I found out about a new trend in Baby Showers from another blog (don’t worry they were laughing at the idea) called a “Baby Sprinkle”. I thought it was something “classy” moms said when the baby pees on them. I was wrong. It’s when 2nd, or 3rd (or 4th….10th) time mommies have little baby showers. Basically it’s a 2nd chance gift grab from moms who were happy with the first shower. I know the Ehellions would like to get their hands on this!And they even have adorable little invites on Etsy! 0724-15
Update: I removed the image initially published with this post because the Etsy.com shop owner used an invitation that was for an actual, real event with real people named. There are dozens of “baby sprinkle” invitations available on Etsy as seen here.
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I’m for “Sprinkles” in certain circumstances.
A friend of mine is pregnant with her second child. This one is the opposite gender of the first, and they have very little in the way of gender neutral clothing. In addition to that, they’re military and have recently moved to a new area. Her new friends want to throw her a shower since she didn’t live there when she had her first baby.
She has a registry at the request of her family and out of state friends who want to get her something she needs for the new baby.
In an instance like this, I think a shower for a second baby and a gift registry are ok.
The same thing happened when my mother was expecting me. She had never had a shower thrown for her first child because they had just done a military move in a different area. When I was born my father was out of the military and they were back in civilian life, so her new friends in the neighborhood threw her a baby shower for us. I see nothing at all wrong with that due to the forgiveable circumstances.
Agreed. It all depends on the circumstances. I bought gifts for a “sprinkle” because it had been 19 years since the mom had a baby, and she had no baby items at that point. I gave another friend a private “spritz” for her 3rd because I’m so fond of her and she had given many of her baby items to another friend who had recently had twins. I don’t think that having these automatically qualifies you for E-Hell.
There is equipment that wears out or gets lost, or gets broken. Clothing gets damaged, and diapers are always needed. A small party to fill in the gaps doesn’t seem like a bad idea to me.
Naturally stuff gets lost or broken, but the parents should be fill in the gabs with their own money. As non-american I have bit of a hard time with the shower concept in whole. But I can kind of wrap my mind on it when it’s the first baby if I think it so that that is option also for those who have already kids to give something that was absolutely life saver for them (regarding babies), something that the new parents might not think themselves. Or otherwise support parents who are doing this first time.
But with second kid even that excuse is out of the way.
This is why the parents themselves (should) NEVER host a shower, a sprinkle, a spritz, or any kind of thing like that. It is for friends to help the parents celebrate and love on them by giving gifts like diapers, new clothes, new toys, etc. of their own volition. Of course the parents are going to be buying the vast majority of their own diapers, but it’s not too much for us as friends to get together to welcome a new child (first or subsequent) with items that are useful to the parents.
The reason you have the first shower is that buying all of that stuff all at once is insanely expensive and overwhelming. But after your first kid you’ve got most of the stuff so if you have to replace a broken carseat or buy some onesies not stained with vomit that’s not going to put you into debt.
Certain circumstances are okay but one of those is not having a child of the opposite gender.
Whether it’s expensive or not has nothing to do with it; showers have traditionally been for little gifts only. That they have morphed into greedy gift grabs means they are probably outdated and need to fade into the sunset. It is only expensive to set up for a baby if you choose it to be, and that is the parents’ choice, but friends/relatives are never obligated to supply goods for someone else’s child. It is the height of entitlement to expect big gifts and that is never okay.
While I fully believe parents/immediate family who choose to be involved should be the ones to fund a new baby not friends and extended family, I have to say its not really true that “it is only expensive to set up for a baby if you choose it to be.” There are laws in place that pretty much dictate a lot of big costs – for example one must have an infant seat for the baby, and used infant seats are illegal to sell/buy and even hand-me-downs are problematic as the seats have expiration dates. Old drop-side cribs are now illegal, so those hand-me-downs or second hand items are no longer an option (yes you probably could fly under the radar, but it would no doubt be a violation of home owners/renters insurance). Etc. And there’s the cost of birth itself – even with “gold level” insurance the birth of my twins (talk about an unexpected expensive surprise!) was over $10k in out of pocket expenses.
