Halloween baby steps

Baby's first Halloween? Keep it sane instead of scary!

Learning Stages

By Candace Lindemann

Children's Author & Education Consultant

Candace Lindemann is a published children’s writer and educational consultant. She holds a B.A. from Yale University and an M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. You can also find Candace blogging at http://NaturallyEducational.com. While Candace’s degrees prepared her for a career in education, she’s found that the best preparation for parenting is on-the-job training.

Getting baby ready for his first (or second) Halloween? Here's your chance to enjoy all the fun and preciousness of adorable costumes before you suddenly have a big kid who wants to go trick-or-treating solo!

No tricks

Babies are generally unaware of what is considered scary, but loud noises and masks (or makeup that significantly alters your face) might frighten little ones. Children's ears are very sensitive so skip the loud parties and haunted houses. And remember that your baby is looking to you for cues. If your baby can see your face and you seem calm, most likely he will find it an enjoyable experience, too!

As your toddler approaches the preschool years, he may have some anxiety around typically "scary" decorations and costumes. Respect that and focus on the fun or goofy aspects of Halloween or set an example and Go Green for Halloween and just celebrate the local harvest time.

Infant costumes

It looks so cute in the pictures, but will baby be comfortable in the costume? Get the funny bunting or hoods for a snapshot if you must, but if baby will be joining you on the trick-or-treating rounds, consider pajama costumes! One year my toddler was a skeleton and this year my newborn will be Superman. Bonus: You can continue to use the pajamas for bedtime for the rest of the fall and winter!

If you are a baby wearer, incorporate your baby carrier into the costume! My mei tai will sport a red cape for my Superbaby.

Your new best friend & toddler treats

If you are concerned about all of the candy during Halloween, hand out Halloween candy alternatives, like temporary tattoos, pencils, bubbles, mini decks of cards, or even kazoos. 

What about all that candy that comes into the house, no matter how hard you try to keep it out?  Use some for candy experiments (like watching what happens when you microwave different candies) and donate the rest! You can convince your toddler to give up the candy with a little help from your new best friend: The Pumpkin Fairy. She collects all the extra candy from boys and girls and leaves a lovely, more durable and special, non-tooth rotting present in its place.