Many cosplay-loving parents find ways to dress up with their independently-mobile children, but it gets even more interesting when they find a way to incorporate an infant into their costume through baby-wearing.
The Robin and Batman. Image credit: Wrap Your Baby
The dynamic duo are always ready for adventure, and can easily be a do-it-yourself project with solid-coloured shirts and a few-cut out emblems and accessories.
Jack and Sally Skellington. Image credit: Wrap Your Baby
Variants: Any pair of story tale creatures will do for an adorable duo — Jack and Sally Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas, Mario and Luigi from Supermario Brothers, or Cookie Monster and his cookies from Sesame Street are some of the favourites we’ve seen.
Mechanically-inclined parents can embrace their role of providing full support for their helpless offspring by cosplaying as the massive exoskeletons used by the crew of the Sulaco to shift cargo (and worn by Ripley as she battles the Alien Queen).
Sunder BattleMech from MechWarrior. Image credit: Ryan Bowen/Chris Person
Variants: Try out other exoskeletons with the Sunder BattleMech from MechWarrior, the Armored Personnel Unit hydraulic power battle suit from The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, or the exo-suits from Edge of Tomorrow.
Elliot and E.T. Image credit: Wrap Your Baby
Embrace your sense of wonder and optimism by dressing up as the little boy who would do anything to assist his alien companion, and pedal off into the sunset.
Hiccup and Toothless. Image credit: Wrap Your Baby
Is any mismatched friendship stronger than that between the powerful-yet-gentle dragon Toothless and the creative-yet-impulsive boy Hiccup?
Variants: Flip roles by dressing your baby as one of the diminutive fire lizards of Pern, or go for a darker story by claiming Daenerys Targaryen and her dragon from Game of Thrones. Not feeling the dragons? Pick just about any combination of rider and steed like Han and his tauntaun from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back or Bastian Balthazar Bux and his luckdragon Falkor from The Neverending Story.
Luke and Yoda. Image credit: chaines106
Jedi Master Yoda is small, wrinkly, baffling, and yet a font of peculiar wisdom, which is pretty much the definition of children. Try slinging your baby over your shoulders to reprise the tiny taskmaster riding Luke through the marshes of Dagobah.
Variants: Is your small master more violent in their needs? Try dressing up as the furry yeti Willump being ridden by the lost boy Nunu from League of Legends, Master Blaster from Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, or even Bran and Hodor from Game of Thrones.
Infants aren’t the best at mobility, so don’t worry about leaving their legs free. Tuck them into a fish-tailed onesie as the most important Pokémon in your collection.
Magikarp. Image credit: FlyingSpaghetti
Variants: Create just about any Pokémon by tucking them into a ball-patterned sling and the appropriate hat. Just keep in mind that unlike actual Pokémon, you’re going to get in a lot of trouble if you set your infant in a winner-takes-all battle.
Buddy Christ and Devil. Image credit: sjmck
For when your little angel isn’t being so angelic.
Baby on Borg from Dragon Con 2015. Image credit: Norman Chan/Tested.com
What’s more adorable than a Borg? Nothing. Added bonus: All other Borg within signalling distance are irresistibly drawn in to wriggle fingers and coo incoherently in a futile attempt to entertain your wee one.
Variants: Stick with a Baby Borg, but switch to our first encounter with the assimilated infants by cosplaying Captain Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager.
The baby-napping Goblin King Jared permits you to don a flamboyant wig mimicking David Bowie, while allowing your wee one to rest in relative comfort in a striped onesie as Toby.
Variants: Want to cosplay with your baby but can’t handle the complexity of costumes getting in the way of basic tasks? Go for a character that wears street clothes and literally wears a baby around: Alan and Carlos from The Hangover.
Alan and Carlos. Image credit: Tim Trentham
Reunite with your missing rider as the protagonist Subject Delta from Bioshock. This is the perfect costume for a child on the cusp of mobility, as Little Sister can both ride Big Daddy or dismount to toddle independently under mechanized supervision.
Harry Potter and Hedwig. Image credit: Bradley Stemke
The special relationship between a wizard and their owl cannot be denied. Give your miniature messenger wings to soar in this fluffiest of cosplay.
Mario and Luigi with 1-up boxes and mushrooms. Image credit: Wrap Your Baby
Who knows what your little one will do next? Capture the mystery by carrying them in a 1-up Box that can distribute anything from coins to extra lives to power-ups.
Rainbow Brite and Sprite Twink. Image credit: Wrap Your Baby
Twink is an adorable fluffball of silly sweetness, which sounds like the ideal description of a baby on a good day. This also works for slightly older children who want to occasionally be set free to stretch their tiny, rainbow legs as a high-energy sprite getting into mischief.
Dressing up a creative child as Max from Where the Wild Things Are is a cosplay classic, but incorporating the baby-wearing parent as a boat for Max to sit on is brilliant addition. Added bonus: You can get all metaphorical about how you’ll support them even when they make choices you disagree with and that you’ll always be with them in their journey through life.
For the smallest of infants, why not dip into horror with a baby chest-burster? Dress them up as the nymph form of Xenomorph XX121 with a disconcertingly adorable hat while you’re the doomed Executive Officer Kane aboard the Nostromo.
Variants: Popular culture is full of conjoined twins that would work just as well for a front-worn baby. You could do a more adorable version of Kuato from Total Recall or the Venture Brothers’ parody Tiny Attorney for mechanically similar costumes with significantly less gore.
Cruella de Vil and a dalmatian puppy. Image credit: Costume-Works
For a scalable costume that can incorporate as many small children as you have under your care, consider going for the Disney villain obsessed with a pack of wriggly, adorable puppies.
Have a particularly wiggly child? Embrace your role as climbing structure by dressing up as a New York City skyscraper for your tiny ape.
Variants: Once you have a monkey costume, you can reuse it to tease the challenging side of parenting by making your child a literal monkey on your back, or celebrate their curiosity by going as the Yellow Man and George from Curious George.
James Patrick “Sulley” Sullivan and Randall “Randy” Boggs. Image credit: Wrap Your Baby
The many monsters of Monsters, Inc. make for perfect full-family cosplay. You can use a sling and a fuzzy hat for a low-key parent/infant duo, get more elaborate with full-fledged costumes, or spread out to the entire family with an entire swarm of monsters.
A pair of minions. Image credit: Wrap Your Baby
The wolf and Little Red Riding Hood. Image credit: Erica Pilar
Does your small child have the lungs and hunger of the Big Bad Wolf? Do you spend far too much time walking through the woods? Are you cosplaying somewhere that it’s actually cold instead of roasting hot? Little Red Riding Hood may be the solution you’ve been waiting for.
Rocket Raccoon and Groot. Image credit: Wrap Your Baby
Groot and Rocket are the most-loved and most-adorable characters from Guardians of the Galaxy, so dress up as the taciturn tree and his thieving companion.
What ideas do you have for incorporating baby-wearing into cosplay? Have you seen particularly clever ideas (especially if you’ve got pictures)? Share them with us!