Birth Announcement for Neighbors?
March 10, 2021 5:48 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to create a birth announcement card introducing our new little one and our family then drop it on our block's mailboxes in well-post-gentrified Brooklyn. Have you done this? Would you suggest not to do this?

A couple details:
- I want to do this to connect to our neighbors more, to make the city feel a little smaller and brag about having a new kid
- We did something similar in a different city before (invited everyone on the block to a party). Nobody on the street showed up, but we made a set of friends for life. I have the hope (but not expectation) that something like that could happen again
-We just moved to the block in late November and since then have met people from the adjacent (3) houses and are in 'hi' mode. With Covid and masks and winter, I haven't seen that many other people out and about to be able to recognize them.
- This would be just on our side of the street (there are about 12 houses, maybe 20 units, so outlay would not be that much)

The reasons I think I wouldn't want to do this because it might weird somebody out and make it awkward for them to see us. I don't have any illusions that this will make us any best friends, and the cost and time for this would be minor.
posted by sandmanwv to Society & Culture (54 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I would love to be on the receiving end of this!
posted by dpx.mfx at 5:50 AM on March 10, 2021 [5 favorites]


I can’t speak for anxiety prone people but on a scale of “never showing your presence” to “knocking on their door” this seems very low risk. For me personally this sounds cute and lovely.
posted by like_neon at 5:53 AM on March 10, 2021 [5 favorites]


Don't leave it in their USPS mail box, use a door hanger or just leave it on a stoop etc. If you can't do that, maybe spring for a stamp and mail it, just address it to 'our neighbors at' or similar. With a handwritten label and your real return address it should avoid the spam filter.

Using a USPS mailbox for a anything other than paid mail is against federal law, and I personally would be annoyed at that, even though I'd be happy to get your announcement on my door or stoop.

So: go for it, and congrats! Just try to find a method that doesn't mess with USPS and federal law.
posted by SaltySalticid at 5:58 AM on March 10, 2021 [8 favorites]


Best answer: If I got a baby announcement in my mailbox from a neighbor I've never met, I would assume it was some sideways way to pre apologize for the ways that this baby will potentially bother the neighbors. Like it will be screaming all hours but now we're all the jackasses for being annoyed by it, or now we all know there's a new baby we all silently agree to give you preferential access to a parking spot. That's how I would read that.

However, I pass big new baby announcements in my neighborhood all the time (posters, balloons, "welcome to the world, Sofia!" customized yard signs, just last week a GIANT RUBBER DUCK) and those I actually like a lot. Like there is so much joy over this new baby it's literally bursting out of their homes and taken physical shape.

On preview I guess I'm going to be the hateful weirdo, but I don't want your baby in my mailbox. It's the difference between sharing in your joy and being asked to appreciate the specific baby of a stranger, specifically. I would wonder if it was delivered by mistake, raise an eyebrow, and drop it in the trash.
posted by phunniemee at 5:59 AM on March 10, 2021 [56 favorites]


I would hate this. I don’t care about the birth of some random stranger’s baby. Makes me think you’re just angling for gifts and/or attention. This may not be a politically correct opinion, but it’s mine nonetheless.
posted by Aranquis at 6:11 AM on March 10, 2021 [29 favorites]


Best answer: Cities are weird when it comes to this kind of neighbor-interaction thing. People are a little more protective of their own privacy and their own business in a city, because there are already so many competing demands for their attention on a daily basis - giving people the choice as to whether to engage or not is probably wisest. So I"m with phunnimee on this one.

Also, if I'm not mistaken, birth announcements in the mail are usually saved for people you already have some kind of relationship with, like friends and family. For the wider community at large, you have the yard signs. I know you want to build a relationship and connect with the people around you - but right now they're not friends and family. Your putting a yard sign is the perfect way for them to decide whether they also want to build that network - your sending a card in their mailbox would feel like you're assuming they're friends already, without giving them a choice in the matter, and that would backfire.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:19 AM on March 10, 2021 [26 favorites]


Man, I'm glad I don't live in a city that has made me so hard and suspicious that I would reject a nice note from a neighbor celebrating the birth of a child!!

