Our baby is approaching fourteen months of age. She is a walking demolition machine
. Before we go shopping for a Christmas tree this year, I figured it would make sense to do a little Web-surfing first, and see what steps I should take to toddler-proof our tree. I mean, is anything
safe from a toddler? Maybe not. In fact, the more I think about it, I'm realizing the safest option might be a nice painting of a Christmas
tree. Tacked up high out of her reach, naturally, like everything else in the house these days...
Anyway, here are some tips on toddler-proofing your tree
from the readers at BabyNamesWorld:
- Invest in a flexible extended-length baby gate or put the tree inside a playpen or pack 'n' play.
- Get a small (two- or three-foot) tree or a small potted tree and keep in on a table. Use whatever you can (e.g. heavy furniture!) to keep your tot's curious fingers away from the bottom of the tree and the electric lights. This is very important for your child's safety!
- Super-safety idea: use screws or brackets to attach the tree-stand to the table. Yes, a fairly drastic measure, but it would give you more peace of mind. You could use an old table or get a thrift store table especially for this purpose.
- Last resort measure for super-destructive tykes: put the tree in your spare room, preferably one facing the street, and keep the door closed. Alternatively, if your dining room or living room has just one (or maybe two) normal-width doorways and you don't use that room a whole lot, put the tree in that room but use baby gates to make it a no-go-zone for the duration.
- Tell your child that ornaments are "pretties, and we don't touch pretties." This probably will not work with toddlers, but should be helpful with pre-school-aged kids.
- Remember that no matter what you do, your children will still be drawn to the tree and want to play with it. Help them satisfy that urge by filling a basket or bowl with inexpensive, child-safe ornaments. Bring them out every day for "Christmas playtime" near the tree.
- Don't use glass ornaments at all this year if there's any chance that A) baby could reach the tree or B) you have playful pets that might bat the ornaments onto the ground and into baby's grasp.
Finally, from the mothering.com message boards, here are some great suggestions for inexpensive, toddler-safe ornaments
: feathers, Christmas-themed cookie cutters, pine cones, old Christmas cards, cutout felt shapes, dried orange slices, cutout paper shapes, wool pom poms, and crochet or knitted shapes. Have a safe and festive holiday season!