Another milestone to be celebrated after the birth of a baby is the christening. A baby’s christening ceremony is a major event that requires a lot of preparation. First, there’s a date to set, a location to settle on, godparents to choose, a reception to prepare for, and of course, a christening gown or outfit for the precious little one.
Choosing what outfit your baby boy will wear for his christening or baptism often requires a little more thought than what a baby girl would wear. Why? Because you have the option to decide between a christening gown (traditional) or a christening outfit (non-traditional) which consists mostly of a pair of pants, a top, or a romper. The christening outfit is often the most exciting decision parents will make when it comes to the baptism ceremony because the main focus of this special and solemn event is your baby. Every parent will want their baby boy to look his very best.
History of Infant Baptismal Clothing
Infant baptism was first practiced around A. D. 160 to about 220. During that period, simple swaddling bands were used for clothing when baptizing an infant, regardless of gender. These swaddling bands consisted of long strips of cloth wrapped all around the baby with the sole purpose of restricting the baby’s limbs from movement. This practice continued until the 16th century. Oftentimes, these swaddling bands would bear symbols embroidered on them. Sometimes, the swaddle would be made from the same bands used during the marriage ceremony of the married parents.
Infant baptism clothing began to change around the 17th century because of the changing baptism practices. Infants were required to be fully immersed in the holy water, therefore, the need to unclothe and clothe them quickly became important. Churches during those times were very cold, especially in winter because they were usually not heated. Removal and replacement of infant clothing during baptism became a priority in order to shield the babies from the harsh elements. Simple baptism clothes that can be easily removed and attached were favored.
Another change in baptism practices occurred during the 18th century. Full immersion was discontinued. As a result, infants are no longer required to be undressed during the baptism ceremony. Swaddling bands also started to be unpopular due to the emerging view that they were unhealthy for babies. Because of those reasons, the traditional victorian christening gowns we are familiar with today began to be widely used.
In the 19th century, popular women’s fashion largely influenced the style of christening gowns. Infants wore gowns with boat necklines, high gathered waist, and high short bodice over petticoats. They were usually made of satin or silk.
Christening gowns in the 20th century continued the same intricate patterns and tailoring with changes in the materials used. White linen or cotton gowns were used in lieu of satin or silk.
In recent years, the traditional victorian christening gown saw a resurgence in popularity because it was used during the christening of Prince George and Prince Louis, children of Duchess Catherine of Cambridge, and Prince William of Wales.
Factors to Consider in Choosing a Christening Wardrobe
Religion and Culture
Religious requirements will affect the baptism outfit of your baby. Most often, religions and cultures require certain colors and styles to be used in the ceremony because it carries an important symbolism. Some churches issue baptism wardrobe guidelines, and they can be very strict in implementing them, so inquire first before deciding.
Color and Fabric
The fabric of the christening clothing should be breathable and comfortable to the infant to avoid rashes or irritations on their skin. 100% natural fibers such as cotton, silk, and linen are great materials. Short sleeve styles are better if you are living in a hot climate or when the baptism will fall during the spring or summer months, while thicker materials or even a blanket may be useful if you are in a cold climate or if the ceremony falls in the season of winter or autumn.
Typically, baptism clothing is pure white since the color symbolizes innocence and purity. It also represents the cleansing and the sacred purpose of the christening or baptism ceremony. A rule of thumb, if the ceremony is being held at a traditional church, the traditional white color is highly recommended. However, alternatives to white such as off-white, creams, light gray, or baby blue for boys are also quite acceptable nowadays.
Personal Preference of the Parents
Of course, the parents may also choose what their baby boy will wear on his baptism. Sometimes, the parents’ fashion preferences will influence what the baby will wear. Some people want to go all out and dress to the nines, while some prefer a more casual approach.
Christening Gown Versus Christening Outfit
A traditional christening gown looks like a long dress, usually around 60 to 90 cm, with intricate embroidery and is often made of lace. The most popular examples are those worn by the royal children of Prince William and Duchess Catherine. Christening gowns will look best on baby boys under six months of age because they will fit infants better, and the voluminous fabric will be easier to handle.
