When our first baby was born after years of trying, our family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers shared our joy. They hosted baby showers for us, sent us flowers, and gave our daughter countless sentimental gifts after her arrival. Two years later, we were blessed with our second child - another daughter - yet her arrival did not receive the same fanfare as our first child.
As a mother, I did not think my second child’s arrival was any less miraculous, joyful, or worthy of celebration. Sadly, no one planned a second shower for us as they thought we had everything we needed (including pink clothes). The gifts our second daughter received just didn’t have the same personal touch that went into our first child’s gifts.
As any seasoned parent will tell you, don’t let your second or third child start life in the shadow of their older sibling(s). Instead, throw a mini shower, known as a Sprinkle, to celebrate their arrival in a special way. Not sure what to do? Here are some ideas to get you started.
Before the party
Have mom register - Give the nursery a facelift with new bedding, curtains, and lamps. Not only will it make the room look fresh and new, it will also make the transition easier for the older child to see the new baby in the room. Mom might also like to pick out a double stroller or choose something she wished she had with her first baby. She can also go through her inventory of what baby items she needs to replace the second or third time around.
Sprinkle party activities
Make a time capsule - If you did something special for your first baby at your baby shower, be sure to do something similar at your Sprinkle. Make a time capsule to be opened on your child’s 18th birthday and have everyone bring something to add to it. Include newspapers, fashion magazines, or trendy items for a good laugh down the road.
Mom of two survival tips - A mom with a new baby and a toddler feels overwhelmed and outnumbered. Set up a station at the party with stationary, envelopes, and colored pens. Ask the guests to give mom words of wisdom, survival tips, or coupons for free babysitting and a night out.
Get a head start on scrapbooking - It’s hard to find time to put together a scrapbook for the first baby, but when you have two children, it’s next to impossible. Help mom out by creating a scrapbook for her. Have the guests select a baby’s first - tooth, solid food, trip to the zoo, Christmas, etc. Each guest will decorate a page, leaving room for mom to add photos later.
What’s a Sprinkle without the games?
Keep the guests entertained with simple games like Nursery Rhyme Pictionary, a Watering Can Relay Race, or Find the Sprinkle. You can find Pictionary game card printables online at Etsy. Create a relay race using a watering can to soak a sponge and then squeeze the sponge in a glass to the marked line. Lastly, in Find the Sprinkle, challenge guests to find 10 blue (or pink) sprinkles from a multi-colored shaker. Pick up the sprinkles with tape wrapped around your fingers and knock off the colors you don’t need.
Since this is a Sprinkle, let that be your food theme. Add sprinkles to the rim of the glasses when you serve punch or the cups used for fruit salad. Combine them with bowls of Chex Mix or popcorn. And remember, not all sprinkles are candy. You can make colored coarse salt with a few drops of food coloring to use as a topping. Get creative with cheese, chives, or other spices to sprinkle on each dish.
Give your guests something to take home from your special day. Consider a dollar store watering can filled with seed packets and a note from the new baby, “Thanks for making my day special. I hope you enjoy watching me grow.” Or, make a Mom’s Night In Survival Jar with a mini bottle of wine, a small candle or some bubble bath, and fill the rest of the jar with chocolate.
I’m Special, Too
Make the day special for the older sibling. If they are at the party, bring something for them to unwrap, too. Choose to grow their personal library by wrapping up a book. Fill a backpack with toys and treats to eat while visiting baby in the hospital. Make a special box filled with “No babies allowed” toys that are unsafe for babies to play with. This is for days when the new big brother or sister needs some alone time away from crawling younger siblings.
Instead of the scrapbook, try a group activity to make something personal that the siblings can share. Ask 26 people to create pages for an alphabet book for the new big brother or big sister to read to the baby. Each guest can choose a letter and draw a corresponding picture to go with it. For example, “C is for Cat”; “H is for House.” The new big brother or big sister can color the pages and put it in a binder to ‘read’ the story to their new baby sibling when mom or dad needs a break.
Pam is a freelance writer, and a mother of three. She enjoys planning parties as much as her guests enjoy attending them. Follow her on Etsy, pamspartyprintables.
Calgary’s Child Magazine © 2018 Calgary’s Child