by Ann Waterman
When my sister-in-law was expecting her third child, my mother-in-law asked if I would be interested in helping to throw a little party for her to celebrate the new life that would soon be joining our family. I thought it was a great idea but was stumped about how to word the invitation, since we didn’t want it to be a full-on shower with the expectation of gifts (though really, aren’t we all looking for an excuse to buy cute baby clothes?). So I turned to the interwebs for help, and as it turned out, there is a name for just this kind of celebration: a baby sprinkle. (Get it? “Sprinkle,” not “shower,” since it’s a celebration on a smaller scale.)
A new addition to the family is always a wonderful thing and something to celebrate, but let’s face it: No pregnancy gets as much fanfare as the first. For a lot of women, pregnancy can be a long, tough haul. While the wonder and newness of a little life growing inside you can carry you through the travails of your first pregnancy, most women want to fast-forward through the actual “pregnancy” portion of subsequent pregnancies and just get to the babe-in-arms part.
That’s why I like the idea of a baby sprinkle. When mom is feeling huge and ready to be done, a baby sprinkle can be a nice little pick-me-up to help her get to the finish line. It’s also a nice opportunity to get together with girlfriends before your days and nights become a blur and are filled with feeding, diaper changes, and intimate bonding time with your newest love.
A baby sprinkle doesn’t have to be extravagant. It could be a girl’s night out at a restaurant, a movie night, or a mocktail party — just something to let a mom know she’s cared about and that you’re happy about her latest arrival, too. Baby games are optional depending on the mom’s preference — I have friends who love them and friends who loathe them — as are gifts. I recently went to a sprinkle where the hostess let the guests know that the expectant mom had everything she needed for the baby, but that she would be grateful for diapers and wipes. I also know moms who appreciate a few new outfits or items to replace old or worn-out ones. If you’re hosting a sprinkle, find out what the expectant mom needs in case anyone asks.
This past weekend, I hosted a sprinkle for my best friend who’s expecting her fourth child. She appreciates good food and shares my palate, so I put together a menu of heavy hors d’oeuvres for an evening soiree with close friends, followed by a rousing game of Apples to Apples and, of course, lots of girl talk. She left the shower beaming and, I hope, properly feted for one of life’s greatest events.
Is there anything special you do for your pregnant friends to let them know you care? (I also like to bring meals over after the baby arrives. You might want to check out this post I wrote last year about taking meals to new moms.)
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