If you have more than one child, did you have a baby shower for the second one? I’m mom to three kids, and I only had showers for my first child. Yet, there is a new trend to throw showers for a woman’s second child.
While some women are given full showers for each child, others are given a shower that is called a “sprinkle.” With a sprinkle, the party is usually smaller than the first one and guests bring essentials like diapers and wipes for the new baby.
Some moms are uncomfortable with showers (or even sprinkles) for second children, but other women expect it. Melissa Gerstein, a mom of three, was not given showers for her last two children. She says, “‘I was disappointed. I think every birth should be celebrated. You wouldn’t give your first child a bar or bat mitzvah and not your second or third, so why is a shower any different?'” (The New York Times).
I would argue to Ms. Gerstein that a shower is essentially for the mother. The baby is not even born yet and has no concept after he or she is born of the benefits or existence of a baby shower. I have no idea what my mom received for my baby shower, and I don’t care, honestly. The party was for my mom to help her prepare for having a child for the first time. To compare a baby shower to something as significant as a bar or bat mitzvah is ludicrus.
When Is a Second Shower Acceptable?
Lest you think I’m uncompromising, I can see one instance when a second baby shower would be acceptable–when a mother has another child years and years after she had the last one. For instance, my aunt had her last child when her second to last child was 13 years old. She had long ago given away all of her baby gear.
In this case, a second baby shower makes sense. However, most second baby showers don’t happen for this reason.
Is the Gender Craze to Blame?
Blame sonograms or baby gear marketers, but the trend is to buy items specific to your baby’s gender. If you’re expecting a boy, you’re going to receive bibs and clothes with sports themes. Everything will be blue. While that might be cute for your first child, what will happen if your second child is a girl? You’ll need to start all over acquiring pink/feminine baby gear.
When my mom threw my baby shower, we didn’t know the baby’s gender yet. (My son stubbornly kept his legs crossed during the ultrasound, so the technician could not determine the sex.) The gifts I received from that party were gender neutral. I was able to use all those items with my next two children who were girls.
However, by the time my coworkers threw me a shower, I had learned that I was expecting a boy. Everything I received had a boy theme. While every gift was adorable, I ended up returning many of the items for gender neutral items knowing I planned to reuse them with my next child.
Of course, baby companies are happy to push gender specific items because you’ll need to buy replacements if the next baby is a different sex.
This Trend Is Bad for the Environment and for the Pocketbook
The bottom line is that this trend of choosing gender specific items for newborns is bad for the environment and the pocketbook. Years ago, when I was a child, all newborn clothes and equipment was available in neutral colors. People kept their baby gear to reuse until their family was complete. This sensible way of approaching the birth of a child was better for the environment and also conserved the family’s money. It was a practical approach.
Now, the sheer amount of waste when people toss out still reliable equipment that is gender specific because they are having a baby of the opposite sex is simply mind boggling.
What is your take? Do you think it’s acceptable to have a baby shower or sprinkle for the second child or do you find it excessive?