I am disturbed by the tendency of some parents to delay the baptism of their children until they "can afford the party" or they "can afford to go back to the old country" to baptize their child. Some of these kids, from otherwise "devout families" are almost 3 years olds!!! Now, beside being almost impossible for the priest to immerse in the baptismal font, are their other theological and canonical reasons why babies should be baptized ASAP? What is our tradition about infants that die unbaptized?
After the birth of a child, prayers (http://www.goarch.org/chapel/liturgical_texts/birth
) are read over the mother for a speedy recovery, and to bless the child. On the 8th day after the child is born, the child is brought by the grandmother for the naming of the child. In some cases, the child will also be baptised at this point. Usually, on the 40th day, the mother and the child "return" to the church. (The mother usually will be absent from the church for 40 days to allow for her recovery.) During this service, both the mother and child are welcomed into the church, and the child is usually baptised during this service. (http://www.goarch.org/en/chapel/liturgical_texts/churching.asp
If a child is born, and is very ill, a priest should be called to baptize the child in the hospital. Obviously if a child is ill, and the concern is that the baby may not live, the immediate concern is to have it baptized as soon as possible. If a priest cannot be reached, then a Christian may baptize the child. If a Christian is not available, then a non-Christian may baptize the child. The church provides economia for these situations.
We as Orthodox Christians believe God is a God of mercy. If an infant dies and is not baptized we believe God will show mercy on the child. Whether a person is baptized or not, it is up to God and God alone as to where they will spend eternity.
Obviously we should strive to have our children baptized sooner rather than later. Why a family would prevent a child from being baptized, I don't know, but that is between them and their Spiritual Father.
The sooner a child is baptized and chrismated, the sooner it can begin participating in the sacramental life of the Church, (namely the Eucharist) and benefitting from their rewards.