Halloween baby costumes: Kidscape warns against parents copying Peaches Geldof as ASDA and Toys"R"Us witness spike in fancy dress sales

Dressing your newborn as a pumpkin this Halloween Children's charity warns against celebrity copycat parents 'objectifying' babies in outlandish fancy dress costumes
Celebrity mothers Peaches Geldof, Dannii Minogue and Una Healy have put their babies in fancy dress
UK costumiers Angels, Toys'R'Us and Asda have seen spike in salesKidscape warns it could be sending wrong message to children

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UPDATED:

19:25 GMT, 30 October 2012

It has been a fad of American celebrity culture for years.

Now the trend for dressing newborn babies in outlandish fancy dress has finally hit our shores.

Costume shops have reported a surge in sales of pre-made baby costumes. And with Halloween fast approaching, parents have started stocking up on miniature monster, devil and pumpkin outfits.

Pizza: Peaches Geldof's son Astala dressed as a slice of pizza

Bear cub: Baby Astala dressed as a bear, posted on Twitter

Share the fun: Peaches Geldof loves posting photos of her baby son Astala on Twitter, and he is often dressed up in fancy costumes such as pizza slices, left, and bear cubs, right

Many simply wish to copy celebrities
such as Peaches Geldof and Dannii Minogue, who have posted pictures of
their costumed babies online.

But
children's charity Kidscape warned of a growing trend to treat infants
as party accessories, objectifying youngsters who have no say in what
they wear.

High street
stores including Marks & Spencer, Asda, Toys R Us and TK Maxx all
now offer a range of fancy dress for children under 12 months.

British
customers wanting a wider selection can also buy from Toys R Us'
American website, which stocks costumes designed to make babies look
like hot dogs and rashers of bacon.

Costume
retailer Emma Angel, director of Angels Fancy Dress in London, said she
has seen a 'significant' rise in sales of baby costumes this year.

Ahead
of Halloween at the end of the month, the shop has stocked up on
outfits for children under 12 months, including a 'Lil Pumpkin' costume
for 12.99 and a 'Baby Bat' costume for 19.99.

Pumpkin: Una Healy from the Saturdays with baby Aoife dressed as a Halloween pumpkin

Pumpkin: Una Healy from the Saturdays with baby Aoife dressed as a Halloween pumpkin

She said: 'There is undoubtedly a growing trend regarding fancy dress costumes for babies, and sales of such products have increased significantly at Angels this year.

'Noticeably, the most popular costumes
are animal-themed, and this Halloween our best-selling products for this
age group include baby bats, dinosaurs and spiders.

Pumpkin: Dannii Minogue also dressed her son Ethan as a pumpkin, and posted the photo on Twitter

Pumpkin: Dannii Minogue also dressed her son Ethan as a pumpkin, and posted the photo on Twitter

'In fact, demand has far outstripped our expectations and we have had to order in more stock.'

Mrs Angel added the trend for baby costumes has been imported from America, aided by pictures of celebrity offspring wearing bizarre outfits.

Earlier this month, Peaches Geldof
posted pictures of her five-month-old son Astala on Twitter, dressed as a
bear and as a dinosaur.

In the past, singer Dannii Minogue has shared pictures of her baby son Ethan, dressed as a pumpkin.

Other
British retailers also said they took inspiration from America, where
baby costumes include outfits designed to make them look like hot dogs.

Jokers'
Masquerade, in Newbury, Berkshire, started stocking fancy dress for
babies several years ago, including devil outfits and Star Wars themed
costumes.

A spokesman said: 'We go to all the
big trade shows in America. It is a much bigger thing over there, but it
is getting more popular in Britain.'

However,
campaigners warned parents risk treating their children as 'objects' by
dressing them up as animals and fictional characters.

Bacon rasher: Toys'R'Us in America is selling bacon rasher baby fancy dress costumes - for children aged 3-9 months - for $24.99 (15.50)

Campbell's soup: Toys'R'Us in America is selling Campbell's tomato soup baby fancy dress costumes - for children aged 3-9 months - for $24.99 (15.50)

Baby food: Toys'R'Us in America is selling fancy dress costumes of bacon rashers and Campbell's tomato soup for babies aged 3-9 months for $24.99 (15.50)

Kidscape director Claude Knights said: 'Many parents will just see this as a bit of fun. But we should maybe think a bit harder about what message we are sending out about our attitudes to children.

'There is a growing trend to accessorise babies. Some parents make them fit in with their own style, rather than treating them as individuals.

'It is not like older children dressing up for fun. It is potentially objectifying babies who have no say in what they wear.

'Obviously it is not directly harmful for the baby itself. But it says something about the attitude of the adults who are meant to nurture that infant.'

Piglet: Angels fancy dress shop in London sells the This Lil Piggy costume for babies for 19.99

Leopard: Angels' Leapin Leopard costume for infants costs 19.99

Little Angels: Renowned London costumiers Angels in Covent Garden have seen a growing UK trend for fancy-dressing babies, and sell the This Lil Piggy and the Leapin Leopard costumes for infants for 19.99

Miss Knights added Halloween has become a 'marketing opportunity' for businesses, and said they risk commercialising children in their quest for profit.

She said: 'Halloween used to be much bigger in America than in Britain. Now hard-pressed families over here are spending more and more of their cash on Halloween accessories and costumes.

It is a great marketing opportunity for businesses. As the market in teenage and children’s products becomes saturated, they are turning their attention to young babies.

'It is all part of the creeping commercialisation of childhood. Yes, it can be fun. But what does it say about our society'

Little devil: Even shops such as ASDA and TK Maxx, above, are selling baby fancy dress costumes

Little devil: Even shops such as ASDA and TK Maxx, above, are selling baby fancy dress costumes