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Halloween Costumes are Cruel to Babies

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Is dressing tiny defenseless babies in costumes cruel and unusual punishment?

Momlogic's Momstrosity: The thought of cruelty towards an innocent child is something mothers can't even get their heads around. Babies are helpless defenseless adorable creatures. Yet every Halloween, hapless parents force infants to wear ridiculous costumes for their own amusement.

Several years ago Martha Stewart featured a segment showcasing multiple babies dressed as a Thanksgiving dinner -- including a turkey and various pies. Each entree looked barely four or five months old. One little baby was fast asleep in her "apple pie" getup when Martha, unfazed, exclaimed, "She just loves her costume!!" Actually, I believe, that kid was exercising her first defense mechanism. "Maybe this is all a terrible dream and if I go to sleep it will all just go away -- and this woman's voice is grating on my last nerve."

Most of my friends did and do dress up their infants in Halloween costumes and are appalled that I didn't -- as if I'm some sort of holiday killjoy because I didn't bend my baby into a form- fitting peapod number just for my own selfish photo op. When the photos inevitably show up in my email, I always feel sorry for the babies. They usually look so beaten down or pissed-off or both.

But hey, if a baby ASKS to be in a costume, it's totally different. If your two-month old says, "Please mom I want to be a Whoopie Cushion for Halloween!" then by all means go ahead. (BTW, if your newborn is talking to you, your kid's a raving genius and you can ditch Halloween altogether -- and immediately get on the talk show circuit.)

I made a deal with my baby. Until she understood exactly what a costume is and requests to be in one, I would never force her into playing dress-up. My daughter is now almost four and she WANTS to be a princess for Halloween -- and by gum that's what's she's going to be. It's her choice and I honor it.


Whose idea was this Halloween trend of dressing up kids fresh from the womb? The blame, I surmise, falls upon Anne Geddes, the Queen of Cruelty to Babies. For years, Ms. Geddes has been using babies for fun and tons of profit. Geddes' website has the curious tagline: "Protect Nurture and Love." Really? How is it nurturing to shove a newborn into a fake flower pot and stick a cloth flower on their head? How is it any different from dressing up a senile grandparent as a clown without their consent? Babies can't answer for themselves, and we didn't bring them into the world as dress up dolls. At least I didn't.

Want a truly adorable costume for a baby? Dress them up as ... a baby. It's easy and soooooo cheap. Plus, there's nothing cuter.

next: Work at Home Mom Jumps Out Window
32 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous October 27, 2008, 4:30 PM

i agree that the woopie cushion is a little over board, but come on!

Destrie October 27, 2008, 4:48 PM

I agree. I wouldn’t dress up my own baby in these costumes. But i enjoy it when other moms do it to thier kids. Save the Beluga whales!

AK Mom October 27, 2008, 5:37 PM

OH c’mon!!!!! Dressing babies up in costumes is not cruelty. Its just good clean fun.

You are taking yourself and your baby WAY TOO SERIOUSLY… seriously.
Besides, what will be sad is when your kid asks to see what you dressed him/her up ask when he/she was a baby and you have no photos because you simply couldn’t be bothered.

Plus you are looking at this in all the wrong ways. Putting our babies in costumes is just another way to engage and interact with our babies and take photos to show the fun we can have with our children. It’s not a way to force them to do something they don’t want to do. Besides it’s not as if this will traumatize them in any way, that is unless they get traumatized when they go to look at photos of the costumes they wore as babies and there are no photos to be found.

JoLynn October 27, 2008, 5:55 PM

I totally agree with AK Mom. My young daughters have asked me what their first Halloween costumes were, leading me to pull out old pictures of them dressed as a cute little scarecrow and a little black cat with a tail.

I think dressing a baby for Halloween is the least of parents’ worries, compared to the teens that run around town dressed (or should I say ‘half-dressed’) like a ‘Red Hot Witch’, ‘Pretty Little Stewardess’, or ‘Little Lolita’. And these were seen in a catalog that was sent to my house a few weeks ago.

I guess it’s all personal choice when it comes to dressing babies for Halloween, but in my opinion, have fun while they’re still little!

costume person October 27, 2008, 5:57 PM

You are a dolt. I understand if people don’t want to dress up their kids in costume, but to suggest that the infants don’t like it and the act is cruel is nothing but an excuse for you to be a spoiler.

ashley October 27, 2008, 6:11 PM

you are absolutely LOOPY woman!!!!
i am 19 years old && i LOVE looking at the cute outfits my mother put me in as a child, oh & news flash, not ONE of them i was unhappy in.

you are entitled to your own opinion, but for you to say it is CRUEL to dress an infant up,your ludacris!

&& i also agree with all the other women who posted, it is a GREAT way to interact and beable to reflect in the future with your children

Me October 27, 2008, 7:44 PM

I love Anne Geddes.

mama_chita October 27, 2008, 8:20 PM

I can’t STAND Anne Geddes, for exactly this reason.

