Baby Shower vs. Baby Sprinkle: What’s the Difference?

From planning the nursery to picking out the announcements, there are always so many fun and exciting activities you get to do while waiting for the baby’s arrival. A get-together to celebrate with friends and loved ones is unquestionably high on that list. However, many soon-to-be parents are facing the dilemma of deciding if they should have a baby sprinkle or a baby shower.

That’s correct – there is another option to the traditional baby shower, and that is the baby sprinkle. A baby shower is a sweet and memorable celebration for a first-time mom. A baby sprinkle celebrates the second-born or later child.

Giving gifts to new moms has been a tradition since the Renaissance era, but the term “baby shower” came into use during the baby boom of the 1950s. Around that time, the theme became “showering the mother with gifts and love, and it’s stuck ever since. The baby sprinkle is an even more modern take on the traditional gift-giving party.

Which of these two events—a baby sprinkle or a baby shower—do you think is more appropriate for you? Whether you are the expecting mother or the hostess, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the distinctions between a baby sprinkle and a baby shower. We will also share our favorite tips on how to plan the best one to honor the mother-to-be!

Baby shower vs. baby sprinkle

A baby shower and baby sprinkle are parties to honor mom and the new bundle of joy! More similar than different, both types of parties celebrate mom and baby with attention and gifts. The main difference between a sprinkle and a shower is the size. A baby shower is a more significant affair. At the same time, a sprinkle is just that, a sprinkle of a party with fewer guests and fanfare. 

Either way, it will be a special day where the soon-to-be mother will receive the love, attention, and gifts she deserves. Whether big or small, a shower and a sprinkle are excellent opportunities to gather friends and family to celebrate mom and baby. 

Baby Showers

Usually, a baby shower is a big celebration to honor first-time moms and the birth of their first child. The focus is on the expecting mother and child and showering them with gifts! After all, newborns come with a lengthy list of expensive gear like strollers, cribs, and a brand-new wardrobe.

The first baby is always the most costly because you start from scratch. Baby showers let friends and family show their support by helping with the big ticket items and everything else needed for the baby to make a smooth entry into the world.

Do you serve food at baby showers?

Most baby showers include food which can be anything from charcuterie boards to fruit and dessert. Another factor to consider is what foods and drinks the pregnant mom can have.

For example, you wouldn’t serve wine at a baby shower since the mother-to-be cannot drink alcohol. Instead, lemonade and tea are excellent options; if she has pregnancy cravings, make sure to include her favorite foods on the menu.

Baby showers are held at any time of day. Keep in mind that if you host the shower around mealtime, guests will expect meal-sized portions of the food you serve.

Baby showers not designed around meals often start at two o’clock in the afternoon. A menu at this time of day can include appetizers and a dessert like a special cake or cookies.

Do you bring gifts to a baby shower?

The purpose of a baby shower is to shower new parents with presents to help them prepare for their new little bundle of joy. It is also about sharing a new baby’s joy with family and friends.

But mostly it’s about the gifts! Newborns need lots of things; if it’s your first child, you need everything! That means clothing, nursery furniture, baby gear, and a variety of other stuff. 

One of the great things about a more significant celebration like a baby shower is that mom-to-be can make a baby shower gift registry. It’s a sensible, time-saving method to get organized before your baby’s arrival.

It informs your family and friends about what you need for the baby. It also helps to ensure you don’t end up with two strollers or ten teddy bears. 

What activities do you do at a baby shower?

A baby shower can be anything the soon-to-be mother-to-be desires, and it can even be an extreme departure from the traditional! However, a baby shower will often consist of playing games or making crafts, eating delicious food, and receiving presents!

Most importantly, plan plenty of time to visit and catch up because once the baby is born, the new mom will be too busy to take time for herself for a while.

What is a baby sprinkle?

A baby sprinkle is a smaller version of a baby shower to celebrate a second child. 

You will undoubtedly require far less baby gear when you have a second or even a third or fourth child. Typically, the second child uses all of the hand-me-downs from the firstborn.

Hand-me-downs are a fantastic way to save money. It also means that you have less to purchase for the new baby and won’t need as many expensive items because you already got them for the first child.

The idea behind a baby sprinkle is that every child, not only the firstborn, deserves to be honored and celebrated. In addition, every new baby will still need many things. Such as toys, clothes, diapers, and personal mementos, that they can cherish forever and don’t have to share with siblings.

