What is a Sip and See Party and Should You Have One?
Updated Feb 04, 2024
Ever wondered “what is a sip and see party?” Let’s break down what it is to help you decide if you want one.
Looking for baby shower theme ideas? Have you heard of the increasingly popular sip and see party, sometimes called "sip and see" baby showers? This whimsical way to introduce the newest member of the family is getting lots of attention.
There are plenty of ways and even more reasons to celebrate a new baby's arrival instead of a traditional baby shower. If you are a first-time parent overwhelmed with wonder or celebrating another sibling joining the crew, the blessing of a new baby is a beautiful thing. It is an occasion to honor with joy and jubilation. Find out if this baby shower celebration style suits you.
What is a Sip and See Party?
A sip and see party is a heartwarming gathering of family and close friends, eager and pleased to meet your baby for the first time, surrounded with love, laughter, and light refreshments. A sip and see is usually held when the baby is eight or so weeks old, giving the family some time to adjust, to make sure the baby is healthy, and so that the hosts and guests have enough time to prepare for the party.
A sip and see is similar to traditional baby showers - which traditionally take place before the baby's arrival - yet are celebrated once the baby is born. The concept is comparable, but a sip and see is especially exciting, thanks to the gushed-over guest of honor.
The format of the idea is up to the family, be it a small group get-together or a big blowout. Where the sip and see is held is also up for consideration, as is the theme and timing, plus what guests can expect to experience. A gift is not a must, but it is always generous for those invited to present something special for the little one, be it something from the parents' baby registry or a cute fashion find.
Soak in the spirit of a sip and see, from low-key to luxurious, and learn if this type of party sounds perfect or if it's something to pass up.
Where to have a sip and see party?
Location is essential, depending upon the size of your guest list and space availability. These places all have potential, so pick a spot that makes the most sense for your sip and see.
It is most common to have a sip and see at your own home, outdoors if weather permits and you have the space. With a sip and see at home, you can have guests arrive at the shower all at once or throughout the day, you'll be most comfortable, and you can always put the baby down for a nap if the outpouring becomes overwhelming.
Depending upon where you live, you can have the sip and see in your living/dining room area, in a spacious basement, out in the yard, or a common location of a community setting, like an apartment building or condo courtyard or party room.
At a Family Member or Friend's Home
If your home is not the best place to host a sip and see, perhaps a family member or friend has a well-suited home for the function. They can help host the party or give you free rein to set up as you would in your own home.
With your sip and see at someone else's residence, you have the advantage of coming home to a clean and quiet home after you've kindly cleaned up theirs. The help with hosting can be convenient while taking some stress off your shoulders.
A Restaurant or Party Venue
While sip and see parties aren't usually sit-down meals or anything too sophisticated, you may opt for this new-age shower at a restaurant or party venue that will organize your shower, providing the space, set-up, and service you're seeking. You do not have to make it a formal meal, as past hour devours or buffet bites are equally enjoyable and much better for mingling.
At an outside venue, your sip and see shower will be at a set time, with a window of opportunity for your loved ones to welcome your baby and chit chat with the crowd. No coordinating or clean-up is required, allowing you to relax.
A Park or Playground
Weather permitting, you can invite guests to a nearby park or playground, perhaps for a picnic-style sip see party with some outdoor activities and gift-giving. You may have to request to reserve an area ahead of time, so inquire with your local park for rules and regulations.
A park setting will keep things casual and carefree, which is great for coming and going and guests who bring their children along.
Sip and See Party Ideas
The party theme trend seems to stay in style, so using your imagination to create a sip and see is a fun shower concept. Keep it simple or kick up the creativity for guests; it's up to you whether you want a no-frills function or go all-out glam. Use these following ideas as inspiration to develop a baby shower theme that reflects your personality and will undoubtedly satisfy guests.
Bubbles and Balloons
There is nothing like a bounty of balloons and blowing bubbles to take a shower up a notch for guests and new parents. Decorate with different-sized balloons in a color palette you adore (perhaps pastels) and have bottles of bubbles for your guests to blow. This concept is excellent for an outdoors sip and see. Any children at the party will love the bubbles and balloons theme, and they can take home unopened bottles of bubbles for future playtime.
Speaking of bubbles, this party theme lends itself to serving Champagne or sparkling cider, giving your sip and see a clever touch.
A Day at the Zoo
Baby animals make for delightful décor for your special day. From pandas to peacocks, giraffes, and gorillas, there are dozens of zoo animals to choose from. You can stick to just one animal or feature a variety, and it would be adorable to dress the baby in an animal print outfit for their sip and see debut as part of the theme.
