Newborn Basics

Q&A: Baby's Costume Dangerous?

I'm so excited to dress my baby up for her first Halloween. What should I look for to make sure her costume is safe and comfortable?

Just when you thought baby couldn't get any cuter, it's time to dress her up like a honey bee... Or a fairy princess... Oh! Or maybe a ladybug! So many adorable options... Whatever you decide on, keep these considerations in mind:

[  ] Avoid itchy fabrics and appliques — these can be very irritating to baby's sensitive skin.

[  ] Choose a flame-resistant material. (100% polyester fabric poses the least fire risk.)

[  ] Look for any small pieces or attachments — strings, antennae, rhinestones, sequins, buttons, etc. — that could come lose and become a choking risk.

[  ] If you'll be out after dark, find a brightly colored costume or add reflective tape to both you and baby.

[  ] Avoid face masks, which will impair baby's vision and probably bother her. Consider a hat or a little nontoxic face paint instead.

[  ] Only use face paint that's nontoxic and kid-friendly — it should wash off with soap and water. A few days before baby will wear the costume, do a patch test by putting a small bit on her arm or leg to check for any adverse reaction. And, do yourself a favor and go easy on the paint... a beautiful, elaborate design simply begs to be smudged off by those busy little baby hands.

[  ] If baby walks or crawls, avoid long strings, ribbons and sashes on the costume — these could trip, strangle or catch her.

[  ] Consider diaper changes. Is the costume easy to get on and off quickly? Separate tops and bottoms are a good bet. And, think about lying baby on her back for the change — though adorable, wings and other back accessories (baccessories?) probably aren't worth the headache.

[  ] Think about your surroundings and baby's body temperature. Headed for a crowded indoor party? Go for layers and something lightweight. Walking outside? A furry teddy bear costume might be just what you need.

By Paula Kashtan