I think it sounds like a lovely idea, go for it! I do like the idea of hand-written note through the actual mail vs. a drop-off on the stoop, only because I think a drop-off has a higher chance of getting lost in the shuffle.
posted by mccxxiii at 6:19 AM on March 10, 2021 [11 favorites]


I think it depends on whether the announcement is coupled with an invitation. A stand-alone birth announcement would probably make me shrug, but I’d probably happily show up if invited to a celebratory cookout or something.

Of course, COVID sadly still precludes a gathering of strangers.
posted by sevensnowflakes at 6:22 AM on March 10, 2021


Best answer: My vote would be definitely yes to reaching out to meet the neighbors and cards or whatever you have in mind sound lovely, but .. don't make it about the baby? I love babies and if I received such a card I'd be happy for you and excited to meet your baby but ..idk how to put it, but ..it would at the same time strike me as a tiny bit self-absorbed for a baby announcement from someone I don't know to be the first outreach gesture. If its about wanting to get to know neighbors, maybe something like, hi, we just moved in, we are (list yourselves, and include baby on list) and we'd love to meet you ! Center them and the friendliness rather than new baby. Just one internet stranger's two cents.
posted by elgee at 6:22 AM on March 10, 2021 [14 favorites]


Best answer: If you goal is to connect with neighbors a bit, I would just make sure that's front and center. I live in a quiet neighborhood but don't know any neighbors.

If someone nearby me sent me a letter saying

"Hello! We are the Williams (or whatever) and realized we don't know our neighbors very well! We've been living here 6 months, and realized we should take a step to introduce ourselves. Just to get to know us a bit, Mr Williams is an engineer who likes watching Taskmaster, the TV show, and Mrs. Williams likes reading and discussing science fiction books!

Of course, our only hobby now is becoming a new parent. Lil Willy will be joining us shortly, and while we are super excited to welcome our newborn, we know there might be a bit of noise in the beginning, I really hope that doesn't impose, and trust us, we don't like it either.

We would love to know you more. If you'd like to share a celebration with us at any point, please just drop us a note in our mailbox. Otherwise, I'd love for you to say hi to us and lil Willy anytime you see us!!

Sincerely, the Williams."

I don't really see how someone could get that note and hate it.
posted by bbqturtle at 6:23 AM on March 10, 2021 [25 favorites]


If I got a baby announcement in my mailbox from a neighbor I've never met, I would assume it was some sideways way to pre apologize for the ways that this baby will potentially bother the neighbors. Like it will be screaming all hours but now we're all the jackasses for being annoyed by it, or now we all know there's a new baby we all silently agree to give you preferential access to a parking spot. That's how I would read that.

100% agree. that's how i'd interpret it.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 6:23 AM on March 10, 2021 [7 favorites]


I would very much enjoy receiving such a note because I am really starved for good news and human connection, but I guess it’s not for everyone! By the way, congratulations.
posted by Concordia at 6:29 AM on March 10, 2021 [2 favorites]


Socially anxious person here. I wouldn't know how to react to a baby announcement from a near neighbour. By which I mean, I wouldn't know how you were expecting/hoping me to react. I would want desperately to do the right thing. I would overthink the situation and then take a blind guess at what the right thing might be. It would be stressful... and I'd probably get it wrong.

(My panicky inner monologue would go something like "Oh god is this a thing, I didn't know this was a thing, what else is a thing that I didn't know about, what do I do, should I get them a card, am I meant to send flowers, should I bake cookies, what are you meant to give a new baby, am I meant to go round and introduce myself, what am I supposed to do, will they think I'm rude if I get this wrong, have I already accidentally been rude, am I meant to know what they look like, was I meant to introduce myself before now, oh god what do I do?" I am guessing that the insides of most people's heads don't look like this.)

So if you could phrase it in a way that made it clear what the right thing was, that would be fine! I rather like bbqturtle's phrasing.

