Is It Appropriate for Me to Have a Baby Shower/sprinkle?

Updated on April 02, 2013
H.M. asks from Columbia, MO
33 answers

Hey Moms!
I just learned yesterday that we're expecting a baby boy! We already have a 5 year old daughter and we have a lot of her baby gear that we can use with our son, but we obviously aren't as prepared for a boy as we would have been had we had another girl. We have zero boy clothes, room decorations, or boy themed anything! I wasn't planning on having a shower/sprinkle because this is my second, but my sister has asked if she can throw one for me. Is it appropriate to have a shower/sprinkle given that this one is a boy and it's been more than 5 years since my last baby? I just don't want to impose on my friends and family.

Thanks for your help!

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answers from Houston on

Wade through past posts. This question has been asked numerous times and as I always say/said, every baby deserves his/her own shower. If someone thinks its tacky they can stay home. But PLEASE have more than just nibbles! When I go to a shower, I want good treats!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

She ASKED, you didn't plan. If she wants to do this for you, why not? I don't understand why people get their panties in a wad over baby showers. 5 years is a long time, and most people don't have all the stuff they used to. Shoot, my son is 4 and we got rid of his baby stuff years ago.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I think that you need to think about this. Most people will bring a gift to the hospital when they come to meet the baby, they'll also bring something to a "meet the baby" party.

I think that you have several months to get some basics like a boy car seat and a few other gender specific items. I think I'd wait and have a party after the baby comes instead of looking like a poor person who is having an unplanned baby they can't afford. Because that's what most people think when they get an invitation to a shower from someone that already has children.

Although I'd probably go to one if invited I'd still think it was sort of sad they needed one.

4 moms found this helpful

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answers from Chicago on

Just because a lot of people are doing something doesn't make it less "poor taste." It just means that people nowadays seem to think it's okay to throw parties for every little thing, thus burdening others with outfitting their new babies etc. I don't care if it's called a "sprinkle," the purpose of a SHOWER is to "shower" the expectant mom with gifts. There is no other reason. A shower/sprinkle is a plea for gifts, plain and simple. It goes back to the idea that a young, new mother would need help setting up for her first baby, just as a young bride would need help setting up her house. When you are older and more established, you should not need help.

Just because you're having a boy it's "more appropriate?" So if a person is having another girl it's NOT appropriate to ask for gifts, but if they have a boy, then it's okay to ask your friends and family to outfit this child because then you don't have to go out and buy all new stuff?

Obviously you are uncomfortable with the idea, or you wouldn't be asking. And for good reason.

Miss Manners still says it's not appropriate "GENTLE READER -- That your daughter is right: Begging for gifts is normal these days. It is also vulgar, of course. You are also right that baby showers are supposed to be for the expectation of a baby's appearing in a household not already over-run with baby equipment.

But Miss Manners makes an exception for an informal gathering of the expectant mother's close friends who are moved to make a fuss over her a second -- or fifth -- time. However, the plea that a more formal gathering for the lady's entire acquaintance, complete with those detestable gift registries, would enable the guest of honor to parcel out her shopping is not charming."

I think a more appropriate thing is to throw a "meet the baby" party. Then the celebration is not built around the expectation of gifts, but rather the celebration of the arrival of the child. Do not register, but let people know what you need if asked. Your sister could throw this party, as you will be taking care of the new baby.

Or, as Miss Manners suggests, a very small, informal gathering of your closest friends, who are dying to shower you with gifts is also okay.

(Also, I'm keeling over with horror at the thought of someone throwing me a shower because I needed boy things and imposing that on my family and friends! If I can't afford to outfit or provide for my child, then I would not have one!)

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I think it's tacky. You need things so you want others to buy you stuff. Shower are for sharing wisdom, not getting baby gear.

By your reasoning, I'd have three showers. See, my second was a boy. I then got rid of all of my baby stuff, including girl clothes, but then three years later I had another girl. You kept all your stuff, so you clearly weren't done.

When you have kids, you assume the cost. It is imposing to ask friends to buy you baby clothes.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

It's perfectly fine.

It's only tacky if you throw it for yourself. Your sister is doing it, which is very sweet.

