What Is a Baby Sprinkle? (and How to Throw One)
While celebrating new parents with gifts is a well-known tradition, the actual term “baby shower” is fairly modern. Making an even newer addition to the newborn party vernacular is the phrase “baby sprinkle.” A baby sprinkle shower is a party for those expecting a subsequent child. Wondering what exactly a baby sprinkle is, why you might host one and how to make it a hit for the guest of honor and their friends and loved ones? Keep reading for baby sprinkle ideas, party inspiration and more.
A baby sprinkle is essentially a more low-key and intimate baby shower, says Renee Patrone Rhinehart, party planner and founder of Party Host Helpers. It’s still a celebration that honors the family’s second child (or any other subsequent children), but it’s often less extravagant (hence the term “sprinkle” rather than “shower”). It serves as a nice opportunity to get second-time parents some necessities, and to celebrate their growing family, “even if it isn’t their first bundle of joy,” Rhinehart adds.
Now that you know what a baby sprinkle is, you might be wondering how to go about throwing one. Below, expert answers to some frequently asked questions around hosting a baby sprinkle.
When to throw a baby sprinkle
According to Kristen Gosselin, MEM, CMP, founder of KG Events & Design, the exact timing of when to throw a baby sprinkle shower is at the discretion of the parents-to-be. “If you’re hosting on behalf of the expecting parent, we’d recommend gauging their preference,” she says. “More often than not, baby sprinkles are held in the third trimester of the pregnancy.” Rhinehart adds they may even happen sooner—around 20 to 30 weeks of pregnancy—but the planning should definitely start earlier. “When planning this event and booking vendors, we suggest having your plans set about 30 to 60 days prior,” she advises.
So how long do baby sprinkles last? There’s no rule of thumb—they can last a few hours, but are generally slightly shorter than the average baby shower. The idea is to offer enough time for the celebration without overwhelming the parents. “Even though a baby sprinkle is a more intimate affair, it’s still easy to become tired and overwhelmed during this stage in a pregnancy,” Gosselin says.
Of course, you can also host a virtual baby sprinkle, if preferred, with platforms like Zoom, Skype or Google Hangouts. “This can be a great way to see your loved ones’ faces but not spend a lot of money hosting an event,” Gosselin adds. “Just be sure to have gifts (or the group gift) sent in advance.”
Who hosts the baby sprinkle
While baby sprinkles are traditionally hosted by close family members and friends, Gosselin says it’s becoming increasingly common for the parents-to-be to host an event themselves. “It allows them to have more control over the execution and timeline, which is often a big factor,” she explains. But, again, this is really up to personal preference, as Rhinehart says some moms may want close friends or family members to host so they don’t have to. “Since /[Mom] already has at least one child already, the last thing she has time to do is plan while pregnant.”
Who to invite to a baby sprinkle
Baby sprinkle invite lists are usually kept to immediate family members and close friends. You want to keep the gathering intimate, Gosselin says. Of course, this is subjective and certainly not a rule. Wondering if little ones typically get an invite? Since baby sprinkles are usually daytime events in honor of subsequent children, it’s not uncommon for kids to be in attendance, Gosselin says, but it’s also not a requirement to have them there if you don’t want to. If your older children are present, you can include them by having a “big sibling outfit” for them to wear, or give them a special new sibling gift that helps them feel celebrated as well, Gosselin adds. “And don’t forget an activity to entertain them and keep them busy—something age appropriate of course!”
What to do at a baby sprinkle
A baby sprinkle is, after all, a social event, so all the traditional baby shower games—like “Guess the Due Date,” “Guess Baby’s Weight ” and decorating onesies—are fair game, Rhinehart says. She also recommends having guests write encouraging messages on diapers to bring a smile to Mom’s face during those late-night changes.
