Wow! Baby is already one years old. It’s incredible that one whole year has passed with baby! It’s also incredible that now Mom will now be marking many other firsts: first step, first word, and first of many holidays coming up like Christmas, Easter, and yes, Halloween!
It may only be one day, but Halloween is a big deal in a lot of households, as are the preparations leading up to it with decorating, costume buying or making, and other games and food that become part of the festivities. It is an exciting time for all members of the family, and even if baby cannot understand all of it, introducing them to fun things surrounding this playful holiday will be a hoot.
Most of us start getting organized early for Halloween, like beginning or middle of October or even sooner. There are lots of ways to start to get in the spirit of things, no pun intended. And taking baby along with us makes it that much more exciting as any of the firsts they will experience are. So, where can a Mom start?
Is it with food, decorations, or activities? The best way to determine this, is to see what the family’s priority is in marking the spooky, wacky and fun time of year. Some families like to start with decorating, others with baking. It’s up to each family to decide their priority and how to show that to baby. Here are 15 ways to celebrate baby’s first Halloween:
15 Have Them Participate In The Candy Giving Process
Yes, this is one of the best parts - ok the best part. Babies may not be able to eat much if any candy yet, but they could watch Mom or Dad giving it out after hearing “trick or treat.” Seeing kids faces light up with the receiving of the goodies is always fun. Baby will be slowly learning the importance of giving and enjoying the reactions of everyone around him/her.
Maybe baby will have to go to bed mid-way this process, but allowing them to observe some of it, will help them see the whole Halloween process and traditions. As they get older, baby can even start helping with giving out the candy, as long as they can be trusted not to put it in their mouths.
Obviously a one year old should not be anywhere within arm’s reach of the candy or chips due to it being a choking hazard, but watching is learning so that would be the fun part for them for now.
Whatever way a family celebrates baby’s first Halloween, the important thing is to make it a fun celebration of one’s own family’s traditions, and new ones a parent might want to try. As long as baby sees it as a fun holiday, Mom and Dad can’t go wrong. Here’s hoping all the parents out there with little ones enjoy their baby’s first Halloween!
14 Attend Mom And Tot Halloween Events
Oh there are so many to choose from no matter where a parent lives. Most small communities have reading clubs, craft groups, and other Halloween parties where Moms and their babies can do Halloween-themed things with other Moms and babies and have a great time doing it.
Moms and babies can even make more homemade decorations for the house, bake together, and storytime and sing-a-long groups are always a blast at this time of year. Again, baby is learning to socialize and enjoy this holiday that is very kid friendly in the right context.
The decorations are fun to make and the stories, even some spooky ones where a logical explanation is given, help babies see there is nothing to fear. Getting dressed in the colors of orange and black is also fun. Time to go shopping for funky tops and pants as well as little Halloween bracelets and accessories to make the picture complete.
13 Video Tape The Preparations With Baby
This is something I never tried, but perhaps videotaping some or all of the Halloween decorating, baking and general preparations of the first of many Halloweens would be a great memory for parents and the child to watch when they are older. Mom and Dad would (and other siblings if any), would also have a chance to reminisce and look over at the fun that occurred during that year of Halloween celebrations.
And if the baby had made any Halloween decorations, like a finger painting or gluing together pieces. These are things you can keep and pull out every Halloween as well.
Babies are visual by nature, so this would also help them to also learn more what to expect for future Halloweens. Eventually, they will know what to do and how to help out Mom and Dad in Halloween preparations. For now, they would just be the little spectators observing and learning while having a great time marking one of their “biggies.”
12 Decorate The House Early
In our home, I usually start decorating right after Canadian Thanksgiving, which is around the second week of October. It’s always good to have the decorations up around the house to get into the feel of Halloween and to have baby see that whole theme happening. A Mom doesn’t have to break the bank.
There are lots of retail stores, Dollarama and second hand stores that sell great Halloween decorations at a fraction of the cost. Of course, it depends on what specific decorations a family wants. Most of them go with pumpkin, cute little witches and other assorted signs and maybe a pretend spider web to make our home look authentically Halloween.
