Why Do Babies Wear White Garments for Baptism?

Updated April 17, 2017

White garments are traditional for baptism. For older people going through baptism, a white robe is common. For babies, elaborate white outfits are often used and passed down in families as heirlooms.


Catholics and some Protestant religions baptise babies. Some Christian religions forbid the baptism of babies.


The white garment is a symbol of the cleansing from original sin during baptism.


Depending on the religious ceremony of the particular church, the baby is either presented in the white garment for baptism, or put in the garment as part of the baptismal rite.


The long, white gown now traditional to baptism was originally just traditional baby clothes. These gowns are now considered only for baptism, because styles for baby clothes have changed over the centuries.


Many families keep and pass down a baptismal gown that is used by all the children in the family.

Ties to Funeral Rites

The pall (white cloth) that is draped over a casket during a Catholic funeral is a reminder of the white garment of baptism.

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About the Author

Deborah L. Alexander has twenty years experience in the Life Insurance industry. She is currently product manager for a midsized bank owned insurance agency. Alexander writes policies and procedures as well as product evaluations in her field of expertise. When not working, she enjoys home improvement activities, reading, music and puzzles.