Birth Announcement Etiquette: Tips From an Expert

Is it necessary to include a handwritten personal note in every birth announcement?

Some parents might feel they have to hand-write each birth announcement to make it special, but Grotts says that isn’t necessary. “If you’re sleep deprived like most new parents, everyone will understand not adding a personal touch,” she says. “Save the notes for your thank-you notes from baby gifts!”

In line with birth announcement etiquette rules, when should parents send out birth announcements?

The time after a baby’s birth is often busy for new parents, and they don’t have much time for anything other than caring for their new baby. Grotts says that if possible, parents should complete birth announcements ahead of time and simply add the details after the baby is born, so they can be sent out sooner. She says birth announcements should be sent out as close as possible to the baby’s birth, and definitely before the baby’s first birthday.

Birth Announcement Etiquette Tips

If someone has adopted a baby, is it still considered “birth announcement etiquette” to send a declaration of adoption?�

Grotts says it doesn’t matter whether the baby was born naturally to the parents or adopted. “It’s a joyful occasion both ways,” she says. “If the child is not a newborn, why not send a photo of the child, age and perhaps the country of birth?”

Is it appropriate to announce a baby’s arrival though social networking sites?

“Social media is a terrific place for photos of your newborn, but there’s nothing like putting pen to paper,” she says. If new parents want to share the news on social networking sites, they should, but there is something special about sending out cards to announce the baby’s arrival. Grotts notes that popular social networking sites are on the web for the world to see, so if privacy and safety are concerns, it is better to send cards to family and friends.

Is it OK to use e-mail as a replacement for birth announcements when trying to stay in line with conventional birth announcement etiquette?

Grotts says the same information regarding social media pertains to e-mail when concerning birth announcement etiquette. While the using the Internet is a wonderful way to share photos of the baby with family and friends, parents should still consider taking time to send real cards.

Lisa Mirza Grotts is an etiquette expert, on-air contributor and the author of A Traveler’s Passport to Etiquette. She is a former director of protocol for the city and county of San Francisco and the founder and CEO of The AML Group (, certified etiquette and protocol consultants. Her clients range from Stanford Hospital to Cornell University and Levi Strauss. She has been quoted by Condé Nast Traveler, InStyle magazine, and the Los Angeles Times. To learn more about Lisa, follow her on and

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