You would think by the time a mom has kid #3, she would have these sorts of things figured out. Well I’m that mom that still doesn’t know what she’s doing half the time. But I can honestly say I just figured out how to safely decorate a Christmas tree since my toddler has access to it. And I’m going to share what I did.
In the past, we just blocked our kids from the tree. A baby gate kept Hunter out of the formal living room where our tree was located. When Kaiden was a toddler, our tree was upstairs in the loft. This year, hubby wanted to put the tree in the basement, out of reach. While his solution would have worked just fine, I didn’t want my tree to be out of sight! I LOVE Christmas and I get so much joy from seeing the lights and decorations every day. So I had to make a different plan.
I asked him to compromise, and let me put our tree in the dining room instead of the family room. He was reluctant, but he agreed to give me a chance. Of course this meant I HAD to have a good plan so he couldn’t say “I told you so.” Yikes.Check out these top tips to keep your toddler safe around the #Christmas tree this year. #safety Click To Tweet
I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep Aren from touching the tree, so I had to make it safe for her. Some people put baby gates around their trees, but I don’t like the look of it (and we don’t own a play yard). So here were my ideas:
- No breakable ornaments
- No ribbons or garland that she could pull, causing the tree to fall
- Absolutely no tinsel (choking hazard for pets as well)
- No small ornaments
- No ornament hooks
Most of our ornaments are shatter-proof, but they still have the metal top where the hook is placed. Even if I replaced all hooks with ribbon, the metal tops can easily be pulled off and swallowed. No go.
Our Safe Solution
I checked my craft storage and found a couple of burlap bows. I started thinking that wooden ornaments would probably be our best bet, so I went to Target in search of a few new pieces. Bigger is better in this situation, as bigger ornaments are not only safer in terms of choking hazards, but they also fill in more space on the tree.
I found a couple of ornaments in the dollar spot for $1 each, then picked up a few more items for $2-$3 each. Target also had some red metal jingle bells that I knew she would love to play with. I mean, if you know your toddler will touch the tree anyway, why not provide one or two ornaments that will be ok to play with, right?
In the end, our tree turned out perfect! It has way less frills than I would normally like, but I think the simple and somewhat sparse decor works well with our rustic theme. It has just enough glitter and red color to look festive and Christmassy. And I can relax knowing that our tree is only decorated with items that are safe for Aren to touch. Yay for one less stress during the holidays!!
Do you have any holiday parenting hacks or other tips to safely decorate a Christmas tree? I’d love for you to share in a comment!