Sprinkle Etiquette

Baby “Sprinkle” Etiquette



If you don’t know, a baby Sprinkle is held when someone is pregnant with her second, third, or fourth child. Since the Sprinkle is a fairly new addition to the party world, there isn’t much guidance explaining the etiquette of this occasion. So today I’m sharing a few pointers and ideas as well as a lovely Sprinkle my friend recently held for an expecting mother.

A Sprinkle is typically a lower key affair than a shower (hence the name “sprinkle”!) and usually just the mother’s closest friends and family are invited. Generally, it is a celebration of the mom and arrival of her newest bundle of joy, and not a “stock the nursery” kind of gathering. In other words, registering for sprinkles is a big no-no.

Swoozie’s is a great place to get invitations because you can order the exact number you need.

The biggest question I receive about Sprinkles is : Should guests bring presents? Generally, the answer is no or something small.

Now some pregnant moms will retort, “But my friends really want to bring me a gift.” That may be true, and they might bring one, but the event itself shouldn’t be regarded as another shower. Most likely this same group of people already helped stock your nursery with gifts at your baby shower. Asking them to bring a whole slew of gifts, especially if it hasn’t been that long since your previous baby, seems a bit much to ask of them.

Let’s also not forget that your friends in this same stage of life are probably attending multiple wedding and baby showers a month and, frankly, the costs add up. (No one would ever say that aloud, but I guarantee most people feel that way!). Most people will probably be relieved that this sprinkle is just a fun get together and not something in which they have to bring one more gift.

I would suggest specifying “no gifts, please” on the invitation. The friends who want to bring a gift can do so on their own time. A few possible exceptions in which you might want to encourage some kind of theme gifting:

  • It has been 5+ years since the birth of her last baby (and her baby stuff is outdated or been given away!)
  • She has multiple children of the same sex and now is having the opposite. For example, the mom honored in this Sprinkle has three girls and is now pregnant with a boy.
  • The Sprinkle is just among family members.
  • Guests are asked to bring a very small themed gift as listed below.

Here are some more low key ideas for a sprinkle:

  • A Sprinkle at a favorite restaurant. Remember, if you send paper invitations people will generally assume you are treating. Please note “dutch” if otherwise.
  • A “Dutch” Sprinkle. The organizer is not the host. She will just send a Paperless Post or card invitation to the guests (or just email!) and specify the date/time/location. I have been to several of these where the organizer didn’t specify that people were to pay for themselves. Be sure to clarify that so there aren’t any surprises at the dinner! You could say it’s a “Dutch Sprinkle” or “Let’s Take Lisa to Dinner” Sprinkle. Tell the restaurant before you sit down that you want the guest of honor’s check split up among everyone else.
  • Have a Book Sprinkle. My friends did this for me when I had my third child and I’m sure you won’t be surprised that I LOVED it. It gave the guests an opportunity to bring a little something, and it was meaningful. After two children, a lot of our favorites like Pat the Bunny and The Runaway Bunny were a little tattered, so this was a good chance to restock our baby bookshelf!
  • Hair Bow Sprinkle. After having two boys, one of my friends became pregnant with her first girl. Since she insisted on no gifts, we (secretly) asked each guest to bring a hair bow. (I mean it’s like $5 for a baby bow so not a big deal.) I bought a cute bow holder to put them all on and she loved it. Simple is the key when it comes to a Sprinkle.
  • Diaper Sprinkle. Because these are much needed and much appreciated!

On this note: if you are invited to a sprinkle that says “no gifts,” please don’t bring awkwardness to the party by bringing a gift; drop it off later!

petit fours
Petit Fours always add a nice touch! These are from Stein’s Bakery, Dallas.

Furthermore, if you want to host a Sprinkle, it doesn’t have to be on par with the effort you might put into a baby shower. My friend hosted a lovely event in her home with many of the things she already owned, with a few decor and DIY items to make it super cute. (See sources at the bottom of the post!).

She made this tissue paper garland.
place setting
Details make such a difference.

And to make it easier on herself, she ordered the food from the fabulous The Hospitality Sweet here in Dallas and voila: A lovely Sprinkle amongst the mom’s closest friends.


Would love your thoughts on my Sprinkle etiquette recommendations!

Happy Hosting!



Sources: Invitations (Swoozie’s- Dallas) / Pom Poms  (White/Blue) / Placemats (Similar: Pottery Barn) / Straws / Similar: Chevron Ribbon / WreathWooden “W” / Similar: Chalkboard Easel) / Chalkboard Pens (Must Have!) / White Plates (Similar: Crate and Barrel) / Petit Fours (Stein’s Bakery) / Chicken Salad and Orzo (The Hospitality Sweet)

More Party Supplies:






Hot glued wooden letters on the wreath and added a bow! The mom took it home and will hang it on their door when the baby is born! The bow is so good because my friend has her own hair bow company! See pics below.

