Baptism advice

(29 Posts)
soontobemrslizzy Mon 04-Jan-16 21:36:10

Hi everyone

We have booked the date for our little one's baptism to be April 17th (she's due March 20th, so even if she's late that should be fine and it's the only weekend my parents will be in the country!). Given that I may only be between 2-4 weeks post-partum, I'm not sure what I should wear. Has anyone been in this situation and has any good suggestions?

Also, I'm not British so I'm not sure if there are any traditions with baptism that we should try to incorporate. The baptism will be Catholic but my dh and his family are not (he's an atheist, his family are Church of Scotland) so if there are any cultural traditions from Scotland/the UK it would be nice to have them so his family feels included. Any suggestions would be very welcomed!

ReallyTired Mon 04-Jan-16 21:44:08

The locia should be light enough to be controlled with sanitary towels by two four weeks. I suggest you wear a two piece outfit to making breastfeeding easier (if you choose to breastfeed). I suggest you buy your outfit once your baby is born as you will have no idea what your breast size will be. Your breasts will be huge when your milk first comes in and then shrink down when your milk supply settles.

With getting a christening robe you have no idea what size your baby will need. Newborns vary massively in size. You won't know if your baby needs a newborn size or 0 to three months until he/she is here.

soontobemrslizzy Mon 04-Jan-16 21:47:15

We actually have a family christening robe (one from each side actually) so we won't be buying a new one (unless she really doesn't fit in either!). I'm worried I won't have time to shop in case she comes late and then I'll only have a week or so to get the outfit, I was hoping I could shop before but that might be impractical!

VocationalGoat Mon 04-Jan-16 21:51:26

Congratulations! I am happily surprised you were able to book before baby's arrival. Our priest would never allow us to book until my kids actually arrived, which made things more difficult to plan. Anyway, congratulations again.

No advice really other than I found Monsoon online really wonderful for Christening slippers, etc.

LynetteScavo Mon 04-Jan-16 21:52:07

Hmmm...I would say get something to wear before as shopping with a newborn who needs to feed can be tricky. A stretchy wrap dress with cardigan might be the way to go. Sorry to totally contradict ReallyTired...I'm not trying to confused you!

soontobemrslizzy Mon 04-Jan-16 21:57:31

I think you're both right in a way - it would be easier to find a nice one once I know what size I'll be, but I'm nervous about trying to shop if she's only one or two weeks old. I guess I could order stuff online and return things that don't work. I was thinking of buying a cross over maternity dress in advance, my thinking being that the cross over part might disguise any remnants of a belly I've got but also wouldn't look ridiculous if I'm not visibly pregnant? Something like this maybe:
www.seraphine.com/royal-blue-knotted-dress-with-cropped-sleeve.html

I'm also not sure about the traditions - I don't want to miss out anything important!

LynetteScavo Mon 04-Jan-16 22:03:37

I can't think of any traditions typical in the UK.

Obviously you need some God parents, something white for the baby to wear, and a cake. My FIL told me the cake had to be plain sponge inside, rather than fruit cake, or chocolate....my DM insisted it should be the top tier of our wedding cake (which was fruit!)

soontobemrslizzy Mon 04-Jan-16 22:07:24

Godparents is going to be socially tricky! ;) Because my in laws are Church of Scotland, they can't technically be godparents, but they could be Christian witnesses, except that none of my dh's siblings or cousins believe in God at all! So none of them will be able to be godparents. Which I don't think will be popular!

My mil insisted we keep the fruit cake from our wedding, so we've got that but I'm also going to get a cake just for the baptism that will be sponge.

Ok, I didn't think the US/UK traditions would be that different, I just wanted to make sure I didn't miss anything out! I didn't clean my house top to bottom on New Years which had my mil worried silly that we'd have bad luck all year, who knew! Am I right in thinking a baptism is not a hat affair in the UK?

LynetteScavo Mon 04-Jan-16 22:09:28

www.next.co.uk/gl62180s1#l41923gl6

Not sure how easy it would be to whap your boob out to feed. I think you'd have to try the dresses on to see how flexible they are.

LizzieLou3 Mon 04-Jan-16 22:10:04

This is a shopping question surely? I'm trying to work out why it's posted as a baptism question begging us all to totally ignore the bleeding obvious tradition - that all those involved believe in God! Lots of naming option ceremonies out there that don't require you to tell whoppers in church. Just a suggestion.

LynetteScavo Mon 04-Jan-16 22:11:13

Ah, I see the seraphine ones are for nursing - perfect! smile

LizzieLou3 Mon 04-Jan-16 22:14:09

Sorry just realised I've made a whopping assumption there myself. Perhaps your dh won't be making any vows. My apologies op...retreats quietly and awaits the fire.

soontobemrslizzy Mon 04-Jan-16 22:14:49

LizzieLou, it was really a two part question but I wanted to get advice on both. Sorry if I've posted in the wrong place. Also, I think you've misunderstood me - I'm a practicing Catholic (and a religious education teacher) so there will not be any whoppers in church. That's also why I am not picking any relatives as godparents, because they will be unsuitable as a result of not believing in God. I was merely pointing out that my in laws won't be happy, they would prefer if we did pick relatives despite their atheism and are unhappy that we are not doing that. So I'm not asking you to ignore the religious side of the baptism; I just don't need advice on that front as I'm aware of the canon law requirements.

