My husband and I have always loved Halloween and making costumes, so when our son Henry was born last year, we knew we would need to figure out a big way to celebrate.
Our running list of costume possibilities had begun before Henry was born, but as we got closer, it was hard to narrow it down. We tossed around the idea of doing a Halloween countdown featuring 31 days of different costumes, but it felt a little impossible; October 1 was already just a few days away.
So #HenrysHalloweenCountdown quietly began on Instagram, just in case we couldn’t keep up, and then we got really into it. Friends, family and Instagrammers fueled our passion each time they told us how much they looked forward to seeing what Henry would be next and the countdown became a celebration of what we loved most–Henry and Halloween.
We aren’t doing another countdown this year, but we still have a fun, family costume up our sleeves, and you can check it out in the coming weeks on Instagram at @cancorner.
And if you’re looking for a unique Halloween costume for your baby, here are 10 tips to help you get started:
Start early (if you can)
It’s never too late to come up with a creative idea for a costume, but odds are, you’ll feel a lot less stressed about getting everything together in time for trick-or-treating if you plan ahead. No time? Consider Amazon Prime.
Get inspired and take notes
To get started, you’ll need a little inspiration and it helps to keep a list so you don’t forget them later. If you think of something that might work, save it to a secret Pinterest board or keep a simple running list in your phone. This way, you can jot down ideas whenever creativity–or the rare free moment–strikes.
Just about anything can be turned into a Halloween costume, whether it’s a character in your child’s favorite children’s book, an iconic moment in pop culture or a weird celebrity. Nothing is really off limits until you decide it is, so pull out all the crazy ideas. You can always pare it down later.
Pick a costume that makes you happy
Until a certain age, you are in the unique position to choose your kid’s costume, so go for it. To me, a perfect Halloween costume is recognizable but just a little under the radar, so get nostalgic and think about your favorite toys, movie characters or pop culture icons as a kid. Or find inspiration in a TV series or cult film you’re currently into. Odds are, the more joy you find in the concept, the more fun you’ll have making it.
Consider your kid’s age and development stage
Is your baby already walking or just starting to crawl? Play up recent milestones by picking a costume that works with it. For example, wobbly first steps are especially cute when your baby is dressed like King Kong or a walking taco.
Finding baby clothes in basic, solid primary colors can be hard or kind of expensive. However, in the end, it will pay off to have them because there is so much you can do with them and there’s no reason not to still use them when Halloween is over.
Thrift stores can be a great place to score baby clothes or fabric to cut down into teeny-tiny sizes if you’re handy with a sewing machine. Personally, my favorite material for costumes is felt because it’s cheap, versatile, soft enough for a baby and available in a variety of colors. And at the end of the day, if everything only holds together for one night, that’s really all you need.
One up the weather
With Chicago weather being so unpredictable in the fall, you may need to consider layers or working a winter coat into your costume, so keep this in mind when you’re brainstorming ideas.
While in costume, will your baby be strapped in a carrier or striding along in a stroller? Weigh this into your costume-making and make it an intentional part of the final presentation. Using the King Kong example mentioned above and a baby carrier, dress up like a building. You don’t have to, but it really makes a difference if you do.
Make it your own
Costume ideas are just a Google search away and there are a lot of creative people out there coming up with amazing ideas. There’s nothing wrong with checking it out to get inspired, just remember to vary it a little by adding props or experimenting with alternative costume materials.
At the end of the day, Halloween is supposed to be fun, so enjoy it!