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As a parent with five kids you can bet that I’m familiar with the semantics on second baby showers. It’s my opinion that all babies should be celebrated, but there is some etiquette surrounding baby number two and onward. Some people choose to have something called a “baby sprinkle” instead of a traditional full blown baby shower with their second child.
What is a Baby Sprinkle?
A baby sprinkle is a growing term for a second baby shower where you celebrate things a little bit smaller than the first time around. If you think about rain, a shower is a bigger rainstorm. But a sprinkle of rain is just a little bit. By giving it its own distinct name, it makes it easier to set expectations for your guests so they don’t think you’re hosting a full on baby shower for your second baby.
The Difference Between a Baby Shower and a Baby Sprinkle
OK, so what exactly makes a baby shower and a baby sprinkle different? A baby shower is usually a big event. When you’re having your first baby it’s a big occasion to be celebrated! Generally, someone else throws the baby shower. Sometimes you even have more than one, like one at work and one with friends and family.
Baby showers usually include games, prizes, food, and a theme. Invitations are often sent out formally, not too unlike a wedding in some cases. How big the baby shower gets really depends on your family’s way of celebrating, though. There’s a lot of variation.
Guests at a baby shower are usually expected to bring gifts. Since it’s the first baby, it’s assumed that the expectant parents don’t have anything – which means plenty of gifting opportunities!
A baby sprinkle is a toned down version of this big affair. Usually the invitations are handed out more informally (although with the popularity increasing it’s not uncommon to send out formal baby sprinkle invitations!) , and the celebrations are more with close family and friends.
Many families choosing to host a baby sprinkle will skip the big themes and games and host a more informal event instead. Kind of like a baby meet and greet!
Gifts are often given (who can visit a new baby empty handed!) but they’re less likely to be organized formally. It’s also assumed you already have the big ticket stuff so people tend to give less overall.
Ideas for a Baby Sprinkle
Meet the Baby Party
Instead of doing a formal baby shower, set up a meet and greet for your tiny celebrity once they’re born instead. Host it at your house or a venue over a period of 2-3 hours. Then encourage family and friends to drop in and say hi. There’s no formal gift opening (if they bring them, you can open them with them individually) which takes some of that pressure off.
Offer refreshments buffet style and decorate the space however you want. If people can’t make it, set up times to connect with them privately.
A Baby Shower, But Smaller
Some people love hosting parties (like me). There’s no reason why you can’t host a mini version of a standard baby shower! Instead of inviting the whole neighbourhood, though, keep the guest list to just family and friends that you’re closer with.
When it comes to games, keep them fun and light. It’s still a good idea to have some prizes for extra fun, though!
Co-ed Diaper Party
Have you ever heard of diaper parties? They’re usually thrown for the dad to be and his friends, and instead of bringing gifts the guys bring diapers and wipes. Something you need whether you’re having your first or second baby! Usually the guys drink beer and BBQ instead of having a more formal baby shower.
If that’s too casual for you, you can combine the two into something that’s fun for everyone. If your friends consist of other young families you can even make it a whole-family event with kids invited too!
Baby Sprinkle Party Themes:
- Literally sprinkle theme (think ice cream, doughnuts, etc.)
- Any popular baby shower theme works (Winnie the Pooh, etc.)
- Pancakes and PJs
- Ready to “POP” (movie night or movie theme)
- Rainclouds or rainbows (a “sprinkle” of rain)
- An informal picnic or brunch
When Can You Have a Second Baby Shower?
Just because you’re having a second baby doesn’t mean you can’t still have a big baby shower, or at least a second baby shower that’s closer to the scale of your first.
While you’re allowed to absolutely anything you want (seriously!), there are some generally accepted reasons to have a big second baby shower:
There’s a large age gap between siblings.
If you have your kids several years apart (thinking like 5+ here) then you probably didn’t hang onto the baby items. Many of them, like car seats, might also be too old to use anyway. This is especially true if this new addition comes as a bit of a surprise!
Baby number 2 is a different gender.
I’m not one who cares about gender norms, but if everything you own is pink and you’re expecting blue, it might be nice to get some “boy” gifts for your son. Besides the gift giving, though, it’s also an opportunity to have a different baby shower theme and celebrate the social aspect of having kids of both genders.
You’re in a new relationship.
This might not be the first baby for you, but it could still be the first newborn in your partner’s family! In that case, it might be a good idea to let them take the lead on planning your second baby shower so they can invite those relatives they feel are important. Then you can add in everyone you’d have invited to your baby sprinkle to the guest list.
You want one.
There’s something big to be said about doing what you want. Maybe the baby was a challenge to conceive and you’re really excited. Or maybe you didn’t get a baby shower with the first. Perhaps you have a totally new friend group, or a new job with coworkers who want to celebrate with you. Or maybe you just want to because you enjoy parties. Do what feels right to you!
Things to Consider When Having a Second Baby Shower
- People may be less generous with their gifts. Creating a registry is super handy to share what baby items you’re in need of, but it may look tacky to include it with the invitations.
- You may have to organize it yourself. Now that you already have a child at home you may not get the same outpour of generosity when it comes to people organizing events on your behalf. Which is ironic because you need the help more. It’s also common to lose friends as a new mom, which makes things tough.
- Keep the older sibling in mind. Consider wrapping a few gifts for them (or having grandparents bring one) and make sure you have some help the day of your baby sprinkle. You and the baby are going to be getting a lot of attention, so don’t leave siblings out!
- There could be push back. Some people think that you should only have a baby shower with your first baby. I disagree! But keep that in mind when you’re planning this kind of event and try not to get any negativity get to you.
- Consider having it after the baby is born. It makes it feel less like a formal event and more like a chance to see the new arrival.
Why You Should Have a Baby Sprinkle
I personally believe that all babies should be celebrated. If you have one after the baby is born you can have a set day where everyone comes so you won’t need to worry about being clean/dressed/awake for unexpected visitors.
Whether it’s your second baby or your 10th, a baby sprinkle is a fun way to celebrate a newborn!