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What Is a Baby Sprinkle?
January 12, 2024

What Is a Baby Sprinkle?

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What Is a Baby Sprinkle?

You probably know what a baby shower is all about, but have you heard of a baby sprinkle? If you’re expecting your second or third (or more!) baby, you might have some leftover gear from your first kiddo. Or maybe you’re planning to take care of all your baby gear needs on your own. You might even just not like the idea of having a huge party when you’re super pregnant, finalizing an adoption process or caring for an already-born little one.

If you can relate to any of those scenarios, you might consider having a baby sprinkle rather than a baby shower. A baby sprinkle still involves guests and gifts and maybe refreshments, but they’re in much smaller amounts than with a traditional shower.

What is a baby sprinkle?

While a baby shower is usually thrown for a first baby, a baby sprinkle typically celebrates a family’s second (or more) child, has fewer guests, presents and overall to-do and doesn’t last as long as a baby shower. Think of it in terms of rain: a sprinkle of rain has less rainfall and doesn’t last as long as a rain shower.

Baby sprinkle party ideas

Even though a baby sprinkle is meant to be smaller than a full-size baby shower, you’ll still want to do some planning. Guests will need an invitation in advance, and while you don’t necessarily need to plan games or have tons of food, some expecting parents still like to have the opportunity to tie the whole party together with a fun theme.

Who should I invite to a baby sprinkle?

Since a baby shower is often more about stocking up on much-needed gifts and supplies, the guest list is going to be a bit bigger. The average number of guests at a baby shower is around 20, and those guests can include a wider variety, from the expecting parents’ closest friends to coworkers to great aunts.

Baby sprinkle invitations, on the other hand, are usually sent to only the closest family and friends, since the focus isn’t so much on getting new gear as it is getting support. Save room for around 10, and include people like parents, siblings, and your best friend of the past 15 years. Whoever the expecting parent(s) feel closest to.

Who hosts a baby sprinkle?

Just like with a traditional baby shower, the expecting parents having a smaller party can either host it themselves or have a close friend or family member host. If you do ask someone else to host, make sure they know you want your party to be on a smaller scale, since not everyone is familiar with the term “baby sprinkle.” (Or just send them this article!)

Baby sprinkle decorations and themes

Themes aren’t just for larger parties. Why skip out on a theme for a baby sprinkle when there are so many different (adorable) baby-friendly themes out there? From the traditional themes like baby animals and nursery rhymes to more trendy options like boho floral and baby-que (like a baby barbeque, get it?), there are endless ways to decorate for a sprinkle.

And, of course, we can’t resist mentioning the most obvious theme: sprinkles! If you’re embracing the sprinkle/shower metaphor, decor centered around little rain clouds or even literal sprinklers has the full potential of being cute.

Or if you’re thinking of sprinkles of the candy or dessert variety, there are plenty of options there too. For food, donuts or any kind of dessert topped with sprinkles is super simple to do. For decorations, you can easily create “sprinkle” balloons by putting confetti in clear plastic balloons, fill flower vases with sprinkles, or cover the wall with paper polka dots.

But if you’re not the all-out-party-theme type, no worries! You can totally have a small, intimate baby sprinkle without committing to a particular theme. Make it as grand or as simple as you like—whether that means Instagram-worthy snack spreads and decor or just a few balloons and some homemade cookies—the whole point of a sprinkle is that it’s just you and your closest peeps getting together to celebrate your newest addition.

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Baby sprinkle games

Baby sprinkles aren’t meant to last as long as traditional baby showers. While guests will be at a baby shower typically around two to three (or up to four) hours, most baby sprinkles end after about an hour and a half to two hours. That hour and a half or so is usually filled up with chatting, eating, opening a few gifts and just enjoying the company of your guests, so that doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for the games you’d normally play at a full-size shower.

If you do want to include games at your sprinkle, go for something that can be played over the course of the entire party and don’t take much planning or time commitment.

  • Don’t Say Baby: See how long your guests can go without saying the word “baby”! The winner is whoever doesn’t say “baby” throughout the entire party (which can be really difficult at a baby sprinkle).
  • Parenting Advice: Guests fill out individual cards with their best (or worst) advice for the expecting parents.

Or you can set aside 10 to 15 minutes for one quick paper-and-pencil game:

  • Baby Emoji Pictionary: Decipher the baby-related phrases based on emojis.
  • Word Scramble: Unscramble the baby-related words.
  • Guess the Baby: Gather a dozen or so celebrity baby pictures (or ask your guests to send you their own baby pictures!) and have guests guess who is who.

Is food served at a baby sprinkle?

You’ve probably seen those Pinterest-inspired baby shower meal spreads that include everything from charcuterie boards to fondue pots to decadent desserts. Never fear; you don’t need to do all that for a baby sprinkle. With so few guests (and so little time), a full meal probably isn’t on your agenda. A few light snacks or small desserts are perfect for a sprinkle-sized party—just be sure to let your guests know not to expect a full meal so they don’t arrive super hungry.

Or maybe you like the idea of planning the entire party around a meal, in which case a baby sprinkle brunch would be totally doable. Some sparkling drinks, a light quiche, tea sandwiches and fruit tarts are perfect for enjoying with your closest friends as you open a few gifts and swap parenting stories and advice.

Baby sprinkle gifts

Here’s another way baby sprinkles differ greatly from baby showers: you’re not going to get a mountain of gifts. Especially if this isn’t your first baby (and even more so if your first baby was born pretty recently), you probably already have most of the items you’d typically receive at a baby shower. Stroller, crib, car seat, play gym, clothes, carrier—what else could your guests possibly get you that you don’t already have?

No matter what baby gear you already have, you’re probably still going to get gifts to celebrate your new addition. And there will be a few gifts you do need, like anything that’s disposable or has an expiration date:

Virtual baby sprinkles

If you’ve got family and friends who can’t come to celebrate with you in person, it’s totally possible to have a party virtually. Just like a larger baby shower can happen over screens and chatrooms, so can a smaller baby sprinkle!

For a full breakdown of how to throw a virtual baby shower or sprinkle—from festive Zoom backgrounds and gift logistics to the best video services and virtual party games—check out our articles on taking your celebration to the internet.

This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Babylist may earn compensation from affiliate links in this content. Learn more about how we write Babylist content and review products, as well as the Babylist Health Advisory Board.