Food served at a baby sprinkle
“Any time a party of any kind is being held, there should be some snacks,” Gosselin says—particularly if there will be little ones attending! Rhinehart says small bites and finger foods are great options, as guests can continue to mingle as they eat. If the hosts or parents-to-be are on a tighter budget, you can also have a potluck-style event, and ask each guest to bring a small dish, Gosselin suggests. As always, be sure to take any allergies, dietary restrictions and choking hazards for babies and kids into consideration. You may also want to communicate to guests ahead of time what type of food will be served, how much and when, so they can plan for their kids’ meals accordingly.
During a baby shower for a first child, family and friends often band together to help gift all the big-ticket baby essentials. However, by the time a second (or third, fourth, etc.) child comes around, parents usually have many of the necessities (like a crib, baby monitor, and infant tub) from their firstborn. For this reason, both experts say gifts for a baby sprinkle often consist of diapers, wipes, nursery decor, a few outfits, items still in use by the first child (think car seats and strollers) and anything else to make the next baby feel just as special. “The idea is that you are ‘sprinkling’ the [parents] with gifts instead of ‘showering’ them with everything you’d normally acquire as a first-timer,” Gosselin explains. “Gifting at a baby sprinkle tends to eliminate the bigger items such as a crib, monitor, etc. unless a specific group gift was requested.”
It can also be helpful to have a second registry for the baby sprinkle to help give guests an accurate sense of what you need. Include plenty of gifting details on the invitations (like registry links) and note any specific gifts that would be especially useful to have.
If you’re a guest attending a baby sprinkle, stick to any gifting guidelines noted in the baby sprinkle invitation, and check out the registry to see what’s really wanted and needed. “The last thing a second-time parent needs is more stuff,” Gosselin notes. If you want your baby sprinkle gift to stand out, consider personalized items.
Looking for some baby sprinkle themes and ideas for your event? Gosselin and Rhinehart both cite the “Sprinkled with Love” theme as a favorite, and recommend twists on famous kids’ movies and nursery rhymes. “If the sprinkle is held outside, ‘Woodland Wonderland’ is an easily accomplished theme and can have a fun nature-inspired atmosphere,” Gosselin says. Below, some fresh baby sprinkle ideas to help you get started and pull your celebration together.
“Sprinkle With Love” Baby Sprinkle Idea
Let jimmies—those colorful sprinkle candies—set the stage for your theme, and embrace all the confetti for this baby sprinkle idea.
Baby sprinkle invitations: A quick search on Etsy shows tons of adorable sprinkle-themed baby sprinkle invitations. For an extra-cute touch, add some confetti to the envelope before sealing it (if using mail invites). Luckily, many online invitations also offer digital confetti options.
Baby sprinkle decorations: Fill up clear balloons with confetti to use as decorations for the actual event, and sprinkle some on any tables for guests.
Baby sprinkle food: Opt for all the sprinkle-topped desserts, including cupcakes, cakepops, chocolate-covered pretzels and a Funfetti cake.
Baby sprinkle game: Fill a large lidded jar with sprinkles or paper confetti. Hide inside a number of tiny plastic babies, each that look slightly different. Let guests twist and turn the jar to see if they can guess the number of hidden babies. The guest with the closest number wins.
“Welcome to the Jungle” Baby Sprinkle Idea
With another little wild one on the way, play up a forest or jungle theme with a sophisticated spin for your baby sprinkle shower.
Baby sprinkle invitations: Jungle themes are incredibly popular for baby sprinkles and showers, so there are tons of options available online, many of which you can just pay to download and then edit and print out yourself.
Baby sprinkle decorations: Jungle themes are incredibly versatile—you can really mold the decor however you want. Use tropical forest foliage as decor for the walls and tables or cover the space in plants. And let’s not forget that small doses of animal print go a long way! Use painted vases and Mason jars in tones of black and white, filled with simple leafy greens.
Baby sprinkle food: Use animal-figurine cookies and fondant animal cake toppers to elevate the jungle theme. If you’re using paper plates and napkins, opt for ones with an adorable jungle prints, or use gold-toned plates to match the green theme.
Baby sprinkle favors: Hot glue small plastic jungle animals (available on Amazon and at craft stores) to the lids of small mason jars. Spray paint the animal-topped lids in metallic gold. When dry, fill the jars with green bath crystals for the parents to use. It’s simple and stylish!