Don't listen to those judgmental mamas. Enjoy and congratulations!!

8 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

If your sister has offered to throw one for you, I would let her. It's been a long time since your last baby. While it's true that it's not everyone else's responsibility to furnish you with what you need for baby simply because you don't have it, some family and friends might enjoy a celebration and be happy to bring you a little gift. If someone feels that a second baby does not merit a shower gift, then they won't come. As long as you aren't throwing yourself a shower, that's fine. I think that the hostess should keep it a small event, though. Good luck and enjoy preparing for baby.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

If she wants to do it, let her. It is no longer in poor taste to have more than one shower. I've been to showers for 3rd and even 4th babies. I would find it in poor taste to ask someone to throw you a shower... but not for someone to offer to do so.

Showers are to celebrate the impending birth of a new addition to your family. Let your sister arrange it. I'm sure she has her finger in the wind and knows that others in your family (and if she knows your good friends, also) would like to participate in the celebration.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

It's never appropriate to ask people to buy you supplies to support your baby, unless you've lost everything in a fire. If they choose to gift you with some things, that's a different story. You've already acknowledged that the purpose would be so you can get boy stuff. Sorry...not cool.

People have really taken this "shower/sprinkle" concept too far. The point of planning a gifting party is to welcome/usher you into motherhood/parenthood, not to sponsor your baby. I'm sure that you don't think of it as "sponsoring your baby", but that's just what it is when you're going into it looking to get what you don't already have.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Binghamton on

Personally, I think it's tacky. I have a lot of friends who have chosen to have a shower/sprinkle for a second child and I have chosen not to attend them. Not because I don't care for the second or third child, but because I think it's basically a request for new stuff because the things we got you the first time weren't good enough or you want an upgrade.

I guess I might make an exception if there's a really long time between kids - like 10 years - or if there's an extenuating circumstance. For example, I have a friend who had a baby 9 years ago. They had a house fire when the baby was less than a year old and lost everything. She got a lot of things she needed from donations she received in her community and, when they were no longer needed, she donated those things on to another needy mom. Well, 9 years goes by with no intent to have another child and she gets pregnant. We did have a small shower for her and I did happily attend.

Obviously there are exceptions, but in general I don't think people should have showers/sprinkles with every child.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

Have a shower. Your kids are 5 years apart so you need things like diapers, bottles ect. My cousin had 3 within 5 years and had a shower for all so you are fine. Besides showers are fun. The people attending will have just as much fun as you will. Congrats and best wishes.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

A little judgemental here?

I am not nearly as offended as others about 2nd showers if done in a low-key manner. Face it, every baby needs new something or another even if just diapers and wipes. I wouldn't think a formal, catered affair at the Country Club would be appropriate, but a small get together with your closest friends and family would be nice IMO. Your sister has offered to throw didn't ask her to.

I think that if someone is so offended about a subsequent shower, they should just decline the invite and stay home.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I wouldn't and it is not routinely done around here. It is on the tacky side. Gimme Gimme

Showers are for a first time mom. Of course every baby should be celebrated but it is the responsibility of the parents to make sure needs are met.

A meet the baby drop in is perfectly fine as long as you HOST it and provide good food and drink since it is a social occasion. Most of the people who attend will bring a little something for the baby.

I hate gift registeries... its like gimme gimme gimme

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I view showers as appropriate for first time parents only.
After that, it's u to you to get prepared for subsequent kids.
Either host a meet the baby party yourself (sis could help with food for that!) or skip it.
It appears as a grab-for-gifts.
You'll still get gifts from family & close friends without a shower.
And I agree with the PP that pointed out that just because lots of other people have them, doesn't make it right. (Example: failing to RSVP.)
So, while all babies are a blessing, it's not really up to other people to get stuff for you for a second child. My opinion.
Congrats on the baby!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

YES!! Thbttt on the women that say no!
If your family and friends are excited about the baby and WANT to throw you a shower then I don't see a thing wrong with it.
I had a shower for each of my 3 kids. Maybe it's a cultural thing (my husband is Mexican so my Mexican side of the family threw 2 of the showers) but I think it's silly that people don't want to celebrate each of the births.
Don't you worry. Have fun and let your family spoil you!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Wow - Cheerful M said it all.