LizzieLou3 Mon 04-Jan-16 22:17:30

Got it. Sorry op

soontobemrslizzy Mon 04-Jan-16 22:19:44

That's ok, I can see how you'd be confused. I didn't even bother asking advice on godparents because I've already worked out that literally the only way to have suitable godparents is to choose people I barely know from the parish who are devout; not a single person in my or my dh's family is remotely suitable except for my mil and grandmother in law, who are both Church of Scotland ministers and I feel there might be a little too much temptation to proselytise. I'm lucky that while my dh is an atheist, he agreed to get married and raise our children in the Catholic Church, so he won't be making the vows, but he'll support me in raising the kids in the church (as long as I don't make him to go to Mass every week!).

Laquila Mon 04-Jan-16 22:20:20

Baptisms can be as formal or as informal as you want in the UK. The last one I went to, people wore smart clothes but not that much smarter than usual-church-on-Sunday clothes. The invitation that you send will probably set the tone. I've had friends go to christenings that have been just as formal as weddings!

Threeunderthree33 Mon 04-Jan-16 22:23:06

The christening cake should be the top tier of your wedding cake. Pour in a bit of brandy to soften /preserve and re wrap in foil. Another tradition is Champagne to "wet the baby's head" (obviously Mumm). If it is a family robe you must take a picture of everyone at the baptism who has been baptised in the robe.

soontobemrslizzy Mon 04-Jan-16 22:33:12

Laquila, in the US, you don't usually send written invites - is that not the case in the UK?

Threeunderthree33, thanks, I did not know about either of those! I wasn't planning on having alcohol but maybe I should change that!

soontobemrslizzy Mon 04-Jan-16 22:34:18

Lynette, that's lovely, thanks!

chillycurtains Mon 04-Jan-16 22:42:23

I am not sure about a style of dress as everyone is so different in size, shape and what they feel comfortable in. However I would definitely buy a dress before the baby arrives otherwise you will just end up worrying about it. Just do it late enough that you can take it back if you don't use it or like it or fit it comfortably. If you feel better buying a new dress just before the christening after your LO has arrived then you can and just take the other back.

LynetteScavo Mon 04-Jan-16 23:01:09

I sent out invitations, but we only had a buffet lunch afterwards, nothing too formal.

All families are different, but DHs family would be horrified if there were no alcohol! I'd definitely have champagne/prosecco/cava. Apparently you're supposed to invite the priest to the celebration, but ours was always politely declined.

ReallyTired Mon 04-Jan-16 23:22:53

I took about two weeks to get back to my pre pregnancy dress size with my first. With my second it's still a work in progress. Some women really struggle to get their figure back. It's likely your baby will want feeding every three hours or he/she might sleep through the entire baptism. What is certain is that your baby will have no concept of a routine in the early weeks.
A stretchy dress with a shawl would work, but it would be harder to keep flesh covered. If you have somewhere private to feed the baby then a dress will be fine.

In an ideal world godparents would be confirmed. I suggest you talk to the priest on the suitability of potential God parents. I thought that the Catholic Church recognises Protestant baptism, but not Protestant communion or Protestant minsters.

There is no compulsion to have alcohol at a baptism. It's completely up to you. My baptist relations would be horrified at having wine at a dedication/ baptism.

soontobemrslizzy Mon 04-Jan-16 23:40:19

Reallytired, the actual baptism should only be an hour and we'll have the party at home so should be able to sneak upstairs to feed. As for godparents, like I said, I have that sorted - we aren't going to ask someone unless they are suitable under canon law, so confirmed and practising. My dh understands how important this is to me so he's happy with me picking people who are religiously suitable even if that means no family. The Catholic Church does recognise Protestant baptism but since part of the vow involves supporting their upbringing in the Catholic Church, non Catholics can only be Christian witnesses, not actual godparents.

From an American POV, alcohol seems out of place for a brunch after Mass but I know the rules are a little different here. For our wedding my mom wanted to do an open bar, and it took my then fiancé hysterically laughing while explaining that an open bar in Scotland wasn't a great idea before we could talk her out of it! So if it's common here I guess I'll get a few bottles of wine/champagne.

ReallyTired Mon 04-Jan-16 23:51:24

Your children's family will support them whether they are god parents or not. I feel it's makes practical sense to have people outside the family.

I hope you have a lovely day. Maybe ask your in laws if they have any particular customs. I was baptised in the Church of Scotland and it's not that different to c of e. The Church of Scotland don't do anointing of oils and the baptism is usually held in the main family service. The Church of Scotland in South Kensington are not great drinkers. The Church of Scotland baptisms I have been to have not had lots of alcohol afterwards. Often people cannot drink as they have to drive home afterwards.

soontobemrslizzy Tue 05-Jan-16 01:08:02

I'm sure you're right. The thing that makes it a bit awkward is that my sil is pregnant too, due a week after us and although neither she nor my bil are religious, they are having their baby blessed by mil with my dh's sister as godmother. So they'll definitely be supportive but I know the comparison will raise some eyebrows. But what can you do!

I think the older generation aren't big drinkers but the younger ones are. I won't have much though, I don't really want tipsiness at a baptism! I'll invite the priest as well but I doubt he'll come, he's not super sociable, more of an academic type (though very lovely!).

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