How young is too young to trick or treat? — The Bump
2nd Trimester

How young is too young to trick or treat?

We just got done with my neighborhoods trick or treating, and it made me think, how young is too young? 

 

Both my H and I think that if the child can not walk, and has to be carried the entire time (or ride in the stroller) then that is too young.  But what does everyone else think?

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Re: How young is too young to trick or treat?

  • image JustOne:

    Both my H and I think that if the child can not walk, and has to be carried the entire time (or ride in the stroller) then that is too young.  But what does everyone else think?

     

    I agree with this.  This was our first real year ToT'ing.  Our four year old is extremely shy and was not ready to go to strangers houses until this year.  Our 2 year old had the best time!  He loves to meet new people.  Anna (1yr) went with us, but did not collect candy.   

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  • We took DD at 9 months old, but it was only up and down our street. They all knew who we were. She got a little bit of candy, but the givers knew that it was't going to her. lol
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  • I think a child is too young to trick or treat if he or she isn't able to say "thank you."

    Edit: clarity

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  • I just had a ~6 month old come to my door in a stroller.  No

    If you want to dress your baby up in a costume for the day, that's great.  I was at Target this afternoon and saw lots of babies in costumes.  Very cute. It's also fine to go to your family and friends homes because they would enjoy seeing the LO in costume. But trick or treating to random houses?  No.  Unless there's an older sibling along, it's just a candy grab for the parents. 

    I think the child should at least be able to walk and carry their own bucket. 

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  • I agree that the child should be able to walk and eat the candy.  We dressed DS up and took him to gma &gpas house that live right down the street and our neighbors that we are friends with. I just used the candy he got to give out to other trick or treaters when we returned home
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  • We took our two year old for the first time tonight. We went to about ten houses around us.  He can say trick or treat, thank you, carry his own bucket, and was so excited to wear his costume and walk around this year. It was so much fun! Before this year he was pretty clueless and we just dressed him up, kept him home and he handed out candy with us.
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  • image MissLadyTay:

    I think a child is too young to trick or treat if he or she isn't able to say "thank you."

    Edit: clarity

    I disagree with this.  DS has a speech delay and can't say that because of that reason.  I think talking has little to do with it.  He can eat the candy (most of it) and walks up to the door with his bucket.  He even helps by ringing the doorbell if we lift him up.  We help him with the trick or treat and thank you, but I think he is old enough.  We had lots of kids to our door tonight in the same boat.

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  • I agree that if the child is too young to eat the candy, they are too young to be TorTing.  

    I don't mind if there is an older sibling, and the baby is just along for the ride. I'm fine to give "the baby" a piece of candy as well - knowing mom and dad will be eating it.

    But to TorT with just a baby is pretty lame. Save the money from the costume and buy some candy if you need it that badly.

  • We took ds out tonight and I felt he was kind of young...but he does say please and thank you (in sign language, my 20 month old doesn't really talk at all), walk by himself, carried his own bucket, and we just went to a few neighbors' houses with people we knew...then we stopped at my aunt's house, who lives the next block over.  All in all, we went to maybe 5 houses, had fun, and don't have a ton of candy to show for it (which yes, it will be me or dh or the nieces or nephew eating). 
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  • image LucyGoosey81:
    image MissLadyTay:

    I think a child is too young to trick or treat if he or she isn't able to say "thank you."

    Edit: clarity

    I disagree with this.  DS has a speech delay and can't say that because of that reason.  I think talking has little to do with it.  He can eat the candy (most of it) and walks up to the door with his bucket.  He even helps by ringing the doorbell if we lift him up.  We help him with the trick or treat and thank you, but I think he is old enough.  We had lots of kids to our door tonight in the same boat.

    I obviously meant in terms of age.  I'm not going to deny a disabled child candy because he cannot say the words "thank you."  I'm using general speech ability as a guideline.  A babbling twelve month old is too young, IMO.

