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carlimac

Baptismal dresses for girls- yes or no?

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Just wondering. This is a poll of sorts. If you have had your 8 yr old daughter baptized, did you purchase or make a white dress for her to put on after the baptism? This is a big tradition where I live now- just moved here a few months ago. It seems a bit contrived to me but I don't want my nearly 8 yr old daughter to feel badly if she is the only one who doesn't get one. I have three older daughters who didn't get a white dress. They all say they didn't miss it and don't think it's necessary.

What do you all think?

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I got my son a baptismal suit to change into after getting out of the baptismal font.

But, I wouldn't do it just because everybody else is doing it. I did it because I wanted him to have it. It's a big event for him - bigger than any bday party he's had or will have. I tried to make it as memorable as I can for him.

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I think this comes from a poem shared by L Tom Perry

My Three White Dresses

My mom bought me a white dress,

Not red or pink or blue.

She said it was a special dress

Like very other few.

There has been just one before,

A dress now put away,

That I wore some time ago

Upon my blessing day.

As a little baby clothed

In my first white dress,

My dad held me in his arms,

There to name and bless.So pure and clean was I just then,

With time to grow and learn

About the Father’s plan for me.

My glory I must earn.

Now I’ve reached the age to judge

The wrong road from the right,

And I am here to be baptized

In this dress of white.

So once again I’m free from sin.

The path is clear to me.

I’ll grasp the rod and hold on tight,

I vow with certainty.

Just as mud would stain my dress,

Sin would stain my soul.

The key is to repent or bleach,

For whiteness is my goal.

And if I try my very best,

Then richly blessed I’ll be,

Wearing inside God’s holy house

White dress number three.

So today I make this pledge:

I’ll strive to choose the right,

Through this sacred baptism ordinance

In my second dress of white.

(Linda Gay Perry Nelson, 1993) source

The idea is to give the girl a dress of her own to remember the three days she wore a white dress (blessing, baptism, and endowment/sealing). It's a silly tradition, really but some people are in love with it.

Someone later wrote a song about it entitled "What Heaven Sees in You" which I actually think is rather pretty. I sometimes sing it to my daughter at bed time.

I don't intend to buy a special white dress for my daughter's baptism. Especially if she's only going to wear it once. I might buy her a new dress, but it'll be one she can wear repeatedly.

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She asked about after the baptism.

Yeah, I just realized that. I was thinking being baptized in a dress vs. a jumpsuit. Never mind.

No, I didn't get a new white dress for my baptism. I didn't even get a new dress. My mom was obsessed with dressing myself and my little sister in matching clothes, so I didn't even get to wear a dress of my choosing on my special day. I had to match my sister.

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It is a big tradition here too. I don't think I would have bought one. However, we had a relative who gave us a family white dress, which so far all my girls have been happy to wear after their baptisms. How does your daughter feel about it? If it is not important to her, then I wouldn't worry about it. If it is important to her, could you borrow one from someone else in the ward for her to wear that day and the next Sunday?

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when i've read the three white dresses poem i've always thought it was talking about the dress for the actual baptism not for after.

personally i think it's silly to wear all white after, a bit more than silly really. part of the reason is some of the pics i've seen the white dresses look like children's wedding dresses they are so over the top. that's a real turn off for me so my girls will not. they will have a nice dress of their choosing, if they want to get a new dress that's fine but it will not be all white or overly expensive.

as for the baptism itself i'm big on a dress or suit. we purchased a suit (white slacks, shirt, tie) for my boys (so far 2 have used it, one to go). they wore their normal sunday suit after the baptism. i will be buying a white dress (rather than jumpsuit) for my girls when the oldest is ready and we will pass it down like we have the suit. when my family no longer needs it we will most likely donate them to the branch. i see jumpsuits for proxy work not personal ordinances. but that's my personal preference. lol

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I got a *new* dress when I was baptized, but it wasn't white.

That said, my DD will be wearing a white dress after her Baptism. :D It's not a tradition here, but it's a way I'm using my wedding dress rather than letting it sit in a closet for ages (I just couldn't part with it after the wedding. ^_^ ) I used the material from my dress to have a Blessing dress made for my DD when she was a baby, and the remaining material (because I was a largish bride) will be used to make her a Baptism dress.

I've been looking forward to it since I first came up with the idea shortly before my wedding! Only a year and a half left to go!

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when i've read the three white dresses poem i've always thought it was talking about the dress for the actual baptism not for after.

personally i think it's silly to wear all white after, a bit more than silly really. part of the reason is some of the pics i've seen the white dresses look like children's wedding dresses they are so over the top.

Totally agreed.

