do some churches baptize babies, while others only dedicate them?
difference in practice goes back to the early days of Protestant
Reformation. The tradition up to then had been to baptize at any
age, including infancy. In view of high infant mortality, the
earlier the better, many believed.
emerging Baptist tradition, however, argued that the sacrament
of initiation into Christian community needed to be a conscious
decision made at an age of maturity, much like the Bar Mitzvah
of Judaism. For that reason, they delayed baptism until around
the age of 12. At the same time, they wanted to affirm a newborn
baby and to engage the congregation in caring for that child.
Hence, the ritual of dedication.
reformation churches, such as the Episcopal, Methodist, Lutheran
and Presbyterian churches, continue to practice infant baptism,
although it isn't required and the decision isn't accompanied
by any medieval superstition about an unbaptized child's going
to hell if they die young. Some conservative churches have adopted
the Baptist tradition, known as “believer's baptism.”
with every other argument in Christianity, each side has plenty
of Scripture and Tradition to support its views.