A Halloween wreath is a nice touch as well, as it adds a festive and welcoming flair to the home. Our family always goes with a real pumpkin too, which stays as decoration for the whole month only getting carved the night before Halloween.
11 Buy Baby Cute Halloween Bibs, An Outfit And Pajamas
I loved dressing my little guy up in Halloween sleepers and bibs. Again, most retail stores carry these items. It is so darn cute to mark baby’s first Halloween with a picture of him/her eating with their Halloween bib on in a Halloween shirt and/or pajamas. It’s a great memory to carry around!
Saving it for the big day can also be fun, or some Moms use the bib especially the whole month of October even if it goes through a lot of wash and wear. Again, this is about creating memories and setting up family traditions that will be fun to carry on in years to come as baby gets older. This is something baby can do with his/her family one day too.
Mom and Dad can also have some funky Halloween tops and pajamas to really get into the season if that is their thing. It would be fun to try.
10 Orange-Themed Baking
Oh yes. It is so fun to make orange cupcakes, cookies, and any other type of Halloween goodies. For a healthier version, a Mom can try making veggie dishes with healthier dishes like squash. As baby gets older, they can help with the baking preparation, but for now it’s great if they see the family getting into the spirit by setting a Halloween them with dishes up until the big day.
It’s great to capture the food by taking pictures too. Then it could be turned into an album where Moms, Dads, and kids can look back and enjoy the memories that they made in previous years. It can also serve as traditions for what they will bake in future years together. It’s traditions like these that bring families together and make memories.
Great things to bake are pumpkin shaped cookies, or little ghost cookies. Another good things to try is pumpkin pie.
9 Cute And Easy Halloween Costume For Baby
Oh there are so many to choose from. Where can we begin to find the perfect costumes? Great ones to start for Moms who aren’t into sewing and don’t have time, are some one piece costumes that are warm likes little bears costumes, dinosaurs or even a little pumpkin costume if the weather is mild. The first two options are great colder weather.
Other terrific hits for baby costumes: Tigger from Disney's Winnie The Pooh (my son wore this), a rabbit costume or any cute insect, butterfly or other cutesy animal. The most important thing is that baby can breathe in it and is comfortable to stay in the costume for a round of pictures and possibly some light trick or treating, indoor or out.
Again, immortalize baby’s first Halloween by taking lots of pictures with your camera, even some video, and Mom and Dad, get in there too. You’ll never have another “first” Halloween so it’s nice to commemorate it.
8 Planning A Special Halloween-Themed Meal On Oct. 31
This could be anything Mom and Dad like. In our home I try and stick with an orange theme for Halloween. We could have orange peppers or squash with chicken or beef in a red sauce and maybe sweet potatoes or an orange rice. For dessert I like anything such as pumpkin pie, Halloween cookies, or a fruit platter decorated Halloween style.
This will do the trick. As children get older it can become more elaborate. For now stick to simple finger foods and things that baby finds interesting to eat within a Halloween theme. Baby is just starting to understand color, picture, sounds and textures. Let them explore and take it all in and enjoy celebrating this with family, all the Halloween fun.
I have tried to also put a Halloween themed table-cloth and make all three meals with a bit of spirit in them. At the very least, I have used orange.
7 Invite Grandparents Over For Trick-Or-Treating Fun
Inviting over extended family (if possible), can be a great way for baby to do trick or treating in the house and start to experience the tradition of Halloween in a safe and warm environment. It’s also a great time to, once again, take pictures, videos, and enjoy being together with outside family even if only for a short amount of time.
My son loved doing this with his grandparents one year. After that, he would get his goody bag before Halloween as he was going out trick or treating on our street. It’s always fun to try new things and involve other members of the family in marking special occasion.
His grandparents also invited him out to their area one year, but now he likes to go on his own street with his father or I. Mom and Dad can even ask grandma and grandpa if they would like to take the little one to a few houses on the street. It could make for a great bonding experience.
