Friday, November 1, 2013
Your Baby's First Halloween
Trick-or-treat! A baby or infant may not understand what the phrase means, but he or she can still have fun participating in the Halloween festivities. Of course baby's first holidays are really for the parents, since baby probably won't remember any of them, so feel free to dress your little one as you wish- there will be a day when they won't want you to dress them anymore! Have fun with it and take lots of pictures. In the following paragraphs we will give you some baby costume ideas as well as safety tips and fun activity ideas for parents to do with their little ones at Halloween time.How to choose a costumeHalloween is a time for young and old to be whatever they want to be for one day. A Star Wars character? No problem. Superman? Great. A princess? A witch? A ghost? The list goes on and on. In baby's case, his or her costume is based on what parents want baby to be for the day. When brainstorming for your baby's costume you will first want to decide which costume genre you want to pursue. Many times parents want baby's costume to match the rest of the family's so you might want to pick out the other family member's costumes first and then look for a baby costume to match.Basic Costume GenresTV & Movie Inspired: This type of costume includes television and movie characters from yesteryear and today. Examples of these types of costumes are: Superman, Supergirl, The Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Spiderman, Dora The Explorer, Go Diego Go!, Buzz Lightyear, Travelocity Roaming Gnome, Shrek, Scooby Doo, Mickey or Minnie Mouse, Elmo, Wizard of Oz characters, Sesame Street characters, Batman or Robin, Star Wars characters, The Hulk, The Smurfs, Baby Eeyore, Thomas the Train, Yogi Bear, Curious George, Muppets charactersFantasy/Storybook: Pirate, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Tinkerbell, Belle, Snow White, Alice in WonderlandOccupation/Hobby: Fisherman, Doctor, Trooper, Sailor, Rock Star, Astronaut, Fire Fighter, Soldier, Police Officer, Baseball Player, Golfer, Nurse, Football Player, Basketball Player, Soccer Player, Veterinarian, LawyerAnimal: Some examples of animal costumes are: Lion, Lady Bug, T-Rex, Dragon, Tiger, Monkey, Lobster, Bumble Bee, Lamb, Butterfly, Elephant, Cow, Puppy, Triceratops, Kangaroo, Frog, Pengiun, Skunk, Bat, Rabbit, Alligator, Kitty, Spider, Bear, Pig, Octopus, Panda Bear, GuppyFunny: Lil' Monster, Crayon, Woopie Cushion, Chili Pepper, Hot Dog, Pizza Slice, Billion Dollar Baby, Strawberry, Candy Corn, Pea In A Pod, Jack-In-the-Box, Tootsie RollClassic: Witch, Skeleton, Devil/Angel, Frankenstein, Ghost, Mummy, Zombie, Flower, Vampire, Pumpkin, Clown, Cowboy/Cowgirl, Angel, RagamuffinMake, Buy or Borrow?After deciding on a costume idea you will next need to decide whether you want to make your baby's costume yourself or purchase it. You can also look at the option of borrowing a costume from a relative or friend who's baby has outgrown theirs (which is probably the most cost effective costume idea you will find).As far as buying goes, most baby costumes range from $19.99 to $49.99. You can even find some on clearance for $14.99 at certain stores and on websites. There are also older child, teen and adult costumes so you might want to consider buying all of your family's costumes at once place to take advantage of free shipping opportunities and coupons.If you decide you want to make baby's costume yourself, bravo! This gives you the chance to make a truly unique and custom fitted costume just for your little one. There are plenty of websites that offer baby costume patterns and you can also try looking at your local fabric store for patterns and Halloween fabric.*Note- For newborns and very small babies a good option is themed pajamas. In pajamas baby will stay comfy and safe while masquerading as a little animal, skeleton, ghost, ghoul, goblin or other festive creature.Costume Safety and ComfortWhether you make, buy or borrow your baby's costume the first and most important thing to consider is baby's comfort and safety. Be aware that the costume should not be too tight or binding, especially around the neck. Baby will not have a good Halloween if his or her movements are restricted or if he or she is too hot. If you decide to use a costume with a headpiece ensure that it isn't squeezing baby's head. Many babies and infants do not like things on their heads so the headpiece might get pulled off during the festivities or even before. In addition, we recommend that you do not use a mask in your baby's ensemble since this could be dangerous or at the minimum scare your baby. If you choose to put face paint on baby, use non-toxic paints to ensure that baby's sensitive skin is protected as well as to prevent baby from ingesting anything toxic (since the paint could run if baby sweats, or baby might be able to