The concept isn't about gifts but the anticipation of a new little bundle of joy.

By Katelyn Chef
February 10, 2021
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assortment of snacks on table for baby shower
Credit: Getty Images

As is tradition, the anticipated arrival of a family's first child is celebrated with a baby shower. However, the second sibling (and any after that) is greeted with a baby sprinkle. Many are familiar with the gift-giving customs of a baby shower, during which the mother-to-be is fully outfitted with all of the essentials she needs. Comparatively, a sprinkle is a small-scale version of a shower that focuses on celebrating a new birth as opposed to giving lavish gifts.

When planning a baby sprinkle, make sure to clue your guests in on exactly what the event entails. "Since this is a newer celebration, some guests may not be aware of what it entails, you can convey that message through the invitation," says Lisa Cokinos of LC Events LLC. "Make sure the wording of the invitation includes older siblings and the request for essential items. Check with the parents-to-be of what they are in need of, to accurately guide your guests." And while parents may know what to expect when expecting their second child, they may not know what to expect for a baby sprinkle. How and when do you start planning? Should there be a baby registry for a sprinkle? What are the games and activities to enjoy? Who hosts the sprinkle and who is invited?

To help answer these questions, we tapped Cokinos for guidance.

Who hosts the sprinkle and who's invited?

After the decision to host a baby sprinkle has been made, do you host an in-person gathering or should you do something more virtual? As large in-person gatherings have been restricted since March 2020, it's understandable that families are hopeful to reunite in celebrating such joyous news. If you decide to do a small gathering for your sprinkle, practice social distancing, wear face masks, and schedule your sprinkle for a shorter timeframe (such as a drive-by event)—these are all smart party-planning decisions.

A baby sprinkle should not be hosted by the parents or immediate family. Instead, friends and siblings can join in to host the sprinkle, and certainly anyone can be invited although it's best to keep the list of invitees small, especially now, in light of the ongoing pandemic. Those who've frequented baby showers in the past will attest that the celebration is traditionally attended only by women. However, a baby sprinkle is typically a family affair including any of the baby's older siblings.

How do you decorate for a sprinkle?

Simplicity is the best mindset when hosting a baby sprinkle whether it's virtual or in-person. When it comes to party decorations, simplicity is the key. Cokinos shares the proper sprinkle party décor aesthetic, sharing, "you can have a lot of fun with décor depending on your tastes but keep it simple. Balloons and signage are perfect additions to any room. Coordinate chic and beautiful tableware and flatware from Sophistiplate or Meri Meri to add style and ease for clean-up."

What is the proper etiquette on gifts?

While it's common for expecting new parents to share their baby registry the first time around, the abundance of baby gifts isn't the primary focus the second time around. "Thankfully, with a baby sprinkle, gifts are more essential rather than show-stopping," says Cokinos, "and a big production of opening and displaying them can easily be skipped." As she explains, appropriate gifts include the essentials like diapers, wipes, or a new outfit. "Most families already have the foundational gear," she adds, "but refreshing and replenishing those staples that the first child has outgrown are welcomed by a growing family."

What are some fun activities?

Since a baby sprinkle is a more low-key affair, Cokinos insists on avoiding the pressure of baby shower games. In fact, it's perfectly acceptable to pass on the games altogether. "Avoid the pressure of playing games and have an activity for guests to enjoy," she suggests. "A personal favorite of ours is a perfume bar. Guests can create their own scents with fragrant oils and the product can also act as a favor."

What should you give for party favors?

Send everyone home with thoughtful party favors, which as Cokinos says, should reflect the tone of the event. "Since a baby sprinkle is a more casual event, packaging up a seasonal food favor with a coordinating label is perfect," she adds. "For example, adorable individual s'mores kits are perfect for winter or send everyone home with a miniature champagne bottle and mixer."

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