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  • image LucyGoosey81:
    image MissLadyTay:

    I think a child is too young to trick or treat if he or she isn't able to say "thank you."

    Edit: clarity

    I disagree with this.  DS has a speech delay and can't say that because of that reason.  I think talking has little to do with it.  He can eat the candy (most of it) and walks up to the door with his bucket.  He even helps by ringing the doorbell if we lift him up.  We help him with the trick or treat and thank you, but I think he is old enough.  We had lots of kids to our door tonight in the same boat.

    Plus, I think it's another great opportunity to teach kids to say thank you. 

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  • Our 18 month old had a fabulous time tonight, so obviously I don't think he was too young.  He was just having fun watching the whole process and hanging with the big kids.  We went to houses we knew so everyone could see him in his costume.

    And just so you know, it wasn't about the candy.  It was about him having fun.  It was also a lot of fun for my husband and I.  

    You all might change your minds once your little ones are here...  :)

  • image bootsie08:
    image LucyGoosey81:
    image MissLadyTay:

    I think a child is too young to trick or treat if he or she isn't able to say "thank you."

    Edit: clarity

    I disagree with this.  DS has a speech delay and can't say that because of that reason.  I think talking has little to do with it.  He can eat the candy (most of it) and walks up to the door with his bucket.  He even helps by ringing the doorbell if we lift him up.  We help him with the trick or treat and thank you, but I think he is old enough.  We had lots of kids to our door tonight in the same boat.

    Plus, I think it's another great opportunity to teach kids to say thank you. 

    Precisely.  And I have to agree with another poster...it's about the kids having fun.  They just love it!  And that's what's important.  I can assure you that most parents aren't in it for the candy.  They can buy a bag of their own for $5 and probably did for their own house, KWIM?

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  • I think you have to be able to walk to the door on your own.  Our youngest tagged along in the stroller tonight, but she just watched.  It's not like she can eat the candy anyway.
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  • I agree.  This was DD's first year of trick-or-treating.  We took her to my parents and grandma's house last year and a few neighbors that we know well so they could see her.  This year we did our whole street.  She could walk herself, say trick-or-treat (well, actually she said trick or treating, lol) and say thank you.  She will also be eating all of her candy.
  • image MissLadyTay:
    image LucyGoosey81:
    image MissLadyTay:

    I think a child is too young to trick or treat if he or she isn't able to say "thank you."

    Edit: clarity

    I disagree with this.  DS has a speech delay and can't say that because of that reason.  I think talking has little to do with it.  He can eat the candy (most of it) and walks up to the door with his bucket.  He even helps by ringing the doorbell if we lift him up.  We help him with the trick or treat and thank you, but I think he is old enough.  We had lots of kids to our door tonight in the same boat.

    I obviously meant in terms of age.  I'm not going to deny a disabled child candy because he cannot say the words "thank you."  I'm using general speech ability as a guideline.  A babbling twelve month old is too young, IMO.

    I know what you're getting at...I'm just saying that speech has a HUGE range.  My friend has an 11-month-old who does say please and thank you and walks.  We're obviously on the opposite end, and have a slight delay.  Speech in toddlers really varies, so I think it's not really appropriate to determine trick or treating appropriateness that way.  I suppose my example was a bad example, but what I was trying to get at is that speech is not a good indicator of readiness.

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  • image APrice4UT:

    Our 18 month old had a fabulous time tonight, so obviously I don't think he was too young.  He was just having fun watching the whole process and hanging with the big kids.  We went to houses we knew so everyone could see him in his costume.

    And just so you know, it wasn't about the candy.  It was about him having fun.  It was also a lot of fun for my husband and I.  

    You all might change your minds once your little ones are here...  :)

    It is the 6 month olds (and younger in a couple of cases) that have no clue what is going on that irritated me.  I get taking your child because they have fun with it, or if there is an older child along.  But to take an infant trick or treating for the sake of trick or treating, with no older child in tow is ridiculous to me.  That infant is not having fun, that infant has no clue what is going on.  

