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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
Victoria October 30, 2008, 12:25 AM

Oh come on, there is nothing wrong with dressing up a infant, as long as they have room to move and they are comfy. My youngest is going as a jack o’lantern while my 8 yr old girl is going as Kathrine Vantassle, and my 11 yr old son is going as Icabod Crane. (myhubby will be the headless horsmen)

We pulled out the photo album and looked at each of the kids costumes since they were born. Then we pulled out ours! We had a blast talking about it and are planning for next year.

There are worse things in the world then dressing up your infant. Just talk to any Social Services case worker.

Anonymous October 30, 2008, 9:42 AM

You need to lighten up! Cruelty to babies? How about the babies that have to grow up with abuse. You need to get your priorities straight. You must be a selfish and boring person.

brandi October 30, 2008, 11:09 AM

i agree some of these costumes are horrible and the babies probably hate them. but, there are costumes that really aren’t any different from regular clothes. I’m due in march and i already have the baby’s Halloween costume picked out. it’s just a black onesie with a skeleton bone screen print on the front, easy enough, and still comfy for baby. now if they had little skeleton mittens i would be set. it’s cold in Indiana for Halloween.

kelli November 1, 2008, 1:41 PM

I kept reading, hoping this was tongue-in-cheek. Apparently not. Seriously lady, spend your energy on some real issues that need attention and babies who really are being abused. You must lead a very boring and joyless life.

janey November 1, 2008, 2:58 PM

Is this person for real?!
Playing dress up with babies is not cruel! What’s wrong with involving your little one in the family fun? I laughed out loud at the whoopie cushion so did my husband. Our kids have a huge dressing up box and we love them to dress up. Taking photos and keeping memories is great. Imagine when your kids are older and they look at family pics and they see that you made the effort to include them. Surely that could only be a good thing. Does this stretch opinion stretch to daddies favourite team top or branded clothes? This person needs to get a bit of perspective with all the things that are going on in the world the word cruel does not apply here!

Jan November 4, 2008, 9:04 AM

I’m pretty sure seeing a big fat man wtih a white beard and a red suit was more traumatizing than the WARM COMFY leopard costume my mom subjected myself and my 4 others siblings to. I’m also pretty sure those ridiculous outfits wtih ruffles and cute sayings on the front weren’t all that comfy sometimes either. Parents dress their kids in all sorts of clothing all the time…did you ask them if it would be ok to dress them? did you check and make sure they wanted to meet all your friends and be held by strangers? do you check and make sure your baby is ready for his/her first bath? no, cause babies don’t talk and they trust you to do what’s best for them. Unless you’re dressing your kid in full out clown make up, I can’t even fathom what sort of “cruelty” you’re referring to in this article.

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Sarita November 11, 2010, 2:47 PM

I agree that these costumes aren’t good for tiny babies, how can they feed, have a cuddle? The poor mite in the turkey suit can’t see beyond the drumsticks! I’ve got nothing against a cute bodysuit but this?! I like the way the presenter tries to convince us that the babies are having a really great time!

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