Honoring the upcoming arrival of a baby is a highlight for the parents-to-be and the people they love. If you’ve had a baby before or know someone who has, you’re probably familiar with the idea of a baby shower. Fewer people have heard of a baby sprinkle, and you may be wondering, “What is it?”
What is a Baby Sprinkle?
A baby sprinkle is a relatively small party to celebrate a new baby joining the family. This is a fairly new concept, usually held to recognize the addition of a second, third, or subsequent child born to the expecting parents. The baby sprinkle etiquette is generally more casual than a that of baby shower, and focuses more on showing love and support to the growing family. Close friends and family are expected to “sprinkle” the guests of honor with small gifts and acknowledgment as opposed to “showering” them with large baby items and books for first-time parents.
5 Differences Between a Baby Shower and a Baby Sprinkle
If they still sound a little too similar to you, here are some direct comparisons of how a shower and a sprinkle are different.
- A baby shower is usually held for the first child of the family. A baby sprinkle is held for a family that already has children. Each new addition to a family is cause for celebration, but the party itself can be scaled back when you’re inviting a lot of the same people who have already been supporting your parenting journey. Especially if your first and second baby will be close in age, a casual baby sprinkle can make throwing together a second party a little easier.
- A baby shower is a big event that includes a large venue and an extensive guest list. A baby sprinkle is a small get-together intended for close friends and family. For your first child you may want to go over the top inviting distant relatives and co-workers to experience this excitement with you. For your second child—and beyond—you probably feel more comfortable getting together with those most important in your life, who have a deeper connection to the little family you’re creating.
- A baby shower is formal in decorations and expected attire. A baby sprinkle is casual and comfortable with less decorating involved. Dressing the part for either type of event can still be something to look forward to, but it’s less of a requirement when you have little ones to chase around this time. The baby sprinkle decorations don’t need to include the properly set table with extravagant center pieces like you may have had at your first baby shower.
- A baby shower invitation may announce a full baby registry. A baby sprinkle invitation may request onesies, diapers, or no gifts at all. There are many parents who save the baby gear they used with their first child, like the highchair and the crib, and have no use for more. Baby sprinkle gift ideas might look more like new clothing for a sibling of the opposite gender or freezer meals to feed the family while they get accustomed to life with a new baby.
- A baby shower often has a structured schedule of when to eat, play games, and open gifts. A baby sprinkle tends to have a laid-back flow that’s more about sharing this exciting time with loved ones. While it’s fine to include some of those baby shower ideas, the baby sprinkle allows for a “come when you can, leave when you have to” style of party.
Baby Sprinkle Party Ideas
Your baby sprinkle will be more low-key than a traditional baby shower, but you can put together an amazing party to celebrate your new baby by focusing on these details:
Baby Sprinkle Theme
Choose a DIY theme that doesn’t require hours of work, but is still enjoyable for you and your guests. Here are a few ideas:
- Baby-Q is a play on BBQ. This theme is easy to pull off and really sticks to the idea of a casual baby sprinkle. You can invite close family and friends to a backyard barbeque cookout with your favorite comfort foods. Dress in everyday wear and get active with some outdoor games—baby related or not.
- Donuts and Diapers. Take the “sprinkle” literally by indulging your guests with the sweet treat of donuts topped with sprinkles. This kind of dessert can easily be color-coordinated any way you like for a personalized theme. Add an incentive for guests to bring as many diapers as possible by stating that every pack of diapers or wipes will give them an entry into a drawing to win a prize.
- Sip and See. Let your bundle of joy really be the star of the show by getting together after your baby is born. This is a great option if you want to keep the gathering intimate and celebrate your new arrival without much prep and planning. Simply invite a few people over for coffee, tea, or lemonade while they meet the new baby for the first time. You set the ground rules for whether guests hold your little one or simply gaze at them from across the room. If you were surprised by the gender of your baby at birth, this can be a great opportunity for the people closest to you to bring you gifts specifically for your baby boy or girl.
- Pick a color. Your theme can solely revolve around one or two colors that go well together. You can go the traditional route with pinks and blues or you can choose colors that reflect your nursery room theme. Sticking to a theme of colors or patterns you like gives you total freedom in planning the foods and activities you want to incorporate for this party.
Baby Sprinkle Invitations
Invite friends and family members to your baby sprinkle with a quick text message or write up a paper invitation to mail out. Since the idea of the baby sprinkle is to keep it casual, you can give out the information any way you want.