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I believe traditions are good but all too often we come to think of them as necessare or that those that do not follow our tradtions are ether "over the top" or missing something.

As an old High Priest that was recently released from teaching primary I have learned something - when I see a young girl at church in a white dress I ask if it is her baptismal dress. If it is or not I always tell her how nice she looks.

Because of primary I have many young friends in the ward - and to be honest - I am just as glad to talk with them before and after Sunday meetings as I am the older generation. When I ask how are things - I seldim get the one word "fine" from my youthful friends.

The youth that remember their baptism as a "big" thing seem to enjoy more being at church and talking talking with adults. Just an observation.

The Traveler

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I got a *new* dress when I was baptized, but it wasn't white.

That said, my DD will be wearing a white dress after her Baptism. :D It's not a tradition here, but it's a way I'm using my wedding dress rather than letting it sit in a closet for ages (I just couldn't part with it after the wedding. ^_^ ) I used the material from my dress to have a Blessing dress made for my DD when she was a baby, and the remaining material (because I was a largish bride) will be used to make her a Baptism dress.

I've been looking forward to it since I first came up with the idea shortly before my wedding! Only a year and a half left to go!

Very cool idea! I'll have to pass that on to my married daughter if she ever has a girl. Her dress is just hanging around in the closet- all $700 of it!

Funny thing though. When her little boy was born we had to bless him when he was just 5 days old because all the grandparents had come into town for their graduations which coincided with his birth. Anyway, he was blessed in their married student apartment in a white onsie and wrapped in a white blanket. It was all very sweet and intimate with no big production. And he felt just as "blessed" as if he'd been in a little silk suit and tie in the chapel with an enormous party after.

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The problem is that DD isn't really aware of the tradition because it wasn't a big thing where we lived before. But I've seen every one of the 9 or 10 little girls in her soon to be Activity Day's group wear a white dress to church. They are obviously the after baptism dress. (Parents don't generally buy rowdy, bouncy little girls pure white dresses just to wear on any old Sunday.) I doubt DD will be aware of the tradition before her baptism next month but I don't want her to feel gypped either once she gets to know these girls in the ward better and finds out she didn't get a new white dress to put on after. Then we have another little girl coming up close on her heels. For sure they will both be appraised of the tradition by the time she gets baptized in 16 months. I always feel like a bad mom when I buck these traditions. (We don't do sleepovers either and I've taken endless flack for it.)

Another thing my husband pointed out is that he doesn't want our kids identifying these sacred ordinances with all the things they'll get. He wants them to be focused on the spiritual blessings rather than the physical presents. My daughter is already asking her grandma to give her a blanket for her baptism since one of her friend's grandma gave her granddaughter a "comforter" to represent the gift of the Holy Ghost.

I don't know. I'm still sitting on the fence on this one. But I'll probably side with my husband since our older daughters say they didn't miss having the white dress, and because I'm basically very practical by nature.

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We have three girls (and counting). As for the blessing dress, so for the baptism dress: get one, and they can all wear it when it's their turn.

(If I get 'em used to that idea when they're young, that'll be at least two wedding dresses I won't have to spring for.)

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We have three girls (and counting). As for the blessing dress, so for the baptism dress: get one, and they can all wear it when it's their turn.

(If I get 'em used to that idea when they're young, that'll be at least two wedding dresses I won't have to spring for.)

I have 5 daughters! All differenst sizes and shapes.:(

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I doubt DD will be aware of the tradition before her baptism next month but I don't want her to feel gypped either once she gets to know these girls in the ward better and finds out she didn't get a new white dress to put on after.

You get on a really slippery slope if this is the reason you do it. This is you giving in to 8-year-old peer pressure.

Another thing my husband pointed out is that he doesn't want our kids identifying these sacred ordinances with all the things they'll get. He wants them to be focused on the spiritual blessings rather than the physical presents.

Bingo!

We have three girls (and counting). As for the blessing dress, so for the baptism dress: get one, and they can all wear it when it's their turn.

Good idea.

(If I get 'em used to that idea when they're young, that'll be at least two wedding dresses I won't have to spring for.)

Yeah. Good luck with that.

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The problem is that DD isn't really aware of the tradition because it wasn't a big thing where we lived before. But I've seen every one of the 9 or 10 little girls in her soon to be Activity Day's group wear a white dress to church. They are obviously the after baptism dress. (Parents don't generally buy rowdy, bouncy little girls pure white dresses just to wear on any old Sunday.) I doubt DD will be aware of the tradition before her baptism next month but I don't want her to feel gypped either once she gets to know these girls in the ward better and finds out she didn't get a new white dress to put on after. Then we have another little girl coming up close on her heels. For sure they will both be appraised of the tradition by the time she gets baptized in 16 months. I always feel like a bad mom when I buck these traditions. (We don't do sleepovers either and I've taken endless flack for it.)

