If your baby is getting ready to celebrate his first Halloween, you're probably considering putting him in a costume for the first time. If it's his second Halloween, your baby has changed a lot since last year and will need a whole different costume! Either way, if you're considering dressing him up for the big night, there's a few things your should look for when you purchase that new costume.
Size, Age and Stage
Newborn to Crawlers: If your baby is a newborn, I highly recommend a bunting costume. Frequently these baby costumes are similar in style to a sleep sack in that they do not have leg holes. Slip your baby in to these little cocoons and just let them enjoy the ride.
Crawlers and Walkers: If your baby is crawling or walking, a costume with leg holes is essential. Once babies become mobile, there's no stopping them and they will not be happy with a costume that restricts their movement. An unhappy baby is going to lead to a miserable evening for mom and dad.
Will Your Baby be Trick-or-Treating?
If the answer is yes, look for a costume that leaves plenty of room for layers underneath. Late-October is chilly in many areas of the country and a long-sleeved bodysuit and/or a set of bamboo leggings or pajamas may be in order to keep your baby at a comfortable temperature.
If you suspect your baby will want to walk at all during the evening, be sure to buy a costume large enough so he has plenty of room to move, even with an extra layer underneath. Keep in mind that this may include purchasing a size larger than your baby normally wears; if you do purchase a size larger, be mindful of the length and hem as necessary to avoid your baby getting tangled in material. Also, avoid a costume that requires them to wear anything other than good walking shoes on their feet. Shoe covers can lead to tripping when they're out walking around.
And finally, make sure there is reflective material on the costume or there is a place on the back and front that reflective material could easily be added without ruining the look of the costume. While every parent strives to keep their baby safe no matter where they are, it only takes one quick jerk of a little hand to have the baby out of reach and toddling into the street. You can read more about costume safety in the articles 7 Tips for Baby Halloween Costume Safety and Halloween Safety Tips from the CPSC.
Will this Baby Costume be Used After Halloween?
At first glance, this might seem like a silly question. But, for the price you might pay for a Halloween costume, it's worth considering how many times you'll use it. Here are some things to consider:
- Is your baby independent enough that he likes to "dress up"?
- Will the costume you're buying be frustrating for him to try and put on?
- Does it have zippers or buttons that will help him practice his fine motor skills?
- Did you buy a large enough size that he'll be able to play with it for several more months?
Consider Your Baby's Personality and Preferences
If you struggle to get your child to wear a hat, it's unlikely he's going to want to wear a costume that includes one. The same goes for the relationship between sunglasses and a mask of any sort; if he doesn't like sunglasses, he's not going to like a face or eye mask. If your daughter loathes the site of pants, dress her in a costume that includes a skirt.
Remember that Halloween is Supposed to be Fun
The reality is that Halloween is meant to be fun. If you baby pulls off his costume or freaks out when you're putting it on him, just go with the flow. While it's cute to see a baby in a costume, it's not the end of the world if he flat out refuses to wear one.