And yes, congratulations!
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 6:33 AM on March 10, 2021 [16 favorites]


In the Before Times, I would have found a birth announcement from neighbors I barely or didn’t know sweet, puzzling, and quickly forgotten. Now, I would return the gesture with cake, a note of my own, and gratitude for having made or strengthened a new neighborly connection.

Congrats, by the way!
posted by minervous at 6:35 AM on March 10, 2021 [2 favorites]


I'm another person who would be made slightly anxious by this in a "am I expected to do something about this and if so what???" way. Wouldn't be mad or upset about it, just anxious for a few minutes and then I'd shrug and move on with my day.

It would slightly decrease the likelihood that I'd be making a first move to be friends, because babies and baby interaction aren't really enjoyable for me, but that would probably be more than balanced out by the people who would be like YAY BABY and be extra excited to get to know you, so that seems like it would be a fine outcome for everyone involved. A hi-we're-new message with some information about all of you that mentions the baby too would be a much better way to connect with me personally. Just depends whether you're trying to select for getting-to-know-the-neighbors in general or connecting-with-other-parents-or-people-who-want-to-hang-with-my-baby more specifically, either of which is a kind and well-meant gesture and will hopefully be taken as such by most people.
posted by Stacey at 6:45 AM on March 10, 2021 [3 favorites]


Also re-iterating the obvious - "yard sign" is a generic term which I understand may not apply if you're in a Brooklyn Brownstone and may not have a "yard" by the technical definition of the word....in place of "yard sign", of course, you can substitute "Big sign in the window", "balloons on our mailbox," "flag on our door", or whatever other attention-getting swag you want.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:51 AM on March 10, 2021 [4 favorites]


I think that you should only do this if it is coupled with an invitation to an event like block party that you had last time. But you should have the event! It would be a delightful way to connect with your neighbors.
posted by Kwine at 6:51 AM on March 10, 2021


'Brag about having a new kid' is weird to me. What's to brag about? Is the kid made of platinum?! Joking aside, I am generally indifferent to babies but I very much like adult persons and I would love a note along the lines of bbqturtles. That way I get to say hello and congratulations as an ice-breaker intro when I see you around.
posted by freya_lamb at 6:54 AM on March 10, 2021 [14 favorites]


If I got a this from a stranger neighbor, it woud make me want to avoid you. If you want to meet your neighbors and bond with a community, I am 100% for that (I live on a street with 9 houses and we all before COVID frequently got together for anything from oscar night to superbowl to any reason to gather), but don't do it this way. I'm a stranger to you -- why would you think I cared about how you choose to expand or not expand your family?

But hey, maybe I'm the person you don't want to be friends with, so I guess it's a great way to weed out the neighbors you wouldn't befriend otherwise?
posted by archimago at 6:57 AM on March 10, 2021 [17 favorites]


I'd be happy to read the news, but I'd also be concerned that you were sending it with an expectation of a baby shower-type gift in return. But with the right wording, you should be able to deflect any hint of that and I think this is something that might be well-received in a pandemic where everyone is starved for connection.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:05 AM on March 10, 2021 [6 favorites]


I don't think this is strictly a cities issue. I live in a very small town in a rural state, the kind of place where you'd think this would be okay, but I would find it off-putting, doubly so if I caught a whiff of anything pinteresty about it. I would be much more receptive to a personal note--to me, not a spam intro to the entire block--introducing yourself in a genuine way and just mentioning the baby, not a baby announcement per se.
posted by HotToddy at 7:13 AM on March 10, 2021 [3 favorites]


I would find it incredibly narcissistic to get a baby announcement from a stranger. Babies are born all day, every day.
posted by Mavri at 7:23 AM on March 10, 2021 [22 favorites]


A giant stork erected outside of someone's house (done here in the burbs) announcing a baby to the world is cause for a smile! A baby announcement delivered individually to me means, "send me a gift."

