Babies are adorable, but babies in Halloween costumes are a particular brand of cute that simply must be shared with the neighborhood. Even though some might raise an eyebrow at giving candy to a baby who doesn’t yet have the teeth to consume it, parents of young kids shouldn’t let that stop them from joining in on the fun of trick-or-treating.
People who think it’s dumb to trick or treat with an infant typically point to the same rationale for being such a witch — that the baby won’t remember the experience and therefore there’s no point in doing it. But if that was the barometer for doing things with babies, parents would spend the first three years of their child’s life locked away like Rapunzel.
You wouldn’t consider skipping out on Baby’s first Christmas or birthday just because they won’t remember it, and Halloween is no different. It’s still a special day for Mom and Dad, and incorporating your child into family traditions is a big part of raising a family. Even if your little one is too young to remember the time that the entire family dressed as the characters from Peter Pan, you’ll still have photos and videos to share when they’re older, as well as your own version of how they reacted to tasting chocolate for the first time.
Besides being an excellent way to show off how adorable your family is, trick-or-treating is a great learning experience for your baby. An infant’s schedule is usually pretty predictable. Halloween provides the perfect chance to mix things up and give them some new experiences. The decorations, noises, lots of people and dim lighting are all unfamiliar to a baby.
Going from door to door will expose them to all this while in the safety of your arms, and home is just a few steps away if it all gets to be too much. Adults are prepared to coo over kids on Halloween, so you know you’re unlikely to run into someone who’s less than receptive to your baby’s attempts to smile at them and if your infant is overwhelmed, no one’s going to give you a dirty look over a crying infant on a holiday that’s designed for children.
Taking your baby trick-or-treating won’t just help improve their social skills, it will help yours too. Caring for an infant can be isolating, and with winter just around the corner, Halloween is a great opportunity to make some close-by friends to hang out with during the dismal weather. Luckily, trick-or-treating is like speed dating for parents. A bar of chocolate will loosen you up as well as a cocktail and strolling from door to door will let you meet a bunch of other moms in a short period of time. Maybe you’ll hit it off with a few of them.
Trick-or-treating is also a great educational experience for new parents. There’s something about the combination of costumes and candy that can make a little monster out of a kid dressed in the sweetest angel costume. On Halloween you can observe kids on their worst behavior to get a glimpse of what lays ahead and get a sneak peek at different parenting techniques you can use to handle temper tantrums when the time comes.
Parenting is an amazing experience, but it has its difficult moments. There’s nothing wrong with taking full advantage of the opportunity to pretend to be someone else and let your hair down for a night. And if anyone deserves free candy as much as children, it’s anyone who has to deal with dirty diapers.