Being pregnant with your first child is a magical time. There's so much anticipation, excitement, love and, well... gifts. There are tons and tons of gifts. By the time a second or third baby rolls around, however, being pregnant is kinda old hat. But while it's true that a mama who already has kids probably doesn't need to be showered with as many baby presents as she did first time around, that doesn't mean she (and the new baby) don't deserve to be celebrated. Because we all know that being pregnant when you already have other kids to take care of is not easy.
A huge baby shower might seem a little overboard, but a "sprinkle" is just right. A baby sprinkle is a lower-key gathering that allows friends and family to shower a pregnant woman with love and a couple of gifts (like diapers — you can never have enough diapers), without all the bells and whistles of a big shower for a new mom-to-be.
A sprinkle stocks repeat parents with basic items they'll go through quickly. Diaper cream, baby bathroom essentials, the aforementioned diapers and wipes, for example. New outfits, toys, bedding and books are lovely gifts, too.
Guests should not feel they can't buy big ticket items, but a sprinkle is mostly about family and friends celebrating a new addition. If there is a big gap between children or a different gender is expected, a full baby shower might be in order, but always consult with the mother to see what she is comfortable with and what items are needed to create your invitation accordingly.
Ask Mom what she needs and who she wants to invite. When you're throwing a sprinkle, you have a great opportunity to let her set the tone. Since a baby sprinkle doesn't have the formality of a baby shower, it isn't necessary to go all out when compiling the guest list, decorating, catering, providing entertainment and offering baby shower favors. A coed celebration with children is perfectly acceptable in the case of a sprinkle, so the expecting mom's husband and child/children can be there, too.
Games can liven up a party and break the ice, but leave this to the mother's discretion.
A fun game to consider (and a great way to include big brother- or sister-to-be) is to ask guests to write their best advice for the baby on a 3x5 card, which can make a nice keepsake book. Another game for repeat parents is “Remember When" — where guests share stories of their personal experiences raising their children and/or of pregnancy. These can be categorized into “funny,” “embarrassing,” or “sweet,” and the mom-to-be plays judge as to who gave the best stories in each category. This game is great for gleaning a few tidbits of advice about parenthood.
A new baby is exciting, but it can also be worrisome for a child. Some simple ways you can help ease their insecurities are by including the name(s) of older siblings on the invitations, giving the big brother or sister a special role or project at the sprinkle, and encouraging guests to greet the older sibling. If you are hosting a "Meet and Greet" sprinkle, allow the older sibling to introduce the new baby. A small gift for big brother or big sister will also go a long way.
Originally published November 2012. Updated May 2017.
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