But a letter introducing your family (including your brand new baby) as being new to the neighborhood is charming and I'd love it.
posted by kimberussell at 7:33 AM on March 10, 2021 [10 favorites]


I would hesitate to send my address and personal info to strangers who may not wish me well, even if they live on the block.
posted by tchemgrrl at 7:35 AM on March 10, 2021 [2 favorites]


Mod note: A few comments deleted. Folks, gentle nudge here. I get that this is drawing some reactions but please (a) don't put words in other people's mouths, (b) keep it constructive in here, if you are annoyed either by the OP or by another commenter please just step away from the keyboard for a little bit. Remember AskMe is for helping other Mefites. Thank you.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:35 AM on March 10, 2021 [4 favorites]


Best answer: Personally I'd be like "huh, this must be a warning that baby is about to cry its head off" but you can't control how other people react!

Since nobody is supposed to meet up right now, I'd put it off until parties are a safer thing, then have a belated "meet our new family!" party. This will allow you to have a proper celebration, instead of sitting there worrying about what people thought.
posted by kingdead at 7:39 AM on March 10, 2021 [2 favorites]


There are a small but significant number of people in the world who wanted to have kids and never got to, for a whole range of reasons. For them, receiving birth announcements from people they know is painful enough (while known to be an inevitable part of life and something to smile through in public and grieve in private). To receive one out of the blue from a total stranger would be particularly painful.
posted by penguin pie at 7:48 AM on March 10, 2021 [12 favorites]


As a Brooklyn resident, if I found a strangers birth announcement in my mail, I would also be like 'what the fuck, who cares, who the fuck are these self-important weirdos'. But I am an asshole.
posted by greta simone at 7:50 AM on March 10, 2021 [20 favorites]


I would find it sweet. But then, we moved to our block in the winter, didn't know anyone in this city, didn't get a chance to meet anyone, and then lockdown started, so when it became clear that we were just going to be stuck this way, we left Halloween candy with a little note introducing ourselves and sharing phone/email contact in case anyone needed to reach us on all the stoops of any houses we could see from our house (so, like, on both sides of our street and then around back), and then repeated the process with some holiday cookies. I was hoping eventually we might learn a couple names, get on a "I would phone you if your house was on fire/being broken into" basis with some people?

Out of I think 12 or so houses that we left treats with, we got very sweet emails from two houses introducing themselves in return, and are now on a first-name and "hi" basis with two more (but still no way to reach them aside from just going over and knocking), and a fifth still hasn't shared anyone's name but they did come over and ask if they could have our leaves to mulch their garden, so that's a start. I have no way of knowing if what we did just pissed people off, or if they meant to say hi and never got around to it, or anything else. I hope to have a cookout and invite them all once that's a thing that doesn't seem hazardous to life and limb. But I guess we'll probably invite other friends and family too in case nobody comes.

I don't know. Neighbors are weird. I grew up in a tiny rural subdivision where everyone knew everyone else and chatted while walking the dogs and I've lived in giant apartment complexes where I got pretty chat-friendly with neighbors or apartment-sat for them, but I honestly can't tell whether it's the pandemic or if people are just like that around here. Which is all to say, I don't think it will really hurt you all that much to send a card to people if you want to, and it probably won't help all that much socially either?
posted by bowtiesarecool at 7:52 AM on March 10, 2021 [2 favorites]


Fellow gentrified Brooklynite here. I agree with a lot of the "this is weird" commentary. However, I've noticed that since the pandemic, businesses have popped up that will decorate your stoop with chalk art or balloons to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, or births. Over the last week, a huge balloon display celebrating a first birthday popped up on my street and I've seen photographs of it appear on several local sites. So if you have a stoop of your own, this could be a good option to make the announcement to everyone on your block without the potential miscommunication pitfalls of a paper announcement.
posted by Fuego at 7:58 AM on March 10, 2021 [6 favorites]


We did something similar in a different city before (invited everyone on the block to a party)

I think this is a little different than what you're thinking of doing for your new kid (congrats!) What you did before was invite everyone to a party, with the cause for the party being almost secondary in readers' eyes. They didn't need to wonder why you were bothering to inform them or what they should do about it. And inviting everyone to a party is pretty well-recognized as a non-weird, neighborly thing to do.

