Sip and See Guide to Show Off Your Baby (With a Twist)

Published May 12, 2021
Baby being introduced to family on a garden party

Sip and see parties are fast gaining traction with new parents everywhere. These events give parents a chance to show off their greatest prize to their closest friends and families...their beautiful baby.

Sip and See Origins

Sip and see gatherings might sound new to many, but these traditional parties have actually been around for some time now. They are considered somewhat of a Southern tradition among new parents. Historically, mamas and papas of the South would invite their loved ones over to sip on beverages, nibble on snacks, and literally see the new member of the family.

Who Comes to a Sip and See?

This is entirely up to the new family. Generally speaking, sip and see parties are more intimate than traditional baby showers. They are a collection of the new parents' closest friends and family. Many parents with new babies have friends and family living out of town. Instead of having a different well-wisher come and visit each weekend, a sip and see allows every out-of-towner to get in on the baby action in one day. This makes life easier on tired parents, and no one feels slighted out of their chance to snuggle the new baby.

Family gathering around baby outdoors

Who Has a Sip and See Party?

Anyone can throw a sip and see party. Even if you have a large baby shower before the baby arrives, you can still have a sip and see party, as the two events are not exactly the same in nature. Many parents don't want a large, over-the-top shower, so a sip and see allows them to have a small gathering with less fuss and frills.

When Is It Best to Hold a Sip and See?

Newborns are the cutest things under the sun, and while it is very tempting to throw a sip and see directly after your baby's birth, consider putting it off for 6-8 weeks. Give yourself time to recover from childbirth, bond with your baby, and catch up on a bit of rest. New parents don't always know how tired they will be caring for a brand new baby. For parents running on empty, throwing a party might be too much. The baby will be just as cute a few months into life, and parents will start to feel human again. Hold off on your soirée for just a bit.

Who Throws a Sip and See?

Normally, a close friend or family member throws a baby shower, but a sip and see is a little different. These parties are sometimes hosted by someone wanting to give new parents a bit of fun, but the new parents can also them. Either method of hosting is perfectly acceptable. It might be wise for new parents wanting to throw a sip and see to recruit a friend (who is caught up on shut-eye and functioning with a clear head) to help. New parents have a lot on their plates, so pulling together invites, food, beverages, and decorations can be a taller order. Delegate a friend or family member to assist you with the planning and assembling of the sip and see.

To Gift or Not to Gift?

While it is traditional for parents-to-be to create a gift registry and for guests to bring something for the new baby to a baby shower, gifts are not required nor common at sip and see parties. The guests at your sip and see might not want to come empty-handed regardless of common practices. If you strongly feel that gifts are unnecessary, note this on your invitation.

For guests who can not fathom showing up to a function without something in hand, steer clear of typical baby gifts as the new parents likely scored much of what they needed before having the baby. Think of what they would appreciate two months into their parenting journey. Practical gifts for a sip and see might include:

  • Gift cards for local restaurants
  • A spa set
  • An Amazon Prime or Shipt membership
  • Diapers, wipes, lotions, or other common infant items that parents run low on
  • Wine or spirits
  • Beautiful board books
Mother and baby with friends at sip and see baby party

Elements of a Sip and See

Sip and See bashes are less intricate than typical baby showers, but that doesn't mean that the planning stages get skipped. While more low-key and intimate, a sip and see will entail some planning elements.


Make sure to include the who, what, where, and when of your party and other important details that you want your guests to keep in mind, like whether gifts are welcome or whether it is okay to bring along small children. If you are wary of many people kissing and touching your new child, include a "please look but don't touch" note in your invite. It will be far less awkward to have your requests handled before your guests arrive, and you are forced to tell them your wishes in person.

Food and Beverage

Sip and see parties run the gamut when it comes to food. Some larger events might be catered or include full sit-down meals, but it is more common to have a less-structured feel to food and drink. People come, have a drink, nibble on bites, and focus their time and attention on the new baby and the parents.

Tea and cakes at a baby party

Finding the Perfect Venue

Many baby showers are held at restaurants or large venues because of the number of people invited. Sip and sees can still occur at an eatery or a hall, but they are more often held in the new parents' home. The party is all about the baby, so it makes sense to gather where all the baby's necessities are kept. Some sip and sees occur at family member's homes, which allows for someone other than the parents to clean and decorate for the event. This might be particularly true if the new parents and baby live far away but are traveling back to their hometown so that everyone can meet their child.

Fun and Adorable Sip and See Themes

Your sip and see doesn't have to have a theme, but if designing a party around a theme is your thing, these ideas are adorable and catchy ones to try out.

Party decorations at a citrus themed baby party

What a Wonderful World

Your child has made your life one big, exciting adventure. Play on this theme for your party. Include elements from famous spots worldwide like Paris, the pyramids, the Grand Canyon, and the Amazon in your theme and decor. For food and drink, include Parisian treats, Asian-inspired dishes, and Mexican delectables.

Such a Sweet Treat Has Arrived

There is nothing sweeter than a brand new baby. Throw a sip and see with a sweet tooth. Have a candy bar, cakes, cookies, cotton candy, and other sugary treats on hand. Champagne cocktails and yummy mimosas will pair perfectly at a party such as this one.

Meet the Brightest Star in Our Universe

Oh, how your baby has brightened up your life! He/she is the star in your universe, so an out of this world sip and see is a perfect theme. Use galaxy decorations to jazz up your party. Fashion a cake in the shape of Earth or the sun. Use star and comet cookie cutters to make desserts and consider hiring a baker to create cake pops with planet designs.

Doubling Down on Diapers and Donuts

Who doesn't love donuts? If you want to hold your party in the early hours of the day, spring for a donut party. Donut walls are the perfect party element because they are part menu and part decoration. Stack up delightful donuts on a plate and serve coffee and tea. A new baby, coffee, and donuts? What a perfect start to any day.

Baby Sparkles and Lights up Our World

Go full bling with this theme. Dazzle up your home with all that sparkles. Even with the most glittery decorations and treats in all the land, your new baby will shine the brightest.

Sip and See Perks

There are some major perks to holding a sip and see party. New parents are often unprepared for the continuous love that rolls through the door after the baby is born. Everyone under the sun wants to meet the newest member of your family. A steady stream of visitors can become exhausting. Sip and see parties allow new parents to gather their nearest and dearest all at once, at a specific time, to gaze upon the new baby. Post-birth sip and see parties also allow for important connections with loved ones. The new phase of parenthood can be isolating and exhausting. Talking with other moms, dads, grandparents, and other seasoned parents who come to your party can feel like a breath of fresh air. Sip and see bashes are entirely up to new parents. If you choose not to throw one, that is also perfectly fine. Do parenthood how it feels best to you.

Sip and See Guide to Show Off Your Baby (With a Twist)