Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.
Catechism of the Catholic Church 1213
Baptism of children in the Catholic Church is about our commitment as parents to raise and teach our children about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit and to help them understand and practice the teachings of the Catholic Church. Baptism removes all sin and makes a person a child of God and members of the Church. A pre-baptism meeting is required for parents who have not already participated in a pre-baptism program. Arrangement for this meeting is made by calling your parish. This meeting should be scheduled during the pregnancy
A candidate for baptism must have at least one sponsor or god-parent. Catholic godparents must have received all the sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation), be at least 16, and be active practicing Catholics (regular participation at weekend Mass assumed). Generally two godparents are selected, one is required. Christian, non-Catholic friends and family members can be chosen and listed as Christian witnesses. If your godparent cannot be a part of the ceremony, a proxy will be needed to witness the baptism. Choose godparents who will be a real and long-lasting help in the Christian formation of your child. Here is a resource to help you pick godparents - Requirements for Godparents
Regarding the time of baptism, first consideration is given to the child, then to the health of the mother, and finally to the family and parish schedules. If the child’s life is in danger, arrangements should be made for immediate baptism. Assuming good health of the child and mother, baptism should be scheduled at the best time for the family and according to the parish schedule. Baptisms are community celebrations generally scheduled during or after a weekend Mass. The Rite of Baptism emphasizes the importance of faithfulness on the part of parents when it says to parents: “In asking to have your children baptized, you are accepting the responsibility of training them in the practice of the faith.” Baptism begins with God’s love revealed to us through Christ and continues with us, the Church.