Sunday, September 25, 2005

Baby's First Halloween

By Christina VanGinkel

Babies may be hard work and cause a lack of sleep, especially during their earliest months, but they are also a lot of fun. Take Halloween as an example. For those of you adults who have always loved the idea of Trick or Treat, maybe even the act of Trick or Treating yourself, but had no small child to go with, well, now that you have your own little bundle of joy, head out, as even an infant is suitable accompaniment for going door to door!

Dressing up your small ghost, devil, or pumpkin can be as much fun as eating the candy rewards. Well, almost as much fun. Just be sure to dress baby according to the weather, and then get into the act yourself and dress up in a matching outfit so the doors you are knocking on know that you take this holiday seriously.

For those of you in cold weather climates, pick costumes that are actually converted snowsuits or warm sleepers. That way, you will not be struggling with blankets and jackets, while at the same time trying to show off the costume beneath. Some good costumes that work well from converted outerwear include animals, dragons, devils, and pumpkins. If you would rather dress baby in their normal outerwear, but the jacket or snowsuit does not lend itself well to any costume theme you can think of, throw a white t-shirt or other white shirt over the whole ensemble that you have converted by adding wings. Pick a size that will easily go over the child's outdoor gear. In addition, keep in mind that baby will most likely be wearing a hat or hood. Try to incorporate this feature into the costume at the planning stage.

If you will be showing off baby indoors, the sky is the limit. Stores carry a variety of costumes for infants, and if you cannot find anything to your liking, search the library or bookstore for current magazines that celebrate the upcoming Halloween. Many offer ideas or even complete patterns for Halloween costumes for infants, toddlers, and older children.

In the end, if you are a Halloween lover, but do not want to go door to door, an infant in the house is the perfect excuse to throw a Halloween bash for friends and family. Do it the first year baby has arrived and you will be setting up a tradition that can be repeated year after year. Decorate with fun as the theme, and add to your collection each year. When baby is a few years older, let them help pick out some additions to the decorations.

Round off the gala event with a hauntingly good variety of food, such as spider web decorated cupcakes, ghoulish goulash, and spiced pumpkin parfait. Add a traditional apple bob for the adults and older kids in attendance, along with a ghostly green goop punch (really 7-Up and gobs of lime sherbert) and you will have created the first of what will be many family traditions that you can share with your newborn little devil!

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