17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

From the Tales Inbox: Blessing Dress for a Baby Boy?

On the wall at my parents house there is the sweetest picture of my dad as a 3-4 month old baby in a precious simple blessing dress. My aunt uncovered the dress (now 65 years old) at my grandparents house and gave it to my dad. As I am pretty much the only child left having children, he gave it to me.

I am expecting number 4 next week (hopefully a boy) and would really like the baby to wear the dress for his blessing. I personally think it is fine, but Paul (my husband) is a little against the idea. Maybe it is because we have 3 daughters already, and if this next baby actually comes out a boy, I think he really wants him to be “all boy” all the time, and can’t believe I would want to put him in a dress.

So, what does everyone think about blessing a baby BOY in a blessing dress and not a little "boy" outfit? It used to be common practice but you don’t see it much anymore.

(Of course this baby might come out a girl and we won’t even need to argue about it.)



  • The solution: Sew a couple of buttons in the crotch and call it a "onesy".

    But seriously, as a father I would have no problem using the blessing outfit that my father (or father-in-law) was blessed in, even if it was a dress. Since the football season is just about to start, perhaps you can bargain with your hubby and put him in a football outfit after the meeting.
    posted by Blogger Capt. Obsidian at 8/08/2006 03:17:00 PM  

  • If it's important to you, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks! Except your husband, of course...maybe he'll come over to your side of thinking in a few weeks if he knows how important it is?
    posted by Blogger Julie at 8/08/2006 03:20:00 PM  

  • A boy in a dress? Sorry, I side with your husband. That's a little... odd.
    posted by Anonymous Connor Boyack at 8/08/2006 03:21:00 PM  

  • When I was growing up there was a picture on my parent's wall of my great grandfather as a toddler (2 or 3 years old) wearing a lace covered white dress. If that dress were to magically appear and fit one of my little boys I would put him in it and take his picture to hang next to the one of his great great grandfather.

    Nothing wrong with a baby in a dress.
    posted by Blogger Starfoxy at 8/08/2006 03:26:00 PM  

  • Since I don't have a boy and don't plan to ; ), I have never considered this...off the top of my head my first instinct is to call it a christening gown (sounds better than a dress), and to put him in it as a very young infant...it would be hard to imagine a chubby, rough and tumble boy baby in a gown. And my second thought is to NOT put him in a football outfit....
    posted by Blogger Kage at 8/08/2006 03:49:00 PM  

  • I may be in the minority here but I would struggle putting my boy in a dress, I don't care what the occasion or pedigree. When my DS was born, he wore the outfit my brother had been christened in; when my DD was born, she wore the dress I had been christened in (we were Catholic before joining the church). They both looked nice, there was a sense of history about them and the outfits were appropriate for their sexes.

    That's just my opinion.
    posted by Blogger chloe at 8/08/2006 03:52:00 PM  

  • I might feel weird putting a boy in a dress and I know it would be a battle to get my hubby on board...but I think it's beautiful that your dad was blessed in it, and that history/story would trump any weirdness. The woman who took care of my husband for years gave us some little booties that were crocheted (sp???) by his great grandmother for his father to wear on his blessing day. Then my husband got to wear them to be blessed in. She snuck them off after my husbands blessing and has kept them for his first child to be blessed in. They were a little girlie, but I thought it was such a dear story, so my son wore them. I did find myself trying to tell the story and explain to people why he had these funky little booties on...why did I even care? Can your husband just rise above?
    How femanine is the dress? I'm with Kage on calling it a Christening gown. Boys are blessed in gowns all over the world and in different religions. Also, I agree that the younger he is the better.
    Kage - no football outfit? What about football earmuffs? Those are really cool.
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 8/08/2006 04:20:00 PM  

  • I have absolutely NO ISSUE at all with putting a baby boy in a gown for his blessing. It has been thoughout history- We have a family heirloom, and boy or girl, we use it. It's not like putting him a pink dress and a pinafore- it's a blessing gown, for heaven's sake!!

    AND my husband couldn't care less.
    posted by Blogger Tracy M at 8/08/2006 04:27:00 PM  

  • My son was blessed in a gown that had been my grandfather's. I didn't even think twice about doing it, and I don't remeber DH caring one bit, nor did my very LDS inlaws or my very NON-LDS parents. Look here if you want to see a picture.

