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keobooks's avatar

Is there a way to get my daughter used to her costume? Or should I scrap it and find something less 'scary' for her?

Asked by keobooks (14283points) October 10th, 2011

My daughter will be 13 months when Halloween comes around. I got a very cute frog costume for her at a clearance sale last year. I decided to see if it fit her. It’s basically a green coat with eyes on the hood. I think the eyes freak her out, even though she loves talking to the frog head when she’s not wearing it.

I stuck it on her and she started screaming and clawing at the eyes on the suit. She doesn’t mind wearing her jacket that’s made the same way but doesn’t have eyes on top, so I am assuming the idea of being crammed into a stuffed animal isn’t appealing to her.

Anyway, do you think there’s a way for getting her comfortable with the suit or should we just forget it and go with something that won’t be quite as cute, but won’t likely scare her as this does?

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34 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Did you try putting it on your own head?

keobooks's avatar

No, but that’s a good idea. She does like copying her father and me…

gailcalled's avatar

13 months? Let her go as a sweet little baby. (Screaming and clawing is very alarming behavior for someone so young. Leave her in peace. Let her talk to the frog head.

chyna's avatar

I love this question.
Is there anything else you could “cram her in”? Sorry, I’m laughing my self silly with the image of craming a kid in a costume.

lillycoyote's avatar

I would opt for any costume that doesn’t induce “screaming and clawing at the eyes” in a baby when you put on her in it; a costume that doesn’t “freak her out.” You may think it’s cute, but it apparently terrifies her. She doesn’t seem to like it, why put her through that? Just my opinion.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Yeah, I’d drop it. It’s not worth it.

Buttonstc's avatar

Why are YOU so enamored of this frog costume that you would even consider subjecting her to being stuffed in it to re-traumatize her yet again?

She’s clearly terrified of wearing it and it doesn’t really matter why since she’s too young to be “talked out of it.”

She’s made her wishes crystal clear. Just honor her wishes in what is a trivial matter for you but clearly not for her. There are so many cute costume choices for babies that age which involve zero discomfort or fear. Just find something she’s fine with.

Pretty soon she’ll be saying no to everything, even safety issues. Save your powers of persuasion for the important matters. A good rule of thumb for parenting in general is: “pick your battles wisely”.

Getting in practice with this principle now is good rehearsal for the teenage years when this will REALLY be put to the test.

In all types of non-essential and non-harmful stuff, let your kids express their own choice and individuality as much as possible. Even if their clothing choice or hairstyle (which can always be changed later) are absolutely horrendous.

This gives them the experience to learn decision making later on. If they are never allowed to make crappy decisions about minor stuff, how will they learn?

She will soon enough outgrow her baby fears but she certainly does not need to be saddled with extra merely for the sake of a costume favored by her parents :)

wundayatta's avatar

Nope. Throw it away. I know that the first few Halloweens are for parents, not the kids, but still, that doesn’t give us the right to force them to do something they don’t want to do, or to try to manipulate them. My daughter is still not fond of clowns.

YARNLADY's avatar

Take off the eyes.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Maybe the costume was on clearance because it had similar effects on other children who tried it? Just a thought. Don’t force her to wear it if she’s visibly uncomfortable. What fun will Halloween be if she is screaming and clawing at her costume the whole time? It’s not worth it.


Lol. Too cute.

If you can’t acclimatize the frog suit to her, then I’d scrap it and try a different costume altogether. No sense in traumatizing a child over a Halloween costume.

My little daughters used to be deathly afraid of going into a pool, but over time and with a lot of patience, I managed to get them in. Swimming is a great skill to learn, but Halloween is not that important.

lillycoyote's avatar

@MRSHINYSHOES Yes, helping children overcome a fear of water so they can learn to swim is an entirely different matter. Swimming is a skill that could potentially save their lives someday and even if it never comes to that, knowing how to swim is a a skill that can bring them enjoyment and pleasure for the rest of their lives. A Halloween frog costume for a 13 month old? No so much.


