Growing up, I'd always learned that proper etiquette when it comes to showering pregnant women or couples was only to be done for the first born. As second in birth order, my mother had not received a shower. Nor had she been showered for the pregnancy of my sister who came 7 years later.

james steidl

So what's the deal? Where and when did sprinkles and second showers emerge?

With family dynamics changing, and the realization that second in-line for mom, could be first in line for dad, sprinkles and second showers have become more and more relevant.

Times when a second baby shower is thrown:

  1. If the baby is second for one parent but first for the other. If it's mom or dad's firt time at the rodeo, the family of the first timer will often throw a baby shower for the little bundle of joy to come
  2. If the baby is spaced out super far from their older sibling(s). So if mom and dad took a hiatus and SURPRISE! 10 years later, here comes junior. By this time, most parents have cleaned out the attic and have nothing left. Besides, with safety measures on baby and childcare equipment constantly being updated, people often don't realize that certain things (like car seats) expire.
  3. A couples first baby. He may have previous children, she may have previous children, but it's the couple's first child together, you may get an invitation.


  1. Often thrown when a second or third child is of a different gender. So for mom and dad, they may have kept all of their 3 year old boys gadgets, gizmos and onesies, but they're being blessed with a bouncing baby girl.
  2. Also, any of the above second shower situations might qualify as a sprinkle situation if mom and dad don't feel right having a big to do.

So what's the difference?

For a shower: mom and dad will register for everything from burp cloths to pack and plays. These are often situations where they are starting from scratch or something close to scratch. The party tends to be bigger, extended family and friends are invited and there should be food involved (lots of it if you're Portuguese).

For a Sprinkle: Light brunch and often only close family and friends are invited for a more intimate celebration, perhaps at someone's home. The parents usually won't register and proper gifts include diapers clothing and gender specific gifts.

Expecting? whether it's your first time or not, check out the Modern Parent Shows big baby shower celebration on May 17th. Click here for info.