Baptism 101: The ‘What to Wear’ Part


The baptism is usually the first formal outing for Mammy and Baby after the birth. The urge to go old-school and get the hair did, nails polished, face painted is understandable, that’s how you always got ready for an event in those hazy lazy pre-baby days. But now there is a severe lack of time, interest and energy on your side, plus a baby for organise to the event too. So here are a few things to consider as you plan the outfits.

Clothes for junior

In my opinion the baby should wear some actual clothes. Babygrows are fine, but it’s a big day out, you will probably get a new guna, so it’s nice to get baby spruced up into some actual clothes. Nothing too adventurous but a jumper and trousers or cardigan and skirt could be cute.

White is traditionally what babies wear. There is no rule or restriction, just a guideline, which you can break if you like, but most people don’t. At our son’s christening one little girl had pale pink tights under a white dress with a white cardigan and a pink bow in her ‘hair’, super cute!

However, what shocked me at our son’s christening was the number of babies sporting flouncy satin numbers which would rival a wedding dress for the amount of lace and sparkle – and these were on the boys. I know they sell them for boys, I know Prince George wore something similar, but seriously, no boy-child will thank you for this in the future. A jumper and a pair of trousers are fine.

If you happen to be in Dublin christening outfits are sold in Freckles, 1 Liffey Street, D2. Behind the communion dresses and satin hazmat suits are some cute little options for boys and girls.

One thing to bear in mind while choosing the outfit is that it has to be something that you can keep a tight hold of. Your baby is dangled over a stone christening font for several minutes and there is a certain amount of wriggling when the water is poured, make sure there is nothing restricting your grip. With the whole family watching, this is not the time for a mishap.

Also, the priest needs access to the child’s chest and head to put oils on them, so make sure access is possible.

You will also need a white christening gown or shawl. This is a glorified white blanket that goes around the baby after the actual baptism. Ours was meant to be a family heirloom that has been passed down through the generations, but we couldn’t find it on the day (typical) so I used a knitted blanket instead. It was perfect.

Clothes for you

It’s nice to get dressed up, and it’s nice to look pretty, but keep in mind that you will spend most of the day standing and holding the baby, so make sure whatever you choose allows you to do this freely.

During the ceremony you are required to bring the baby to the font (up and down steps) and to stand holding the baby. So although it is tempting to return to your former fashions (particular if you have lost the baby weight) on this day you may have to stay in Yummy-Mummy mode.

The idea is to impress without having to put in too much effort while being comfortable all day. My body shape changed entirely after having my son. I am much bigger than I was before, I have boobs, a belly and junk in my trunk. Styles that were nice on me before now don’t suit me at all. So give yourself plenty of time to try things on when shopping. I found that if I went to shops in the middle of the week, early in the morning, they were quiet enough to drag the buggy to the cubicle with me, blocking several cubicles around me. I would never have tried this on a busy Saturday.

Also I was not shy about asking shop assistants for help. They know their stock and they can see your shape, sometimes they have great suggestions. Plus on a dull mid-week morning they are happy to do anything to kill time to their next break. I would recommend making an appointment with a personal shopper, but I would have found it difficult to arrive on time on any given day in those early months, so sometimes it’s just about keeping it simple and getting the help you can when you eventually get to the shops.

As a side note, unless you are extremely confident in heels this is not a time for stilettos. You will be required to walk on all sorts of surfaces with a wriggling baby throwing you off balance. Why add the further complication of walking on your tippy-toes.

This article first appeared on

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s