People cannot throw their own showers, ever. People cannot have a big gift registration because it's clear they are just trolling for gifts. Showers cannot be based on the gender of the first child. And it's hard to argue that equipment you had the first time around were gender based - monitors, diaper pails, car seats etc. Your new baby will not know about colors. And most people would say that room decorations are not necessities. And a baby needs toys - not "boy-themed" toys. So you cannot be looked at as imposing on people's generosity to get some new stuff. Your sister can have a small, intimate gathering of very close friends who will not be offended. I think a "meet the baby" coffee & cake date would be great - no room full of decorations and extravagant extras. You can be the shocked and overwhelmingly grateful guest of honor, overwhelmed by people's generosity. But she has to put it together as if she hasn't asked your permission, only for date clearance.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Please let your sister have her fun! Yes, you need boy clothes. There is so little out there now that isn't VERY BOY or VERY GIRL! (I found that out when shopping for a friend who didn't want to know until the baby was born. Even yellow or white things looked like one sex or the other...)

If someone in your family or one of your friends feels imposed upon, then they won't come to the shower/sprinkle. It's not like someone will be forcing them to go, you know. Besides, your sister is excited to be having a nephew. Tell her "Thanks from the bottom of my heart - I really need boy things!"

(Btw, primary colors are a great way to go for boys. Nothing has to match and you don't have to work so hard!)

Congrats on your pregnancy AND having such a nice sister!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

A baby shower is NOT to celebrate the baby.
A baby shower is to celebrate a woman becoming a mother for the FIRST TIME.
A 'meet the baby' party is a celebration for each child.
Unless clothing is obviously pink/frilly - infant clothes are pretty generic - for the first couple years the baby certainly isn't fashion conscious.
(If you ever see infant pictures from 100 years ago - Christening gowns and clothing for baby boys even into toddler years made them look like girls from our modern point of view and MANY boys had long flowing curls for hair until they were 4 or 5 years old.)
Themes, decorations I don't really consider baby party items.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

If it makes you happy it. Let your sister do it. I think it's nice of her.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I say go for it since your sister offered. People don't have to come if they don't want to or they can bring just a modest little boy toy or outfit if they feel like you are "imposing" upon them.

I had a baby shower thrown for me when I had a 2 year old girl and didn't even know what the second one was. There were so many ladies from my church that showed up because they wanted to celebrate this new baby. If you don't come across as the type of person who imposes on people normally, I don't see how they would think this is an imposition.

Other posters who see this is tacky, must know people who are tacky.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I think it is fine since there is 5 years between your children. If someone doesn't want to come they don't have to:)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

My mother-in-law threw a "baby party" for me as my birthday party. It was just family and few very close friends. It was a family BBQ at her home with a baby girl theme. There were no "gift registries", but my MIL asked me ahead of time which diapers, wipes and bath items we preferred.

It was lovely and very common among my friends if there was time between babies and a different gender. No "large gifts" b/c we also had those from our son, but clothing and things we wouldn't have kept (like shampoo, wipes and lotions).

On the opposite end... my aunt called the other day to ask me to PLEASE schedule our housewarming party on a specific date. Why? Because her niece (other side of the family) is throwing herself a full-scale shower for her second child, complete with extensive and pricey registries... three years after having her first and my aunt was really upset and looking for a legit reason to decline the invite. Talk about tacky-

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

absolutely! this child is no less special. Showers are not about getting things and if people dont feel it is appropriate it is their CHOICE not to attend and you will not be BURDENING them. My 2 girls were 2.5 year apart. That means opposite seasons. I saved everything from the first but much of the baby clothes would not work for the fall/winter baby I was having. Yes I am their mom and ultimately it would be my responsibility but if people wanted to give me gifts the family who hosted my shower gave me a venue. And I sure as heck did a registry too. not out of greed but because I have some relatives that live farther away and still want to be included and send a gift and it gave them ideas. Did I care if someone bought off the registry or not? Oh heck no. But it gave people an idea of what I liked. I often browse someone's registry to see what they like and sometimes I do, sometimes I don't buy off of it. Looking back in my girls baby books I am happy to show them pics of their baby shower: a party we held for you because we were so excited you were coming. I would feel bad for the baby who did not get to see a pic of their shower (because their wasn;t one) and gets sad because the family did not feel they were worth celebrating. And you betcha I have been to baby "showers" or "sprinkles" or whatever the heck you want to call them for baby #6. Obviously #6 is WAAAAAAAY different than #1 but never the less a celebration for the new babys arrival. Let your sis throw you a party and enjoy your new little baby.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Spokane on

