Baby Shower vs Baby Sprinkle Explained

Baby Shower vs Baby Sprinkle Explained

Life is meant to be celebrated! That’s why baby showers and baby sprinkles have become excellent traditions to help parents celebrate their newborn babies. 

Having a baby is a big milestone for new and existing parents. A party is a great way to celebrate the new life coming into the world and ensure the new parents have everything they need to tackle parenthood. 

You may have heard of baby showers, but baby sprinkles have become increasingly popular recently. So, what’s the difference?

While baby showers tend to be big in terms of the guest list, registry, and grandeur, baby sprinkles are much smaller—intimate and warm. That’s because a baby shower is for the firstborn with plenty of needs, while a baby sprinkle is for the consecutive babies whose big-ticket needs are already available.

Baby shower gifts often provide everything the parents need for a newborn. On the other hand, baby sprinkle gifts are often smaller or more personalised. 

There are no hard-and-fast rules on how to go about a baby sprinkle or traditional baby shower, but here are some ideas to help you whether you’re a friend, party planner, host, guest, or even the parents.

Read on to learn all you need to know about baby sprinkles. 

What is a Baby Sprinkle?

A baby sprinkle is similar to a baby shower, but designed to celebrate the life of a second, third, or consecutive baby. They are typically smaller than a baby shower, but have a similar purpose in being a special event for a pregnant mum, including games, gifts and food. 

Baby showers often involve more gifts, but after a first pregnancy, many parents will already have the big-ticket baby items they need. This means they may not want to have another baby shower, but prefer a toned-down and laid back party the second time around. 

Since the party is smaller, referring to it as a ‘baby sprinkle’ rather than a ‘shower’ has become popular. Many people say that baby showers are only for firstborn children and it isn’t appropriate for subsequent pregnancies. For that reason, baby sprinkles can be a great way to celebrate with family and friends without the fuss. 

Baby sprinkles can sometimes be more family-friendly, with siblings and other children in the extended family invited to welcome the new baby.

Throwing a baby sprinkle can be a way to touch a mum’s heart and pamper her as well as the difficulties of raising a newborn might spring some challenging memories. Mums might not say out loud that they want to hold another baby-shower-like party, but if you’re a good friend, holding a surprise baby sprinkle could mean a lot to the expectant parents. 

Alternatively, parents may prefer to have a sip and see’ or post-baby shower if it’s not their first child. It’s important to make sure you know what the new mum would prefer!

What’s the Difference Between a Baby Shower and a Baby Sprinkle?

The difference between a baby shower and a baby sprinkle is the size and intimacy. Baby showers tend to be big affairs that celebrate parents' firstborn. Baby sprinkles tend to be smaller and more intimate. 

Firstly, a baby shower is expected to be a grand party. The new parents often hire a planner to arrange everything. For a baby sprinkle, parents are usually too busy with their existing baby to plan such a big affair. Friends and family members will typically plan and organise the intimate baby sprinkle. 

Second, guest lists tend to be smaller in a baby sprinkle. Extended family members, friends of the new grandparents, and neighbours tend to get invited to baby showers, but for baby sprinkles, it’s okay not to invite extended friends and family. 

The baby registry is also bigger and grander at a baby shower, but it’s slightly different for a baby sprinkle. Some of the big-ticket items (like the crib, walker, and car seat) are likely still stored at home. This means they can be used by the consecutive babies then. 

That’s why the baby registry is smaller and sometimes more practical at a baby sprinkle. Some parents don’t even prepare a baby registry anymore. The size of the gift registry is possibly what determines whether the party is a “shower” (since there’s a downpour of gifts) or a “sprinkle.”

Some consider serving alcohol or mocktails at a baby shower, but for a baby sprinkle, the party is more kid-friendly. Remember that baby sprinkles are for second, third, or consecutive children of the parents, so there will most likely be kids running around at a baby sprinkle.

