Advice about my son's baptism


Hi everyone,

I’m a fairly new convert (some seven months and counting) and my wife is in RCIA. Our son (born nine weeks premie) just got to come home last Friday. I tried to have him Baptised the day he was born, but the chaplain advised us that since he was stable, it might be better to wait for our parish; and besides, they were on call 24/7 if things got worse.

So I feel pretty urgent about getting him baptised now that he’s come home. He’s five weeks old now. I don’t know if I’m just impatient or rushing things too much or what–one deacon really seemed to think so. My associate pastor waived the baptism class requirement for us, so we’re all set to go for this Sunday.

Here’s our slight dilemma: we’ve never been to an infant baptism before, so we don’t know how important it is to have a get-together afterward, or how big that get-together ought to be. We live in a pretty tiny apartment, so we’d either have to limit our guest list pretty severely or go to a restaurant. How many people do you usually invite to a baptism? Is it like a Tupperware party, where people hope they aren’t invited, or like a wedding, where the relatives of your relatives get offended if they aren’t on the list?

However, if I put the baptism off a few weeks (or more), we can have a decent baptism party. What do you think? Is it worth putting off his baptism three weeks toa month and a half? Or should we just make do with a few friends coming over? One friend told us not to worry, we could put it off until he was two if we wanted to. How urgent is baptism for a healthy baby?


Congratulations on making it through a tough few weeks with your new baby! As for the party – this varies from family to family. If your family and close friends are from a believers’-only baptism tradition, they won’t be happy about this, however you decide to do it.

Weddings generally arouse more heat than baptisms. Customs vary vastly from culture-to-culture as well as among families. If the baby is going to be two or three months old at baptism, that is fine.

Have you been to the prep sessions at your parish? Sometimes these can take six weeks or more.

Again: congratulations and blessings to you. This is a thrilling time in your lives.


This is a no brainer…why risk your childs salvation for a party? Have the baby baptised NOW.
Congratulations by the way!!!


Congrats! Customs on baptism parties vary widely. Few would be offended, I think, given your circumstances. If your mothers are in the picture I would ask each of them. My experience is that if the gmoms are on board things will probably go fine. If they have different opinions, find some way to follow both (can be tricky but can be done). Peace in the family hinges on the Moms.


In my family baptisms are a big deal and we usually celebrate by having a party at the park. I don’t know where you live but I’m guessing its too cold for that. I do suggest that you invite as many family members as space will allow because this could be a powerful witnessing opportunity especially if your families aren’t Catholic.

Congratulations by the way!


When our daughter was baptized, we didn’t have a party afterward. Between our friends and family, we know only a handful of Catholics. We actually had to move the baptism up by a week, at the last minute (literally the day before it was originally scheduled), so I’m glad we didn’t have anything planned.

Our daughter was 2.5 months old, and she was the youngest baby there (it was a communal baptism, not a private one). When Baby #2 comes, I want to get him/her baptized as soon as we can. Even with healthy babies, it just makes me feel better to do it sooner, in case something unexpected happens.


I agree with what some of the others have said. Baptism celebrations vary from culture to culture and family to family. It is totally up to you how you want to do things!

My friend is Ukrainian and I guess the baptism party is a HUGE thing in her family. Not everyone showed up for the baptism but they sure showed up in droves at the party!

I don’t think I will have a big party when my child is born and baptised. We also have a small apartment and I doubt I will feel like throwing much of a party with a newborn!

Also, each parish seems to run baptisms differently. My Ukrainian friend got to have the whole church to herself and family and friends…

My parish does baptisms every second sunday at the 10:00pm mass. The family and friends get the first 2 pews and the rest is for regular parishioners. The baptism is done at the end of mass.

Basically, you are free to do whatever you want! There is also no huge hurry to baptise your baby. I can understand your anxiousness though.


Hmm Are there any rules about what is considered too long to wait to baptise your baby? Does anyone know? I read somewhere that it is a sin to wait too long ( or neglect ) to baptise your baby within a reasonable time.

I have a friend who is “lightly” Catholic who will have her baby born 6 months before mine will be born. She wants our kids to be baptised together at the same church. I wasn’t sure if that would be allowed… I guess I have to ask the priest.


:eek: Where did you hear this?

CCC 1257 The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation.
CCC1213 Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua), and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: "Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word."
Can. 867 §1. Parents are obliged to take care that infants are baptized in the first few weeks; as soon as possible after the birth or even before it, they are to go to the pastor to request the sacrament for their child and to be prepared properly for it.


Can. 867 §1. Parents are obliged to take care that infants are baptized in the first few weeks; as soon as possible after the birth or even before it, they are to go to the pastor to request the sacrament for their child and to be prepared properly for it.


No, actually we didn’t make prep sessions either. My wife was only 27 weeks pregnant when she was whisked to a special OSF hospital 30 miles away and put on supervised (and heavily drugged) bedrest for a month. Then Jr. was up there in the Illinois Children Hospital for two and a half weeks, and then transfered to a local hospital, where he stayed for a week and a half. So really, it seems like we’ve hardly had time to get anything ready! Much less plan for his baptism.

We named him Anthony, by the way, in appreciation for the Saint of Padua, whose shrine I prayed at many times in that Franciscan hospital. :smiley:


Talk to your pastor; he will give you the best advice. Anthony is a GREAT name.


I meant that there is no huge hurry to get your son Anthony ( great name ) baptised if there was a difference between now and a few weeks.

What does a “few weeks” mean in the Catechism? Most parish baptisms I have seen, the babies look to be about 3 months old?

I dunno… :shrug:


A person can die in a few weeks…but I guess for a big party I would risk my childs salvation:rolleyes:

From Canon Law…Can. 867 §1. Parents are obliged to take care that infants are baptized in the first few weeks; as soon as possible after the birth or even before it, they are to go to the pastor to request the sacrament for their child and to be prepared properly for it.

But what does the Church know:rolleyes:


?!?!? I am of the opinion that if an infant dies without baptism, the Lord will have mercy.

I am a convert, and was not baptised until I was 19 years old. I spent 9 months in RCIA. RCIA obviously thought there was no urgency to have me baptised until I was ready…


You had baptsim of desire:)
Baptism of desire is the implicit desire for
baptism of water by a person who makes an act of perfect love of God,
based on faith and with a sincere sorrow for one’s sins. Such was the case
in the Acts of the Apostles, when Peter encountered pagans who, moved by
the grace of the Holy Spirit, proclaimed the greatness of God. “Peter
himself then said, ‘Could anyone refuse the water of baptism to these
people, now they have received the Holy Spirit…?’” (Acts 10:46-47).

Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “Those who die for the faith, those who are catechumens, and all those who, without knowing of the Church but acting under the inspiration of grace, seek God sincerely and strive to fulfill his will, are saved even if they have not been baptized” (CCC 1281; the salvation of unbaptized infants is also possible under this system; cf. CCC 1260–1, 1283).


haha ok. Gotcha.


I am sure that God will have mercy. But do you want to risk your childs salvation because you wanted to wait to baptize them so you could have a party?


Sorry but what is so funny? I guess I missed the joke:confused:


Yeah, yeah, yeah. The OP isn’t being cavalier or negligent. The child is now healthy and not at undue risk. This isn’t 1854, when infant deaths were much more common.

I could die tomorrow, too, but I’m not scheduling last rites.

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