It’s October and we all know what that means. gorgeous leaves on the trees, crisp fall air and Halloween. www.Halloween.com says the story of Halloween, like any other festival’s history is inspired through traditions that have transpired through ages from one generation to another. We follow them mostly as did our dads and grandpas. And as this process goes on, much of their originality got distorted with newer additions and alterations. Digging into its history helps sieve out the facts from the fantasies which caught us unaware.
So here’s the question? Should you take your infant or toddler trick or treating? The only thing a toddler will understand about Halloween is that you walk up to a house in the dark, ring the bell and a person puts candy in your bag. And if they are lucky, mommy and daddy will let them eat it. Yes, dressing up an infant in that little pumpkin costume is adorable. But let’s face it, there isn’t a pediatrician in the world that would okay a snickers bar and a bottle of formula!
Here’s the truth, taking your child trick or treating is a personal decision. There is no rule that says yay or nay. But I would like to share some tips that will help keep you and your child safe if you do decide to get out the costumes and join the celebration.
Tips for babies under the age of one:
- Choose a costume that is comfortable and don’t cover her eyes with a mask. That is just to scary for such a little one.
- Try and go visiting before your baby’s bedtime. No one says you have to wait until dark to visit Grandma in your Halloween costume.
- If you are going to go around the neighborhood, put your baby in a stroller or wagon. Carrying that candy-filled pumpkin and your baby just points to a backache.
- While everyone loves a baby in a costume, stick to the neighbors you know. The others are just a candy visits.
- Take a flashlight, extra batteries and Daddy with you if you are going out in the dark. Batteries always seem to run out just when you need them!
- Take pictures before you go out trick or treating while everyone is well-rested and happy.
Tips for Toddlers
- Choose a costume that is comfortable, flame retardant and doesn’t drag on the ground. Accidents can happen in seconds.
- Make sure your toddler can see and breathe through his mask. Masks that can come on an off easily by sliding up on the head and have more than tiny eye slits are the best. And don’t forget to do a test run in the house.
- Choose a bathroom-friendly costume. There is nothing worse than having to run home and remove the entire costume. A definite recipe for tears.
- Insist your toddler use the bathroom before you go out, even though she says she doesn’t have to.
- Make sure your toddler wears comfortable shoes if he or she won’t be riding in a wagon or stroller. While high heels come with the costume, comfort comes first. And who looks at their feet anyway, it’s dark!
- Try and discourage carrying props, such as swords, purses, or other paraphernalia. If they must, make sure they are soft, flexible and safe. You don’t want a mishap if your child accidentally trips and falls on the prop.
- Give your toddler something that is lit if you are going out when it’s dark. A flashlight, glow bracelet or necklace work great. You want others to see him or her coming.
- Pick a treat or goody bag that’s not too heavy. My favorite is a backpack as it keeps those little hands free to carry a flashlight.
- Make sure to feed your toddler dinner before trick or treating. A full tummy makes a happy toddler!
- Bring along a water bottle or your toddler’s sippy cup. It’s important she stays well-hydrated and doesn’t get over-heated.
- Do not bring your dressed-up dog with you. One toddler in a costume is enough! When was the last time you saw a dog in a Halloween costume wagging his tail!
- Let your toddler know that there is no running, even though the high school kids are zooming past. It’s just not safe.
- One hour is more than enough time for trick or treating. And make sure it doesn’t go past your toddler’s bedtime.
- Don’t let your toddler eat any candy while she is trick or treating. Take a few crackers or pretzels if she needs to eat something.
- And don’t let your toddler see you sneaking candy either! Guaranteed, she will smell that chocolate on your breath!
- Make sure to inspect all the candy and throw out anything that is opened or looks funny.
- If your toddler is too young to understand Halloween candy rules. Set a rule for yourself. Candy for one week and then it’s out the door as you could be eating it for months.