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  • image LucyGoosey81:
    image MissLadyTay:

    I think a child is too young to trick or treat if he or she isn't able to say "thank you."

    Edit: clarity

    I disagree with this.  DS has a speech delay and can't say that because of that reason.  I think talking has little to do with it.  He can eat the candy (most of it) and walks up to the door with his bucket.  He even helps by ringing the doorbell if we lift him up.  We help him with the trick or treat and thank you, but I think he is old enough.  We had lots of kids to our door tonight in the same boat.

     

    I agree.  DS can't say trick or treat or thank you.  We went with our little neighbor girl, and he had a great time.  We took them in a wagon, but had them walk up to the doors.

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  • I think when it comes to toddlers, it's definitely an individual thing - if your child is old enough to walk around on her/his own, carry a bucket, and have the basics of the whole process down, then more power to you.  But I can't STAND people expecting me to give candy to babies in strollers.  Unless you're feeding your 8 month old that Butterfinger (which is a whole different issue), I'm not about to hand out candy to an adult who's carrying an infant.  If it's really all about fun, dress the baby up, allow him/her to greet trick or treaters at the door, or take her/him to a few close neighbors. 

    To clarify - I work in retail and they do trick or treating in the mall - we CONSTANTLY have parents collecting candy for babies in strollers and it drives me CRAZY.

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  • image MissLadyTay:
    image LucyGoosey81:
    image MissLadyTay:

    I think a child is too young to trick or treat if he or she isn't able to say "thank you."

    Edit: clarity

    I disagree with this.  DS has a speech delay and can't say that because of that reason.  I think talking has little to do with it.  He can eat the candy (most of it) and walks up to the door with his bucket.  He even helps by ringing the doorbell if we lift him up.  We help him with the trick or treat and thank you, but I think he is old enough.  We had lots of kids to our door tonight in the same boat.

    I obviously meant in terms of age.  I'm not going to deny a disabled child candy because he cannot say the words "thank you."  I'm using general speech ability as a guideline.  A babbling twelve month old is too young, IMO.

     

    I don't think her child is "disabled".  He's slightly delayed.

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  • Also, I think I'm an oddball.  I don't mind the infants coming over.  It's generally 1st time parents who do it, and they just want to show off their baby in a costume.  I think it's crazy cute...for both the babies and the parents.  It makes me smile :)  They don't want the candy...they want to show off their baby all dressed up!
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  • I agree that if they're too young to walk to the door, carry the bag or bucket, and actually eat the candy, they're too young for Trick or Treating. I'd still dress them up because that's cute as heck, but I would be embarrassed to take my 6 month old door to door for candy.

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  • image wall0307:
    image MissLadyTay:
    image LucyGoosey81:
    image MissLadyTay:

    I think a child is too young to trick or treat if he or she isn't able to say "thank you."

    Edit: clarity

    I disagree with this.  DS has a speech delay and can't say that because of that reason.  I think talking has little to do with it.  He can eat the candy (most of it) and walks up to the door with his bucket.  He even helps by ringing the doorbell if we lift him up.  We help him with the trick or treat and thank you, but I think he is old enough.  We had lots of kids to our door tonight in the same boat.

    I obviously meant in terms of age.  I'm not going to deny a disabled child candy because he cannot say the words "thank you."  I'm using general speech ability as a guideline.  A babbling twelve month old is too young, IMO.

     

    I don't think her child is "disabled".  He's slightly delayed.

    Thank you for noticing this as well :)  I was going to comment on that, too, but decided not to, so I'm glad you caught that!

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  • image SarahL77:

    I agree that if they're too young to walk to the door, carry the bag or bucket, and actually eat the candy, they're too young for Trick or Treating. I'd still dress them up because that's cute as heck, but I would be embarrassed to take my 6 month old door to door for candy.

