The history of the christening gown is an exciting topic to explore. The history of the christening gown dates back to the 17th century with a few variations, but it has been largely changed since then.
Between the years 160 and 220 A.D., infant baptism was first stated. Swaddling bands were most likely the clothes infants wore when they were baptized during this period. Swaddling bands are large strips of cloth wrapped entirely around the baby. The purpose of swaddling a baby is to keep his or her limbs from moving around.
The most well-known use of swaddling bands in Christianity is when Mary, Jesus’ mother, gave birth. “And she gave birth to her firstborn son, wrapping him in swaddling garments…” (See Luke 2:7)
When a couple got married in the time of Jesus, they would tie bands (cloth or fabric) around their clasped right hands. The phrase “they tied the knot” comes from binding clasped hands together during a marriage ceremony.
When a married couple had a child, they would wrap their newborn in the identical bands worn at their wedding ceremony. Symbols like a lion, a lamb, or a tree of life were stitched on these swaddling bands.
These swaddling bands were used for swaddling babies and were also used to baptize them. Swaddling bands were employed during baptism until the 15th century.
Swaddling bands were quite popular at the time; however medical investigations showed that swaddling increased the incidence of SIDS and Baptismal attire got its start.
About the 17th century (the 1600s), children were now expected to be completely submerged in holy water. Because infants were submerged in holy water, it was necessary to remove their garments during baptism and then rapidly replace it over their swaddling bands so that they did not become cold and, as a result, ill. Churches were not heated during this period (the 17th century) and might be exceedingly cold in the middle of winter; it was critical to remove christening clothes and replace them promptly.
The christening gown is a long white garment with a high neckline and a lace collar worn during christening ceremony. The sleeves are short and made from silk or linen. In some cases, they may have been embroidered with gold thread. The gown was often worn only once and passed from generation to generation.
Both boys and girls wore the christening gown until reasonably recently when boys were no longer allowed to wear it because they didn’t want it to look too feminine.
For girls, it’s usually worn with a bonnet or headband, while for boys, it’s usually worn with a cap.
Although the christening gown has remained popular to this day, some parents have chosen to dress their children in a christening outfit consisting of a white dress with a matching hat and shoes for girls. Boys dress in a white suit or shirt with colorful shorts or pants. Boys can also wear white or cream trousers with suspenders and a bow tie.
Bonus video How to Care and Store Baby Christening Gowns