i dont see it as tacky since its not another girl. on the invitation state you only need the basics- diapers, wipes, clothes, bathing supplies. if they choose to get you more then thats on them

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Well I don't know what a "sprinkle" is (guess I'm getting old!) but I think a shower is always fine. Just don't register for gifts, because your friends and family will KNOW what you need, namely "boy" clothes, and registering makes it look like you're expecting, and soliciting, gifts.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I think it's appropriate for your sister to help you, your family, and friends celebrate the birth of this new baby. Gifts are always appropriate.

I've been wondering. What is a sprinkle? We didn't have those, or at least that term, when I was your age.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I believe every baby should be celebrated :) A sprinkle sounds like a wonderful idea.

Peace and Blessings,
T. B

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Amarillo on

I am from the old school of a first shower for baby whether it is boy or girl to help the new family. After that, you are on your own to furnish baby items for the next how many kids you have.

If your shows wear out, do you have showers for new ones? I don't think so you buy your own. The same for babies.

Friends and family that want to give you a gift for baby will.

We need to define celebrations and showers better. Every child is a celebration of life but you don't have to buy the world for them. You buy what your child needs for the 18 or 22 years that they live with you. After that time your obligation to them is complete and they are on their own. We seem to give them too much as it is and they become ungrateful for what they have and how much we have sacrificed to give to them.

Off my soapbox now.

the other S.

PS I love babies but I don't always want to buy them everything -- they have parents for that.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on


It's entirely appropriate to have a shower or sprinkle, especially since it's been over 5 years since your last baby and you are now having a boy. The guest list should be kept to about 12 guests instead of 25-plus, with minimal decorations. Low key, yet a celebration for your new child. Don't register for gifts, baby boy clothing is likely the majority of what you will receive.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I think a Sprinkle, among close friends and family only, is fine. The invite can say something like "While daughter is happy to share her carseat and crib, her pretty baby clothes just won't look as cute on son as they were on her. Please join us in 'sprinkling' HM and son with some boyish love."

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Wichita on

chances are they will be buying gifts anyway, why not wait until after the birth, take him to the shower and show him off.



answers from Kansas City on

This question gets asked a lot and it always brings out opposite answers! ;) I honestly think that if someone wants to throw you a shower then you should graciously accept! Likely it will be more low key and probably not have a ton of games, etc.

I would agree that only invite your close friends and family members. This would not be a time to invite every acquaintance, neighbor, etc.

I do agree that people who want to buy you things will...but those people will likely be your closest friends and family...the very same people you would invite to the shower.

Personally I don't think you need to register, but I might have your sister include on the invitation your greatest diapers or boy clothes. I think the room decorations, etc. will need to be your job. You can reuse your strollers, car seats, etc.




answers from St. Louis on

I have a hard time answering this. I am pregnant with my rid of some but not all of our stuff from our first two kids (carseats are not expired or almost, etc). I did not want a baby shower for this one but have had two people (my mother being one) asking me if they can throw me a party. I feel bad because I feel like it's asking for gifts. I had even said if we did it, I would like to say "No gifts." because I wouldn't mind people celebrating the baby's arrival...but we do not need people to buy us stuff. Plus, my two best friends think it's tacky!

That being said, I have made a lot of new/different friends in the last 6 years and could invite them to a shower and they would have never been to one for any of my kids before.

I asked my friend to forgo a shower and if she wanted to plan a luncheon instead where everyone just comes and pays for themseleves to celebrate that baby, I would be okay with that. We're going to have the baby baptized at a few months old and I asked my mom if we could count that as her 'shower' since we'll do the after celebration/food at her house.

Bottom line - how do YOU feel about it?

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