Without that invitation, the call to action is less clear and consequently a lot more open to annoyed or confused interpretations.
posted by trig at 8:02 AM on March 10, 2021 [2 favorites]


Best answer: I live in Philly, on a residential block, and this would be a hard "no" from me.

When our next door neighbors had a baby, they put balloons on their front rail and a cute stork sign from their balcony. It was sweet and adorable!

We have a small HOA with our immediate neighbors (for shared parking) and because of this pre-existing relationship, emailed when our baby arrived -- as other HOA families have done. We are more friendly with these neighbors than the rest of the block, because we have the basis for a pre-existing relationship.

However I completely get what you mean about wanting to connect with your neighbors, especially in these isolating times!! I would suggest limiting it to balloons/sign, and then being friendly with your neighbors when you're out walking up and down the block with your baby in a carrier refusing to nap. Because that's how I met some of our other neighbors.
posted by DoubleLune at 8:05 AM on March 10, 2021 [4 favorites]


Just another voice chiming in to say yeah, kinda weird, would find this off-putting. And fwiw I LOVE babies and would very happily snuggle your baby and chat if I ran into you while you were getting your mail, had your hands full of groceries, whatever.

For me I think the weirdness would come from a feeling that social norms were being violated; a birth announcement is normally something you get from family, and maybe some friends. Receiving one from a stranger would make me feel very awkward and like you were telling me I am supposed to care about this baby, beyond seeing it around and being all awww, cute baby! It would give off vibes of self-importance on your part, the way a window sign etc. wouldn't. I also VERY much agree that for the many couples who struggle with infertility, have had a recent miscarriage, or otherwise want children they have not been able to have, this would be actively hurtful to get in the mail.

But congrats from this internet stranger!
posted by DTMFA at 8:10 AM on March 10, 2021 [3 favorites]


Like others, I also think that a note introducing your family as new to the neighborhood (including pictures of you and new baby) would be totally acceptable and welcomed. Ditto with organizing a BBQ or park picnic to meet people, although that might be better when more people have been vaccinated. And definitely just being present in the neighborhood with baby (walking, gardening, whatever) will help you make connections.
posted by DTMFA at 8:14 AM on March 10, 2021 [2 favorites]


Response by poster: I'm glad I asked. I think the response here shows obvious answer to here. (Also, need to better understand how people think about births and kids).

We will likely put up some type of "welcome home" sign, and throw a stoop hang over the summer (we live in the garden apartment of a brownstone and have an area in front so we can easily do a sidewalk/socially distanced/low stakes thing). The templates above work well.
posted by sandmanwv at 8:23 AM on March 10, 2021 [14 favorites]


In the small town I grew up in, this would have been fine. Especially pre-Covid, if you wanted to let people know of a future-date block/street party/BBQ for after life with new baby has settled down a bit. It'd best go with a note that says something cutesy but clear along the lines of please, no gifts not expected, this is just our excuse to get to know everyone! (Offering up contact info re: phone numbers, especially in more rural areas, would also be excellent - there are lots of reasons why at least recognizing your neighbors and having at least a familiarity with who-lives-where is very valuable.)

In the city I'm living in now, it'd just be weird. Even in the residential, full of stand-alone house, neighborhoods, it'd be weird. Of course, I'm west coast - but as someone from a small town, I am so not impressed with the non-interaction that seems to be the norm in city life. Heck, people are suspicious when you offer to help - even if you've just watched them drop a bagful of stuff, or they're clearly trying to carry something too heavy by themselves... and that was pre-Covid. It's SO MUCH WORSE now. I'm glad we'd lived here for a couple of years and gotten to know a handful of our closest neighbors - it would have been utterly miserable moving in once Covid started.
posted by stormyteal at 9:50 AM on March 10, 2021 [1 favorite]


I think in brownstone brooklyn this would go over really well with other people who have kids (which will be a lot of them!) I don't think people will be stressed out by it for the most part. New Yorkers are actually typically very friendly and sociable people (one of the biggest reasons why you live in NYC instead of a suburb is that there are more people around!) People who are not themselves friendly might not realize that because it's very much something where New Yorkers, out of politeness, will wait for you to break the ice and show that you're open to socializing, and then they respond.