I’m not unsympathetic, but bottom line if you can’t afford it don’t have a baby.
Car seats and cribs are not that expensive and it isn’t illegal everywhere to hand them down or sell them used. There are some great buys for used equipment that is still perfectly safe, and hand me downs from friends and relatives are also a great option. We went through the same argument when we had our kids and we watched as some couples forked over hundreds and thousands of dollars on “necessities” while couples with the our mindset furnished everything cheaply and safely. Nothing’s changed since then. As for the cost of birth, I don’t know where the OP is from but I think most English-as-a-first-language countries (and many other “foreign” ones) have universal medical care and so patients do not pay out of pocket for a birth.
Dee, the United States does not have universal healthcare (Don’t get me started on that!). But with the births of both of our children, our insurance (different policies each time) picked up the entire cost. We didn’t pay a penny each time.
But even these big ticket items should not be shower gifts. The parents should pay for by themselves unless of course generous grandparents pick up the tab. We expected to have to pay for those items. But his parents bought us a swing, his sister bought a high chair, my parents bought the car seat stroller combo (we bought the subsequent car seats) and my Grandma told us she wanted to buy the crib. Everything was gender neutral since we didn’t know what we were having either time, so they worked for both girls.
I agree in certain circumstances it can be acceptable, but I’m pretty certain it will turn into a trend (if it’s not already).
The usual suspects will come to expect it. Living in South (US) I can already see my older female relatives and friends politely disapproving.
I find baby sprinkles to be tacky, mostly because the people having them tend to be the type who always want all attention on them for every major (or minor) event happening in their lives. (The only thing worse than a baby sprinkle is a gender reveal party.) There are special circumstances where I would find a sprinkle to be acceptable (e.g., kids spaced more than 10 years apart, lost all your baby stuff from the first kid in a fire, donated it all after a stillbirth/miscarriage and then had a surprise pregnancy). I don’t feel like the second baby being a different gender is enough of a justification – either plan ahead and get mostly gender neutral items the first time or suck it up and put your boy baby in a pink swing/stroller/car seat (or vice versa). You’ll always need new things for the second, third, fourth baby, but it’s not up to your friends and family to provide these every single time, in my opinion. Most people will buy the new baby a gift without being prompted, no need to have a party specifically for that purpose.
My stance on showers is a bit harsh in general, though. It feels so materialistic and attention-seeking, two things I struggle with. I didn’t have a bridal shower (which my MIL cried about!) because we had already lived together for a while and could buy our own stuff/didn’t need new stuff. I did cave to having a baby shower thrown for me, which ended up being a blessing as my husband lost his job the day before it and we ended up struggling on just my income for several months. My second baby was the same gender, and we made do with what we had, and hit up craigslist and consignment sales for the rest. I’ve also come to realize that there are always people who are begging to unload their old baby stuff off on a new parent. There’s no need to buy new stuff when there is already so much of it in circulation!
I’m with you. I particularly hate the “but now she’s having a BOY” excuse. Because putting your male infant in a pink dress is really going to leave lasting scars. How about just registering for gender neutral clothes in the first place?
My mom’s generation had it “easy” on that front. You never knew the gender, so everything was green and yellow
“Because putting your male infant in a pink dress is really going to leave lasting scars.”
It will if the child finds out. Is it that painstaking to buy infant boys’ clothes? They’re cheap, if you know where to look.
“It will if the child finds out.”
Could you explain this please?
I’m pregnant with my first, and have received a ton of clothing. I think there was possibly one outfit I actually registered for. Putting baby clothes on a registry is pretty much useless, because either it’s difficult to find that exact onesie in the store, or because everyone just buys what they think is cute. Which is perfectly fine with me, I have some absolutely adorable outfits. But most are boys outfits, since everyone knew I’m having a boy. Most of the clothing I purchased myself is gender neutral, though I couldn’t care less if we have a daughter in the future and she wears “boy” clothes. But registering for neutral things just doesn’t work.
