If you are looking for a fun way to celebrate having your second or later child, but understand that throwing another shower may be inappropriate, opting for a trendy "Baby Sprinkle" may be just the middle ground you're searching for.
What is a Baby Sprinkle?
A sprinkle, instead of a shower, is a smaller, less lavish party in honor of an expecting mother and baby. Parents need less in way of supplies the second or later time around, but they still have some unavoidable needs with the arrival of each new child they welcome to their family. The cost and requirements of throwing a Baby Sprinkle are less burdensome for hosts and guests, and vary by family preference.
When is it appropriate to throw a Baby Sprinkle?
Any time when it is not the first child or the emphasis is focused more on the mother or celebration of new life, rather than meeting the gift needs of the family, is a good indication that a Baby Sprinkle is the appropriate choice. The expecting family can opt to ask for no gifts or just small essential needs such as diapers, wipes, gender specific items (within reason), or pre-made frozen meals for after the baby is born.
Should you register?
It depends on the circumstances of the expecting family, but in most cases, it is not appropriate to register for gifts for a Baby Sprinkle, especially not for big ticket items. If you do choose to register, be very mindful to not be elaborate in what you ask for, as it can easily offend some family and friends. Proper sprinkle etiquette, if you do require help with larger items for any reason, for instance, if your first is still in the crib, or the space between children was so lengthy you no longer own a crib, is to ask for help privately to your closest family and friends, rather than registering publically to your sprinkle guests. A sprinkle, by default, is not a shower.
What activities do we plan?
Simple doesn't equal less fun! Just because the emphasis is less focused on gifts, that's no reason to compromise the celebration. Babies are cause to celebrate! Break out the cake, play some fun party games and share in the joy that comes in welcoming new life to the world. Plenty of the games that are popular the first time around are still enjoyable at a Baby Sprinkle. Guessing the baby's gender if it's unknown, measuring mama's belly, and similar games never lose their entertainment value. The host may also consider collecting sibling squabble advice from the guests for the mom, or ask everyone to bring their favorite Bible verse or encouraging quote for the family.
What about Decorations?
Again, this is based on the preference of the family and/or ability of the host. Keep in mind that Baby Sprinkles are intended to be less lavish than Baby Showers, so the simplicity factor of "less is more," is key. A few balloons and, depending on light theme, some decorative tableware would not be over the top or inappropriate. Cards, meals, and items of sentiment are always welcome. Remember, the emphasis is to focus on the blessing of life and celebrating the child and mother in a non-extravagant, but tasteful way.
Are Thank-You Cards Necessary?
Saying, "Thank You," is never off the mark. Whether or not sending "Thank-You" cards is necessary will depend largely on the circumstances of what was given at the Baby Sprinkle. Whether guests brought small gifts, or simply gathered to pray/celebrate will have a lot to do with what is expected in the way of Thank-You notes. Expressing gratitude to those who love and help you is always something positive. For a smaller sprinkle, simply thanking those who attended verbally and making them feel appreciated is perfectly acceptable. When in doubt, always opt to send and say thank you.
Can you have more than one Baby Sprinkle?
This is up to individual preference. While every single child should be celebrated, the truth of the matter is, the more children you have, the less appropriate throwing gift-giving parties becomes. You can choose to have as many Baby Sprinkles as you want, but tastefully, they should be smaller and more intimate each time, with no gifts at subsequent gatherings. The bright side is people love babies and blessing families with babies, so the need for throwing more than one Baby Sprinkle is slim- most people bring or send cards and small necessities or meals for each welcomed new member of the family.