Baby Christening vs. Baptism: What’s the Difference?

For families with religious or spiritual beliefs that are expecting a baby or have a newborn, many commonly ask about the differences between a baby’s Christening vs. baptism. A new family addition is an exciting time, and new parents want to celebrate and honor their faith with their baby the right way. While a Christening or baptism are used interchangeably, some religious customs have unique practices and meanings within various Christian denominations.  

Below we’ll explain the difference between a Christening vs. baptism, their similarities, and tips on appropriate gifts for family members. 

Christening vs. Baptism for Babies: What’s the Difference?

Many families with Catholic or Christian faith commonly ask about the difference between a baby’s Christening vs. baptism. Below we’ll break down the differences in each religious custom.  

What is a Christening?

So, what does a Christening mean? In some churches, a baby Christening is part of a baptism that people with religious beliefs practice to celebrate their Christian faith with their baby. The baby typically wears white Christening clothes to symbolize purity, innocence, and new beginnings in their faith’s journey. Christening a baby is usually practiced after a few months from birth.  

What is a baptism?

A water baptism is a religious rite of passage that welcomes babies into Christianity. Baptisms are typically conducted by a Profession of Faith and practiced at any point in a person’s lifetime. It symbolizes a family’s dedication to Christianity by having their baby grow in the Christian faith.  

The tradition includes pouring or sprinkling holy water onto a baby’s forehead to welcome them into the Christian community. It also includes asking godparents to publicly declare their faith to help raise the child if the parents, in any event, cannot.  

Is a Christening the same as a baptism?

When it comes to understanding the differences between a Christening vs. baptism, the answer depends on the church. Some denominations view a baptism as a religious rite of passage and a Christening as the naming ceremony, while others use it interchangeably. We recommend reaching out to your local church to ask how they practice a baby Christening or baptism ceremony.  

Differences Between a Christening vs. Baptism

So, what are the differences between a Christening vs. baptism? While the answer mainly depends on your local church and faith, most families tend to practice baptism ceremonies as a formal event and throw a Christening party afterward to celebrate.  

If you’re planning a baby baptism or Christening a baby, make sure to reach out to your guest list so they know how to prepare ahead for the event and buy appropriate gifts. 

Baby Christening vs. Baptism FAQs

Can you be Christened and not baptized?

Yes, if your religious beliefs view a Christening or baptism as separate traditions. A baby’s Christening may only focus on the naming ceremony before Christ and then be baptized in holy water.  

Do non-denominational churches baptize babies? 

Yes, many non-denominational churches practice baby baptisms. Although non-denominational churches have different practices than mainline Christian churches, baptisms are a tradition they share.  

Can you give a Christening card for a baptism?

We don’t suggest giving Christening gifts as gifts for baptisms as the family’s faith may view them as separate ceremonies.

Some Christening gifts you can give are: 

  • All white baby tuxedos or formal lace dresses 
  • White, formal, slip-on baby shoes  
  • White baby bonnets or lace headbands 
  • Framed photos of the baby with their godparents  

Make sure to reach out to the family if you’re attending a baby Christening ceremony to learn their religious preferences on a baptism vs. Christening so you don’t buy the wrong gift.  

What is an appropriate gift for a Catholic baptism?

If you’re looking for Catholic baptism gift ideas, there are so many easy ideas to choose from. For traditional baptism gifts, try a cross necklace with baby footprint engraving or a baby baptism candle for keepsakes. If you want more baby-friendly baptism gifts, try giving a blessing lamb or baby’s first bible so they can grow with your gifts and learn more about their faith as they get older.  

Buy Baby Baptism Gifts and Christening Gifts at Bebé Couture 

Now that you know the difference between a Christening vs. baptism, remember to buy baptism gifts or Christening gifts for the little one in your life! At Bebé Couture, we have the perfect baptism gifts for boys and Christening gifts for boys that will make your special event even more memorable.  

Shop for a baby boy baptism outfit or baby boy Christening outfit today! 

Related Articles:

Share this article: