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A baptism can be a monumental time in a person's life. Whether it is an infant or an adult being baptized, it is a time to be celebrated with family and friends. There are a few things to know when getting baptized, whether it is you getting baptized or your small child. Here are some basic guidelines to give you an idea of what is expected.

Infant Baptism

Infants can be unpredictable, and that can make the baptism ceremony stressful and chaotic. Ideally, the child will relax or even sleep during the ceremony. Your child sleeping through the ceremony is more likely if it is a young infant getting baptized. You can do a few things to help ensure the baby is as calm as possible.

  • Try feeding the infant right before the service. Babies often feel sleepy after eating; having a full belly often leads to a more content baby. If their tummies are full, you may find the baby sleeps through the entire service.
  • If your child likes pacifiers, then having one on hand can help if they get fussy. Alternatively, sticking your pinky finger into the baby's mouth for them to suck on can be a good option for newborns.
  • Toys can be a great distraction, particularly bright and colorful ones. Have one on hand for distraction if a child gets restless or fussy.
  • Having a snack available for older babies or toddlers can be the perfect remedy if they get cranky. Be prepared with cheese crackers, fruit snacks, or another easily portable treat if they start to get impatient.

Regarding what to wear, christening gowns are a common choice, but you may be allowed to dress your baby in whatever you want. Typically, white or off-white is seen as the color to wear, as it represents purity and innocence. You may choose an intricate lace dress for a girl or a detailed white romper for a boy. These outfits should be comfortable for your children, so avoid stiff or scratchy fabrics.

When in doubt, ask your church. They may have suggestions or even preferences on what they want your infant to wear, and some may even provide the attire for you. 

Older Children and Adult Baptisms

Sometimes, people don't get baptized until they are older, or they have recommitted their lives and therefore want to be rebaptized. Your church may require you to take some classes to learn more about baptism and the church's beliefs. On the day of your baptism, you'll want to wear something comfortable that you don't mind getting wet. Sometimes, the church will have a baptismal robe for you to wear. You will also want to bring towels and an outfit to change into once the event is over.  

Who to Invite

Honestly, you can invite whomever you are comfortable with. Some churches will call the family up to the front for the baptism, so remember that whoever comes should be comfortable standing in front of a church congregation for a few minutes. Additionally, you will want to assign godparents to the child, and the godparents will likely be up front while the baptism ceremony is taking place.

Afterward, you may choose to host a small party with dessert and punch. People may give you gifts there but don't expect them. This gathering is simply an opportunity to celebrate the baptism and spend time with family and friends.

Getting baptized is an exciting event, but the process can seem overwhelming if you're uncertain how it will go. Familiarizing yourself with the proper etiquette, how to dress, and what to expect can make the process go more smoothly. 

Category: Baptism

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