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Baby Girl in Baptismal GownIf you are religious. baptizing your baby can be a rite of passage for you both. It will likely help you feel more connected to your child and your religion and will set your child's path for his or her spirituality. However, because your baby is too young to know what is going on, the experience can be scary for him or her. These tips can help keep the baby baptism relaxing for everyone involved.

Determine How Many People to Invite

How comfortable is your baby around lots of people? If he or she gets fussy when too many people are cooing and oohing over him or her, consider a baby baptism that is only immediate family and godparents. It is also important to talk to your church about the kinds of services it provides. Some churches only do public baptisms. Others may be able to provide you with a private ceremony if you prefer.

Plan the Baptism Around Your Baby's Sleep Schedule

Most babies get at least a bit fussy at baptisms, but if you try to have your baby baptized when he or she is supposed to be asleep, you could be setting yourself up for a full meltdown. If you can, have the ceremony mid to late morning. This way, your son or daughter has had a full night of sleep and maybe even a morning nap. Many parents find their children are more cooperative during the morning hours. If your baby is calmer at a different time of day, hold the baptism at that time instead.

Check the Water Temperature

Practice with several water temperatures beforehand. The more comfortable your baby is with the water, the less likely he or she will be to cry. Cold water is shocking and likely to result in tears, but you also don't want it to be too hot because it can burn. Lukewarm is likely going to be most comfortable for your son or daughter.

It is also important to determine which type of baptism will occur. If full immersion is necessary, the ceremony should be practiced to ensure your child's comfort and safety. Regardless, full immersion is usually scary for babies, so avoid it if possible. If it is unavoidable, expect at least a few tears.

Dress Your Baby in Something Comfortable

A traditional christening or baptism gown may feel tight in the neck or arm areas for some babies. Dress him or her in it beforehand and keep it on for an hour or two to see if your child seems uncomfortable. If so, try to find a different outfit that is not as restrictive. If the baby feels he or she can move freely, fussing is not as likely to happen.

Keep Yourself Calm

Your baby can pick up on your moods. If you are calm and confident, he or she is more likely to be calm during the baptism. If you feel nervous or rushed during the ceremony, so will your baby. Remember to take a few deep breaths and focus on the task at hand. It's natural to worry about your child, but baptisms have been occurring for thousands of years. Your son or daughter will be fine.

Bring Something to Calm Your Baby After the Baptism

Nearly every small child will feel a bit confused and scared after a baby baptism, which means this is the time when crying is likely to occur. Think of things that quickly calm your baby and bring them with you. This could be any of the following:

  • A special snack if old enough
  • A favorite stuffed animal or toy
  • A tape of calming songs or sounds
  • A special blanket or other calming item

Depending on your religion and personal preferences, a baby baptism ceremony takes anywhere from a couple of minutes to about half an hour. Use this information to plan exactly what your child needs during the time. If you want to have a party afterward, you should also factor in travel time when determining when to start the party. Remember, the little one may need some rest after the ceremony.

Category: Baptism

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