DIY Babywearing Halloween Tips and Tricks

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Most babies like to be held, and the younger children may be out past their bedtime and ready for a nap during prime trick-or-treating time. Instead of placing baby in a stroller, covering up the expensive costume with a cozy blanket, and hoping they will stay warm, why not try babywearing this year? Halloween babywearing can jazz up both your costumes, keep you two warm, and provide all the benefits of babywearing in general.If you would like to put your child in a carrier and dress up for Halloween, I hope you will find these tips and costume ideas helpful. I have referred to a child that will be worn as “baby”, but any child/caregiver team that wants to “baby”wear can participate! (Older children usually enjoy back carries in a woven wrap or Mei Tai.)

Halloween babywearing tips:

  • Facing out can be especially cute, but please remember that baby can easily be over stimulated, especially when trick-or-treating and seeing lots of new faces and creatures (in addition to poor hip and spine positioning.
  • Keep in mind that you may need to remove baby from a back carry to nurse or change a diaper, etc., so complicated additions that are added once the carrier is on may be cumbersome to take on and off. Alternatively, smaller babies or frequent nursers can be worn in front, facing in, to allow for easy access to the breast (ring slings are great for nursing, and don’t forget to wear a nursing top:))
  • Dress yourself and baby appropriately for the weather if you will be outdoors. Keep in mind that sharing body heat will keep both of you warm, the carrier is considered one layer of fabric, and while you may get warm from walking around, baby will be relatively inactive and may get cold more quickly.
How to incorporate a costume: (I don’t necessarily endorse the shopping websites I linked to–it’s just to provide examples)
  • Use safety pins a store-bought costume to the carrier, so that the carrier doesn’t hide it. Try butterfly wings, or a hooded coverall costume
  • Put an Asian baby carrier  (such as a mei tai) inside the costume, with the arm straps out the arm holes and the waist straps (if applicable) out the leg holes, before wearing baby on the inside. This would work well with the store bought infant or toddler costumes like pumpkin and ladybug.
  • Try a coordinating couple’s costume, such as Flintstones (would work well with another adult) or salt and pepper (Salt and pepper (matching “lid” hats with “holes” at the tops; shapeless dress for self, safety pin rectangle of fabric with cardboard bottom onto carrier for baby; don’t forget gray clothing and a letter ”P” for pepper and white clothing and letter ”S” for salt)
  • Hats–the internet, including etsy.com, has a myriad of creative hats that instantly transform you or baby into a court jester, Yoda, or Wayne from Wayne’s World. (If your baby is anything like mine, she will immediately remove any hat placed on her head, so look for hats with chin straps or hooded capes/jackets/coveralls)
  • Expand the neck hole of a roomy adult costume, wear baby high on your back, and make your costume two-headed (a ghost from a sheet would be super simple, and a turtle or monster would be fitting)
  • To get a little more detailed, a back carry makes an ideal setup for a monkey on a tree (baby as monkey and wearer as tree) or a peacock (craft stores sell peacock feathers to affix to carrier and wear a beak, etc.)
  • Front carries with a small baby is great for a baker holding a cupcake (hats will make this costume), a farmer holding a pumpkin (overalls and shirt from thrift shop is cheap), or your favorite quarterback holding a football.
  • If you are a woman and have a baby boy (or don’t mind a cross-dressing), I love the idea of a Popeye and Olive Oyl costume. Use cotton balls or stuffing inside nude pantyhose to my baby’s arms “muscular” (don’t forget the tattoo!) and a sailor hat for Popeye. Olive gets red collared shirt with long-ish black skirt and appropriate hairdo/wig.

Here is an example of integrating a costume and carrier. Katie Murphy, a crafty mama and babywearer made a turtle shell Onbu (Asian Baby Carrier style) to wear her little Ninja Turtle inside!
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Do you have any other tips or ideas for babywearing on Halloween? Have you worn your baby with a costume?

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 Rachel George, LMT and VBE in Training with Babywearing International of Kansas City
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