If we consider technicalities, a baby shower is one big party for everyone. On the other hand, a baby sprinkle can happen multiple times for the same baby. Your co-workers can host one baby sprinkle; your clique can host another baby sprinkle; your family can host yet another one. A baby shower is usually a one-time, big-time party where everyone’s invited.

When Should You Have a Baby Sprinkle?

Mums can have a baby sprinkle at the same time they would have their baby shower. Some say 8-10 weeks before the due date, but others hold a baby sprinkle 4-6 weeks before the due date.

If mum has a history of going into labour early, choosing an earlier baby sprinkle date might be the best choice!

Who Throws a Baby Sprinkle?

Any close friend or family member can throw a baby sprinkle. They can arrange and host the party so the new parents can focus on their kids and their upcoming baby.

The parents can also host a baby sprinkle. Though not common, parents arranging their own baby sprinkle is possible. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to celebrate a new baby, so if the parents decide to arrange their baby sprinkle, that’s not a problem.

Like a baby shower, it’s the host that usually pays for a baby sprinkle party. If you’re throwing a baby sprinkle, budget is something to keep in mind. While it can be traditional that someone else hosts a baby shower for the expectant mum, there’s no obligation for someone else to host (and pay for) a baby sprinkle. 

Who Gets Invited to a Baby Sprinkle?

The people who usually get invited to a baby sprinkle are close friends and family. 

Since a baby sprinkle is more intimate, there’s no need to invite childhood friends, neighbours or friends of the family—especially if they’ve already been to the parents’ baby shower. This helps keep a baby sprinkle smaller and less hassle to organise. 

What Happens at a Baby Sprinkle?

What happens at a baby sprinkle is usually an individual choice. It can be similar to a baby shower with games, food, and sometimes a gift-opening session. If you want to make it kid-friendly, there can be games for kids and adults to participate in.

Some ideas for baby sprinkle games:

  • Blindfolded Diaper Changing – If the new parents were clueless about diaper changing with their firstborn, they’ve probably got the hang of it by now. Spice up this classic baby shower game by getting the players to do it blindfolded.

  • Baby Stuff in the Bag – Get baby stuff inside a bag and have guests guess what item it is. A variation is guessing the gifts the guests got for the parents!

  • Customising a Onesie – Bring out the creativity in your guests by asking them to design a plain onesie. You can have fabric paint or iron-on patches ready. That’s also one way to get a customised bodysuit for your newborn.

Others choose to make their baby sprinkles very laid back, with two hours of food, conversations, and obligatory picture-taking. You can make food the main event of the party with a sit-down course meal or opt for an interactive party with finger food to complement the vibe.

Deciding what kind of food to serve? Check out our vegan baby shower guide for some delicious menu ideas. 

Do You Bring a Gift to a Baby Sprinkle?

It is not obligatory to bring a gift to a baby sprinkle, but it is polite. And since baby sprinkles are attended by only the closest friends and family members, it’s best to bring a gift for the parents if you’re invited. 

How Much Do You Spend on a Baby Sprinkle Gift?

An appropriate amount to spend on a baby sprinkle gift is $40 to $70. You can get something practical or personal for the parents within this price range. 

If you’re thinking of giving a simple yet practical gift, consider wrapping it nicely–a towel inside a keepsake box, lactation tea bags inside a calico bag, or baby lotion wrapped in a cute muslin blanket.

But don’t limit yourself to that range. You can always spend more, especially if you want to help the parents with their growing family.

Baby Sprinkle Gift Ideas

There are two ways to go about gift-giving at a baby sprinkle. The first is to be practical and gift consumables such as diapers and baby toiletries. The second is to go for personal, customised items. 

Baby showers usually have a baby registry; that’s just the practical choice. For a baby sprinkle, it’s not common - so if parents have a gift registry, that means they need the items listed. It’s best to follow what’s on the registry.

As many baby items will be hand-me-downs (like the crib, high chair, and car seat), it’s good to make the new baby feel welcome to the family with something personalised.

