Sacramentals for Babies
For me, as well as people that I know, it is a tradition to pin religious items to children's clothing or to keep holy objects at home to protect them from harm, and as a way to keep the baby or child close to God. When I had my two sons, I made sure that they were frequently blessed with holy water.
Why do we do these things? Can sacramentals, such as blessed medals of Our Lady or the saints, actually protect our children?
Medals as Sacramentals
Although I have always been Catholic, I didn't learn about sacramentals until my adulthood. It made sense to me knowing that, in the same way that a beautiful picture of your child automatically calls forth feelings of love from within you, sacramentals are visible symbols used to inspire us to seek holiness.
Keep this in mind: sacramentals are not magic; they are not amulets. The Catholic Church is very clear in teaching that religious objects do not have any built-in or inherent power, to think that they do is superstition and is severely condemned by the Church.
The sacraments that my children have received so far, plus the use of sacramentals, give me confidence and inspiration. I am grateful that my children are healthy and happy and living in a stable Catholic environment, and I take that as a gift from God.
Do I have a perfect life because I use sacramentals? No, we all have problems or health issues, but it is easier to face them and not lose direction when we cling to God and receive His comforting and healing love. Even if He does not heal us physically or solve all our external problems, we know that He is at work in mysterious ways, always giving grace to us if we choose to receive it.
I personally love to use holy water, and to keep inspiring Catholic images and a child's cross in the nursery. If I were to have a girl (I have two sons) I would definitely consider getting some type of inspirational jewelry, too.
I hope you find this information helpful, especially if you are a padrino o madrina (godfather or godmother), or a relative, or a close friend looking for the perfect, meaningful gift to give that lovely child.
Tips on shopping for a child: I took these pictures of one of my best friend's toddler, and it was interesting to see the little girl's reaction to the jewelry. She was happy and delighted to wear the colorful accessories, and preferred them over the gold and silver jewelry, even though my friend and I thought that those looked so dainty on her.
So if your child is too young, it can be a good idea to get colorful jewelry or accessories first, and save the delicate ones for later.
If you would like to take a look at some beautiful children's jewelry, you can do so here.