Published May 31, 2011 by
Choosing your baby’s christening or baptism gown can be so much fun. It’s one of those times in your life, like choosing your wedding dress, which you will always remember.
Start off thinking about what you’d like your baby to wear. In days of old, all babies wore the family christening gown, whether they were male or female. Today, you’ll have more choices such as a little tuxedo for a boy or a short set with suspenders all done in white.
If you want to go traditional, you can have your baby wear a white christening gown. These can be purchased new, or you can find them on eBay.com or Etsy.com as well as many other sites. Look for the quality of the item before buying it. Ask for lots of photos. Are there any tears or stains? You’ll want to be sure of how the fabric is holding up because many christening gowns that are vintage are old and lovely but not in any condition for wearing. You can also find good quality vintage christening gowns at flea markets and estate sales. But again, be sure to look the item over for stains, rips and other imperfections. Don’t assume you can get a stain out, as you may not be able to.
Other than buying vintage, you have the option of purchasing new. New christening gowns and attire can be very expensive. Often a grandparent offers to buy the outfit as a gift for the new baby. But if this isn’t the case and they choose to give baptism gifts instead, you may have to budget to get the gown you really have your heart set on. Baby stores usually have a special section for christening gowns. You’ll find that the smaller stores have a limited selection. Some bridal shops also carry christening gowns, but you’ll most likely find that specialty baby stores have the best choices.
When you do go to select your gown, remember that your baby is unique. He may be big for his age or he may be tiny. Don’t go by the size on the label. A zero to six-month-old gown may not fit your two-month-old, depending on the cut and how big she is. It’s one item you’ll want to try on your baby before you leave the store. Or if you order online, make sure there’s a return policy. Then order one in a smaller and one in a bigger size so you can return one.
Gowns for girls usually include an underslip as well as a sheer dress overlay. For boys, you’ll find short sets in satin and a jacket and suspenders or a miniature white tuxedo. Try not to purchase something that will be tight or binding. Go the next size up, since a baby in tight clothes will tend to cry.
You’ll also get a hat of some sort and a set of booties. Or you can use your baby’s own white shoes. Plan on using a diaper cover made of plastic on the day of the christening in case there are any accidents, and don’t dress baby until the moment you are going into the church so the outfit will stay pristine.