Nearly every parent out there can back us up when we say that very few people are thinking about birth announcement styles or etiquette on the way home with their newborn from the hospital. Nor will many be thinking about birth announcements throughout those first days of bringing your new addition home, and sometimes even weeks.

That said, the time will come where birth announcements are at the top of your mind, as telling your loved ones about the birth of your baby is a wonderful part of the journey. Because it’s such a joyous occasion, first and foremost, new parents must know that your loved ones should exercise flexibility on this front — you are, after all, new parents whose hands are full. However, there is something to be said for birth announcement etiquette, so we are here to share when to send your birth announcements.

Up to 1 week following the birth

Whoa. Take it from us: if you send your birth announcements within this timeframe, you are seriously on top of it. Doing so may mean that you put your browsing time in early and found the perfect birth announcement weeks or months ahead of time so that you could insert details — height, weight, date of birth, photographs, etc. — almost immediately after the birth and send the announcements out.

*NOTE: This also means that prior to the birth, you collected addresses and/or email addresses of birth announcement recipients so that you wouldn’t have to track it down later.

2 weeks to 1 month following the birth

If you’re sending your birth announcements within this timeframe, you’re still doing a wonderful, wonderful job being on top of it. Maybe you weren’t able to pinpoint the perfect birth announcement prior to the birth, but the little downtime you’ve had following the birth has allowed you to find the style that expresses exactly what you want to express.

*NOTE: The amount of time dedicated to browsing birth announcement styles will differ from person to person. Whether you’re browsing prior to the birth, or after the birth, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to do the research. And remember: this should be fun research, not tiresome research; if it becomes tiresome, step away to catch a breath!

1 – 2 months following the birth

If you’re sending your birth announcements within this timeframe, you’re right on schedule! In many eyes, you could still be ahead of schedule, even. Doing so means that you’ve given yourself a good amount of time post-birth to find the announcement you love, as well as the addresses and/or email addresses at which you’ll need them to arrive.

3 – 6 months following the birth

Three to six months is admittedly a wide range of time, but within this range, follow this rule: the closer to three months the better. If you’re coming up on the six month mark, remember that that’s okay — things happen. And, again, you’re a new parent. You have things going on, things to which you’re adjusting. That said, the general response you’ll receive regarding when to send out your birth announcements is “within six months”. So, if you find yourself approaching that six month mark, maybe consider pressing the gas pedal just a little harder.

6+ months following the birth

Okay, so the six month mark has come and gone. No biggie. You’ve done no wrong, and you won’t be penalized. But maybe your birth announcement takes on a different shape to reflect the time that has passed. For example, maybe the birth announcement includes no photos of the baby, and instead uses an illustration. Or, maybe the birth announcement uses multiple photos that feature the growth that’s already taken place with your little one. Whichever route you go, though, it may be best to acknowledge the amount of time that has passed, rather than treating it as if your baby were born just yesterday.

To browse birth announcement ideas, see Greenvelope’s full collection of birth announcement designs here.