    Honestly, I don't remember anyone in the ward batting an eye (well, except for Chloe it seems!) It probably helped that our bishop's kids had all been blessed in an heirloom christening gown that was brought over specifically from Norway for the occasion each time. So for obvious reasons, I disagree with Chloe's implication that because what her son wore was sex appropriate, a boy wearing a gown was not. This has been done for generations upon generations, there is nothing "emasculating" for a baby boy to wear a gown.
    posted by Blogger marian at 8/08/2006 07:19:00 PM  

  • The only reason that I would have trouble putting my newborn baby boy in a blessing dress, is I wouldn't want people to mistakenly think he was a girl -- with a boyish name (you know they all look the same on the outside at first).

    On the other hand I think the story behind it is beautiful, and a great tradition to pass on. Maybe bless him in the gown and then switch the outfit to a sophisticated tux-ish suit. That way you suit both parties.
    posted by Blogger Trivial Mom at 8/08/2006 07:21:00 PM  

  • ABSOLUTELY! Use the gown. You will regret not using it given the history behind it. And as for your husband, you can just tell him it is time to get in touch with his feminine side... this will help prepare him for the horror of the first time his son plays with a Barbie.
    posted by Blogger Zinone at 8/08/2006 07:39:00 PM  

  • marian, I think your boy looks perfectly normal in the gown....and thanks for the birth picture to boot!
    posted by Blogger Kage at 8/08/2006 07:44:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
    posted by Blogger trimama at 8/08/2006 08:28:00 PM  

  • think history is a wonderful thing to pass onto a child and would use the gown. I have to say that after having two boys there are no great alternatives to a gown. I think some gowns look more masculine than a puffy bubble jumper. You should show your husband some of the options and he may be quick to stick to tradition.

    I was lucky that my MIL found a simple jumper that I used for both of my boys. I just had a cute, simple, classic, linen jumper made for my SIL who could not find anything. A friend made it and lined it with light Khaki Piping and embroidered his initials, so she can have it for a keepsake.

    Your little boy is simply cherubic in the picture...
    posted by Blogger trimama at 8/08/2006 08:29:00 PM  

  • I've seen little boys blessed in "gowns" before...and although it may sound weird to our generation, boys wore "gowns" as infants all the time back in the day...

    I say let him wear it. It's got meaning because it's an heirloom. It's not a "dress", it's a blessing "gown". Totally different. :) No, but seriously, I say you let him wear it...

    P.S. I didn't read any of the above comments before commenting myself, so sorry if anything was repeated or refuted already...
    posted by Blogger Cheryl at 8/08/2006 08:44:00 PM  

  • Back in the day, ALL childen wore gowns until they were out of diapers. Consider how much easier it is to whip a gown up than it is to fiddle with all those little snaps!

    The family history angle is wonderful too. I say go for it and I hope your husband can see his way to coming around. If it helps you can remind him that Christ didn't wear pants either, since they weren't invented until two hundred years ago. :)
    posted by Anonymous Proud Daughter of Eve at 8/09/2006 06:59:00 AM  

  • Jesus wore a gown at his baptism. So are all of you saying that Jesus wasn't a man? We will all also be wearing gowns in the celestial kingdom. So what is the problem. Those of us converts who were raised in the Catholic faith have no problem with Blessing (or Christening) gowns. It amazes me how much Latter-Day Saints buy into American culture definitions of masculinity and femininity. It can really seem pathetic at times.
    posted by Anonymous Michael at 8/09/2006 08:34:00 AM  

  • Wow Michael, if only you had a stronger opinion on this subject! And the gowns in heaven, is that doctrinal? Being a fashion designer by trade, I am curious what the eternities will bring for me and my career? I might need to start brushing up on my fabric draping ablilities. :)

    On the subject though, I think it would be a real shame if your little baby boy didn't wear the gown. I know so many people who would love to have such a family heirloom to have their baby blessed in.

    But I will say if I didn't have a family heirloom gown for my baby boy to wear, I would choose to make something like Tri Mama talked about: a simple linen jumper. And I love the idea of embroidering the initials
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 8/09/2006 09:37:00 AM  

  • Michael, I think Chloe would disagree with your statement that "Those of us converts who were raised in the Catholic faith have no problem with Blessing (or Christening) gowns since she herself was Catholic before joining the church and, as stated, would be uncomfortable putting her son in a gown.
    posted by Blogger marian at 8/09/2006 10:53:00 AM  

  • my oldest was baptized Catholic in a gown as an infant. we borrowed it from his little (male) cousin.
    All our old fmaily photos show baby boys in gowns- for baptism and everyday use. It's not wierd to me in the least.
    posted by Blogger cchrissyy at 8/13/2006 01:17:00 PM  

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