Life Events

Life events pose a unique challenge because each is a new or infrequent occurrence for which many people have little or no prior experience.

When it comes to parenting, you have the knowledge of your own childhood to draw upon. However, try as you might, it is unlikely that today's children will think the same, act the same, and face the same challenges as you.

In these circumstances, a little dose of commonsense advice can help

Here is our advice on these topics.
/ Parenting / Adding to the Family /

Birth Announcements
The birth of your child is a special event that you will want to share with your friends and relatives. An easy and elegant way to do this is by sending out printed announcements. There are many sources for these customized cards; a good stationary store will order them for you, but a faster, easier, and often cheaper alternative is to use one of the many online sites that offer a wide variety of styles, colors and sizes to choose from.

Traditionally, a birth announcement is printed on a good quality, heavy stock, cream colored card that includes either a small pink (for girls) or blue (for boys) bow at the top. The card is often bordered by the same color. A thin sheet of vellum covering the card is optional. This card should include the name of the child and the birth date at the very least. The baby's birth weight is also often added. Many parents include their names and sometimes the names of other children in the family.

Companies that sell birth announcement cards now offer many different designs and ways to word an announcement. Some cards have multicolored borders or charming background pictures. Although the card companies usually have a number of examples that show you how to properly word and lay out your announcement, you can usually customize your own wording on any style card it sells. Photo cards that allow you to include a picture of your newborn are increasingly popular.

Most companies allow you to preorder your announcement choice, so that they can deliver your order within days of the birth. If you know your baby's sex, you can set up your announcement with just the birth date and weight, etc. to be added after the delivery. If you do not know if you are having a boy or a girl, you can pick out two styles or colors and choose the appropriate one once the baby is born. Envelopes for the announcements can be delivered before the birth so that they can be addressed and stamped early, although there is often an additional shipping and handling charge for this service.

Make sure when you are ordering announcements that the prices you are quoted include the card, printing, any assembly required, envelopes, and shipping and handling. Most companies have minimum orders (usually not fewer than 20). Remember that larger or odd size announcements may require extra postage.

Sending a birth announcement does not obligate the recipient to send a present, so you can feel free to mail them to anyone you think would like to share your joyous news. You should be sure to include anyone who has attended a baby shower given for you, and, of course, a second present would not be expected.

If you are looking for a less traditional, more casual way to share the birth of your baby, there are all sorts of favors that can be customized with the name and birth date of your child and passed out to family, friends, coworkers and team mates. Online sites are a good source for these favors, which can be anything from small, inexpensive picture frames, candles, and soaps, to cigars. Packages of candy or candy bars with custom printed announcement information are a popular choice.

Some newspapers will automatically publish a birth announcement for any child born in

the local area. This information is obtained from official birth certificates. Increasingly, large urban newspapers do not do this, so sending your own announcements may be the only way of letting people know your baby has been born.

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