Old-school etiquette dictates that only a mother's first baby should be feted with a shower, but modern moms are known for throwing traditional rules out the window and the first-born-only baby shower is no exception. But, since most moms expecting their second, third, or fourth babies already have most of the big-ticket items they need for that little one, instead of a shower, why not throw a sprinkle? (Get it? It's not a downpour of presents, just a light drizzle.)
Not every expectant mom is interested in being the guest of honor at a baby sprinkle — and surely not all of us are lucky enough to have friends and family willing to throw us a baby shower, part deux — but if you're of the mindset that every new child deserves to be celebrated, here's what you need to know to throw your own baby sprinkle for a lucky pregnant mama.
- Make sure the expecting mother is comfortable with having a "second" shower. If your friend's first baby is still fairly young, she might not feel great about asking people to buy her another round of gifts. Talk to her about what she is and isn't okay with in terms of gifts, guest list, location, and so forth (i.e., should you have a "no-gifts" party? Invite just a few of her closest friends and family members?).
- Think more small party than elaborate shower. Having a sprinkle for 100 of your friend's distant cousins, co-workers, and former sorority sisters at a catering hall is going to feel like overkill for a sprinkle. Instead, think small and invite an intimate group for a brunch, lunch at home, or for a girls' dinner out.
- Limit the guest list to the mom-to-be's nearest and dearest. Not everyone is going to be thrilled about buying yet another baby gift for the same mom, so be sure you're only inviting people who would probably purchase a gift for the new baby anyway — or at least who would feel like it's not an imposition to be asked to do so.
- Make gift expectations clear to guests. E-vites or Paperless Post invitations are probably preferred for sprinkles since they immediately set a less formal tone, but on that digital invite, don't forget to make gift expectations clear, as many people might not have ever attended a sprinkle and could be confused about what's too much or too little to bring.
- Consider buying a group gift of one bigger, needed baby item. If the expectant mother's other kids are much older, she might be missing some key baby items. Maybe her old car seat passed its expiration date, or she gave away her stroller, thinking she had pushed her last baby around in it. If that's the case, ask guests if they'd be interested in chipping in for one larger gift that the guest of honor would appreciate more than a bunch of onesies or swaddles. Second-time-around moms are known for prizing practical over cute.
- Grab a few cute decor items to up the fun. Even a low-key shower needs a little wow factor. Consider a cute downloadable invitation, some affordable sprinkle-themed decor like paper clouds and raindrops, or something as simple as personalized napkins or cool party straws (we're obsessed with this flamingo-stork design ($10) from Etsy's PaperTrailbyLauraB). And while a cake isn't necessary, something sweet should definitely be on the menu.
- Ask the expecting mom if she wants to include her older children. A baby sprinkle can be a great opportunity for the guest of honor to get her older children excited about their family's upcoming addition . . . but an afternoon out sans kiddos can be pretty great, too. So ask her if having her older kids there would be a pleasure or a party foul.