Baby Sprinkle Etiquette: Your Ultimate Guide to Celebrating Your Next Baby

When I became pregnant with my second daughter, I knew I had to throw some sort of party to celebrate her arrival. That’s when I discovered the magic of baby sprinkles. It was so much fun. I highly recommend it! In this post, I’m sharing everything I learned about baby sprinkle etiquette.

That is, what it is, when to have it, and the do’s and do not’s of throwing one. Hopefully by the end of this article, you’ll feel comfortable throwing your own.

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Congratulations, you’re expecting another wonderful bundle of joy! You’d love to celebrate the coming of your newest child, but you feel a little unsure what to do here. Do people have baby showers for their second child? If so, is it appropriate to have ask for gifts? Like, even the bare necessities. 

Let me introduce you to the concept of a baby sprinkles. After I became pregnant with my second daughter, I knew I wanted to throw some sort of party to celebrate her. A friend recommended a baby sprinkle and I’m so glad she did! A baby sprinkle allows parents to celebrate the their newest child without necessarily stocking up on all the baby gear or forcing your friends to host it for you. 

The event was laid back, fun, and gave me a few extra diapers to boot. However, if you’re not too familiar with baby sprinkles, you might have some necessary questions. Can you ask for gifts? Who is supposed to host it? When do you host it? 

In this article, we’re taking a deep dive into baby sprinkle etiquette. We’ll look over the key rules for you and your guests so that when your special day comes, it’ll go off with out a hitch!

Also, if you’re reading this and wondering what the heck a baby sprinkle is, check out this post. It’ll fill you in on the basics first!

Let’s get started!


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This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase from one of the links I will make a small commission at no charge to you. Blunders in Babyland does not diagnose, treat, or give out any professional advice for any medical conditions.

What Is a Baby Sprinkle?

A baby sprinkle is like a baby shower, but with a more relaxed vibe.

Remember that first-time baby shower with all the games, fancy decorations, and an endless gift list? Yeah, we’re not doing that this time. A baby sprinkle is a cozy get-together that focuses less on loads of gifts, and more on sharing the love.

Chances are, you’ve already got most of the baby gear from round one, so a baby sprinkle requests only the essentials and the presence of your friends.

Are Baby Sprinkles Are Worth It

Now, you might be thinking, “Why bother with a sprinkle?”

I asked myself the same thing. Here’s the thing; Every baby is special, no matter their place in the birth order. They all deserve a warm welcome. 

Baby showers aren’t just about preparing parents. They’re about celebrating life! A baby sprinkle is a beautiful way for your loved ones to show their support and share in the excitement of your growing family.

Here’s a few of the most common reasons why parents throw baby sprinkles:

  • Baby #2 (or more): If you’re welcoming another tiny human into your family, this is a chance to celebrate their uniqueness without going overboard.
  • New Gender: Maybe your first baby was a girl, and this one’s a boy (or vice versa). Because while you have all the essentials, you still might be lacking in clothing and gender-themed toys.
  • Big Age Gap: Dropping off your baby gear to Goodwill is a (tearful) rite of parenthood. It also puts you in a unique situation if a little blessing comes your way later on. If there’s a significant age gap between your kids, a sprinkle helps you restock precious baby gear (but remember, this is not meant to be a baby shower. If you need a full-blown baby shower, JUST DO IT! I don’t think anyone would judge you). 
  • Unexpected Surprise: Surprise, you’re pregnant! A sprinkle is a fun way to embrace this new adventure and prepare for the unexpected addition.

Baby Sprinkle Etiquette: How to Host a Baby Sprinkle

1. When to Host a Baby Sprinkle

Alright, you’ve decided a baby sprinkle is the way to go. But when should you host this little celebration? 

Here are a few things to consider when choosing the perfect time to host your party:

  • Weeks 28-36: This is the sweet spot for most baby sprinkles. You’re far enough along to know the baby’s gender (if you want to incorporate that into the celebration) and close enough to the due date to feel that anticipation in the air. But not too close. Hopefully.
  • Weekend: Saturdays or Sundays are usually prime choices. It makes it easier for your loved ones to attend without worrying about work or school.
  • Morning or Afternoon: Having a baby shower during the morning or afternoon is a no-brainer. But you’ve got a kid now And, chances are, your friends have kids now.  Which means…naptime. I think the sweet spot is at 10:00. Because doing anything before 9:00 is impossible with a kid and doing anything after noon creeps into the dreaded pre-nappy cranky-time.

2. Is It Okay to Have More Than One Baby Sprinkle?

Now, you might be wondering if it’s okay to have more than one baby sprinkle. My opinion: absolutely, yes. 

I firmly believe you should celebrate the arrival of any baby to whichever degree you feel comfortable. With some pregnancies, you might feel exhausted and the idea of throwing a party is just too much. That’s fine. But if you do feel up to it, you should totally do it!

Every baby is a unique blessing. That’s precisely what a baby sprinkle is all about. It’s a heartfelt celebration of a growing family, whether it’s your second, third, or even fourth child.