Christening outfits, on the other hand, consist of bottoms and tops or a romper (coveralls). Some baby boys wear these outfits with a vest or a cute tie. You could choose from a wide assortment of baby boy baptism outfits. Typically, these outfits are divided into three main types: A simple and cute top and pants overall, a romper or coverall, which is designed specifically for baby boys baptism, and a complete formal outfit that includes a separate top, pants, tie, coat, and cap. Baby boys older than six months look better in christening outfits such as pants and shorts. Older babies are often active and can sit and crawl, making the long christening gown impractical and bulky.
Baby Boy Baptism Outfits
Here are a few classic and comfortable pieces you can check out for your baby boy outfits. Amazon offers a wide range of these outfits, whether you’re on a budget or ready to splurge for your little boy’s big day.
Dressy Daisy Baby Boy Formal Tuxedo Set (5-piece)
This 5-piece formal suit includes a jacket, shirt, bow tie, pants, and vest. Your cute little boy will look very cute and dressy with the fully lined, single-breasted jacket with 2 side pockets and padded shoulders. This style is available in a range of color options.
A&J Design Baby Gentleman Romper and Hat
If you are looking for easy change but cute looking designs, this one-piece romper is perfect. With a button crotch design to easily clean messes, the short-sleeved tuxedo design is still dressy enough for the ceremony. If that isn’t enough, the romper comes with a removable bow tie, a vest, and a cute hat.
HAPIU Baby Boy Christening Set with Cross Detail
The 100% cotton knit long-sleeved overall features a gold cross pattern and gold edge embroidery in the neckline and cuffs. The simple but solemn design is complemented with the baptism hat and socks, which also feature the same gold cross pattern.
Baby Boys Baptism Suspenders and Pants
Your baby boy will look even more handsome with this fashion-smart romper plus suspender pants combo. The adorable bodysuit comes with a fuss-free pre-tied bowknot bowtie. The super-soft stretchy fabric is breathable and comfortable to wear.
Classic Baptismal Outfit with Detachable Gown for Boys
If you want the elegant look of long christening gowns but do not want to commit fully to tradition, this outfit is perfect for your little boy. A detachable gown can be buttoned on and off easily. The short-sleeved romper is made with white polyester bengaline fabric and can be buttoned up from the back for easy changing. Complete the look with the cute hat.
Dressy Daisy Boy’s Classic Tuxedo with Tail Set
This dapper outfit will look super adorable as your baby’s baptism outfit. The classic white tux tails are made with a luxurious polyester fabric and designed with satin details. With comfortable elastic waistbands, your baby will surely be comfortable throughout the ceremony.
Newdeve Baby Boys Ivory Christening and Baptism Outfit Set
The intricate details in this ivory taffeta outfit are a testament to the excellent workmanship done. I personally favor this set because of the beautiful patterns, and the design is not too common. This 3-piece set consists of an inner romper, an overshirt, and a hat.
Feltman Brothers Baby Boy Romper Pintucked Creeper Baptism Outfit
For summer or spring baptisms, this short sleeve romper with pintucks is an adorable option. With a peter pan collar, beautiful embroidery, and belted front with pleating.
Feltman Brothers Smocked Gown and Hat Baptism Outfit
This vintage-style boy’s gown comes with a slip and baby boy hat. The bodice has a hand-smocked insert with vertical tucks across the top and a trimmed peter pan collar, completing the classic and subtle design.
Cotton Knit 3-Piece Baby Boy Set
Knitwear is also a suitable alternative to other materials when it comes to baptism clothes. This outfit features a V-neck sweater with a built-in collared knit shirt in an argyle diamond design. It is also made of 100% super soft cotton so you can be sure that your little prince will be comfortable. The set comes with knitted pants and a cap.
Short Set for Baby Boys Baptism
This shirt, shorts, and vest combo feature an understated design of a pigeon and cross pattern. The outfit also comes with embroidered baptismal socks and a christening cap, so all you need to add are the shoes (if you want to).
There are plenty of options out there for your baby boy’s baptism outfit, and as a parent, you can be a bit overwhelmed. I do have one little tip for you: try to slow down and give yourself plenty of time to decide. After all, photos from your baby’s special day will be treasured and fawned upon years from now. A beautiful baptismal outfit will be a great addition to the memory.
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