The death of a loved one is an inevitable part of life. We can’t stop the passing of friends and family members. So it’s inevitable that you will be invited to a funeral at least once in your lifetime.
Of course, your toddler too can join you when attending a funeral. They are, after all, a part of the family. Toddlers are old enough to join social events, so a funeral isn’t something so out of the picture.
Preparing for the big day includes plenty of planning. One important aspect of attending any funeral is to be well-dressed and groomed. It’s a way to show proper respect to the one who had just passed away.
Fortunately, it’s easy to plan your toddler’s outfit. In fact, the right outfit might be lying around in your house today. If you feel stuck on what your toddler should wear for a funeral, here are some tips to make planning easier.
What Should a Toddler Wear to a Funeral: 10 Tips for the Proper Attire
1. Know Whether the Funeral is Formal or Casual
Funerals can either be formal or casual. Your fashion choices depend on the location, weather, and culture of where the funeral will be. For example, a funeral at a place of worship will always require you to wear something formal and conservative.
Dress your toddler the same. If the funeral is somewhere informal, like a beach, then choose a more casual attire. Otherwise, dress them in their Sunday’s best.
2. Pick the Right Color for the Occasion
Traditionally, black is the color of choice for any funeral. But again, consider the culture of the person you are attending. In Asian countries like China, white is the preferred color.
Pick a simple and subdued color for your toddler’s attire. If you’re attending a Western funeral, other dark hues like navy blue or gray are acceptable. Just avoid bright and eye-catchy colors when picking their mourning wardrobe.
3. Avoid Flashy Designs and Patterns
Some toddler outfits come with glittering patterns or playful designs. Those are fun for everyday wear. But for funerals, you might want to put those aside.
Look for dresses that are plain or have minimal designs. Small ribbons, laced hems, and buttons are alright. Just make sure they don’t pop out and distract anybody at the service.
4. Dress Them in Something Comfortable and Breathable
A typical funeral service usually takes around an hour to finish. For adults, that doesn’t seem too long. But your toddler might find that time unbearable, especially if they’re wearing something too tight or too itchy.
Don’t sacrifice your child’s comfort for the sake of style. Pick an outfit that you know is pleasant and breathable. It’s hard enough to deal with a loss, so don’t add a wardrobe malfunction to your list of stressors.
5. Go Easy on the Accessories
It’s highly advised to wear only a few jewelry and accessories when attending a funeral. A funeral is a solemn ceremony, and you want all the attention to be on the person who died. And that advice is also true for your toddler.
Keep the accessorizing as minimal as possible. You can give them something like a necklace, headband, or watch. But try to make sure that it doesn’t make any sound or light. Your toddler might end up playing with their accessories and cause a little bit of disruption.
6. Give Them Shoes That is Appropriate
An outfit is never complete without a pair of nice shoes. But be smart at picking which shoes will work best with your toddler’s outfit. Pick wisely if you’re going to give them dress shoes or sneakers.
7. Add Matching Socks to their Shoes
Shoes will feel a lot better when they have matching socks. Again, pick something that works cohesively with your toddler’s outfit. We highly suggest you stick to white, gray, or black socks and leave the colored ones at home.
8. Pick Something That Matches the Weather
Funerals can happen at any time, rain or shine. Some people might choose to hold a service in the middle of summer, while others have it during the chilly winter. So it’s important to pick the right outfit based on the weather.
Short-sleeved blouses and dresses work fine during hot climates. On the other hand, coats and cardigans are fitting for colder seasons. Just make sure the clothes have an appropriate length, style, and print.
9. Always Keep a Spare Change of Clothes
You never know what can happen during a funeral service. Your child might spill their drink, or they might get too sweaty in their clothes. Whatever the case may be, always bring a spare change of clothes to remedy unexpected events.
10. Give Them a Matching Comfort Toy
Most toddlers can’t grasp what a funeral is, so they might find it long and boring. So to keep them busy and well-behaved, you can give them a small comfort toy that can keep them distracted. It can be something small like a quiet fidget toy or a stuffed animal.
While it’s not necessarily a part of their outfit, their toy can still be an integral accessory (just like how a purse is to adults.) Make sure that their choice of activity won’t disturb any other goers. And make sure they only bring it out during appropriate times.
Funerals are very intimate and are closely associated with death. It can feel odd to bring a toddler to a service. But there is nothing wrong with introducing a big part of life to a young child. Just make sure you are sensitive with your words and your child’s feelings.
Dressing your kid up for the occasion is important. It shows respect to the person who passed and to their family. It’s best to stay as simple and conservative when planning out your toddler’s outfit.
Death is a topic that your toddler won’t easily grasp at a young age. They will not know why they need to dress up nicely on that specific day. But once they do get older, they will understand just how important it is to mourn and celebrate the passing of a loved one.