Friends and family have no shortage of activities and gifts to choose from when it comes to planning a baby shower. But, when it comes to a second (or third or fourth) baby, celebrations look a little different. Read on for tips on how to host a baby sprinkle, a smaller, scaled-back event that’s just as special as the new baby.

The Guest List

While baby showers are typically big events, baby sprinkles tend to be smaller but just as joyous affairs. It’s perfectly acceptable to invite everyone who attended the expectant mother’s baby shower, but because baby sprinkles are scaled-back events, it is also perfectly acceptable to cut down the guest list. The host and parents-to-be can determine what would work best.

Location may also determine the size of the party. If the parents-to-be feel up for it, ask if the baby sprinkle can be held in their home or yard. Assure the mom-to-be that she will not have to lift a finger! Then, enlist a couple of guests to help set up and clean up. Or, have a family member or close friend host at their place. Another option is to gather at a restaurant for a luncheon or high tea where everyone chips in to treat the expectant mom.  

Things to consider: Some guest lists are limited to a smaller group that may include just the expectant parents’ closest friends and families. Some expectant parents choose to celebrate in smaller groups at different times, having small, separate get-togethers for family, neighborhood friends, work friends or college friends. If the expectant parents travel to their hometowns, having a baby shower with just family when they go for a visit can be a lot of fun too. Some parents-to-be prefer smaller gatherings that are low-fuss since it is easier to spend time with everyone who attends while also keeping an eye on their kid(s).

The Grub

Because baby sprinkles are usually more casual than baby showers, lighter fare is more than okay.

A charcuterie board that contains a variety of cheeses, meats, olives and nuts is a great way to feed guests at any baby sprinkle. Or, serve a pretty cheese board with specialty cheeses. You can even surprise the parents-to-be with a custom engraved charcuterie board from Left Coast Original (above) for under $50.

Every baby sprinkle needs a dessert with lots of…sprinkles! Serve mini cupcakes or a full-size cake covered with sprinkles in the color of the baby’s nursery or the mom’s favorite color. Consider upping your sprinkle game and getting some gourmet Sprinkle Pop sprinkles from their baby shower collection or create a custom mix.

If the Mom-to-be has had any unique cravings during her pregnancy, try to incorporate them into the sprinkle. If you aren’t sure, ice cream and pickles are always a safe choice! When it comes to drinks, anything goes but make sure that the Mom-to-Be has some tasty, non-alcoholic options. Mocktail Club sells non-alcoholic drinks that are a great choice for any guests who are skipping alcohol. And have some juice on hand for the big siblings in attendance!  

The Gifts

For the parents who already have it all, diapers may be the one thing they need. Show up with a pack or two in newborn sizes. To get more creative, make your own diaper cake with a kit from Wilton. Or, order a custom diaper cake from The Honest Company (above) for a striking gift the new baby will definitely use.

Unlike baby showers where the parents-to-be need everything, a baby sprinkle is a great opportunity to chip in and get mom something she wants but is out of her price range. A stroller that converts to a double like the Cybex Gazelle or the UPPAbaby Vista 2 is a great choice. Both can be used immediately as a single, then convert to a double and then back again as the needs of the family change. Or, the Sirona S rotating car seat makes parent's lives easier by twisting to face the car door and then back to be rear- or front-facing will make mom's life so much easier once she is caring for a baby and an older child.

A baby sprinkle is also a great time to get mom something just for her. Try a Beauty Cloud box full of items to help mom pamper herself at home and feel her best in her last weeks of pregnancy and during the sleepless nights after giving birth. Another lux item that will help mom make the most of the time she does get to sleep is a silk pillowcase and eye mask from Silken Pure. For the mom who wants to support other mothers, an Anchor of Hope gift box is full of handmade goods like a raw ruby necklace and a handwoven basket. Items are all made by refugee women, some of whom have been trafficked.

Need more gift ideas? Read our ultimate guide to baby sprinkle gifts.

photo: red and olive

The Siblings

Some baby sprinkles include the older sibling(s) while others do not. Discuss with the expectant parents whether they want to include their other children and how to make the baby sprinkle kid-friendly. Even if children are not a part of the baby sprinkle, it is a good idea to include them in the celebration in some way and send the parents-to-be home with gifts for their other kids so they don't feel left out.

Gifts that help kids feel secure and loved as their family grows are always a good choice. A special, new lovey from Red & Olive (above) that is made to last and comes in fun themes like Foxy Bella Ballerina and Sassy Cat will help toddlers with being apart from their parents during childbirth and after when they have to share their parents' time with the new baby. Boundless Blooms Mindfulness cards teach kids mindfulness and provides affirmations for kids, both of which may come in handy as kids find their family and their role changing. For older kids (6 and up), Big Life Journals include daily activities to help build resilience.

Because kids can never have too many books, some new additions to the family library will be welcome. What on Earth Books teach kids about everything from machines to germs to hidden treasures. They're great for creating new opportunities for parents and kids to snuggle up and read something new together.  

Activities that big siblings can do with a parent on their own after the baby arrives are also helpful. Color My Cookie makes fun kits with delicious cookies that kids paint themselves with included edible colors. Choose from themes like dinosaurs and gems. If kids will be included in the baby sprinkle, the company's mini-kits are the perfect addition to the party! And you can never go wrong with a LEGO set or craft-related items from Crayola.

Something that will definitely help a big sibling feel special is a set of matching mommy & me (or baby & me!) pajamas. Kyte Baby makes super-soft pajamas in sizes ranging from newborn to adult, so gifts could include just the big sibling and Mom, just the baby and newly minted big sibling, the whole family or any other creative combination!

The Activities

Baby sprinkles are typically less structured than baby showers, and that means activities and games are optional. While it’s perfectly fine to skip planned activities altogether, it can be fun to plan one or two.

Instead of traditional games like guessing how many squares of toilet paper will fit around the expectant mom’s belly, try crafting items the new baby will use. Any baby that follows the first is bound to have a lot of hand-me-downs. So spend the baby sprinkle making unique, personalized gifts for the new addition. Put some white onesies or infant towels on a table with fabric markers and stencils and ask guests to decorate them with the new baby’s name or in the colors of the nursery.

For another low-key activity, print out paper with each letter of the alphabet. Place some colored pencils next to the pages and ask guests to personalize a letter with a drawing or word. After the baby sprinkle, laminate the pages and bind them together to make a special and unique ABC book for baby’s library.

If the parents-to-be are already dreading a return to diaper changes, have a basket of diapers and a Sharpie available. Ask guests to write funny sayings on the diapers for parents to find during late-night diaper changes. No matter how sleep-deprived they may be, they won't be able to help but smile when they pull out a diaper that says “One day it will be my turn to change your diaper” or “Code brown!”

—Jamie Davis Smith

Featured photo: iStock

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