I love baby announcements and don't find them narcissistic or braggy and would personally be fine with alienating people who have that kind of "find the cloud in the silver lining" judgy approach to things. But, given that you don't want to go that way, I suggest a brief note saying that you are happy to help anyone who needs assistance with groceries or who wants to meet another parent, and include your phone number and email address.

And CONGRATS!
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 10:20 AM on March 10, 2021 [3 favorites]


Generally, birth announcements include photos so your question also has a couple of embedded privacy/security issues. Would you feel comfortable with that many strangers having photos of your baby? Would you feel comfortable if your parents gave your photo and personal information to that many strangers? People have different views on these things, but I would encourage you to think about these questions before sharing information about your kid. Once the information is out there, it is hard to get back.
posted by ASlackerPestersMums at 10:31 AM on March 10, 2021 [2 favorites]


If you don't know your neighbors, you really have no idea who you'll be giving this to. I can't imagine how hard a family who has been trying to have a baby and been unsuccessful might take some stranger leaving a card in their box bragging about how successful they've been. Add-in additional hurt if their trying has also included a miscarriage or two.

I mean, congrats to you and your family, for sure! But, I just can't imagine dropping the news on total strangers like that. It's best to just let pushing the stroller down the street be your birth announcement.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:30 AM on March 10, 2021 [5 favorites]


As someone who is five years into infertility treatments and only miscarriages to show for it, this would be an emotional bomb in my mailbox. On a good day, I would quickly dispose of it while cursing the universe and move on. On a bad day, if I've just found out that I will miscarry another baby for example, this could have me sobbing for hours.

Congratulations, but tread carefully. Not everyone will be in a place to celebrate this with you, and asking strangers to do so doesn't seem appropriate from my point of view.
posted by Blissful at 11:55 AM on March 10, 2021 [9 favorites]


Tough crowd!
I would love to get this, and would drop off some banana bread and a welcome card. Congratulations!
posted by jebs at 12:29 PM on March 10, 2021 [5 favorites]


I'm a hardened, jaded, standoffish New Yorker, and in these difficult times...I would be delighted to get a baby announcement from a neighbor. Ideally with a cute picture! I get the concern about appearing to solicit gifts, but that can be headed off with good wording. Brownstone Brooklyn loooooooves the babies, so I don't think this would be taken the wrong way by too many.
posted by praemunire at 1:50 PM on March 10, 2021 [3 favorites]


I think this widely varies by culture, but where I am from, birth, wedding, and graduation announcements have an implied request for gifts or cards. It's not appropriate to put people you don't know by name in a situation where they feel like they should give you a gift or card. If you know your neighbors well enough to address each card personally by name, then it would be OK.

Put up a yard sign, and if you get to know your neighbors better, invite everyone to a first birthday party/block party in a year!
posted by blnkfrnk at 2:16 PM on March 10, 2021 [1 favorite]


Yes, a birth announcement delivered to anywhere on my property would seriously annoy the crap out of me, whilst you decorating your own door or yard or whatever, would make either no impression at all on me, or if you did it in a particularly cute or clever way, might even make me smile a little.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 3:32 PM on March 10, 2021 [2 favorites]


My block has a Facebook group, and that would be a great place to post photos and share your good news. Maybe you could start one, if there isn't one already?
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:30 PM on March 10, 2021


In many communities, new members coming to introduce themselves in some manner to their neighbors is actually the expected behavior. Indeed, the current residents organizing themselves to welcome the new members instead might even be expected. I'm in Manhattan, Land of the World's Most Insufferable Parents, but it's understandable and charming for parents to be excited about a newborn and eager to introduce the child to their world. It's about the least obnoxious form of parental enthusiasm there is. Especially in a grim time when we could all use a reason or two to hope.
posted by praemunire at 6:52 PM on March 10, 2021 [2 favorites]