@lillycoyote As you know, swimming is one of my passions, but both my little daughters were scared out of their wits when it came to getting near a swimming pool. They cried and screamed, but after much coaxing and patience I managed to get one into the pool with me. Even then, it still took several more months before she even dared to let go of me! Lol.

Stinley's avatar

Can you adapt the costume so that it is not scary for her? Maybe cut off the offending eye area or something. Worth a try, if you would discard it otherwise

keobooks's avatar

I am not so enamored with the costume. It’s just that we bought it and have it. When I got it she was five weeks old and slept through Halloween. We could have put her inside of a live dragon and she just would have been happy and warm.

Even two months ago, she would have been OK. I took her to GenCon and she loved seeing all of the costumes and she babbled at and talked to a zombie manikin. Before that, she had “swim” lessons (actually just paid time to splash around in the pool with a bunch of other babies) and she loved it. She was the most brave of the bunch.

It’s only been since her first birthday that she started showing any anxiety at all. She’s started to get nervous around certain stuffed animals at the public library that she used to love. There’s this life stuffed gorilla that sits near a door. She used to climb all over him. She still will wave at him, but if we get too close, she will start making shoving motions and may fuss if we linger. It’s near the book drop, so sometimes I have to mind where her stroller is.

So I’m not some crazy mom trying to push her into a frog suit. I just was hoping there was a way to recoup the money I spent and also, it’s pretty cute.

Stinley's avatar

Why not sell it (an online auction comes to mind) then buy her something else that she will try on in the shop

MissAusten's avatar

I love this question too. I’m sorry, but your description of your baby’s reaction to the costume made me giggle. I love toddlers. Heck, if you don’t accidentally traumatize your kid from time to time, you aren’t doing it right.

As a parent, I know how hard it is to buy something for a kid and then not be able to use it, especially when you know how quickly kids change. You have time before Halloween, so if your daughter doesn’t accept the costume you’ll easily be able to find something else. I’d suggest something that doesn’t involve anything on her face or head. You might also want to let her pick something as close to Halloween as possible so she doesn’t change her mind.

I like the suggestion of letting her see you wear it. Don’t ask her to put it on again, just model it for her and have a good laugh. Let some of her dolls or stuffed animals wear it. If Daddy or a family friend or relative will try it on too, go for it! Leave the costume where she can play with it, and if you see her try it on, don’t make a big deal about it.

The only other thing you could try is a bit of old fashioned bribery. A handful of M&Ms can work wonders. ;)

When I was two, I told my mom I wanted to be a witch for Halloween. I insisted. She dressed me up in a witch costume, painted my face green, and plopped me in front of a mirror. I then proceeded to freak the fuck out. I ended up being Raggedy Ann instead.

ccrow's avatar

Since she like it when she’s not wearing it, maybe you could let her play with it for awhile… has she actually seen herself in it? And I guess it’s possible that she doesn’t like the feel of the eye area, have you felt it to see if it’s prickly or anything? But yeah, if you can’t convince her it’s not scary, it’s not fair to her to make her wear it.
On the stuffed animal front, my brother and SIL gave my oldest son a cute stuffed toy bulldog- scared the dickens out of him!!! I had to put it away in a closet so he wouldn’t see it:-)

keobooks's avatar

Well, we made a little progress. She loves it when dad and I put it on our heads. Now she brings it to me and asks me to put it on my own head. I tried it on her head and she pulled if off in annoyance rather than fear. There’s nothing in it that hurts as far as I can tell.

bkcunningham's avatar

Have you ever let her see herself in a mirror with the outfit on her head? It may just be that she doesnt’ want something on her head. Will she wear any sort of cap or hat? Put her in front of a mirror while you play with the outfit putting it on your own heads and then on her head. I’m wondering if she doesn’t like it on her head because she can no longer see it when it is on her head.

She may not even be associating it with being on her head. She just knows it is there and then, boom, it is out of sight, it disappears and then she feels something on her head and doesn’t like the game any longer. “Hey what happened to that cute froggy. What the heck is on my head? Waaaa.”

