What Is a Sip and See?

a table with party food and decorations

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A Sip and See party isn’t a new concept, although it is a favorite among new parents. It’s an opportunity to have everyone over at once to meet and greet the new baby shortly after birth. This welcome-the-new-baby party is sort of like an open house baby shower. 

You don't have to worry about finding enough chairs for your entire guest list. People come, have a brief refreshment, hold the baby, visit with the parents, and leave.

If you have recently adopted a child, a Sip and See is the ideal way for friends and family to greet the new arrival. Whether you adopted a new baby or an older child, it's another way of celebrating.

Why Have a Sip and See

One of the issues so many parents have experienced in the past is feeling like they need to be hospitable every single time someone rings the doorbell, in spite of the fact that they’re probably sleep deprived. Since so many people are curious or want to bring a gift, it saves the parents from having people dropping by unexpectedly.

History of the Sip and See

The Sip and See party has been around for a while. It started in the South, when couples would invite family and close friends to stop by for light refreshments and to see the new baby. It didn’t matter what was served because the primary purpose of it was to ooh and ahh over the precious little addition to the family.

The concept of the Sip and See party was such a great idea that it has spread across the country. Now everyone from coast to coast can benefit from these “welcome baby” parties.

How a Sip and See Is Different from a Baby Shower

Most baby showers and sprinkles occur before the baby comes. However, a Sip and See occurs afterward. Also, you may have skipped having a sprinkle if this isn’t your first child. The Sip and See gives everyone an opportunity to celebrate with you.

The Sip and See is also typically a much more casual event than a shower. In fact, most couples have more of an open house format than a party with everyone present at the same time. This gives more people an opportunity to cuddle with the baby.

Entire families may attend one of these events. Since a Sip and See is more casual, you're more likely to have children stop by with their parents.

Many new parents-to-be sign up with gift registries. It isn’t the norm to have a gift registry for a Sip and See, although if you haven’t already received something you had listed, guests can still choose it from the registry and give it to you. 

Don’t expect anyone who brought a shower gift to bring one for the Sip and See. However, most of your friends and family members won’t want to show up empty-handed.

Make sure you keep track what each person brought so you can send out thank you notes later. Even if someone didn't bring a gift, it's still nice to send show your gratitude for their visit.

Who to Invite

It’s completely up to you who to invite, but the standard is to ask all family members, close friends, and other people who have expressed a desire to meet the new baby. Even if they attended a baby shower before the arrival of the little one, feel free to ask them to come. 

How to Host a Sip and See

You can send out invitations, either in the mail or via e-vite, to let people know about the party. Since the baby is the main attraction, you don’t have to decorate as elaborately or plan a lot of party games.

The word “sip” is in the name of the party, so that naturally implies there will be refreshments. Remember that no one expects anything elaborate from new parents.

Here are some things to consider during your planning:

  • Beginning and ending times: Make sure that when you write out the invitation, you’re specific about when people may arrive and when the party is over. Even if you’re hosting a casual open house style party, you need to be precise, or you might have a difficult time getting folks to leave. This is important for you and your baby.
  • Decorations: A floral centerpiece on a festive tablecloth, along with some streamers, balloons, or paper lanterns are all you need for decorations. 
  • Refreshments: Serve mostly finger foods and a couple of beverage options. Small sandwiches, cookies, or an ice cream bar can be fun. Or if you want to serve a buffet meal, that’s fine too. Whether or not you choose to offer alcohol is up to you, but many people enjoy celebrating such joyous events with champagne. 
  • Games and entertainment: Most people attending a Sip and See event would much rather spend their time holding the baby than playing games, so you don’t have to plan any special activities. And since people are there to see the baby, there is no need to worry about conversation starters.


It’s a good idea to provide hand sanitizer at the door. Ask your guests to either wash their hands or use the sanitizer before touching your new little one. After all, this is supposed to be fun and not a way to pass germs.

Ideas for a Sip and See Party

Although you don’t have to have a theme for your Sip and See party, you may want to do it for fun. Here are some cute ideas:

  • A Star is Born: Hang gold and silver stars around the room and make star-shaped cookies.
  • Sweet Addition: Have colorful and festive decorations around a dessert table laden with a variety of sweet treats and small, framed photos of the new addition to your family.
  • Message in a Bottle: Have a large bottle, scraps of paper, and pens near the front door. Encourage each guest to jot down some notes about their first experience with the baby. This is something you and your child can look back on and read later. You can decorate the room with messages of gratitude for being able to share this experience with everyone else and add those to the bottle after everyone leaves.
  • In the Spotlight: Take pictures of everyone when it’s their turn to hold the baby. You can email the photos to them after the event and make a collage or memory book to keep for later.

Expectations for Guests

If you’ve been invited to a Sip and See party, the new parents probably have very few expectations, other than the opportunity to show off their new family member. 

You’ll want to dress in nice but casual clothes. After all, you probably want a chance to hold the little one, and you don’t want the baby to spit up on your brand new silk blouse.

This is a wonderful opportunity to bring a gift. Since you know the sex and name of the baby, you can also have it personalized. At least, that’s something that southern moms and dads have always appreciated. 

Here are some great gifts to bring to a Sip and See:

  • A bib, rattle, and teething ring with the baby’s initials
  • A monogrammed tummy time blanket
  • A gift basket filled with baby toiletries, extra gentle laundry detergent, and other items that will come in handy
  • A gift card to a restaurant and an offer to babysit so the new parents can enjoy their date night

Tradition in the Making

The Sip and See might have started in the South a long time ago, but the concept is still new enough everywhere else to form it into whatever you want it to be. The main purpose is for everyone you care about to meet the new baby. How you go about it is completely up to you.