Wondering how to babyproof your Christmas tree? 9 easy tips from a mom for a toddler and babyproof Christmas tree.
The most wonderful time of the year is almost upon us. And when you’ve got a baby or toddler at home, Christmas feels a little more special, doesn’t it?
While Christmas in our pre-parent lives was filled with vacations and parties, Christmas as parents to little ones is hard to beat. We get to start new family traditions, like our Christmas Eve box, Christmas books (for babies and for toddlers), and Advent Calendars and Countdown Crafts. And I’m especially looking forward to Christmas this year, now that our toddler is old enough to know who Santa is and what presents are.
This is my third Christmas as a mom, and I’ve learned a thing or two. For the first two Christmases, I had to baby proof our Christmas tree, which was fairly straight forward. But now that I’ve got a climbing, grabbing, curious toddler, I know I need to up my childproofing game this Christmas.
With that in mind, I am preparing in advance to toddler proof our Christmas tree this year, and thought I’d share some tips.
If you need ideas to baby proof or toddler proof your Christmas tree, keep reading for my best ideas to keep your Christmas tree safe.
9 Tips to Baby Proof and Toddler Proof Your Christmas Tree
Pick Your Spot Wisely
In an idea world, we’d all have a massive, beautiful Christmas tree in a prominent location for all to enjoy. But as much as I love my toddler, life with her isn’t always ideal.
As a busy two-year-old, my toddler is constantly trying to climb things. Back when she was a busy one-year-old, she was always grabbing at things. And Christmas trees are pretty dang tempting to babies and toddlers.
You can make life a lot easier by picking an out of the way spot to put up your Christmas tree. Put it in a corner, ideally with a few natural barriers (tables, sofas, etc) between the Christmas tree and the area your kid gets to roam through.
Add Artificial Barriers
If you can’t put the Christmas tree out of the way and behind a table or piece of furniture, make a Christmas tree guard for toddlers or babies out of a baby fence or baby gate (or repurpose a fireplace guard).
A Christmas Tree baby gate may not look as festive as you’d like, but it is the surest way to keep your little one safely away from the tree and all its hazards.
Use a Sturdy Christmas Tree Stand
Once you have a baby in the house, you really shouldn’t skimp on the Christmas tree stand.
Buy one that is super sturdy, and will ensure the tree stays upright if your baby or toddler crashes into it or tries to do something dumb, like climb it.
Use Baby Proof Decorations
Making sure your Christmas tree ornaments are child proof is really important.
This means no choking hazards, no strangulation hazards, non-breakable ornaments, and nothing sharp or harmful should your little one manage to get his or her hands on them.
To start, I recommend using shatterproof Christmas tree ornaments. That way, if your baby or toddler grabs them, they won’t risk getting cut. Fabric or felt ornaments are also great options when you have little ones.
If you don’t want to use all shatterproof ornaments, use shatterproof on the bottom half of the tree. Basically, ensure anything that’s within grasping reach of your little one is unbreakable! And definitely keep the family heirloom ornaments in storage for a few years.
Additionally, don’t use small ornaments that could be a choking hazard. Anything around the size of a grape or hot dog is a hazard, so go for big, bold ornaments and leave the tiny baubles for future years.
When it comes to tinsel, just say no. Tinsel is a choking hazard for kids and pets, and is terrible for the environment, too.
Finally, don’t hang your decorations with those sharp metal ornament hangers. Opt for ribbon or twine instead.
Distract Them with a Kids Tree
My mom has done this every single year since my brother and I had kids, and it works brilliantly.
Set out a small artificial tree that’s low to the ground and that your toddler can be in charge of decorating. Have a box of child-friendly ornaments, and your toddler can go to town decorating the tree, un-decorating the tree, and re-decorating the tree whenever they want.
Alternatively, you can get one of those felt tree and decorations sets that are specifically meant to occupy a helpful toddler.
I’m probably going to do both this year, as the felt toddler tree should be fun throughout the month of December.
Consider Christmas Light Safety
Consider both the kind of lights you use, and where you place them.
To start, I recommend using LED lights instead of traditional Christmas tree lights. They use less energy and don’t run as hot, meaning your kiddo isn’t going to accidentally burn themselves if they touch a bulb that’s been on for awhile. Because they run cooler, they are also less of a fire hazard, which is never a bad thing.
In addition to using LED lights, consider light placement within the tree. Ideally you want to bury the cords and lights deep within the branches, towards the trunk, and out of your baby’s or toddler’s reach. Kids grabbing cords is never a good thing, but a curious baby trying to chew on a cord would be particularly dangerous.
Opt for an Artificial Tree
I really struggle with this, because the plastic on fake Christmas trees is forever, and really isn’t a good choice for the environment. For years, we’ve used a real tree, and my mom now only has small potted Charlie Brown tree that she uses year over year, and keeps in her back yard the rest of the year.
Unfortunately, however, fake trees are safer for little kids. For one, they don’t drop needles, which a crawling baby might be tempted to put in their mouth. Similarly, they don’t require a tray of water at the base, which might be equally tempting for a baby or toddler. And finally, they aren’t a fire hazard in the same way real trees are.
If you’re struggling with the environmental implications of getting an artificial Christmas tree, look for a used one in your area and buy second hand.
Create an Alarm System
Another brilliant but also hilarious thing my mom does at her house is set up an alarm system each night. By alarm system, I mean she stands empty wine bottles inside her front door. If the front door opened, the wine bottles will knock over, make a huge racket, and alert her to the fact that someone is trying to break in.
You can apply the same idea to babyproofing a Christmas tree. Simply put noisy decorations like chimes or bells near the bottom of the tree. If your little one starts to grab the tree, the bells or chimes will ring out, alerting you to the issue!
Just be sure your alarm system decorations are large enough not to be choking hazards.
Don’t Tempt Them
While a Christmas tree stacked with beautifully wrapped presents underneath is a lovely and cozy sight, beautifully wrapped presents and Christmas books are also irresistible to babies and toddlers.
Keep the under the tree area bare until your kiddo is asleep on Christmas Eve, and only then put all the presents out. It will just be too tempting otherwise.
FYI, same guideline goes for a toddler Christmas stocking! Wait until they’re asleep on Christmas Eve to fill it.
Final to Make a Toddler and Babyproof Christmas Tree
I hope you found my ideas to make sure your Christmas tree is safe for your little ones helpful. Children make the holidays extra special, but you also need to put in a bit of extra care to make sure they’re safe.
If you did find this article helpful, please share!