We couldn’t wait for our son’s first Halloween, because it meant we could once again participate in a holiday tailored almost exclusively for kids. But besides the adorable miniature costumes, Halloween is more suited for older kids. We learned that it’s worth considering how to distill the best parts of Halloween for a safe and scare-free experience for your baby.
Consider the costume.
I couldn’t wait to get my son into his get-up on his first Halloween, when he was just five months old. I zippered him in the thick, furry costume with a heavy hood, and expected a photo-perfect smile. What we got instead was a quick trip to Meltdownville.
Think about baby’s comfort, both in terms of temperature and feel. A lot of costumes are made of inexpensive, itchy material that doesn’t “breathe” well. We eventually decided to opt instead for lightweight costumes with minimal accessories. Unless your child is the most mild-mannered on the planet, they won’t keep glasses or hats on for very long.
Limit the trick-or-treating.
Sure, it was fun -- and flattering -- for us to bring our child around to the neighbors’ homes and hear them exclaim, “look how cute!” But from the baby’s point of view, those are a lot of unfamiliar faces in a short period of time. If they are prone to stranger anxiety, minimize your visits to just a few houses.
Find sweet substitutes.
Happily, we got to keep all the chocolate bars from our little one’s trick-or-treat bags for ourselves! But there are a lot of baby-friendly alternatives like small toys or fruit puree squeeze pouches that you might want to consider. We used to provide them to our neighbors in advance, so they had something to offer our child when we knocked on their door.
Create your own Halloween get-together.
Consider bringing Halloween to you, by hosting a small costume party with friends and family. After photos are taken, costumes can come off, and the kids can play freely. We did this one year and it completely minimized the fright factors.
Control the images they see.
Halloween can be very scary and sometimes little ones can’t tell the difference between what’s real and what’s just a frightening decoration, costume or sound. Consider distracting them from the really scary stuff to avoid nightmares.
Traci L. Suppa thinks time travel is the only explanation for her son turning 13 this year. Her six-year old daughter brings the glam to their crazy household. In addition to her own family travel blog, Go BIG or Go Home, Traci is a contributing blogger for FamilyVacationCritic.com and has written for WomansDay.com and NewParent.com.
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.