A Guide to Funeral Attire for Children

Deciding what to wear for a funeral is not always easy, and it can be even more difficult when it involves our little ones. Children are notorious for their inability to stay still or keep clothes on for too long, especially if what they’re wearing makes them uncomfortable. 

The good news is that children are not necessarily held to the same standards as adults when it comes to funeral etiquette. No one expects a toddler to understand the emotional gravity of such an event. The most important part about dressing your little ones for a funeral service is to make sure they are comfortable while looking their best so they can pay their respects. This will make it easier for them to remain calm throughout the service and help you avoid any inappropriate behavior on their part. Continue reading as we go into more details on the do’s and don’ts when choosing your little ones’ funeral attire.

Funeral Attire for a Newborn Baby or an Infant

As we briefly stated above, children’s funeral attire isn’t anything you should worry excessively about, especially when it comes to a newborn baby. You can rest assured that most guests pay little to no attention to a newborn baby’s clothing; there is no need for this to be another stressor on such an emotional day. With this in mind, we have a few recommendations to help you pick out an appropriate outfit for the event that will have your little one looking and feeling his or her best.

Stick to Neutral or Solid Colors. You would want to avoid bright colors that distract or detract too much attention away from the nature of the occasion. You can opt for white, beige, or pastel colors, or simply a color that was special to the decedent being honored.

Dress for the Time and Place of the Event. If the ceremony is being held in the middle of a summer day, and perhaps out in the open air, you’d want to avoid long-sleeves and fluffy dresses that can be too ucim portable or itchy. However, if the ceremony is held in a funeral home or perhaps on a winter day, you’d want to make sure your baby is well protected and warm.

Bring Back-Up Clothing. Accidents are quite common when you have a newborn baby. Your little one may need a diaper change, or may dirty their clothing in another way, which is why it is always a good idea to take backup clothing with you.

Making sure your baby is as comfortable as possible will help you avoid constant crying during the ceremony, which could bring further disruption to your hurting loved ones.

What Should a Child or a Toddler Wear to a Funeral?

As you’re probably aware already, most people immediately think of the color black when dressing for a funeral. However, finding black clothing for a toddler can sometimes be quite difficult. But fortunately, you don’t necessarily have to adorn your child in black or dark attire for the service. In fact, your little one will probably be partial to a lighter color instead. The reality is, no matter how much effort you put into your toddler’s attire, it’s very likely they’ll start pulling on it and become fussy. Save your money and time and focus on the below for can’t-fail options for your little one: 

Church-Friendly Attire:

If you are used to dressing your little one for church, you can certainly choose any of those pieces for your child to wear for a funeral service as well. These types of respectable and elegant attire are perfectly fine and since your toddler is probably already used to wearing them, it will make dressing for the occasion even easier. 

Closed-Toe Shoes: 

Given the context of the event, it’s most appropriate for guests of any age to wear closed-toe shoes. This usually applies to the little ones as well. Try to find shoes that show  minimal toes. Avoid sneakers or sparkly shoes and opt for neutral-colored and formal shoes. 

Simple, Comfortable and Modest is Key

Consider opting for modest clothing, similar to those your child may wear for school. These can include skirts with tights underneath, simple dresses without prints, dress pants like khakis, etc. A cardigan or sweater can be very useful as well to add an elegant touch and cover up any bright prints. Avoid shorts, flip-flops, and cartoon designs.

The key is to keep it simple and strive for modest, low-key clothing instead. Also, try to go with sensory-sensitive clothing if you can, like soft pants or dresses as the smooth fabrics will keep your little ones the most comfortable. Don’t forget to avoid itchy or tight clothing as your little one will probably not be happy and may even make a fuss about it at the service which is of course, something you want to avoid. 

Additional Styling Tips for Funerals 

While dress code is important when it comes to attending a funeral, there is a lot more to funeral etiquette than one’s attire. Don’t forget to take into consideration factors like wrinkly clothes, stains, your child’s hairstyle, etc. Stick with neat and easy hairstyles that can last long and cause no discomfort to your little one, and avoid any clothing that wrinkles easily. It would be of little use for you to solely focus on the clothing of your little one but overlook their hair or hygiene. Ultimately, there is a lot more to someone’s appearance and presentation than just formal attire. Again, the main idea is to keep your little one neatly groomed and yet, as comfortable as possible. 

Dressing for a Funeral Service

As you get your little one ready to attend a funeral service and say their final goodbyes to a loved one that has passed away, try not to get too caught up in what your child should wear that you forget to take into consideration your little one’s feelings and emotions. If they are old enough to walk and talk, it’s likely they may have some awareness of what’s going on around them. Consider having a conversation prior to  your child at the service to help them prepare for the nature of the event and so that they are not too overwhelmed. Once you arrive at the funeral, you’ll quickly notice that your child’s behavior at the occasion will be of much greater importance to you and those in attendance than what they’re wearing. Again, the key is for your little one to be dressed respectably and comfortably so they can behave respectfully in order to properly pay tribute to the decedent being honored at the service.

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