Baby sprinkle game: Print game cards where each guest has to match the animal to the baby name (think bear to cub, deer to fawn). The guest with the most answers correct wins.
“Little Slugger” Baby Sprinkle Idea
As one more member joins the family team, turn the baby sprinkle into a sports-themed celebration right in your backyard, front lawn or local park.
Baby sprinkle decorations: While you don’t need to go over the top in decor, dress up a backyard space a bit with tables covered in gingham linens and sunflowers held in sports-themed painted Mason jars.
Baby sprinkle food: Keep it simple with all the barbecue favorites, including burgers, hot dogs, mac and cheese, a side of potatoes and pregnancy-safe salads.
Baby sprinkle favors: Fill cellophane food bags with peanuts. Close the top and add a “thank you” tag.
Baby sprinkle game: Let adults and kids alike take center stage in a game that’ll bring on the belly laughs. Keep the games simple to favorite outdoor toys, a sandpit or a ball game (depending on kids’ ages).
“Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” Baby Sprinkle Idea
As Gosselin notes, you can’t go wrong with a baby sprinkle theme inspired by popular nursery rhymes. One of our favorites? Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.
Baby sprinkle invitations: Zazzle has tons of great invitations options in navy and gold, as well as pastels and creams, so you can pick the set that best matches your vibe.
Baby sprinkle decorations: Embrace all the celestial decor, including gold and silver balloons, moon- and star-shaped Mylar balloons and glittery stars spread across tables. Depending on the event space, you could even set up a “starry light LED” projector.
Baby sprinkle food: You can’t go wrong with star-shaped cheeses, melon and mini sandwiches. These gorgeous, flooded cookies from The Whisked Baker would also make a stunning addition to any food display.
Baby sprinkle favors: Mini tin candles are the perfect way to say “thank you” to guests while sticking to a bright, starry theme.
Circus-Themed Baby Sprinkle Idea
Rhinehart cites “three-ring circus” as another popular baby sprinkle idea. It’s cute, whimsical and sure to bring some fun to any baby sprinkle.
Baby sprinkle invitations: Baby’s coming to town! And Etsy has some fun invitation options featuring circus tents, carousels and baby animals.
Baby sprinkle decorations: Decorate the wall behind your food display table or the entrance itself (depending on the venue) to look like the entrance to the circus tent. To further elevate the theme, use red and white striped table clothes, brightly-colored streamers and even light-up alphabet letters to spell out “baby.”
Baby sprinkle food: No circus is complete without popcorn. Serve mini popcorn bags, or—if you want to get really fancy—consider getting a popcorn cart. Other circus-themed snack ideas include peanuts, lemonade, cotton candy and even goldfish crackers—we guarantee any littles at the sprinkle will love those last two!
Baby sprinkle favors: Consider individually wrapped rainbow lollipops as favors, personalized vintage mint tins or small stuffed animals for children to take home.
There are tons of great baby sprinkle ideas and themes out there to help you plan your celebration. But any type of party planning can quickly feel overwhelming. Try not to get bogged down with too many details, and remember that ultimately the baby sprinkle can be as low-key and small as you want it to be. After all, the end goal here is simply to celebrate this new season of life with loved ones.
Kristen Gosselin, MEM, CMP, is an award-winning event planner and designer with over a decade of experience. She’s also the founder and creative director of KG Events & Design, based in Martha’s Vineyard, and has hosted events for the Obamas, Spike Lee, Seth Meyers and many more. Gosselin earned her master’s degree in meeting and event management (MEM) from the San Diego State University’s Payne School of Management.
Renee Patrone Rhinehart is a party planner with over 15 years of experience. She is also the founder of Events by Renee, an event planning company launched in 2007, and Party Host Helpers, launched in 2013. While Party Host Helpers started as a small business in Philadelphia, it now operates in over 30 cities across the nation, including New York City, West Palm Beach and Los Angeles. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from Eastern University.
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