3. Food and Refreshments

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My humble baby sprinkle! Since it was just before noon, I provided some sandwiches as well as yummy desserts

Remember the theme for our little gathering: relaxed. Casual. I believe the food and refreshments should be the same. 

It is common practice to provide some kind of snack. The kind of snack depends on the time of the day. 

Are you having your baby sprinkle during lunch time? Perhaps deli sandwiches or hot hors d’oeuvres would be more appropriate. 

If the party is in the morning or late afternoon, you can get away just serving finger foods. Some snack ideas that are both easy and crowd-pleasing include finger sandwiches, fruit platters, vegetable trays with dip, or a selection of bite-sized desserts (cupcakes, cookies, etc.) My friend brought friendship bread to my baby sprinkle and it was divine.

Which leads me to my next point: this is meant to be an informal gathering. If you want to make your baby sprinkle a potluck, I don’t see anything wrong with that!

Guests often love contributing to the celebration by bringing a dish that holds sentimental value or is a family favorite. It’s a wonderful way to create a sense of community and share in the joy of the occasion.

Don’t forget to offer refreshing beverages like lemonade, iced tea, or sparkling water! I made 7up rainbow sherbet punch, which is a midwestern classic. 

4. Who Hosts a Baby Sprinkle?

No one. Or everyone. It depends. 

The key thing is this: do not plan on anyone hosting it for you. Unlike baby showers where it’s common for a friend or family member to take the lead as the host, baby sprinkles often come about in a more organic way.

“Hey, I’m having this baby, want to come over to celebrate?”

Baby sprinkles are often initiated by the parents-to-be themselves. Having said that, they’re usually co-hosted with close friends or family members. If someone does offer to help, I would take them up on it! The third trimester is a gem, but you’re still going to be tired by that point. 

5. Activities and Entertainment

What activities are suitable for a baby sprinkle? 

Personally, I think you can and should have games at your baby sprinkle. Since this is an informal party, there’s no “rule” that you need to but–let’s face it–games are fun!

While baby sprinkles are typically less focused on traditional baby shower games, there are plenty of activities that can take your party to the next level. 

Here’s a few of my favorite, low-prep games:

  • Onesie Decorating: Provide plain onesies and fabric markers  and let your guests go to town. I still have the onesies my friends and family decorated for my firstborn!
  • Baby Advice Cards or Books: Guests can share their best parenting advice, heartfelt wishes, or bible verses on cards for the parents-to-be. Once again, I still have this book and open it up every once in a while. Etsy sells a ton of cute, customizable books. However, you can use handouts like these.
  • Storytelling: Invite guests to share their parenting or childhood stories.
  • Photo Booth: Set up a photo booth with props where guests can take fun pictures to commemorate the occasion.
  • Parent Trivia: This is another favorite. Have your guests fill out the card asking questions about you and your partner. Later on, the guest who gets the most answers right gets a small prize.
  • Baby Bingo: Create bingo cards with common baby items or phrases related to parenthood. Guests can mark off items as they hear them during the event.
  • Guess the Baby Food: Blindfolded taste tests of various baby foods can be a humorous and engaging activity.
  • Baby Name Suggestions: Invite guests to suggest baby names, and have fun discussing the options.

Remember, the key to activities and entertainment at a baby sprinkle is to keep them light and enjoyable. You’ll most likely be hosting this event by yourself, so focus on activities that don’t require a ton of prep. 

6. Gifts

This is the most common area of dispute for baby sprinkles. Is it okay to create a gift registry for a baby sprinkle? Should guests bring gifts to a baby sprinkle.

The answer: Yes, but don’t expect the showering of gifts you receive the first time around.

Typically, parents put something on the invitation: “gifts aren’t required, but mom and dad will never turn down a box or two of diapers.” Again, light-hearted and casual. 

Gift registries are okay, but it’s not expected to be as big as your first child’s. Typically diapers and essential baby gear that you couldn’t keep from last round: opposite gender clothing, pacifiers, bottles, etc. 

I highly recommend creating at least an Amazon Gift Registry. For one, you’ll get one of these excellent free gift boxes. For another, you’ll receive a completion discount on all the items still left on your registry.

When to open the gifts

Unlike larger baby showers where gift opening is a central event, baby sprinkles tend to be more relaxed and intimate. You can choose to open gifts during the sprinkle, but it’s also perfectly acceptable to wait until after the event.

7. Thank You Cards

Writing thank you cards after the event is just the right thing to do. I do it almost immediately afterward, that way it’s still fresh. 

However, the rule is usually two-three weeks.

8. How to Include Siblings in the Baby Sprinkle

Your baby sprinkle is not just about welcoming a new arrival but also about celebrating your growing family. Your new big brother or big sister needs to feel that they are special and still important. The baby sprinkle represents a unique way to do that! 

