Nothing beats the thrill of welcoming a new little being into the family and your family's religion. Every baptism is a celebration of love and a profound introduction into a wider community. It's the primary stepping-stone of many and one which certainly deserves to be eternalised.
Nevertheless, similar to life with a newborn, the entire event can get quite chaotic especially with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. From uncontrollable crying to extremely loud sounds & screams, everything is possible when the star of the day is merely months-old. But don't worry, here are some tips that could help lessen the jitters before and on the day.
Satisfy the stomach
Whether feeding on-demand or on a schedule, attempt to nurse or feed the little one before the ceremony. Nothing beats contentedness from a full tummy! Do not forget to bring a few emergency snacks for your little one, as some nibbles may come in handy when attempting to diffuse the situation.
Family Photos First
Schedule family photos before the ceremony. Baptisms are often quite tiring on the other little members of the family so this might be the right time to capture most precious images. This may also make the remainder of the day calmer for you as their is one thing less on your plate. Plus, you'll relax with the guests afterwards.
For family posed photos, either in front of the main altar or the patron saint's statue, a good approach is to start with the largest group and begin reducing people. For instance, start with the relatives, then go onto the close family. This way you will keep fewer people waiting on you.
Another approach to family photos would be to take photos of with the kids and toddlers first, as they may become impatient waiting for their turn. With both of these approaches, please careful not to forget someone important or yourself! As with the panic and pressure of the moment, it may be hard to think properly.
[.rte-tip] [.rte-quote-author]Quick Tip![.rte-quote-author] A smart idea would be to appoint someone responsible with organising the group photos. This can be someone within your family. You can even give a list to the photographer beforehand and they would be able to help make the situation smoother. [.rte-tip]
It might help to draw up a list of the items you’d need during the ceremony to make sure that nothing is left behind. It’s also wise to allocate ample time for travelling and settling down at church before the baptism ceremony starts.
Pack everything the night before, especially if you have an early mass. Gather everything you will need for yourself and older children, from snacks to quiet games. Prepare the outfits and iron the shirts beforehand, so on baptism day, you have fewer things to do.
Have a back-up plan
When planning the baptism, you should think of a back-up plan should something go wrong. This is so you do not have to improvise a lot on the day. An example of a simple backup plan would be an emergency car, just in case your family car suffers a flat tire you would be prepared in who to call in order to make it to the ceremony on time.
Another suggestion would be to take spare clothes, diapers, masks and so on. Remember that:
[.rte-quote]"The man who is prepared has his battle half fought."[.rte-quote]
A must in any diaper bag is a clothes change, and on this day, more than ever. Unfortunately, many baptism outfits don't perform well on the comfort scale. Having a second, easier outfit for the celebration after the ceremony can calm a fussy baby in no time. An outfit change can also come in handy in the case of a nappy change gone bad.
Tell your photographer what you would like in terms of photography. Be sure that if you plan to take family photos on the altar after the mass that there is enough time between masses. Hurried photos do not turn out great - being calm when having your photos being taken results in great, wonderful photos.
Keep in touch with everyone who will be providing you services that day. The photographer, restaurant, driver, priest and any other person who will help you. I would recommend calling them a few days before to verify that you are both on the same page. Additionally, you should keep the phones of the vendors handy, just in case something goes wrong.
This point is for the parents: Babies are very sensitive to anxiety. Trying to soothe a baby when panicking can be quite a fruitless pursuit. Take deep breaths and calm yourself first, you'll be surprised at how effective this can be. If you are having trouble calming down, this box breathing technique may help. We ourselves found it quite useful.
Kick back and relax
Babies are babies and there are not any rules when it involves their behaviour. Enjoy the moment; whichever sound effects may complement it. The cuteness overload will shine through. And who are we kidding; can we ever really be prepared when it involves these tiny little ones?
Diaries, calendars and checklists are your friend when it comes to planning ahead and being fully prepared.
This Word Document File can either be printed or stored digitally :) It has a 2-month plan about the important things in a baptism.
Please note that some Maltese Parishes need more than 2 months notice to book baptism due to availability issues. You should only book other things, suppliers etc after confirming your church.
Here is a quick recap of all the discussed points:
- Feed the baby beforehand
- Take family photos before mass
- Be prepared for everything that can go wrong
- Change baby into more comfortable clothes
- Communicate with your family, priest and vendors
- Take a deep breath and calm down
- Enjoy your child's baptism day
We’d like to assist you to immortalize this special family day with doing what we do best: Providing you with beautiful photos which will commemorate your child's christening.
Who are we?
Get in touch with Anaca Photography so we can start discussing your Baptism Day Plan so we can assist you to achieve a stress-free day, especially from the photography end. You can view some of our baptism work on our portfolio.
Article last revisited 13/09/2021