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"Welcome Baby" party?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'm not having a shower because this is my second baby. We'd like to have time to ourselves after the baby so I was thinking that a "Welcome Baby" party about 2 weeks after the baby is born would be a good idea instead. Just a simple get together with some snacks, cake, etc (I'll can most likely get my mom to prep any food and p/u a cake).

I know that our immediate families (all live about 10 min away) will come a day or so after the baby is born, but I was thinking this would be good for all the extended family in the area (ALOT) and friends to see the baby without interrupting our 'babymoon'. We had a ton of people in and out of the hospital room after dd was born, which was extremely disruptive to our resting, starting to nurse, etc. We are having a homebirth this time, so I'm trying to think of an alternative idea that would give us our much needed space, but still keep family and friends feeling like they got a chance to see him.

*Anyone else had anything like this? Any other ideas?
*Did you send out actual invites (I was thinking I'd set them up prior to the baby being born and include it with a photo announcement once he's here)? What did you say to people about gifts (just say 'no gifts necessary' on the invite?)?
*Is it tacky if we just throw it ourselves at our home, that way people can also see the nursery, and I can feel comfortable to escape to my bedroom if need be? I could ask my mom to bring all the food to my house for it, but if I ask her to actually host I'd probably end up doing alot of the work myself (long complicatedstory).
*Would it be bad to keep the baby in a sling most of the time, so it doesn't become a game of 'hot potato' with the newborn? Don't want to piss any well meaning great-grandparents or anyone off.

P.S. I know I still have 3 months to figure this out, but I'm a control freak : and love to plan way in advance. A friend just had her baby 2 days ago and it got me thinking I have SO much to do so I'm trying to get stuff done NOW
post #2 of 17
I was planning on doing this after dd3 was born, but she ended up in the hospital for a week with Jaundice and after that we just never got around to re-planning it. I told dh I'd like to try to do this with the new baby, I'll probably plan it for 2-3 weeks after the baby is born.

I think what I'll do is send out invitations a few days after the baby arrives (have all the info filled out except the dates so it's less work after baby gets here) and go from there. Unfortunately for me, my in laws live less than a quarter mile away so there's no way I can keep them from dropping by every 5 minutes but maybe I can keep everyone else away for awhile.

I like the sling idea - hadn't thought of that. And we'll host it ourselves, MIL will help with the food, but most of what we have will be ordered from somewhere because there's no way I'll be up to cooking and preparing for a party just a few weeks after having the baby.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Sounds like we have pretty similar plans. I'm just a nerd when it comes to etiquette stuff so I'm glad to hear that my plans sound normal.
post #4 of 17
I'm going the same thing! I know my parents and inlaws will be here often, but I wanted to have a plan to keep extended family and friends-of-family and friends-from-work etc from randomly dropping in. I was thinking I'd just serve cake and punch, and outsource the cake to my mother. I'm going to buy paper plates and napkins before she's here so there's nothing I really have to do for the event itself besides make sure the house is presentable. (Which has to be easier doing it only once than doing it a dozen times if they all dropped by individually!) I'm going to call it an open house so people don't expect to show up and sit here for the whole time, and I think I'll set it for 3 hours. I'm going to see how I feel, but probably have it on a Saturday about two weeks after she's born.
I'm going to e-mail the invitation along with her newborn photo once I'm home from the hospital, and I'll put mom and MIL in charge of informing members of their sides of the family who do not use e-mail, so really this should be a low-labor undertaking for me. I will probably even word the e-mail prior to her birth, so all I have to do is copy and paste!
Since this is my first babe and someone is having a shower for me, I'm going to make sure my e-mail indicates that I don't want people bringing gifts, just having an opportunity for people to come meet her (and see our house, since DH and I just moved to the area a few months ago and I know some of our nosey relatives are dying to see what our stuff looks like. )
Post again if you have more ideas! I'm glad I'm not the only one doing this too.
post #5 of 17
That's exactly what I'm hoping to do when dc2 is born. Two weeks is enough time for my body to recover from birth enough to be social and gives us a good start with nursing. I want to keep visitors to a minimum immediately after the birth so this is a great way to let the family feel like they are a part of the baby's life.

I see nothing wrong with holding it at home, it's important that new mamas feel comfortable. We'll probably cook out on the grill and enjoy the nice weather while it lasts (baby is due in September). We'll send out invites, but I doubt we'll do pictures (a. people will be more curious to see the little one and b. it's more work than I want to do pp and I'm a procrastinator anyway). Hopefully we'll be able to get my mom to wait for the party til she comes since my mom bugs the crap out of me . We'll probably decorate a little bit and take lots of pictures. The baby will definately be in the sling for most of the party, and if that offends people well that's just tough noogies. If I'm comfortable with it I will let people pass the baby around for about 10 minutes, but only if I'm comfy and everyone is healthy.