Here’s a few fun ways to do that:

  • Special Helper Role: Make older siblings feel important by assigning them special roles as “big brothers” or “big sisters.” They can help with decorations, handing out party favors, or assisting with baby-themed activities.
  • Sibling-Centered Activities: Plan activities or games that involve siblings. For example, you can organize a “sibling art corner” where they can create artwork for their new brother or sister. Then, display it at the baby sprinkle.
  • Sibling-Designed Baby Item: Remember the onesie from earlier? Let big brother or big sis decorate a onesie or a blanket!
  • Give the sibling a gift at the sprinkle: It is tough opening a bunch of gifts in front of a three-year-old. So, make your firstborn feel including by giving them a gift as well! I gave my oldest daughter a “Big Sis Doll and Book.” This was a fun gift, because the book explained her “new responsibilities.”

9. Guest List and Invitations

Who should be invited to a baby sprinkle? Look, it’s really up to you. However, because this is meant to be a cozy event, typically you would invite close friends, family, supportive coworkers, and maybe a few friendly neighbors. 

At my baby sprinkle, we had about eight people. I only invited a few people because, as the hostess, I would take care of everything: seating, entertaining, and feeding the guests. That can spread you a little thing when you’re 32 weeks pregnant. 


Sending out official invitations to your baby sprinkle is totally acceptable. In fact, greeting card websites now specifically make baby sprinkle cards!

However, if you’d just like to create a Facebook event or invite people verbally, you can do that too. This is meant to be an informal gathering. 

Common Mistakes to Avoid at a Baby Sprinkle:

Overdoing It

One of the key differences between a baby sprinkle and a baby shower is the level of extravagance. Avoid going overboard with decorations, games, and elaborate themes. Make it simple. Make it fun!

Ignoring the Parents’ Wishes

Okay, let’s say you’re an awesome friend that chooses to host this event. Make sure you’re listening to the parents needs. Consult them regarding their preferences:  the date, guest list, and any specific requests they have.


Don’t schedule it too close to the baby’s due date; that’s stressful. Also, avoid planning it too early, as it might not feel as connected to the imminent arrival.

Excluding Siblings

This is a big one. It’s easy to get caught up in the new child hype. You may not think you’re forgetting your other kids, but any parent can!  If there are older siblings in the family, make sure they are included and acknowledged. Ignoring them or not involving them in some way can lead to feelings of exclusion.

Gift-Heavy Focus

While gifts are a part of the celebration, avoid making the sprinkle solely about the presents. Emphasize the love and support, and bonding moments.

Excessive Games and Activities

Once again, this isn’t a baby shower. You don’t need to make this an elaborate thing. While a few games or activities can be fun, avoid overwhelming guests with a long list of games. And, for heaven’s sake, avoid overwhelming yourself!

Forgetting Thank-You Notes

I am so humiliatingly guilty of this. Don’t forget to send out thank-you notes promptly after the sprinkle to express your appreciation!


Hosting a sprinkle doesn’t need to break the bank. Nobody expects you to make this an elaborate affair, especially when you’re up to your eyeballs in medical bills and diaper costs. So, don’t feel pressured to overspend on decorations, food, and entertainment.

Comparing to Previous Showers

Don’t fall into the trap of comparing the sprinkle to previous baby showers you’ve attended or hosted. Each celebration is unique, and a sprinkle is meant to be simple and more intimate.

Baby Sprinkle Etiquette for Guests

Are you attending a baby sprinkle? Not quite sure what’s expected of you? This section is for you! When the hosts don’t specify on their invite what to bring, it’s hard to guess. 

Here’s some perfect gift ideas for a baby sprinkle:

  • Essentials: Diapers, wipes, baby clothes, and baby care items are always appreciated. Even if you have some already, these things have a way of disappearing fast!
  • Group Gifts: Pooling your cash together for big-ticket items (like a tandem stroller!!) is a fantastic gift idea..
  • Gift Cards: You cannot go wrong with gift cards. Seriously. Amazon, Wal-Mart, Target, and local grocery stores give the parents flexibility to buy what they need.
  • Books: A collection of children’s books is a fantastic gift.
  • Meal Train: Okay, this isn’t for the baby sprinkle, but it’s a fantastic idea for afterward. Friends and family can sign up to bring you meals after the baby arrives. Meal trains are pure gold during those sleep-deprived days!
  • Handmade Items: Handcrafted blankets, onesies, or even a scrapbook of well-wishes can be incredibly special.
  • Memories and Advice: Ask guests to share their favorite childhood books, stories, or parenting advice. It’s a beautiful way to connect and learn from others.

Remember, the most meaningful gifts come from the heart. Whether it’s a tiny onesie, a heartfelt letter, or a helping hand after the baby arrives, what matters most is the love and support your friends and family are bringing to your baby sprinkle. 

Conclusion: Throw a Baby Sprinkle That Feels Right to You

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Alright, friend! I hope this article helped you learn everything you need to know about baby sprinkle etiquette. Remember: this is all about celebrating the growth of your family. Enjoy yourself! I have zero regrets about throwing my own baby sprinkle. Why? Because of the fun memories that came from it. If you make that the focus (rather than perfection), it’ll be a fantastic party.

I hope your upcoming baby sprinkle goes swimmingly. In the meantime, check out these other helpful posts!


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