6 Take Baby To An Indoor Trick Or Treating Venue
This works wonders if the little ones are afraid of the dark or if Mom and Dad are leery of taking little ones out at night trick or treating. Some of the costumes and people can be downright scary for young ones. In a shopping mall near us they do indoor trick or treating for kids. There is no age limit per se, but it is usually reserved for the ones under ten and the kids have a blast.
My son went for several years before we tried trick or treating on our street. He is also lucky he gets to go from class to class in his school AND wear his costume now for a bit. What is good about this, is that little ones who don’t really understand the imaginary world yet, will have less risk of developing fears and having nightmares over certain costumes.
There is something about being out in the dark that makes things more sinister somehow than a brightly lit mall.
5 Play Fun Halloween Music
This is something to start gradually and make sure the music is kid friendly, obviously. Maybe playing the music at a low volume is great too, if baby finds it disruptive. Most kids LOVE music, and if they pair the music with Mom or Dad decorating, baking, cooking and in the Halloween spirit, this will help them make positive associations with Halloween.
Yes, there are scarier aspects to the holiday, but that would be something to tackle when baby is older. There are many fun costumes, decorations, and traditions for them to build positive memories around this holiday of dressing up, enjoying fun foods and laughter and excitement too.
It does not take little ones long to see the joys of Halloween with getting and giving candy and being able to go out with their friends to get it. And even toddlers and preschoolers can enjoy this part of Halloween, albeit at an earlier hour.
4 Carve The Pumpkin With The Baby
Ah, carving the pumpkin. That is one of the best Halloween traditions. Of course, baby does not participate in the carving at all for the first few years, but seeing Mom and Dad pull out the seeds and put them aside for cooking, then start the carving process equipped with bags for the Halloween innards and mess makes it a fun craft project that one can really get into.
When baby is watching Mom and Dad, this is the time to talk to them and tell them what is happening, just as Mom and Dad do that for other everyday activities so baby can learn. “Now, here we carve out the first pumpkin eye. Next we make the nose. Oh, this is so much fun!” Babies learn by listening to our voices and watching our facial expressions.
They pick up on the way we are safely doing this activity, and when they are ready, Mom and Dad will guide them to help in the carving.
3 Get Dressed Up As A Family
Family theme costumes! Not every family does this, but it sure is fun for baby if they can participate in something like this. Some families have all gone as Star Wars characters, others as Superheroes etc. It is even fun if Mom and Dad dress up too in costume. One year I dressed up as a witch and my son’s father as a vampire.
Baby must once again have a comfortable costume, and be layered appropriately if it is a cool night, or dressed lightly if a warm evening. Capture the moment with videos, photos and make it happy. What kids remember is the fun, not the expense, not how much candy, but how much joy they experienced with family and friends.
This is what will become part of baby’s Halloween traditions as they get older. This is something baby will pass on in their families one day, the joy of celebrating together.
2 Make Pumpkin Soup And Pie
Mmm, who doesn’t love pumpkin soup! There are some great recipes online for it. And think about it. It is healthy, nourishing, and soothes the cold body on those long fall nights. This is a recipe that is fun for baby to eat, easy to eat and fits in with the color theme of Halloween.
It’s also a great way to get some healthy food into baby with all the baked goods, chocolates, and candy coming their way in the next few weeks. Babies learn what they see around them, so it is important that Mom and Dad model good eating at this time of year along with the “fun foods’ as most of us call them.
If babies associate Halloween only with candy and chocolate, they will lose out on some healthy fall dishes that are orange AND good for you like pumpkin soup and squash recipes. Yum yum.
1 Read Halloween Books
Reading to a child is so important for increasing their interest in learning, for brain development and is a great tool for family bonding. There are many fun children’s Halloween stories that a parent could find in their local library children’s section, as well as in their local children’s bookstore or children’s bookstore department.
I started reading to my little guy when he was still in utero (ok I know, I’m crazy), and then when he was born, I made sure to start taking him from a young age to our local library for Mom/Tot storytime as well as for taking out books. He grew to love it, and now we have arguments about how many books he is allowed to take out on his card.
Children love to look at the pictures, and there are many hard-covered babies books which explain Halloween in kid language with beautiful illustrations which Mom and Dad could reinforce by adding their own interpretations.