It’s no secret: Southern women love a good party, and not just as attendees. They love planning, hosting, and talking (read: gossiping) about parties. Not only are décor, menu items, and invitations important, but there’s always etiquette to remember. While we like to stick to the old-school rules for many party dos and don’ts, etiquette has bent a bit to cater to the modern way of doing things. One party that old-fashioned etiquette sticklers might not know about yet? The baby sprinkle.
Now if your ears just perked up, your eyebrow raised, and your lips pursed ready to retaliate at another pointless millennial concoction made for social media, hold the reigns for a sec. We’ll admit, the baby sprinkle already has made-for-Instagram theme ideas and invitations. But the premise behind it makes a lot of sense, and it’s a very sweet occasion to add to your calendar. So what is a baby sprinkle anyway?
As you can assume from the name, a baby sprinkle is a toned-down baby shower. The mama-to-be had a blowout baby shower with all the bells and whistles for her first child, but what about the second, third, and consecutive kids? We love hand-me-downs just as much as the next gal, but there are still plenty of things second-time parents will need before their new child comes home.
Think of a baby sprinkle like a stock the bar party, except you’re stocking the nursery. The couple already has the big-ticket items from the first kid (high chair, crib, car seat, etc.), but they’re going to need tons of newborn diapers, anytime onesies (you know plenty of the first kid’s ended up in the trash), wipes, and other baby bathroom staples when the new addition arrives. So you’re “sprinkling” them with baby essentials—and love, of course.
When you’re invited to or hosting a baby sprinkle, it’s important to consider the mama-to-be’s situation. If her first child is young enough that he or she is still using the car seat or crib from the baby shower, you and several friends could split the cost of one of those expensive must-have items. If the first kid has grown out of those big-budget buys, go with simple gifts you know the mama needs. It’s also smart to take into consideration if her first child is one gender and she’s having the other, or if she doesn’t know the gender of the new baby yet. She might need bows in her current house full of boys, and gender-neutral baby gifts are always a safe play. And like we said, you can’t go wrong with diapers and other nursery and bathroom go-tos for the baby. These gifts are always used and always appreciated.
Since a sprinkle is a more low-key affair than a shower, it’s typically a smaller gathering of only family and close friends. Some moms-to-be opt for a kid-friendly party, since they already have the new baby’s older sibling at home. Baby sprinkles are more laidback and typically shorter, too. Several of the same etiquette rules that apply to baby showers still play with the sprinkle, though. The mom-to-be and her mom or mother in law typically don’t host, and you should never include a registry on the invitation. Because the gifts are smaller and more baby essential-focused, most baby sprinkles won’t have a registry anyway.
Although there are some party trends we’re ready to say goodbye to, we can definitely get behind the baby sprinkle. Every new baby should be celebrated, and every mom, even if she’s not a first-timer, should get support and love from her friends and family. Sprinkle away!
WATCH: Here’s What You Need To Know About Baby Shower Etiquette
Need to brush up on your baby shower etiquette? Gayden Metcalfe and Charlotte Hays, Southern etiquette experts and authors of Being Dead Is No Excuse, Somebody Is Going To Die if Lilly Beth Doesn't Catch That Bouquet, and Some Day You'll Thank Me for This, have plenty of tips for keeping your manners in line when it comes to showering the mama-to-be.