Queen October 28, 2008, 1:38 AM

Wow.. You must have some hidden issues that you might want to seek help for…I hope everything works out for you…its kinda sad because I dont have any pics of me in costumes and I am not very close to my family…I think the more interaction the better..

Kelly October 28, 2008, 8:37 AM

do you take the kids to see Santa?
Do you let your toddlers play dress up?
Come on, live and let live.
Kids and animals will let you know in their own ways if they don’t want the costume on. Otherwise its all in good clean fun, and should be enjoyed with pics so you can “remind” your child when they are older.
What a great way to connect with your teen.

Mina October 28, 2008, 9:26 AM

Obviously the writer has some issues…get over it, write about something that is ACTUALLY cruel to children!

Jennifer  October 28, 2008, 9:43 AM

I do not have an issue dressing a baby up for Halloween I did it with both my children. BUT to dress them in a costume where they cant move around and it LOOKS uncomfortable is wrong. What is wrong with normal outfits I love all those cute little baby outfits but the ones in the video are outrageous. They just dont look cute. Why would you dress your baby up as a turkey? Especially one so bulky.

alexandra October 28, 2008, 9:57 AM

are you serious? this is laughable!! i couldnt read all of this because it was so stupid! I think you should take the same amount of time it took to write this and look up the word cruelty (because it will probably take you that long to comprehend) and then maybe you can understand what it means to be cruel to your children. Some costumes are ridiculous and if your child seems uncomfortable you bring a change of clothes or take off the hood of the costume…it’s not a big deal! My son is 2 and he is going to be Superman…the costume is not uncomfortable he didnt care one way or another!

Maggie October 28, 2008, 10:28 AM

Costumes are cruel to babies? Give me a break! If you don’t want to dress you baby up because you think they look silly then fine, don’t do it. But there is nothing cruel about it at all. My daughter is almost 3 months old and I will be dressing her up as Tigger for halloween. Of course its a photo op! Everytime you dress your baby in some little outfit, isn’t it so they look CUTE?! Lighten up lady

Debbie Davis October 28, 2008, 10:48 AM

Lady, do you have to much time on your hands or what??? Put that enery towards feeding hungry kids. Now that’s a problem.

Lyndz October 28, 2008, 1:43 PM

You know what…. I have the Pic of my daughter dressed as tinkerbell for her first halloween up on the frige and my daughter thinks its great she points and says “ME, MINE!!” and she is looking forward to trick or treating again this year. I love the pics of Me dressed u as a kid it was fun to see how much fun my family was having and how much they wanted to get me in the spirt of the HOLIDAY early…. Oh and here is the definition of cruelty : Conduct that causes bodily or mental injury, or apprehension to such injury, to a person or an animal, without legitimate purpose.

Halloween costumes yea don’t exactly add up to that, I mean there are some that wouldn’t get near my child but common I would rather bond and you know what I’m 21 but I’m mature for my age I haven’t dressed up since I was 17 but when I had my daughter I and my husband started to dress up again as a family fun thing…. Hell if one of us is gonna be uncomfy ALL of us will.

But seriously lighten up lady, your taking this the wrong way and your entitled to your OPINION but didn’t your mama ever tell you “If you don’t got anything nice to say don’t say anything at all!” Its a matter of OPINION and PARENTING CHOICE and no two people are the same. Get over it.

Delilah October 28, 2008, 6:11 PM

Yeah this is just waaay overboard. Most of the costumes you can buy for infants are pretty much just comfy little sleep sacks made to look like a pea pod or whatever. No bending and twisting required to get them into their costumes either.
I make my own Halloween costumes for my kids and I don’t know what everyone else is doing but I make mine as comfy as humanly possible. My daughter is almost two and she LOVES her costume. If I let her she would probably wear it every day. Oh, and she didn’t ASK me to make the costume. She is overjoyed with it and I’m sure she’ll have fond memories to look back on.

rosebud08 October 29, 2008, 8:48 AM

This is so cruel, Anne Geddes should be punished for using babies to get money, hey i mean you can make Halloween treats for money, right? This is waay bad, there should be a law not allowing children to pose as food…Its very inhumane. Why don’t you dress your kid
as a fairy or a princess instead, there are lots of choices, if your good at handsewing, then you can make a princess costume for your baby, if not, go find a professional dressmaker.

Richelle October 29, 2008, 12:36 PM

Love Anne Geddess, loved the picture of the lobster in the bucket!! The whoopie cushion? Maybe not, But thats just my personal opinion. But I do tell ya what, I was very excited for dressing up my kids on their very first Halloween!! Lighten up and enjoy..

Christina October 29, 2008, 3:00 PM

wow! I have no words on how ridiculous this whole thing is. Dressing up babies for Halloween is not cruel in anyway shape or form. It’s about getting into the Halloween spirit. I loved looking back at what Halloween costumes i had when i was a baby. Don’t you? Lets worry about something that is of worth like the economy or something that matters.

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