What is the appropriate age for baptism?
"Understanding the practice as an authentic expression of how God works in our lives, The United Methodist Church strongly advocates the baptism of infants within the faith community: “Because the redeeming love of God, revealed in Jesus Christ, extends to all persons and because Jesus explicitly included the children in his kingdom, the pastor of each charge shall earnestly exhort all Christian parents or guardians to present their children to the Lord in Baptism at an early age”
No specific age is named, but the expectation is that pastors will encourage baptism to be received promptly AND on a schedule compatible with having appropriate time for meeting with parents, sponsors, and others who are involved most directly in ensuring that the child to be baptized will be nurtured in an environment that will lead her or him to a commitment to personal discipleship to Jesus Christ in the life of the church.
These Sundays are also often practiced as Communion Sundays in our Church, even in congregations that may not yet practice weekly communion. By Water and the Spirit and This Holy Mystery both indicate that on Sundays when baptism is celebrated, communion should also be celebrated, and that special care should be given to ensure that those newly baptized and their sponsors and parents are included in this celebration.
What's the difference between infant baptism and believer's baptism?
In infant baptism, God claims the child with divine grace. Clearly the child can do nothing to save himself or herself, but is totally dependent on God's grace, as we all are — whatever our age. In believer's baptism, the person being baptized is publicly professing her or his own decision to accept Christ. Believer's baptism is an ordinance, not a sacrament. United Methodists baptize people of all ages who have not previously received the sacrament. Even when the people being baptized are believing adults and are ready to profess their faith, our emphasis is upon the gracious action of God rather than upon the individual's decision.