Honestly I'm looking forward to the welcome baby party a lot more than I was looking forward to the baby shower MIL threw when I was pg with dd. Granted that was kind of a busy anyway...MIL is a terrible planner so I just foresaw disaster..this time I will be planning everything, even if I do send MIL out to get supplies
post #6 of 17
I inadvertantly had a welcome baby party when my baby shower with my first turned into "she's early!" Although planning it advance might be a little different, I was pretty disappointed with the experience. For one, everyone wanted to see and hold and touch her, which was okay with me, but sounds like isn't with you, and I could see people maybe getting offended if you try to decline. For me, it was supposed to be my baby shower, and I just felt a little down that no one paid any attention to me!

I was exhausted, and we had trouble nursing, so it was 6 days after she was born, I was hugely engorged and dripping milk and I felt miserable and was in a lot of pain still from the birth (cracked or bruised tailbone). I still had a lot of lochia and was wearing a gigantic hospital pad. I still looked embarassingly pregnant, and every photo of me or my husband we both have huge bags under our eyes and a glazed expression. I hardly remember it, since I was so tired at the time of the party. I had to leave the room with the baby for more than an hour to try to get her to latch on correctly (not going to wrestle with a nursing bra, pillow, nipple shield, engorgement, tiny baby in front of every person I have ever known and their husbands!).

Anyway, if you have already had a child, you may be more aware of what your needs are with a new baby and what you will be able to handle and how soon. I would suggest at least making it closer to a month after the baby is born. You'll feel more yourself then.
post #7 of 17
I'm also going to plan something like this about two weeks after baby is born. I was just going to have dh pick up a cake and some paper plates and juice or something. Mostly it is for dh's family that all live very nearby, but who I don't want flooding my home right after the baby is born. I am so not a person who wants to pass my baby around, so my sling should be a perfect way to avoid this.

I think the idea of an "open house" is good, but I'll probably just have it for 2hrs. My biggest thing is that my baby is due right in the middle of flu season, and people just don't seem to get it that if they're sick, they shouldn't come around. So, I will try to think of a clever way to word this so that I don't offend anyone, but get the message across that if they are sick, they can meet her later.
post #8 of 17
This is my first babe, and I'd rather do that then a traditional 'shower'. I'd rather just have an open house day (not all day), and have people who want to meet the babe come throughout the day (then it might not be as overwhelming) and of course, if they'd like to bring a gift, i won't say no
post #9 of 17
Originally Posted by ~lioneyes~
My biggest thing is that my baby is due right in the middle of flu season, and people just don't seem to get it that if they're sick, they shouldn't come around. So, I will try to think of a clever way to word this so that I don't offend anyone, but get the message across that if they are sick, they can meet her later.
That's a good idea! I'm adding that to my mental plan... :
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Lousli
Anyway, if you have already had a child, you may be more aware of what your needs are with a new baby and what you will be able to handle and how soon. I would suggest at least making it closer to a month after the baby is born. You'll feel more yourself then.
I know that I felt up to more closer to a month, but honestly I doubt if I could hold off all the family that long. There are TONS of DH's family in the area. I was thinking that if we said 2 weeks which is the time that DH is home and then held it on a weekend I could *probably* handle it. Even if my DH throws a fit, I have every intention of hiring a housecleaner to come in prior to the party. I know I can convince my mom to deal with the food, clean up, etc. If I tell them that we are having a Welcome Baby party a month after he's born, they will be at my house in the first few days...and I'm really not kidding either Thats why we had them only come to the hospital with dd, so they wouldn't stay very long, but that plan really backfired because I hadn't slept in DAYS because of a long induction, and nursing was already not going well. Of course this time, I won't mind just whipping out a boob if the babe needs it

I definitely like the Open House idea! I think I may do that. I'm not quite sure how to convey the message that we don't want/need gifts, but they are of course welcome to bring something if they really, really want to. Would saying 'no gifts neccessary' get the point across, without making them feel like they are not allowed to bring something if they wanted to? Or should I just say 'no gifts please'?
post #11 of 17
We are planning on doing the same thing, but probably not until a month or two after the baby comes. My MIL is throwing a shower for me with her side of the family, but we plan on making the party more of an "Open House" so I don't think it's bad ettiquite.

We are (hopefully) buying a home within a month of the birth (home birth, to boot!) and I just think we'll need a bit of time to get settled. I will probably use Evites and will be inviting people from out of town as well.

