Five Clever Halloween Costume Ideas for Your Baby
I love making costumes for Halloween and other types of costume parties. It's a great creative outlet, and other people usually appreciate the results when you really make an effort to find and execute a good idea. Costume parties are even more fun when you have a young baby! Babies are cute and attract attention anyway, so putting your baby in a creative costume, especially one that you have made yourself, will get some smiles!
Here are some ideas for dressing your baby for Halloween or any other time of the year.
Before going any further, please, please let me emphasize that you need to be absolutely sure that any costume you use is safe! Whether you make your own costume or buy one, check to make sure that there are no choking hazards and no loose strings that are long enough for the baby to get wrapped around his or her neck. If there are, then remove them. If you can't remove them, then don't use the costume.
Also make sure that the costume is appropriate for the weather. You don't want your baby to be too hot or too cold.
Joint Costumes for Mom or Dad and Baby
If you're going to be carrying your baby around with you, you might as well make the most of it by choosing costumes for both of you that go together well.
Child with Teddy Bear
For this costume, you will be a child and your baby will be a teddy bear.
A simple, no-fuss way to make a bear costume for your baby is to find a plain, long-sleeve sleeper or other full-body outfit to dress him in. Then, make bear ears out of matching paper, felt, or another stiff material. Attach the ears to a headband or hat.
If you want a nicer option, you can find a commercially-produced costume or buy a sewing pattern and make your own.
Putting together your part of the costume is easy as well: dress in flannel pajamas, or choose some other attire that will convey the look of a child dressed for bedtime. Carry a blanket around with you, along with your "teddy".
Gardener and Flower
For this costume, the baby will be a flower and you will be a gardener.
Put the baby in a long-sleeve green sleeper. This will be the stem. If you want to dress it up a bit, cut some leaves or flowers out of felt and attach them to the sleeper. Make a large flower that your baby can wear on top of his or her head with a headband or a hat.
To dress yourself as a gardener, wear outdoor work clothes, gardening gloves and a big floppy hat. If you can manage it along with the baby, carry a small watering can or small plastic gardening tools with you.
Costumes for Non-Mobile Babies
Clever costumes for babies who aren't crawling or walking can make use of the fact that your baby isn't too interested in his or her legs yet.
Mermaid or Merman
You can create an easy mermaid costume by making a fishtail using a specially designed swaddle blanket, such as a Kiddopotamus SnuggleMe. Make sure the swaddle blanket fits your child first, though!
If you have time and ability to sew, use the swaddle blanket to make a fishtail.
- Lay the blanket out on a piece of paper. Be sure to leave room at the bottom of the paper for adding a tail fin later.
- Trace around the bottom part of the blanket. You want the finished product to come up to the baby's waistline, so you'll need to trace up that high and then add an extra inch or two so that you can make a casing for an elastic band.
- Once you have your outline, remove the blanket from the paper and hand-draw a large tail fin that comes out the bottom.
- Next, add half an inch to the pattern all the way around the outline -- this gives you a half inch seem allowance.
- Cut your your pattern, and then use it to cut out two pieces of fabric. (Note: if you're worried that your pattern isn't entirely symmetrical, then fold your fabric in half, lay your pattern on top, and cut both pieces at the same time. This way you'll be sure that you can put your pieces together wrong-side in and they will match!)
- Put your pieces together, right-side in and sew all the around the fishtail using your half inch seam allowance, leaving the top open. Turn the tail right-side out, stuff some polyester filling or other material into the fins, and then top-stitch across the top of the fins to make sure the filling can't come out and won't be touching your baby's feet.
- Finish off by making an elastic waistband.
If you can't sew, you can create the tail with a no-sew solution. Try cutting a tail fin out of fabric that matches the swaddle blanket, and using safety pins (or glue, if you don't mind sacrificing the blanket) to attach the fins to the bottom. Then when you dress your baby, wrap the blanket underneath the arms.
If the costume is for a little mermaid and not a little merman, you may wish to make a little bikini-style or tank-style top, as well. However, I would recommend you plan for your baby to wear this part over another, longer-sleeved shirt. This is especially true if you live in a cooler climate.
Dress your baby up as a butterfly! Again, you can use a swaddle blanket. If you have your choice, a solid colored blanket would be best. Use large pieces of felt to make some pretty butterfly wings. If you make the wings in one piece, you might be able to sew the wings onto the blanket down the back, using large basting stitches. This way, you can use a seam ripper to remove the wings after Halloween and still use the blanket for your baby.
Make antennae by attaching large pom-poms to the ends of pipe cleaners -- but do be sure that the pom-poms are either too large to choke on or are secured very tightly to the pipe cleaners! Attach the antennae to a baby headband or hat.
Costumes for Older Babies
Cabbage Patch Doll
Dress your older baby as a Cabbage Patch Doll! You can make a wig by threading strands of yarn through a knitted or crocheted hat. Tying the strands to the hat may take a little more time, but will also probably look better than the results you would get using glue. If you have a little girl, style the hair in pigtails and add bows.
If you have the time and energy, you can really complete the look by getting a large box, cutting out the front, and decorating it to look like a Cabbage Patch Doll box. If you do this, think about how your baby is going to be getting around and choose your box accordingly. If you're planning to use a stroller, then the box will need to fit around the stroller seat without getting in the way of the wheels. If your baby is crawling or walking and not likely to stay in one place for the evening, then consider whether the box will really be worth the effort.