So even though more significant gifts are usually not purchased for a sprinkle, small gifts that make the baby and mom feel special are always welcome. 

Do you serve food at a baby sprinkle?

You’ve seen those Pinterest-inspired epic baby shower presentations with charcuterie platters, fondue pots, and delicious desserts, but don’t fret! You don’t have to do all of that for a baby sprinkle.

An extensive buffet is undoubtedly out of the question, with a small guest list of just a few close friends and family. A couple of light appetizers or little desserts are ideal for a sprinkle-sized party—just make sure to tell your guests that they should not expect a full meal so they don’t arrive starving.

A baby sprinkle luncheon will be ideal if you prefer to organize the entire party around food. Finger sandwiches or pasta salad, fruit, dessert, and lemonade are perfect for sharing with your closest friends while opening gifts and exchanging parenting experiences and advice.

Do you bring gifts to a baby sprinkle?

Another significant difference between baby sprinkles and baby showers is that you will not get an excessive amount of gifts. Most guests will bring a present; however, the presents are usually not large or expensive items like you might find at a baby shower.

This time around, the mom probably has most of the necessities. She only needs to fill in with some clothes, diapers, and toys, all of which make great gift ideas for a baby sprinkle. 

Unlike a baby shower, baby sprinkles rarely have a registry. But this is not a set rule and may not be the case for all sprinkles. Often, if there is a long gap between the two children, the parents-to-be probably get rid of their baby’s old items. They may need to repurchase the big-ticket things now, so a registry is entirely suitable if needed.  

What activities do you do at a baby sprinkle?

Baby showers are not just about the presents but also about the guests and visiting with loved ones. Baby Sprinkles are smaller parties than baby showers and usually include a handful of close friends and family members.

Most baby sprinkles won’t have games or activities. They will instead center around visiting and showering mom with attention and conversation.

But just because games aren’t the norm doesn’t mean they can happen at a sprinkle. If you love games or crafts, then, by all means, enjoy them at your baby sprinkle! A fun idea for a unique baby sprinkle is meeting up at a pottery or painting studio and making something special for the baby’s nursery.

Ten easy tips for planning a perfect baby shower or baby sprinkle

1. Set a budget for the baby shower, which may or may not include co-hosting or financial assistance. A baby shower will have more expenses because it is more formal and there are more guests. In contrast, a baby sprinkle can be extravagant or budget-friendly depending on how many people you invite.

2. To choose a date, talk to the expectant mother. Check with close family and best friends to make sure they will be able to attend. Usually, the shower or sprinkle will take place in the third trimester-but don’t wait too long in case the baby wants to make an early appearance!

3. Make a guest list with the mom-to-be. Gather the names and addresses. Create an RSVP list for baby showers with a long guest list to collect RSVPs as they come in. 

4. Decide on a baby shower theme to make your party-planning choices and decor easier. Check out these adorable Baby Blocks that would make such a cute photo backdrop at the shower and could be used again on the baby’s first birthday!

5. Set the location or reserve a room for the party.

6. Have the mom-to-be register for gifts so you can include the registry information on the invites. Amazon has an excellent baby registry with something for everyone. Another registry option is the Baby List, a universal registry where you can add items from any store, even specialty baby boutiques!

Even if you are not registering because you are having a baby sprinkle and not a shower, it’s still fun to shop and get ideas in case your guests ask what you have your eye on.

7. Choose your invitations and how you deliver them to your guests. Will you use paper invitations or send them digitally? If you are hosting a baby sprinkle, it is OK to forgo invitations and invite your guests by word of mouth.  

8. Plan your food and beverages. A baby shower usually has a minimum of heavy appetizers and desserts. A baby sprinkle can be as simple as serving coffee and donuts.  

9. Plan your decor and order any decorations you might need. We love decorating for baby showers! We even love going all out on the decor for baby sprinkles because it makes the day extra special. But there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to decorating. We recommend sticking with a theme to help narrow your choices and make your party look more cohesive. For one-stop shopping, check out this gender-neutral decor kit with everything you need!

10. Plan your games and get ready for some fun! From taste testing baby food to simple word scrambles, games make it easy to break the ice at a baby shower where everyone might not know each other. If you love activities but are hosting a baby sprinkle and don’t have enough people to play a game, try a craft like jewelry making or candle pouring.