Halloween is coming up soon! Before you know what hit you it will be time for costumes, parties, decorations, and lots and lots of candy. Toddlers tend to have meltdowns when things do not go exactly as planned, something different happens, they don’t get what they want, or their schedule changes and they become over-tired – here are some tips on how to avoid those types of meltdowns this Halloween:

Give them Costume Options

Instead of showing up to the store and allowing your child to go through the hundreds of costume options (which is likely to end up with your child choosing a costume that is too expensive, you saying no, and your child throwing a hysterical fit) try giving him two to four options to choose from at home. You can pull up the options online (based on things or people you know he likes and things you can buy or make) and let him choose. This gives him a say in the outcome but allows you to control the situation and what sort of costume you will be making or buying.

Make a Plan

When Halloween gets closer let your child know what the schedule will look like for the week. This is especially necessary if Halloween is on a weekday. Let your child know when the parties will be and when your family will be going to trick-or-treat. On Halloween day give your toddler a detailed play-by-play of how the day is going to work – including how many pieces of candy she will be allowed to eat.

Explain How Trick-or-Treating Works

Your toddler probably doesn’t remember trick-or-treating as a baby so you will need to explain what trick-or-treating is, how it works and why it is so much fun. This will hopefully prevent a meltdown when it is time to go up to a stranger’s door and say “trick-or-treat” for the first time.

Practice and Give an Example

Let your toddler practice trick-or-treating and before his first time let him watch a close friend or relative do it first so he knows what to expect. This will get him more comfortable with the idea and hopefully prevent a meltdown.

Trick-or-Treat in Style

If you have a large neighborhood, walking from house to house is going to get tiring for your toddler. And carrying her will wear you out so try trick-or-treating in style by bringing the stroller and or your toddlers’ bike. When he starts getting tired you can push him home in the stroller instead of carrying a crying toddler all the way back.

Handout Candy

When you get back home you can prevent another meltdown “why did we have to come back home?” kind of meltdown by making the handing out of candy sound like even more fun. Tell your child about handing out candy to friends and why it is so much fun.

Set a Limit then Put Away

The biggest meltdown prevention you face is the “I want more candy!” meltdown. Let your child know while you are on your way back home exactly how many pieces of candy she can have before bed. Knowing beforehand and counting out the pieces sometimes helps to prevent the meltdown. If that doesn’t help try letting her pick the piece of candy she would like to have the next day.

Stick to Bedtime Routine

Try to stick to as normal a bedtime routine as possible. If you read a book and sing a song before bed, do it on Halloween night too. If your child has a bath before bed, finish trick-or-treating early enough to fit a bath in before bed. This will help to prevent a tired bed-time meltdown.


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