Way back when I was planning my first-ever baby naming, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that you could have vows at a baby naming, like you do at a traditional christening. With a christening, the vows are shaped by the Christian tradition, but with a baby naming, you’re freer to write your own rules.
A lot of the vows I came across when I was writing the ceremony were quite sentimental. If you’re sentimental, they’d be a perfect fit, but I decided to put my own spin on them. Inspired by that experience, I’ve put together this blog post to inspire you to write your own vows, promises that you can make to your child and to each other.
Of course, it’s your baby naming. If you don’t want vows, you don’t have to have any. But if you do want to have vows, I hope this post will be useful.
Who Says The Vows?
Again, that’s entirely up to you. You can make vows to each other and to your child. You can ask your guests to say vows together. They can promise to act as your tag team on your great parenting adventure.
You can also appoint guide parents for your child, who can make promises to support your child and guide them through life, much like godparents at a christening.
Format of Vows
The most popular vows are still the question-and-answer vows that you’ll remember from christenings. Or you can just list out the promises you want to make to your child. If you’re feeling nervous, I can call out the list and ask you to repeat it, sentence by sentence.
So, I’m going to have vows in my baby naming ceremony. What vows should I write?
Vows Based On Values
If you have values that you hold very strongly as a person and as a family, you can make promises to uphold those values on behalf of your child. For example, if you value honesty, kindness and respect, you can promise to teach your child to tell the truth, to treat your child with kindness and to show your child how to respect others.
Vows Based On Interests
If you’re a family who’s passionate about a certain hobby, you can use that hobby as a metaphor for your vows. Sport in particular lends itself to this. You can talk about being a cheerleader for your child or supporting them whether they win or lose.
If you’re arty, you can also draw metaphors from the arts. You can promise to help your child turn their life into a masterpiece, help them write their own script or help them strike the right note.
If the idea of saying vows seems a bit po-faced to you, why not have fun with the idea. You can create vows that reflect the reality of family life, such as promising to love your child when they daub paint on your walls or throw a tantrum in the supermarket.
Or you can promise to turn a blind eye if your child allows three weeks’ worth of plates to accumulate under their bed. It’ll give your guests a laugh but it also outlines an important point – you’re going to accept your child for who they are, warts and all.
Above all, don’t forget the love. You may think it goes without saying, but the most powerful vow you’ll make is the vow to love your child for the rest of their lives, no matter what.
Format of Vows: The most popular vows are still the question-and-answer vows that you’ll remember from christenings. Or you can just list out the promises you want to make to yoru child. If you’re feeling nervous, I can call out the list and ask you to repeat it, sentence by sentence.
I’m conscious as I write this that you may not been able to welcome your child into the world the way they would like. I’m also conscious that your family may not have been able to welcome them either. A baby naming will help you give your child the welcome they deserve and to celebrate their arrival.
Have you held a baby naming? Did you say vows at it? I’d be interested to hear about how you approached the vows. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to share your thoughts.