Driving down my street today I saw pumpkins, cobwebs, and skeletons, which can only mean one thing — Halloween is here! Dressing our tots in cute costumes to get free candy (which we’ll obviously eat half of) sounds like a good time, but it has the opportunity to miserable if we don’t go about it the right way.
Here are five tips for trick-or-treating with a baby, toddler, or young kid to make sure your family’s Halloween is a success:
1) Dress them in a costume THEY love
You may have found an adorable cupcake tutu or Up old man costume on Etsy, but if your toddler doesn’t like their costume then you’re setting yourself up for an uphill battle.
Find a costume that makes them excited to show off. Thinking of ideas from their favorite TV shows or books is a great place to start. And if your child is old enough to pick their own costume then you’re really doing yourself a favor — even if it’s not what your first choice would be!
2) Go in with a plan
I’m a planner by nature, but I really think this step can be extremely beneficial — especially when dealing with toddlers and young kids who may only have the patience to trick-or-treat for a limited amount of time.
Consider which neighborhood you want to trick-or-treat in. If your street doesn’t have many kids, it may be a good idea to drive to a location that’s more welcoming to trick-or-treaters.
Also think about how long you want to be out and what route you plan to take. Under Armour’s MapMyRun app is great for finding routes of various lengths near your location.
3) Prep for disaster
It doesn’t matter what the outing is, the odds of something going wrong are always greater with you have a little one with you — a diaper explosion, puddle jump to the point of soaking clothes, or nonsensical tantrum to name a few.
Since you’ll be wandering your neighborhood and unable to access your normal parenting tools, try to pack a small bag to prep for all possible disasters. I know I’ll have spare diapers & wipes, a change of clothes, a warm drink and a blanket at the ready.
4) Plan to do some pushing or pulling
It doesn’t matter how good of a walker your son or daughter is, inevitably they’ll be over it and you could be stuck piggybacking them and all their candy.
You may not think you’ll need it but plan on bringing a stroller, wagon, or something similar. Even if your kiddo doesn’t want a ride, it’ll be a place to put your bag and all their candy as it gets heavier throughout the evening.
5) There’s a lesson to be learned
As fun of a tradition as Halloween is, I know Nolan is absorbing the world like a sponge and I’ve found myself thinking about the lesson I’m teaching him as we knock on stranger’s doors and accept candy from them.
It’s no fun to be a downer, but the reality is that our world is a different place today from what it was when we were young. Allow your kid to have a good time and meet new people, but also try to reiterate the fact that this is ONLY okay because you are with them.