I solved that particular issue by not revealing the genders of my twins until the end of my shower. All the gifts I got were gender neutral, and I was able to do a fun “gender reveal” without a second/alternative party.
oh yeah, that sounds like a lot of fun!!! a baby shower AND a surprise party , what could be better? :-[
I agree about those gender reveal parties. They just seem so odd to me and I don’t understand them. They just seem so self-serving and too much given that there will be a baby shower upcoming.
I feel like such a grump, but I *hate* gender reveal parties!!! Or gender reveal ‘photo shoots’. Who. Freaking. Cares. I mean, at least with a photo shoot you’re not gathering friends and expecting a gift or having a party and cutting into a piece of cake or opening a box of balloons or something equally stupid. It’s just such an attention-whore activity.
And I say this as someone who is currently pregnant with my first child. My husband and I found out the gender and our big “reveal” was a mass text message to our relatives that said “IT’S A BOY!!!” No fuss, no muss, everyone was excited and no one had to eat dry cake slathered with pink or blue icing.
I can never share this on the pregnancy boards I’m a member of, or on Facebook, because it seems like everyone I know there loves these stupid parties.
I do not care for children, I do not wish to have children of my own. I do not enjoy the company or even care to be around children but for crying out loud, even I can appreciate how fun & exciting it is for new parents to do a gender reveal party or photos or whatever.
Let people have their fun, it isn’t hurting anyone. You sound unnaturally angry at something that is so completely silly and inoffensive that I can’t imagine what about it makes you such a grump. And I imagine that there’s lots of people who DO care and want to share in the fun and the joy. Calling someone an attention whore because they’re excited about their baby is strange and sad.
THANK you! There will always be Gimme Pigs but some women just like to get together with friends and celebrate their babies. I had a sprinkle of sorts with my third daughter. It was just a handful of women who brought a box of diapers or a new picky so my littlest girl has something special from a much-loved friend. Maybe people just love their friends!
*outfit, not picky… What the heck?! 🙂
Today I had a a baby shower… I really wanted an full-sized bath… 🙂
*a* not “an” / sry
Ok, that was great
That reminds me of a conversation at work last year. I’m in the UK, and until very recently baby showers, wedding showers etc. just Did. Not. Happen, and they’re certainly not the norm. My colleague S was getting married, and young colleagues B and Y were going round the office telling people ‘we have to hold a shower for S!’ My dear colleague J, who is well past retiring age and, by her own admission not particularly ‘down with the kids’ looked bemused and said ‘Why ON EARTH are you being so rude about S? She DOES NOT smell!’
I was laughing so much I almost had to leave the room, and when I explained to J why I was laughing she started to laugh too. We all caught the giggles and it wasn’t a very productive afternoon! 🙂
Oh that is so adorable! And funny! I’m picturing this proper older lady saying this indignantly with the proper British pronunciation.
My situation is a bit odd. I’m expecting my third and being thrown a full blown shower. But, its my first shower! With my first baby, I was a teenage, so my family steered toward preparing me for adulthood and parenthood simultaneously. This did NOT include a party. Our second was born three and a half years later (opposite gender), so we pretty much had everything we needed and enjoyed a great deal of love and support from family and friends. This baby will be sever years after our last, and we have absolutely nothing. I’m extremely grateful that our friends and family want to mark this occasion in our lives, but now I wonder if I’m being tacky by accepting…
Our girls are twins who were born at 25 weeks gestation and spent 119 and 139 days in the NICU before coming home. That truly terrifying period is the reason we never planned a second pregnancy and gave away all of their baby stuff. When our unexpected blessing arrived 8 years after the girls, several friends really wanted to throw a shower. I was leery because it was a third baby but wound up accepting. We kept it small (about 12 people attended – all other moms from my multiples group whose baby days were also long over and who spent the previous 8 years supporting us through CP and other micro-preemie issues and so were delighted that we were going to experience a full term singleton) and there was no registry. We spent a couple of hours reminiscing about our baby days and oohing and aahing over teeny, tiny baby clothes. Basically, this is a long winded way to say, I don’t think this has to be tacky. Just keep it simple and plan on still covering the big ticket items yourself.