Children learn so much from infancy to two years old. Rolling over, sitting up, pulling up, crawling, walking, talking, different motor skills, hand-eye coordination, holding their own spoon, holding their own bottle, using a sippy cup, going to the potty, communication, laughter…it is all part of independence. Who knows what happens in her mind when you take the frog and put it on her head. Maybe she thinks, “Dammit, just as soon as I start trying to get those eyes off, they put the stupid frog on my head where I can’t see it.”

For Christmas, my at the time 19 month old granddaughter got one of those beauitul chests with dress-up outfits. She really didn’t have any interest in it until this past month. Her Mom was telling me how she’d put on an “outfit” and if anyone said anything about the outfit, (like, “Oh, that is so pretty.” or “Oh, are you a cowboy?” “I like your hat.”) Whatever you say regarding the outfit, she proceeded to scream, “NOooooo.” and hit the floor struggling to get the outfit off NOW. If you mention the outfit, she wants it off immediately.

Go figure. Who knows why she is doing that. I think she is just experimenting with control and it is a form of expressing independence and her own opinions.

keobooks's avatar

The mirror didn’t really help. On the plus side, she isn’t afraid of it any more. But she REALLY doesn’t want anything on her head.

Actually she doesn’t like to wear anything at all these days. We duct tape her shoes on. We pin her coat closed. We put her onesies over her pants so she can’t take them off. She is constantly trying to strip naked. I don’t know why I thought she’d want to wear a Halloween costume. We’ll be lucky if she wears any clothes at all for the holiday.

We have a backup pair of Halloween jammies for her. Dad or I may wear the frog on our heads since it’s such a hit with her.

bkcunningham's avatar

If you can keep a diaper on her, she can dress as Baby New Year!

keobooks's avatar

Unfortunately, diapers are the first thing she’s learned to take off. I didn’t mention it, but we have to dress her as quickly as possible because the first thing she tries to do is rip the diaper off. She’s quite the nudist.

bkcunningham's avatar

I hope you are keeping a little notebook with a brief discription of these wonderful antics and beautiful years, @keobooks.

Buttonstc's avatar

I think every kid goes through the “nudist” phase. Can’t blame them really (especially in summer). But they’re far too young to have any shame or need of modesty. There’s something very precious about that.

So be sure to take plenty of pics of the little stripper now for leverage during the teen years (if necessary)


keobooks's avatar

She is now wearing her costume! She won’t put the little hood up so she looks like a green blob with a hunch back (the hood balled up behind her neck)

It’s still very cute.

Buttonstc's avatar

So she can go as “The Frogback of Notre Dame” then?

She sounds adorable. Cute.

Earthgirl's avatar

Oh if only she could see Lady Gaga’s fascination with frogs, specifically Kermit, she might change her mind!!!

keobooks's avatar

Thanks for the support on this. We went trick or treating at the zoo today and she wore her costume with the hood up for a while. I finally took the costume off because it started to get unusually warm in the afternoon, but the only part that really peeved her was the barrettes. She needs those to keep from looking like Donald Trump with the weird looking bangs. I’ve started just buying those at the Dollar Tree and considering them disposable because they are usually long gone by the end of the day.

I was very proud of her. She kept the suit on and walked around in her shoes. That was much more than I was expecting.

bkcunningham's avatar

Sounds like good memories and lots of fun, @keobooks. Thanks for the update.

keobooks's avatar

Final costume update. She wore the costume with the hood on ALL evening for trick or treating. Which was good because it was a bit chilly. She only managed a few houses walking and was carried halfway and stroller-bound the final leg of the journey.

One of the reasons I wanted to coax her into the costume was because I wanted some practice getting her warmed up to things that she was afraid of. I don’t think you should force kids do do things they don’t want to do, but part of parenting is giving kids confidence to do things that might be a little scary or risky for themselves when they grow up.

I am glad we got to practice with the costume. She liked it so much that she didn’t want me to take it off before she went to bed.

YARNLADY's avatar

Thanks for the update. I’m glad all went well.

MissAusten's avatar

Sounds like a memorable first Halloween! Glad it went well!

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