Decorating with flowers creates a space that smells great and looks lovely. A flower theme can be minimal with a few bouquets here and there or maxed out with grand floral centerpieces, flower walls, and delicate petals tossed on the ground as you make your grand entrance with the baby. Plus, it makes for a cute party invitation.
Use real or faux flowers depending on your budget and what is available. Encourage your guests to take a few flowers home as a parting gift. You can get a flower-themed ensemble for the baby, adding that extra touch of elegance to the event.
Sweets and Treats
The only thing sweeter than candy is your new baby, and you can decorate with all the confections you can collect. From giant round rainbow swirl lollipops to personalized chocolate treats, there is no limit to how creatively you can concoct your own "Candyland."
This type of sip and see party can be a desserts-only affair, perfect for bite-sized petit fours, colorful cake pops, and assorted cookies and cupcakes. Drink options can range from mini milkshakes to ice cream cone shot glasses filled with melted ice cream or something stronger like Kahlua and cream for those over 21.
What are we sipping?
This party is called a "sip and see" baby shower for good reason. The main attraction is the premiere presentation of your baby's arrival, but the refreshments will keep thirsts quenched and bellies from grumbling.
You can choose to make the food yourself or have the party catered, or your family and friends bring food potluck-style or serve snacks. As for the beverages, you can keep it basic or have an open bar, it's all about the tone of your sip and seeing the baby shower, how much you want to spend, and the people you plan to invite. Alcohol-free sip and see parties are acceptable and often preferred over those offering "adult" beverages. You choose if you want an alcoholic beverage!
Make things easy by setting out a few different punch styles in large decorative bowls with spoons for guests to serve themselves. Perhaps one bowl can be "spiked" (clearly marked) for a little extra "oomph."
Mix different juices, seltzers, and sodas drop in some fresh fruit chunks and maraschino cherries, and have colorful cocktail umbrellas set out to show off your fancy flair.
An elegant tea party theme for your sip and see will be great mid-afternoon, paired with light finger sandwiches, buttery scones, and assorted treats. You can serve both hot and iced tea or choose one or the other. If tea isn't your thing, you can always add coffee and cappuccino to the menu. New parents do need the caffeine!
Creative Cocktails (and Mocktails)
Cute names for cocktails and mocktails will be fun for you to come up with. They can be baby-themed, have something to do with your baby's name, or seasonally based.
For instance, you can call a drink "The Pacifier" or "Baby-tini," or serve OJ " Mom -osas" and Strawberry " Dad -quiris!" Have fun with it.
The pros and cons of a sip and see party
Every event has its plusses and minuses, so think about the pleasures (and potential pitfalls) a sip and see party can produce. Of course, the overall sentiment is of joy and delight but it is equally important to consider any "cons" that can throw your day off course.
- Everyone is gathered together –You will not have to set up endless visits and deal with unplanned drop-ins. This one-time meet-and-greet will cover all the bases and bring loved ones by to celebrate this milestone.
- Takes place of a baby shower – Some families prefer to wait until the baby arrives before opening gifts or setting up their baby nursery. Adoptive parents may not be able to plan a shower, making a sip and see more manageable. Difficult pregnancies can make parties impossible.
- You will be ready for “review” – Upon the baby’s arrival, there’s a pile on your plate and making time for hosting is harder than ever. Thanks to a sip and see, not only can you prepare, but you can primp.
- They are fun – Who doesn’t love a reason to celebrate? A new baby is the most precious reason to party. Take plenty of photos!
- The baby may not “cooperate” – Babies are unpredictable, and you may wind up with an all-day napper, or a screamer. Hopefully there is enough time for your family and friends to meet the baby without too much fussing.
- Germs galore – Keeping your baby healthy is your number one concern, and in COVID-19 times especially, we have to be more careful than ever. Make it your mission to keep the sip and see as germ-free as possible, be it a mask mandate or lots of hand sanitizer set out to slather on.
- The pressure is on – As excited as you are to bring out the baby, there is a world of stress you have to handle. Not only will you be expected to engage your guests in conversation, but you will want to be cheerful and chipper. New parents are no doubt sleep deprived, making a peppy presentation hard to pull off.
- Can be costly – Unless you are careful with your budget, something that was meant to be modest can wind up wiping out your wallet. Remember it’s all about the joy of the new baby and not a competition to “keep up with the Joneses.”
Does a sip and see party sound like something you'd enjoy for your family? A new parent can plan for a party they will cherish forever with the people they care about most.
Did you have a sip and see party? What advice would you give others, so theirs goes off without a hitch?
Editors Note: This post was originally published January 06, 2020, and has been completely updated and revamped for accuracy and comprehensiveness.