lick it off around his or her mouth).Other Important Things to ConsiderThe weather- is it usually getting cold or still a bit warm at Halloween time where you live? If you have your heart set on a summery type costume for your baby and it will be cold where you live make sure to bring along a heavy coat and layer baby with items like legwarmers (which can be put on baby's arms or legs for warmth), gloves, socks and shoes or boots. If baby will tolerate a hat then consider a matching winter type beanie, or another cap that covers baby's head and ears.The type of event you will be attending- If you will be going to a pumpkin patch or other outdoor event consider what the outside temperature will most likely be. However if you will be attending an indoor celebration and it's cold outside be sure that you can take off any layers from baby's costume when you get inside so that baby stays warm on the trip to and fro but is comfortable inside the event.Other people's costumes- As you probably know, babies and infants can get startled easily. If you are going to an event where adults and teens will be in costume, or if you plan to go trick-or-treating, it is important to realize that your baby could get scared. Some adults costumes can be very frightening, even for baby's parents, so it's important to keep in mind that you may have to change your plans if baby isn't enjoying the festivities. Certain babies will not be able to handle a situation like this at all so try to gauge what kind of event you feel your baby is ready for and plan accordingly.Fun Halloween Activity IdeasThrow a Halloween PartyHave your own Halloween party and invite your friends, family and their children.; When you host your own party, baby can enjoy Halloween festivities right in his or her own home with people he or she is already familiar with. At your own house you will have more control over what baby is exposed to, such as certain costumes (you could ask guests to remove scary masks, etc. when around baby- most guests probably won't mind, as their intention is most likely not to scare small babies!) You could have a small gathering or go all out and do cute invitations, decorations, food, drinks, games and favors. Just make sure that any decorations and games do not have small pieces that your baby could get a hold of. There are plenty of websites that offer excellent Halloween party ideas so have fun with it and start planning!Community Organized EventsSometimes there are planned Halloween events at local churches, schools, malls, museums, fire houses, zoos and YMCAs. In some cities there are even Halloween parades and carnivals. It's important to do some research about each event first to see if it's going to be something that you think your baby or infant would be able to handle and hopefully enjoy. Many of these events will have plenty of other children attending so your baby can be entertained watching the children play games and do activities (and it's even better if you have an older child because they can participate while baby looks on). You can usually find a good list of events in your local newspaper or online by searching "Halloween Events for Kids in ______" and adding your city in the blank.Pumpkin PatchesPumpkin patches are a great place to take a baby or infant for Halloween! Babies will love looking at all of the pumpkins and watching the older kids do the hayride, corn maze, face painting, mini train, pony rides or other activities offered. Many pumpkin patches also have farm animals around which babies tend to enjoy looking at and in some cases petting. As with other activities don't forget to bring a jacket and extra clothes for baby if it's a cold October.Trick-or-Treat (If You Dare!)Many parents who have older children decide to bring baby along for the ride, and others choose to take baby trick-or-treating to show off his or her cute costume and be social. Either way it is essential to remember that your baby can't handle what older kids can and so his or her limit will probably come a lot sooner than the other children, especially if he or she gets spooked. If you are going as a family be sure to have a "back-up plan" in case baby gets tired or scared, such as one parent taking baby home and the other staying with the other children who want to continue trick-or-treating. It is also highly suggested to take baby only to houses of friends or family to avoid any potential scares. Some people enjoy making their home and costume as scary as possible for trick or treaters and while an older child might think this is "cool" a baby or infant will most likely not!This Halloween our daughter will be 11 months old and we are beyond excited about picking out just the right costume and event for her. Whatever you decide to do with your baby don't forget to bring your camera and your childlike wonder. We wish you a very happy and safe Halloween!