I grew up in a small town where it was indeed normal for new neighbors to introduce themselves. It's quite different when you live on a street with 20 single family homes vs a city block with hundreds of people. Absolutely no one in the small town dropped announcements of new arrivals in mailboxes. People get excited about a great many things that their friends and family might also be excited about that most strangers will not be.
posted by Mavri at 6:59 PM on March 10, 2021


A birth announcement in my mailbox would freak me out because I would feel like there was some kind of expectation on me to do something and I wouldn’t know what it was.

Having said that, you may have a street or community Facebook page (we do). As someone has already said, why not post something brief there that mentions that you’ve just moved to the neighbourhood, have a new baby and would love to meet locals so feel free to stop and say hi if they see you around. That way the pressure is off anyone but they know that you’re open to making friends if they want to as well.

And congratulations!
posted by Jubey at 8:12 PM on March 10, 2021 [1 favorite]


At least for us (in Chicago) walking around with our babe has introduced us to neighbors, especially once she passed the tiny infant bundled from the world stage. We didn't do an announcement or anything, but we do see people put out baloons or on their windows or doors celebrating kids/graduations/marriages, whatever.

Ours turned 18 months at the start of the pandemic and even then, kids like to wave and point and say hello. You can say stuff to your kid like Look at our nice neighbor do you want to wave? Don't get too close distance wise or anything but you'll end up knowing some neighbors rather quickly.

As things open up more, and your little one grows your local park will end up a meeting point where you'll see parents or grandparents and get to chat and deal with all those park politeness dynamics.

Congratulations and good luck!
posted by AlexiaSky at 1:28 AM on March 11, 2021


Best answer: First of all, congratulations!

I live in LA and I'm kind of shocked by the negativity I see in some of the comments here. I... guess it's good people are being honest? Granted, I'm a Midwestern transplant who still hasn't fully grasped how to act in the city around strangers, but still. Glad I didn't read this around the time we had our baby (mid-last year), because damn.

We didn't do a birth announcement or a yard sign. In fact, the hospital even warned us not to do a yard sign due to kidnappings (?!), stalking, or something equally terrifying.

What we do is walk around the neighborhood all the time with baby. People are friendly and say hi. You can tell right away who likes babies and wants to engage, and who is completely (politely) indifferent.

If you want to meet your neighbors, just be present and around. I think the yard/stoop sign is fine, BTW. Just wasn't our style.

Congrats again and hope you are feeling people sharing your joy! I'm sharing your joy over the internet right now just because of your question! Cheers!
posted by Temeraria at 5:33 AM on March 11, 2021 [2 favorites]


Mod note: A few more comments deleted. OP has said they're listening to the feedback. There's no call to be insulting or dismissive either to them, or parents/babies generally, or non-parents/people who don't want to hear about babies. Please just give your constructive answer and skip all the rest.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:30 AM on March 11, 2021 [1 favorite]


Nthing please don't do this for so many reasons.
posted by turkeyphant at 2:51 PM on March 11, 2021


I would not hate this, but I would probably ignore it the same way that I ignore birth announcement emails at work for people that I don't really know.
posted by sm1tten at 10:22 PM on March 12, 2021


So many responses here reacting to OP's "brag" about new baby comment. I wonder how the responses might be different if they had conveyed their query another way, prioritizing the community aspect vs the baby aspect. The family is the new unit in the community, the baby is a subset of the family. Announce your family as a way to get to know your neighbors. Once you know them, and when you have another child include the neighbors you're friendly with in your baby announcement. It's unfortunate to have a major life event like the birth of a child put down on a forum like this. It is also the oldest major life event known to humankind, and the most frequently occurring one. Your little one is special to you, and society extends grace and warmth to all children hopefully - but I would think you weird if you sent me a baby announcement and we had never met.
posted by whatdoyouthink? at 8:04 PM on March 14, 2021


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