Whether your baby has just started to crawl or is already running like a wild 3 year old, there are a few things to keep in mind this holiday season to keep your little ones….and your decorations safe!
1. Tie a string, ribbon or fishing line to the trunk of your tree. About one third from the top, and then tie it to a screw or nail attached to a door frame, window frame or plate rail. This will keep baby from pulling the tree over, or at least give you a chance to stop them before they pull it down! We have a plate rail in the corner where our tree usually sits, so we keep the screw in and its unnoticeable! One year, I even used the white string that was tied around the tree when we bought it! Recycling and laziness at it’s finest… (Look really closely in this pic and you can see the wire!)
2. Decorate the lower half of the tree with unbreakable, or soft decorations. Depending on the age of your baby. Avoid decorations with small bells, or googly eyes or small beads that can pose a choking hazard if pulled off. We have a bunch of different felt decorations from over the years (from Ikea!) that are cute for babies to look at but don’t pose a threat to them or risk being broken if dropped!
3. Cover electrical cords with duct tape or electrical tape. To keep little fingers safe. Taping together any junctions (where one cord plugs into another) can prevent little ones from pulling plug or wires out of extension cords. Also, tape loose wires along the baseboard to limit the chance that they will be pulled on or played with. We use white duct tape to match our baseboards (do it slowly and smoothly) so it is barely noticeable! Make sure any extension cords or wires are not worn or damaged.
4. Make sure any lights you have on the tree don’t heat up! Some older strings of holiday lights may heat up and can burn little hands, so make sure your lights are cool to the touch even when they are on for a while!
5. Help your curious baby or toddler to explore and look at the tree. Staying within arms reach as they look at the tree during the first few days may be necessary. Asking older kids to help decorate with non-breakable decorations, and teaching them to gently touch with ‘just touch with one finger’ will let them satisfy their curiousity without smashing things! Babies will often crawl up and try to grab at branches, so barriers of heavy boxes (wrapped to look like presents) can be a great idea if they just won’t stay away. If your baby doesn’t lose interest after a few days and just won’t keep away from pulling on the tree, then a baby gate system might be helpful too.
Try to remember the excitement and wonder your little ones must be feeling when they see such new and beautiful things in their home. They are curious and want to explore. Making things safe as possible will prevent accidents, and keep the holidays fun and enjoyable for everyone!