Tassels How To (Or buy here):


Bow napkin rings/Wooden Name:

place setting
Made a bow out of white ribbon (any craft store) and glued it on a piece of ribbon.  Then I tied it around the napkin like a napkin ring.
Bought wooden letters from craft store and glued on another piece of wood!

And if you need a good “big bow” for your older girls, check out my the hostess’ cute hair bow company on Facebook!



What do you think?

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22 thoughts on “Baby “Sprinkle” Etiquette

  1. I love this post on a Sprinkle! I think it can be tricky since it’s fairly new territory so I appreciate the tips! And what a creative hostess- so cute! 🙂

  2. I don’t agree. I have a boy and will be having another on or around my first son’s birthday – “Irish Twins” if you want to call it that. Although I have a lot of boy stuff already, many of the items I have, such as the pack and play and high chair, will still be in use by my first son when the second is here. Having a sprinkle with a limited registry and having close friends and family bring gifts, should be allowed. It’s hard enough having two very young children that are only a year apart. The financial strain is extra stress and some gifts at a sprinkle would be a huge help. Even if a whole family goes in on one larger gift, such as a second high chair, that would be a huge help.

    1. Thanks so much for commenting. You are so right. I am not a twin mom so obviously did not think of that! I did update the post to say that because, yes, obviously, you are going to need double the baby gear! (And I agree with the close friends and family thing, too!). Thanks so much again!

    2. Yes it should be absolutely acceptable, but it’s not your friends’ and family’s obligation to financially support you. I always give new babies a gift, because they need so much and i want to. but the attitude that you are having a shower because you’re financially burdened, why did you decide to have a kid if you cant afford it? yes accidents happen, but to demand a gift giving shower is greedy. its no one else’s choice but yours to have multiple kids. talk to your doc about birth control if you cannot afford them without handouts.

      mind you, i enjoy baby showers and support them fully. its the entitled attitude i have issue with.

  3. Rather than giving gifts, my girlfriends and I all go in on a spa gift card when we throw a sprinkle for someone in the group. We’re all in the “baby phase” so these sprinkles are happening all the time. The spa gift card is such a nice way for us to take care of one another.

  4. I see that it says to note when not buying to see below, I do not see what to put on the invitation.

    1. For no gifts, all you need to write is “No Gifs, Please” at the bottom of the invitation. Let me know if this does not answer your question. Thank you!

  5. Dear me. So someone came up with the kind idea to celebrate a new mom, pregnant with her second, third or fourth child, with a low-key celebration of love and support. Your suggestions and photos are just lovely — but I must tell you that two years later (I’m typing this in June 2017), our society has turned a “Sprinkle” into just one more cog in the materialistic, consumer-obsessed machine that drives our current culture. Sprinkles are now common — often thrown by family members — and gifts are expected. Am I surprised — no.

  6. As a foreigner, I just know about baby shower party, thank you for your post, now I know the sprinkle party, between families.
    Tony ~ happyinvitation.com ~

  7. Yessss!!! This has to be quite possibly one of my main pet peeves! My two were spaced almost 5 years apart, different genders, and if someone mentioned this I kindly replied No Thank You. If someone wants to give your baby something theynwill do it anyways after they receive an announcement, but the idea of inviting them to basically another shower is ridiculous to me. So thankful for someon like you who abides to rules or etiquette not for unecessary reasons, but for the sake of maintaining gratefulness, thankfulness, and tact.

  8. I know this comment comes years later, but I wanted to voice my frustration. I have attended several sprinkles in the last few months and have noted that there is no difference, as far as expectations for attendees, between a sprinkle and a baby shower. The only difference is that if the event is held at a restaurant, then I am expected to chip in as a guest. I usually bring a beautiful hardback book with a ribbon and have been embarrassed when the hostess opens gifts. Mine is notably the smallest and “cheapest,” and I am always the only one who does not bring a full-on shower gift. I am very happy to celebrate my friends and their babies, but I feel frustrated that there are no rules. Etiquette is supposed to help avoid embarrassment, but with no clear rules of anything, we are simply reduced to a crass society. Lee, do you truly follow these sprinkle rules of no gifts or only one book amongst your own friends?

    1. Even though it may be the norm in your circles (and seemingly in the younger generations) I am holding firm to my stance that a sprinkle is not an all out shower. Aside from very specific cases, I don’t think a mom needs to be showered the same as she was the first time she had a baby. It’s unnecessary and borders entitlement. I think it’s time to address this issue again! I will do my best to try to stop the tides that are turning in that direction. But to answer your question, yes I give a smaller gift if invited to a sprinkle.

      1. Lee, thank you for your comment. This encourages me greatly, and I will continue my habit of bringing something small to sprinkles.

  9. I am invited to a drive by baby sprinkle. It is a second baby and I see the guest list as well over 100 people along with a registry. What are your thoughts?

    1. I would just do a small gift. Something small of the registry or a children’s Bible or something of that nature. That’s just me personally.