    I agree.  Going out with older kids or even just to visit family & friends is a different story though.  Those people WANT to see your baby in costume.  :-)

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  • I'm happy to see friends' babies dressed up, but it does seem pointless at stroller age or younger for total strangers. Unless, of course, they're with older kids.

    Speaking of thank yous, we had a *lot* of little girls tonight who were just too shy to say it when prompted. Ditto trick or treat. They just sort of mumbled and bit their lips. Age 3-5. But it was cute. I was uberbashful then too. 

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  • It depends for me. Last year DS had just started walking a month before and was still a little wobbly so we still carried him up to the houses and he didn;t eat candy at that time. His first in 2008 we didnt; go out since he was only 8wks old, but next year DD will only be 8mos old and of course we are going to take her since DS will be going. I think that under a year if they are an only child you should skip it, but after that then they are good to go.
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  • image shaysmom05:
    We took DD at 9 months old, but it was only up and down our street. They all knew who we were. She got a little bit of candy, but the givers knew that it was't going to her. lol

     This is what DH were discussing tonight. He thinks just around the block since our LO will only be 8 months by next Halloween.

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  • image LucyGoosey81:
    Also, I think I'm an oddball.  I don't mind the infants coming over.  It's generally 1st time parents who do it, and they just want to show off their baby in a costume.  I think it's crazy cute...for both the babies and the parents.  It makes me smile :)  They don't want the candy...they want to show off their baby all dressed up!

    this, We will probably take DS out next year just to a couple houses because it is excited for us as first time parents to dress him up and let him enjoy the experience.

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  • I have several nieces and nephews who all gather in my parents neighborhood to go trick or treating. Last year we took DS around with his cousins but did not collect any candy, we just wanted to dress him up and show him off:). This year we were going to do the same thing, but he got fussy and we decided to skip it, had we taken him out we still would not have collected any candy for him.
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  • image LucyGoosey81:
    Also, I think I'm an oddball.  I don't mind the infants coming over.  It's generally 1st time parents who do it, and they just want to show off their baby in a costume.  I think it's crazy cute...for both the babies and the parents.  It makes me smile :)  They don't want the candy...they want to show off their baby all dressed up!

    This.  We took DS around last year when he was 4 months old.  He had no idea what was going on, but DH and I had so much fun dressing him up and showing him off to our neighbors.  We took him to the mall too.  I wanted everyone to see my adorable little froggy.

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  • image bootsie08:

    I just had a ~6 month old come to my door in a strollerNo

    If you want to dress your baby up in a costume for the day, that's great.  I was at Target this afternoon and saw lots of babies in costumes.  Very cute. It's also fine to go to your family and friends homes because they would enjoy seeing the LO in costume. But trick or treating to random houses?  No.  Unless there's an older sibling along, it's just a candy grab for the parents. 

    I think the child should at least be able to walk and carry their own bucket. 

    This!!!  A group came and one of the boys said, "Can I have a piece for the baby?"  Sure enough, a few feet away was a super tiny baby in a stroller!  The woman even said, "There really is a baby here!"

    Uh... who is going to eat that candy?  I wish I had crap candy to give to that "baby"

    We didn't take my daughter around this year b/c she isn't going to eat the candy.  If we had candy sitting around, I would be eating it and I don't want to!

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  • I dont see anything wrong with taking a child who cannot "walk" or "say thank you" trick or treating. We took my daughter who is almost 9 months old. The people loved seeing her in her costume. She really enjoyed being out and seeing all of the other kids as well.... The thing I dont like is when there is rude teenagers that come to your door and are not even dressed up. 
  • image Belinda L:
    I dont see anything wrong with taking a child who cannot "walk" or "say thank you" trick or treating. We took my daughter who is almost 9 months old. The people loved seeing her in her costume. She really enjoyed being out and seeing all of the other kids as well.... The thing I dont like is when there is rude teenagers that come to your door and are not even dressed up. 

    This too!  I wanted to ask, "who are you?"

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