Baby Shower VS Baby Sprinkle | What Makes Them Different

by Andrea Smith | Andrea Smith is a mother of two living in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. She finds joy in knitting and wine.  

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Blake Lively celebrated the news of baby number two with an extravagant baby shower, courtesy of husband Ryan Reynolds, with BFF’s Taylor Swift and Emily Blunt. It was an over-the-top show of love and joy for the new bébé.

Celebrities and their fancy baby showers always end up trending on sites like Pinterest. They make most people fantasize about the day they’ll get to have their big to-do. But for those less keen on having a huge party, a baby sprinkle is the more intimate event. Making the choice between the two often comes down to circumstance and finances.

So, why is this even a conversation?

Because a baby sprinkle is a new trend. They are less work. And most aren’t aware of what the proper etiquette is. I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t matter what you plan, because they’re both a celebration of life!

But for those of you who want to know the difference between the two, allow me to indulge you with some distinct differences.

the scene is that of a baby shower. There is an arch of pink, yellow, white, and gold balloons above the setting of a baby shower table with a variety desserts. A man stands behind a pregnant woman and kisses her cheek.
Photo by Paola Vasquez on

The Why

If a baby shower is the big event, then why have a baby sprinkle? First-time parents may organize one for a smaller gathering. Maybe mom and dad need just need a little love and attention instead of a big hoopla. And first-time moms may prefer a baby sprinkle as the low-key option.

But which party should one have?

This is the BIG question. Your reasons are your reasons. The rules for baby showers are pretty much defunct at this point. It used to be that no men were allowed, and that children weren’t either. So, which party to have is really based on your personal needs and wants.

Now, let’s figure out which one is right for you!

Types of Gifts

Baby showers often find expectant moms, cascaded with gifts. In a baby shower, you’re expected to spoil her with the best. Let’s be aware, this can be an expensive celebration with top of the line gifts. For this type of party, parents or friends & family of the mom-to-be, will register the mother at a store. Formal invitations are often sent out, with listed registry sites, so that guests will have the opportunity to RSVP and find exactly what the mama wants and needs. If you’re not sure what is an appropriate gift for this kind of party, think large and pricey, such as playpens, formula mixers, strollers, high chairs, and the like.

With a sprinkle, there is a gap between the last baby and the new baby, or if the expected baby is a different gender. Baby sprinkle gifts are a light assortment of presents, not always as expensive as a baby shower. The gifts at this party are often just the essentials – diapers, wipes, bottles, etc. There aren’t big gifts like playpens or strollers at a sprinkle. Parents also tend not to use a registry for the sprinkle. While an expensive gift is usually not the norm, smaller ones are like onesies, bath towels, and blankets. Other good gift ideas are money, gift cards, baby bedding, books, and toys. Digital invitations are also the preferred invitations and you can opt to say that no gift is necessary.

Number of Guests

You can invite hundreds of guests to a baby shower. While the party is to celebrate the mother-to-be, you’ll find that the mother is often bombarded with having to speak to every guest. This large responsibility can be fun, but can also be tiring for the mother and often, overwhelming. Because of the larger number of guests at this type of function, gift opening is done at a later time with thank you notes being mailed out.

For a baby sprinkle– the guest count is much lower and can often range between 10 and 40. The mother is more of the focus and the party becomes a part of the background. Expect gift opening to occur during this type of party. Distant friends, relatives, or co-workers aren’t usually present. As this is a delicately intimate affair, you’ll find children welcome at this party and the guest list is more for immediate family and friends.

Food & Beverages

For a baby shower, the routine is pretty straight forward. Either a restaurant, caterer, or banquet hall is booked and the menu is vast with a large array of foods to choose from. You will normally see three or four course menu’s with each course being timed perfectly. There may be champagne flutes passed around and other beverages. If you’re having a fancier affair, then you will even find servers walking around and checking on guests’ food and drink needs. The larger the party, the less likely you will find games to accompany. But if there are games scheduled, you can expect a wide assortment.

When it comes to a baby sprinkle, food may not always accompany. You won’t find a caterer or restaurant as the choice for foods, either. If food is in the planning, you’ll see mainly small finger foods, appetizers, or snack bowls. Family and friends are often the ones who bring the food. Sometimes there are snacks and games, but as it is a more intimate event, you’ll find that everyone just wants to chat and sit back and relax together, enjoying each other’s company.


Baby showers must be scheduled, including any extra’s expected to be a part of the party. Because the guest count is so high with this kind of event, you are expected to book a venue and plan according to your guests. This includes catering to your loved ones.

During a baby sprinkle, there is no set schedule, except for the date and time of the party. Because it is a smaller event, it can be planned as a surprise. Or, the mom-to-be can be involved with the planning and hosting.

The Takeaway

Whether you’re choosing a baby shower or a baby sprinkle, it is still a celebration of new life. Plus, they’re both fun! And though a baby sprinkle is the newest trend, don’t feel like you can’t have the big party that you’ve always wanted. It’s your life, plan whatever will make you feel happy.

Have an idea about baby sprinkles and baby showers? I’d love to hear your thoughts so be sure to comment on this article.

Andrea Smith, Author

Andrea Smith, Author

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