with the new baby.

Also, some people like to write hand written notes on the birth announcements. Know that this is not common practice and not necessary. As new parents, you will be living busy lives and no one will expect you to the time it takes to write a personal note to everyone.

Are gifts obligatory?

Gifts are absolutely not obligatory. Although most parents want to send birth announcements as a way of sharing their good news, some worry that recipients will view the sending of a birth announcement as a request for a gift. This is absolutely not the case: recipients are under no obligation to send a gift. If desired, the phrase “Please, no gifts,” may be included in small print at the bottom of the birth announcement. In any case, if a gift is sent, a personalized thank you card should be mailed as an acknowledgement of their generosity.

Thank You Notes

After you send out your birth announcements, be prepared to receive gifts and notes of best wishes. When ordering your birth announcements, pick out and order your thank you cards so you have plenty on hand throughout your pregnancy. There are many occasions where gifts are given before and after the baby is born, so be sure to order plenty of extra thank you cards.

Upon receiving gifts after sending your birth announcements, after a baby shower or after an evening with friends, there are several components to writing an appreciative thank you card.

Timing is of the essence; you should have thank you notes on hand after announcing your pregnancy so that you can write your thank you cards without delay. Thank you notes for birth announcements should be mailed within a few days of receiving the gift. You have a bit more time after a shower since you will have more to write.

Sincerity is another key component of a genuine thank you card. Be sure to say “what” you are thanking them for by listing the items they gave you and it is always heartfelt if you can say how you are looking forward to using those items or comment on how adorable or helpful they are.

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