Toddler-Proof Your Christmas Tree

Cynthia Dermody

Christmas tree

Photo by Mommygoose

I'm still stunned at how easily and painlessly the Christmas tree went up Sunday in our house.

Did I mention I have a toddler? As well as a kindergartner who still acts like toddler?

Yet there were no screaming fights, no toppled tree, no broken ornaments (well, maybe just one). As I strung the lights, my 4-year-old interior decorator quietly removed all the boxed ornaments and lined them up on the stair risers. My 5-year-old helped out when the spirit moved him.

Except for the poor glass angel, the ornament hanging went seamlessly, too. And now it's Day Two and the tree is still standing. It's a real milestone!

So I was sorry to hear about all the Toddler Moms (membership required group) with younger tots who are still having a hard time keeping their kids away from the greenery. They've been trading ways to childproof their trees.

A number of moms erect those plastic yard gates around the tree, but at more than $100, that wouldn't have been an option for me. Here are some cheaper tot-proofing strategies:

  • My sister one year put her tree in the play pen because her DD almost brought the whole tree crashing down on her when she pulled on one of the lower branches. kittymom

  • We have a small tree that we put on a table so they can't reach it. We will get a bigger one when they are older. For now, no point in making myself miserable trying to keep them away. TawnyR
  • My husband let our then 18 month old (now 2 1/2) touch the tree all he wanted when he first put it up. He told William, "You can touch it now while I'm right here. After I leave, you cannot touch it anymore. My husband let him get his curiosity out and then it just wasn't so interesting anymore. dreaksgirl
  • I will end up tying the top of the tree to the curtain rod. Not only do I have the little one, but I also have two kittens. I have shatter-proof ornaments and this year they will only be so far down the tree. mom20yearsapart

It also wouldn't hurt to take a glance at this holiday safety tip sheet for more info on how to keep trees, lights, and other decorations safe around kids and the entire family.

What Christmas tree, menorah, or other holiday decoration disasters have you encountered over the years?

Read More