Here are 10 great baby sprinkle gift ideas: 

Personalised Baby Keepsake Box

Personalised gifts are ideal for a baby sprinkle, as they’re completely unique to the new baby. The Deluxe Baby Gift Box from Hand Crafted Gift Boxes is a top choice for a baby sprinkle gift. The personalised keepsake box is engraved with the baby’s name and your choice of design. You will have essentials like a blanket, comforter, teether, and baby balm for the baby. And if this is not the gift that keeps on giving, it has a hand and foot-print ink pad inside a personalised wooden box that’s sustainably forestry-certified.

Nappies

Extra nappies from the brand the parents are already using are ideal. If you don’t know their brand of choice, try Comfy Koalas eco nappies. Newborns change diapers more often than older babies, so choosing an eco-friendly option won’t be as bad for the environment.

Clothes or Accessories

This is an especially good baby sprinkle gift if the new baby is a different gender to their older siblings. While they may have plenty of hand-me-down baby clothes, having a few special items for a new bub is always welcome! Consider this Grey Baby Topknot Headband for extra adorable baby photos, or a Crochet Baby Bonnet - available in blue, pink or cream. 

Baby Comforter

While many babies inherit lots of toys from their older siblings, it’s extra special for little ones to have a special stuffed animal of their own. This Knitted Rabbit Baby Comforter can be used as a baby comforter and a snuggle buddy, as it’s safe for newborns and machine-washable. Every kid has a different favourite toy, which might just be the one for this new bub.

Baby Body Wash

The new parents will probably run out of body wash or shampoo for their newborn pretty often, so this is a practical gift. Mustela’s Gentle Cleansing Gel is highly recommended as Mustela is a brand handpicked by many mums. A nice gift box or fabric (like muslin) would complement this simple, practical gift.

A Swaddle Blanket

This is the best friend of parents in the first few weeks postpartum. Aden + Anais carries some cute easy swaddle blankets (with velcro or zipper) and muslin square blankets. Those with velcro and a zipper work well if the parents are busy. For the perfect photo-op backdrop, consider this California Muslin Wrap from Snuggle Hunny Kids.  

A Personalised Hooded Bath Towel

Check this dual-purpose towel from Yellow Duck Baby Gift & Hampers. It’s a towel on one side, made from 100% cotton, and a blanket on the other, made from soft velour. This can also be a receiving blanket! You can even contact them to add a teddy bear or a goat’s milk baby soap to this gift.

Soothers or Teethers

Bubify’s Teething Pack will be helpful to the parents down the line. Bubify’s curated teething pack is complete with a soother, a teething mitten, and two bibs with a teether. These are just what the parents need once their new baby starts teething. For an eco-friendly option, consider this cute Silicone & Wooden Teether

Gift Box for Mum

If relaxing is the message you want to convey with your gift, choose something perfect for pampering, like a Relax Bath Soak from Physic Garden. For a special and meaningful gift,  consider a Baby Gratitude Journal designed to capture baby’s first 8 months.   

Lactation Foods for Mum

If you want to focus on the mum, try lactation food. Franjo’s Kitchen has lactation biscuits that can help with milk supply. For lactation tea, try Pink Stork nursing support tea. And if the mum wants coffee, there’s Milksta Organic & Decaf Lactation Coffee. You can also make a DIY lactation basket with food like barley, fennel, oats, whole grains, and papaya to help with the mum’s milk supply. Make sure you’re aware of the mum’s diet, though. You don’t want to give her something she won’t consume.

Related Questions

Is It Customary to Have a Second Baby Shower?

It is not customary to have a second baby shower or a baby sprinkle, but it is becoming more and more popular. There is no judgement in holding a baby sprinkle of your own or hosting one for your family member or friend!

How Many Baby Showers Are You Supposed to Have?

Technically, a baby shower is only celebrated for the firstborn, so it’s only meant to happen once. For the next babies, a baby sprinkle is celebrated. Some interchange baby shower and baby sprinkle since the latter (the term “baby sprinkle,” not the practice) has only recently become popular. If you want a great baby shower for your second, third, or fourth babies, that’s still okay. No one’s to say that’s not allowed!

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