There are circumstances when sprinkles are ok. A friend of mine had a boy about 11 years ago. We had the shower and watched as the boy grew up. She suddenly ended up pregnant again with a girl this time. She had nothing left over from when boy was a baby 10 years ago so we threw her another shower. I think this sort of thing is legitimate. However, my own mother had her children 5 years apart and had kept most of her stuff because she was planning on another baby. She did not expect another shower. She did receive congratulation cards and a new crib set. I think the sprinkle thing should be evaluated person by person based on circumstances. When my aunt got pregnant with twins she held another shower even though her oldest was four and a boy she was expecting twin girls.
You can always choose not to attend.
As a woman who is childless by choice, I avoid most baby showers because people I barely know feel that it is appropriate to comment on my fertility, and I’ve found that there is always a certain type of older lady who enjoys talking about how hard labor and child rearing are.
In cases where my presence is truly appreciated by the mother to be, I’ll attend. In cases where my presents are the only thing desired, I’ll send a card.
The only present I ever bring is cash or gift cards- that’s what showers really are, a cash grab.
Having read through the thread, I agree that in some circumstances these “sprinkles” are ok. I for one will not judge a family with, say, two teenagers heading for college and expecting a “miracle baby” for deciding to throw a shower. Or like in the example in a comment above, someone who has a boy and is expecting twin girls. Come on, it’s very easy to tell whether something is a gift grab or not. A semi-distant relative of mine only has one kid, that she had in the year when I got divorced, had to buy a house, spent all my savings on divorce lawyer and the downpayment for the house and so forth… and my oldest was in 11th grade, very close to college. This relative lived in another town a few hours away. In the course of one year, I got three invites from that couple. One for a baby shower, the other one for the baby’s christening, and finally an invite for baby’s first birthday party. Each one with registry information attached, and for the christening my parents also passed a message to me by word of mouth that “cash is preferred”. I sent a gift for the shower and my regrets and best wishes for the other two occasions; after which I stopped getting invites from that family, which is just as well. I’m not in a place right now where I am able to finance them!
What I’m saying here is, this family technically did everything by the rules. But to me, three invites in one year still came across as a gift grab, even if they were for the same child and therefore okay etiquette-wise. Now if I’d received two invites from the same couple for two different children, ten years apart, or for one child one year and for a set of triplets the next, I might’ve been more understanding, even though it’s technically against the rules!
Personally I never had a shower, because neither of my sons were born in the US. We didn’t have showers where I’m from; but we did have hand-me-downs. I received a ton of used baby things from friends and family when my children were born, and then I gave it all away when they grew older. Worked well for everyone.
Your relative’s invitations were absolutely NOT “okay etiquette-wise”, primarily because they committed the massive etiquette faux pas of including registry information in all of them. That’s blatant solicitation of gifts and is entirely incorrect.
It was also incorrect for the expecting couple to throw their own baby shower. And I’d say that inviting a “semi-distant” adult relative to a child’s first birthday party is kind of an etiquette fail as well.
Children’s birthday parties are traditionally for kindergarten-and-up children to celebrate with friends their own age. For infants and toddlers too young for peer-group celebrations, making their birthday an occasion for an intimate family party can be a nice thing to do, but inviting your larger social circle to such an event turns it into a gift-grab.
Nobody outside of your close friends and family is really interested in watching your infant smear cake all over himself or herself. If “semi-distant” relatives or friends have already given you a baby shower gift and/or a present for the child’s birth or christening, you should not be rattling the tin at them for further contributions.
Thank you! That’s exactly what my children’s birthday parties were like. We’d rent a table at Chuck E Cheese or something, or do it at home, invite their friends (THEIR friends!! not our relatives), have pizza and cake, open gifts, and the birthday child would happily talk about his awesome party for months after. Which really is the goal of a kiddie birthday party, for the birthday kid and his or her friends to have a good time! I never had birthday parties of that kind growing up – we lived in a very small apartment and my parents weren’t up to having lots of kids over – so I made sure my children would have that experience, that I had missed when I was their age.