Regardless of how you let your guests know, there are a few important details you want to include.
- Date, time, and location. As with any event, let everyone know the facts. Don’t assume that people will know the party takes place at your house just because it’s a casual event. Be specific with a start and an end time. The baby sprinkle festivities can typically be wrapped up in a two-hour time frame. Stating the time for the party to be over helps to avoid the need to usher people out the door when the expecting mom is ready for a nap.
- Explain a baby sprinkle. Not everyone will understand what it means when you say you’re inviting them to a baby sprinkle, so be sure to add some kind of explanation. Find a creative way to say that this is a small get-together honoring the mom-to-be. Something like, “There’s not much we need, just join us to celebrate Baby #3!”
- Don’t forget the food. If there will be food at your baby sprinkle, make sure to mention it on the invitation. Snacks and finger foods are sometimes enough for this kind of party, but if that isn’t clear on your invite you may have some hungry guests ready for a full meal.
- Gift-giving expectations. Plenty of people will want to bring a gift even though this isn’t your first baby, but this doesn’t always require sending out a full registry. Bottles and bibs might be at the top of your wish list and you can let that be known up front on the invite. Taking on more baby clothes and supplies can sound overwhelming to a parent who has saved items their older children used. If you feel gifts are unnecessary, you can kindly state, “No gifts, please.” or “You coming to our party is the only gift we need.”
- RSVP. This isn’t always mandatory for a baby sprinkle, but if your host likes to be precise about the head count make sure the invitation states who should be contacted. If you’re throwing the party yourself with an informal invite, you can end it with, “Let me know if you can make it!”
Baby Sprinkle Menu
The foods, drinks, and desserts served at your baby sprinkle can vary depending on the time of day and the theme of your event. Calling your party a “Baby Brunch” might suggest your guests will enjoy breakfast hors d’oeuvres and mimosas. An outdoor setting in the afternoon could imply a picnic-style meal or snack food.
No matter the time of day, a baby sprinkle is always complete with a cake or cupcakes to match the theme of the party.
Baby Sprinkle Games
The great thing about having a baby sprinkle is that there aren’t strict rules. If you’re a lover of typical baby shower games, you can add some of your favorites to the activities of the day. When choosing what to play with your guests you might pick games that require less setup and can be played quickly since the goal is to maintain a laid-back atmosphere.
Keep in mind the older siblings attending the party and how they can participate. Instead of competitive games for prizes, you could set up stations for your guests to create a keepsake for your new baby or write their loving sentiments in a baby book.
Final Tips for Hosting a Baby Sprinkle
Before you start planning your baby sprinkle, we have a few more tips for you to consider.
- Host or be hosted. Baby sprinkle etiquette would say that you shouldn’t ask someone to throw this kind of party for your second—or more—pregnancy, but if someone offers say yes! Hand over the reins and let your growing family be celebrated. It’s okay if no one steps up to plan your baby sprinkle. You can have complete control of the details by throwing the party yourself.
- Be clear about what you want. A friend or family member taking over the arrangements for your baby sprinkle can allow you to fully enjoy being the honoree of the day. When you discuss the plans with your host, be sure to clearly communicate what you do and do not want—in terms of theme, food, decorations, games, and venue—on your special day. Another important topic to cover is the guest list. Since this is meant to be a celebration shared with a close knit group of people it may be helpful to do the leg work of writing down a list of guest’s names and addresses for your host to send invites to.
- Consider the timing of the party. Many of the party details can be determined by the weather and time of day that the event is held. The venue and the activities you choose to incorporate will depend greatly on the predicted weather in your area. The time of day should help you figure out what type of food you want to have available; a mid-afternoon party may include easy grab-and-go foods, while an evening gathering might require a more filling, sit down meal.
- Decide how you want to handle gifts. If you don’t mention a registry on the baby sprinkle invitation or leave out a request for no gifts, you could expect a split decision from your guests. Some may choose to bring a small baby item or gift card for the new parents. Others will opt out completely. If you aren’t specific with your gift wish list, leave out a scheduled time in the party for present opening. A large age gap between siblings might mean you need to make a registry of big-ticket items for the new baby. Leaving the baby registry off the invitation may prompt some people to ask what baby essentials you need. Then you can share your car seat and stroller preferences with those who are interested.
Every baby is worth celebrating, and personalizing the party for your family is what makes it special. Expecting parents can read more about all things pregnancy and baby related in our blog—everything from Nurture& is made for parents, by parents.