I probably won't mention gifts at all in the invitation. I love gifts- giving and receiving and with a new home and new baby, we'd be grateful for anything... but we do plan on just calling it an "Open House and Meet the Baby" party, so I don't think that either of those terms imply the need to bring a gift at all.
post #12 of 17
Oh! And about slinging the baby- do whatever you feel comfortable with! People will want to be able to see the babe, and you will probably want to show him/her a bit, too. But the most important thing is you and baby being comfortable.

I can't remember how old they need to be before using the Ergo (or baby bjorn type carrier) but that might be a good compromise cause people can see the baby easier, but it's still strapped to you and not so easy to pass around.
post #13 of 17
We had one with DS just short of 3 weeks after he was born. I'd had it in mind early on & when my friend offered a shower I told her the Welcome Baby / Open House idea & she thought it was a good idea. I happily accepted a shower at work since there were many grandmas there & there were only a couple women to have babies the 4.5 years I worked there.

For our closer friends I'd given them a tentative date of a couple weeks after the due date, but when he was born at 38.5 weeks I gave in to having it a week earlier - which was a minor oopsie because DH did not remember that everyone from his office (in which we have several friends) was out in the field so we ended up having them all over at various times before they left.

My Mom was in town & a couple friends brought finger foods. I was ready.

Here's the text I sent out
Subject: Party November 2nd
We're having a little welcoming party for Noah on Sunday November 2nd from 2-8pm. Everyone's welcome to stop by any time to meet the little guy. We'll have snacks and drinks so you can pop in for a few minutes or stay awhile.

This time around I plan to have the email invites out in early June (edd 7/17) and say we'll confirm the date after the baby arrives. I think it will severely reduce the visiting - I don't want to eliminate them, but there were a lot with Noah.

As far as gifts go, if people are going to get something, they're going to get something! This type of get together doesn't have the 'manditory gift' aura of a shower and I didn't open them in front of people. I think I opened things as soon as people gave them to me and put them in the nursery. Just hope for gift receipts on the 0-3mo stuff
post #14 of 17
Originally Posted by Ell-Bell
I can't remember how old they need to be before using the Ergo (or baby bjorn type carrier) but that might be a good compromise cause people can see the baby easier, but it's still strapped to you and not so easy to pass around.
I know newborns aren't supposed to be in the bjorn or ergo type carriers, at least not without the infant insert...which would defeat the purpose of the more visible carrier. I'm just going to use a hotsling and let people peek or hold when i'm comfortable with the notion
post #15 of 17
Some of you are saying three weeks to a month before the meet the baby party. I am so jealous! My dh's family all live VERY close, and I don't know if sending the invite for the two week later party will help keep them away or not. I plan to write "we will have limited visiting time in the first few weeks, but want all of you to meet our baby girl". The kind of people who would still come over and interrupt us would do so no matter what. I just love the fact that we have no doorbell! We also intend to put a note on the door that conveys our wishes that people please call ahead of time for visits. We'll see how it goes!
post #16 of 17
Well, I don't expect that our family will stay away for the full month or two before we have a party! My parents live super close, but are very good about giving us our space. The in-laws live 3.5 hours away, and can't just "drop by" thank goodness! But, when they do visit, they want to spend every waking minute with us even if it just means sitting around watching tv.

The rest of the extended family lives either 3.5 hours away or in California. I expect that many of them will make the trip for a party, and will wait for an invitation to come see the baby, thank goodness!
post #17 of 17
This is our first, so we are having a baby shower (two, actually!) . . . but we also really want to do a "baby welcoming". For us it will take the place of a christening, since neither DH or myself are Christian (although our families are). I am planning on having the party a few months after the birth, because our house is tiny and it will be a lot more manageable to have a crowd over when the weather is nicer and people can hang out on the deck as well as indoors. We will appoint a friend to be grillmaster and have beverages and some easy snacks (stuff we can pick up at Costco, or maybe enlist my mother and MIL to bring some stuff over), and do a "drop in whenever" open house event.

I have been thinking that it would be nice to set the date for the baby welcoming and have the invites all sent out BEFORE the birth (thus, less stuff to do post-partum!), so I need to sit down with the calendar and figure out a weekend when (a) the weather should be decent in Seattle, and (b) it is far enough from the birth that I think I will feel up to guests.

Our immediate family (ILs and my folks) live within a half-hour's drive, so they will obviously be over the day after the birth (my mom will likely be AT the birth). But I have a lot of out-of-town family (both my folks come from big families), so the baby welcoming will be a nice opportunity for everyone to come for a visit and see the baby, as well as seeing each other. Baby is due in the spring (end of March/beginning of April), so I'm thinking a June baby welcoming would work out well for everyone.
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