Popular since the beginning of the 20th century, baby showers are held as a way to celebrate both the soon-to-be mother and the baby. However, as the name implies, such events often center around "showering" the mother with gifts. After the first baby shower, some guests believe that the mother already has everything that she needs, so she should not have a shower for her second child. Etiquette for such events centers around gift giving but also a few other factors depending on the exact type of celebration the host selects to throw.
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Right or Wrong?
Traditionally, baby showers were only held the first time around. However, it has become a more common practice nowadays to have showers for the second, third and later pregnancies. Some people now think that every baby's birth is a cause for celebration and that the focus of the party is to prepare to welcome a new life. If she is inclined to do so, the shower host might ask potential guests how they would feel about subsequent showers before making specific preparations.
Difference in Gift Giving
During first showers, mothers receive large token items such as car seats, changing tables, strollers and cribs. Because mothers having later babies already have these items, guests should select smaller gifts such as diapers, bibs, bottles, onesies, receiving blankets, swaddling blankets and formula for future showers. Parties where these smaller items are given are often referred to as Sprinkles. However, it is important to remember that if the couple's other child is very young, the parents could very well need second strollers and the like.
Food at Sprinkles
If the host opts to throw a Sprinkle, proper fare is generally lighter than at a typical shower. As at any party, what to serve depends on the time of the day. Brunch treats are served in the morning or early afternoon, while a dinner party would call for more of a full meal. Suggestions for Sprinkle foods include shrimp, chips, crackers and cheese, chocolates, cookies and other types of appetizers and small desserts.
Guests should always be thanked for coming to and participating in the party. Traditional baby shower favors are fine, but some hosts want to stay with the specific theme of the Sprinkle. An appropriate favor would be an item that relates to how many children the mother will have when the baby is born. Baby-Shower.com suggests a tea pot, tea cup and a tea cosy for a celebration of a soon-to-be mother of three.
Two More Alternatives
Instead of throwing a more low-key shower or a sprinkle, hosts may decide to have an "It's a Girl" or an "It's a Boy" party if the second baby is going to be a different gender than the first. As the name suggests, instead of bringing generic gifts for the mother and baby, guests should bring presents that are gender specific. Of course, hosts can always choose to eliminate gifts completely and just have a celebration without them.