This is a really bad psyche, carlimac. I don't think the problem here is the white dress or anything like that. The problem here is your guilt feeling. This is not a baptismal clothing problem. This is a motherhood problem. I feel it is best if you address it as such.

My sons grew up knowing that they are not "thoughtless followers". They are "leaders". As a mother, I don't gauge the quality of my parenting by what my friends are doing. I gauge it by what I know and studied as the best thing for my family. So that, my children are more aware of the workings of my family as opposed to the workings of other families - in a situation where they find themselves different from all their peers, they know that's the way we do things in our family. They know not to beg for video games even when all their friends have one because... that's just not what we do in our family. They know not to ask for the latest Roboraptor or whatever for Christmas because they know we have a limited Christmas budget. They know they only get one skechers shoes a year and if they don't take care of it, they'll be wearing ratty shoes all year long. They know we don't say bad words or watch bad movies or do any of that stuff even when they are all around friends who do so. And they know they got a white suit for baptism not because every other boy/girl got one but because that's just what we do in our family.

This is the same for anything ward-related. You know what's best for your family. And it's not what other mothers are doing.

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the white dress or white suit for baptism can be new, can be used it doesnt matter. for a young girl the dress should be cute and simple, not over done, kinda the same concept for a temple marriage. after the baptism she can or he can wear anytbing, better to wear something they can wear over again to church, to school...to a party..something simple, cute, and pretty new or old....Its really not what you wear. Its about the occasion that your celebrating..

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This is a really bad psyche, carlimac. I don't think the problem here is the white dress or anything like that. The problem here is your guilt feeling. This is not a baptismal clothing problem. This is a motherhood problem. I feel it is best if you address it as such.

My sons grew up knowing that they are not "thoughtless followers". They are "leaders". As a mother, I don't gauge the quality of my parenting by what my friends are doing. I gauge it by what I know and studied as the best thing for my family. So that, my children are more aware of the workings of my family as opposed to the workings of other families - in a situation where they find themselves different from all their peers, they know that's the way we do things in our family. They know not to beg for video games even when all their friends have one because... that's just not what we do in our family. They know not to ask for the latest Roboraptor or whatever for Christmas because they know we have a limited Christmas budget. They know they only get one skechers shoes a year and if they don't take care of it, they'll be wearing ratty shoes all year long. They know we don't say bad words or watch bad movies or do any of that stuff even when they are all around friends who do so. And they know they got a white suit for baptism not because every other boy/girl got one but because that's just what we do in our family.

This is the same for anything ward-related. You know what's best for your family. And it's not what other mothers are doing.

I beg to differ just a little. I admit I'm a bit of a pushover at times. Not on everything. We have fairly tight rules on many things and we don't spoil our kids. Christmas is a very moderate affair as are their birthdays. But in this case I'm pondering the value in the white dress. It actually might be a sweet thing to do as long as the dress is simple and not like a wedding or pageant dress. It's something we've never done before because it actually hadn't occured to me to do it. We've been out of the church trendy loop living in MN for the last decade. I did have the mother of a girl who was baptized the same day as my last daughter tell me she was thinking of making a white baptism dress. I honestly thought she meant a dress to get baptized in and my thought was, who wants to wear a dress that might float up in the water. I'd rather they just get baptized in the stake jumpsuit. So I didn't even give another thought. I can't remember now if that mother actually produced the white dress or not. My now 14 yr old can't remember either.

So back to the value of this trend. I'm not such a stick in the mud that I can't look at someone else's idea and say, "That's neat. That could make the experience special for my daughter, too." And the more I think of it, perhaps getting a simple white dress might be better than buying something from the mall. (I was just there today looking and everything right now is really glitzy or makes the little girls look like a hooker. ) I almost think that would be more of a materialistic focus than just a nice white dress.

Believe me, I can buck the system just as well as the next non-conformist mom. I'm sooooo not into Hannah Montana or all the dumb Disney shows on TV. My girls aren't either. We do blaze our own trail but don't mind picking up on a few cues from others along the way. My kids are most definitely leaders. Strong and successful! Push my "Proud Mom" button and I might just start bragging. ;-)

Edited by carlimac

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When I was 8 years old I think my grandma made me a baptism dress. Now it just hangs in my closet and I sometimes get a glance of it from time to time and remember myself in it on the day that I was baptised.

Your post gave me some insight. I might reconsider.

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