It seems to me that people have lost track of WHY baby showers came about.
Baby showers are a way for the community to help outfit a young couple, just starting out, with their new baby. The idea was that the parents were working entry level jobs, had very limited resources, and no baby items. So this way friends and close family could help them with the necessities and lessen the financial burden. It also allowed experienced parents to gift the parents-to-be with items that very useful but new parents might not have considered.
It is assumed that by the time the second baby comes, the family is more established and they already either have their leftover baby stuff from the first kid or the ability to obtain any baby things they need. That’s why a baby shower for subsequent children is seen as tacky and a gift grab.
But it seems people now think baby showers somehow reflect your excitement about the new baby. So if you don’t have one for every baby it’s because you love them less or are less excited about the babies after your first one.
One of my friends had twins (one boy and one girl) a couple years ago. She is pregnant again and went on Facebook asking about the etiquette behind having a shower for the new baby.
I was shocked by the number of people who said things like:
“Every baby deserves to be celebrated!”
“Of course you should have a shower. No baby should have to wear hand-me-downs!”
“A new shower is a must!”
One person even commented “You should ask some of the guests to bring gifts for the twins instead so they don’t feel left out by all the presents for the new baby!”
My friend and her husband are both professionals (he’s a personal injury attorney and she’s a VP for a financial services company). They are well established in their careers. They have a ton of both little boy and little girl items due to their twins only be 2 1/2 years old. There should be no NEED for a baby shower at this point.
“No baby should wear hand-me-downs”? Because why? Will other babies refuse to let him set at their lunch table or something?? This is so ridiculous and entitled and materialistic it’s making my head spin.
but what if the couple is still going through financial strain? it’s not easy for everyone to move up because of education, circumstance, etc. While I agree with your general premise, I think there is some wiggle room and possibility that not everyone can become a top company man in a span of a few years.
If they are having financial strain, and it certainly doesn’t sound like it, maybe they shouldn’t be having another baby.
Birth control isn’t 100% foolproof
I don’t agree that ‘need’ is the only reason for hosting a shower. I see it as a community desire to be a part of a life transition. In which case, the community decides what is an appropriate gift, not the recipient. I think the rule should be that no one is to be invited to more than one shower of any particular type, or it looks greedy. A co-worker who’s having a second child? OK to have a shower if they had their first child while employed elsewhere. But after that, it should be a luncheon in honor of the new baby, and people can decide if that’s a gifting occasion or not.
Snarky Jocelyn says that most babies will take new clothes and turn them into spotted and stained messes pretty darned quickly, so expecting that your baby will only be garbed in new clothes is going to be an expensive luxury that the parents need to figure out how to afford. What’s next, preschool tuition showers? Trip to Disneyland showers?
Where I come from, after the first baby, family and friends simply purchase a gift and give it to the parents if they want to. A shower might be held if there is a large-ish gap between the children (where the parents might have given away the baby stuff and then, surprise!) or if something else might have happened that they don’t have much in the way of either funds or baby stuff. (Loss of job, loss of things due to fire, etc.) But a sprinkle, though cute on the outside, seems more like a gift grab to me.
I can understand the second shower in some situations. When I had my second baby, I had recently moved to a new job in a new city. My work colleagues insisted on having a shower to celebrate a new colleague (and perhaps to escape work for a couple of hours). Gifts were small, useful, and fun, and included some items so I could pamper myself while on maternity leave.
In my case, the “sprinkle” was all about the party, not about the gifts. Ice cream cake for everyone!
Typically, a “sprinkle” is a smaller event with close friends and family. I see nothing wrong with celebrating each new life with those closest to you.
I also don’t think celebrating is a “gift grab” or creates an expectation of others to fund the needs of their baby.
I have a friend on fb having her 4th boy. Her youngest will be a year old when the baby is born. Yup she is having a shower. She has had a shower for every single child.
I ascribe to the theory “I can be rude to myself” so if some of a mom-to-be friends express “Let’s do something for her , something that involves gifts and cake.” For that to organically organize into a shower or sprinkle isn’t rude.
IF an club, workplace or any organization gives “cake and gift” to all mothers/fathers of new babies thats not rude.
IF a church wraps an act of charity into a party thats not rude.
I think it gets gift grabbing and rude when the GOH pulls the gifts from people who expressed no prior interest in getting them a gift.
In my family, a sprinkle is a small get together where mostly used items are given to a relative having a subsequent child. Also, in our culture or part of the country (I haven’t decided which), a baby shower is a co-ed, child friendly party, usually held in a hall, with great food, music, drinks, etc. It’s pretty much a regular party, with a pregnant lady in attendance.
I think a sprinkle is acceptable, if it is just a sprinkle and not a full out second shower. A smaller group of closest friends and family wanting to give gifts / love to the expecting parent.
People can always decline. I’ve been to a few and even thrown a sprinkle for my sister. We have a big family though and love any excuse to celebrate. That’s how we look at it.
I had not heard of this until recently. A good friend’s sister (I know…a faux pas in itself…but she means well) sent me the invite for the sprinkle for my friend. I had to look it up what it was lol. In this scenario, it was more just a ladies lunch to celebrate her second soon-to-be child, which would be a boy this time (a girl the first), and gifts were not expected. Most of us just had some fun giving her some boy clothing as she didn’t have any, and I was happy to celebrate. It didn’t come off as a gift grab in any way and was in my eyes, a celebration. I don’t see anything wrong with something like this.
I love my cousin’s wife, but she and her family are the height of rudeness. She is pregnant with her third child, her older two are a boy and girl, and her sister is throwing her a…I’m not sure what to call it. I got an “event invite” on Facebook and it was titled “it’s a girl”. Well, awesome, but why am I expected to provide what it needs??
Both of her older children are under the age of 6.
Wow, the evil genius of knowingly bringing another life into this world just to get you to provide another gift, what cunning! Really, what’s tacky here is your prioritizing material capital over your relationship (or lack thereof) with this growing family. Funny, humans used to say “It takes a village…”
We used to, because it used to mean that everyone pitched in and helped. My cousin and his “growing family” don’t want anyone to help raise their kids, thank you (their attitude) but have no problem expecting others to give them what they want, not need, for them.
I find this whole thing really interesting, as we don’t have ‘showers’ in the UK. Not Bridal, not baby. Somehow we still manage without!
As so many people mention, there are plenty of situations where a “sprinkle” or even full-on “shower” would not be inappropriate – long gaps between children, different gender, living in a different part of the country – and I can think of a few more.
What about a baby shower for the children of a second marriage? For all the awful stories out there, I’m sure that there are plenty of women who have really taken such a woman into their family, and they want them to feel included by throwing them a shower, even though they’ve been married and had children before.
What about a baby shower for a woman who lost a child? Would this not be a great way of “celebrating” the event?
I think that when the word “shower” gets thrown around, there is too much of an association with the gifting. It need not be – and I think that people could take a page out of the lives of those who are themselves less well-to-do – and that a baby shower gift might be a package of diapers or even just some diaper rash creme, or for that matter, it could be just a verbal promise to provide a meal or a few hours of respite for a new mother. Even if they pooled all their money, I’m sure that the friends and family of some women out there couldn’t afford a “luxury stroller” coming in at over $1000 – but that does not mean that love, support, and celebration cannot, or should not happen.
Under what circumstances on earth would anyone want a shower for a woman who lost a baby??
People often say, “____ had a shower/sprinkle for a [second, third, fourth, whatever] child because all her friends wanted to buy her things for be new baby because of ______.” So then why didn’t her friends just buy her things and give them to her? Is that so horrible? My co-worker had a baby with no baby shower, but a few of us from work still managed to get her a few things, unasked (and we didn’t have to have one of those awkward work parties, either). I knit her a baby sweater and left it on her desk for her (she was on maternity leave because the baby was early, but I knew she was going to drop by the office sometime that week), and then she sent me a thank you note. No party needed.