Is It Okay to Take My Baby Trick or Treating?
As with any holiday, your child’s first Halloween is almost like a rite of passage. What could be cuter than a tiny little baby in an adorable costume? It is the perfect picture opportunity and excuse to show your precious little one off to the neighbors. Of course you want to document this milestone and begin making memories, but is it ok to take your baby trick or treating?
More: 8 Things Your Newborn Will Do That Might Surprise You
Proper Halloween etiquette indicates no. It would be considered rude to take your little one out trick or treating and expect families to give you candy that they know your baby is too young to eat. Showing off your baby is fine, or dressing your baby up while you stay home and hand out candy to the neighborhood kids. It’s not the costume that is the problem, but the door-to-door trick or treating and expecting families to give you, the caregiver, candy that is frowned upon.
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So when is your child ready for trick or treating? Follow these guidelines:
Is Your Child Able to Walk?
If your child is able to walk on their own, up to neighbors’ doors, they might be ready for trick or treating. This doesn’t mean that they need to be able to walk the neighborhood for hours, but they should be able to walk up to the front door on their own. Even a two year old’s unsteady gallop will be appreciated by all the candy givers!
Is Your Child Able to Talk?
An attempted “trick or treat” “please” or “thank you” goes a long way! If your child is starting to say short phrases, they might be ready for trick or treating. Not every young child will be willing to perform on command, but once they are rewarded with a treat they might open up!
Is Your Child Able to Hold Their Own Container?
Whether you choose to go the route of a plastic pumpkin or pillowcase, is your able child to hold open their own candy collection container while waiting for a treat? If so, they might be ready for trick or treating. If not, neighbors might not be as happy about dropping candy into Mom and Dad’s waiting hands.
Is Your Child Able to Eat the Candy?
Isn’t that the whole point of trick or treating? Of course you as parents will get to reap the benefits, but if your child is not yet old enough for eating candy, chances are they might not yet be ready to trick or treat. This is one of the main reasons taking a baby trick or treating and expecting candy handouts is frowned upon.
Does Your Child Enjoy Dressing Up?
Sometimes putting on the costume and getting out the door is half the battle. Does your child enjoy dressing up? Do they get scared when they see other people in costumes? These are a couple of things to consider when evaluating if your child is ready for trick or treating.
Chances are the majority of trick-or-treaters you find will be between two and 12 years old. Of course there are always exceptions. Maybe a child starts younger because they have older siblings, and teenagers over 12 can still have a good time if being respectful.
How much your child appreciates Halloween will depend on their understanding of their surroundings and reality vs. fantasy. Even though that first year is one of the most exciting, there are plenty of ways to show off that adorable costume and cute squishy baby without breaking Halloween etiquette. And if you really need your candy fix, all Halloween candy will be on sale the next day!
Looking for Halloween inspiration? Here are the top Halloween Costumes of 2018 to Reuse Again This Year.
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Jennifer Caffelle, Education and Leadership Expert
Jennifer is currently working for a US-wide health care system, Jennifer has worked professionally for 13+ years in the fields of early education and lead