Are you celebrating Christmas with a baby or toddler? Keep scrolling for some easy ways to keep your child (and your Christmas decorations) safe this holiday season!
I remember my first Christmas as a new mom. My oldest was almost a year old and he was getting into EVERYTHING.
I thought it would be a magical memory to decorate our Christmas tree together. Instead, we both ended up crying.
See, I had all these special glass Christmas ornaments full of sentimental meaning and I was completely anxious that my son would pull over our tree and break them all.
But, my real fear was that he was going to get injured when the glass ornaments broke and I kept envisioning the worst-case scenario. Lots of blood was always involved.
It turned one of the most magical times of the year into one of the most stressful.
Thankfully, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks over the years that have saved me so much anxiety during the holiday season.
Keep scrolling to find out my Christmas hacks for childproofing at Christmas.
How to Childproof Your Home for Christmas
Parents of toddlers who are planning to get a Christmas tree may be asking themselves how they are going to keep the kids away from the decorated Christmas tree.
For those who lack a room where the Christmas tree can be gated off, placing the tree in a playpen may be the solution.
Also called a pack-and-play or portable bed, the playpen is the safest and best place for a Christmas tree loaded down with glass and choking hazards.BUY ON AMAZON
Most households with toddlers already have a playpen available.
If guests with toddlers are coming to spend the night, they can bring their own playpen, or the hosts can borrow one from a neighbor with kids.
This solution can also be a lesson in reusing and recycling if the toddler has outgrown the playpen. Used playpens are inexpensive if you don’t have one.
Prepare the Playpen
If the playpen is still being used by a toddler in the home, follow this step to keep the playpen from being soiled.
Line the bottom of the playpen with an old flannel-backed tablecloth to keep the bottom of the playpen fresh. This also provides a white backdrop inside the playpen.
Simple Storage Solution
Placing the Christmas tree inside the playpen provides the perfect place to store wrapped gifts until Christmas Day arrives.
Although the kids might be tempted to look through the sides of the playpen, they will not be able to get to the gifts.
Of course, placing the Christmas tree in a playpen creates a unique decorating dilemma. Does the playpen need to be disguised?
Only if the decorations added to the outside of the playpen don’t attract the toddlers, who are supposed to be lulled into ignoring the Christmas tree.
How to Babyproof the Christmas Tree
Not all families want to put their tree in a playpen. So, they need other options.
These are the ideas we’ve used when our kids were little and they worked!
Keep Breakable Ornaments Packed Away
As much as it pained me, I realized it was safer for everyone to avoid decorating our tree with my glass ornaments.
Even though my youngest is 4 years old this year, I’m still holding off until next year.
I have amassed a huge supply of soft ornaments over the years, mostly from Target when they go on sale.
On each trip, I let me kids pick out their favorite ornament and we add it to the tree together. It’s pretty funny to see which ones they choose!
We also put up shatterproof ornament balls and not-very-special ornaments that won’t break my heart if they don’t last.BUY ON AMAZON
Use Christmas Ribbon
When you remove all your breakable ornaments, you might not have as many as you think.
That’s where using ribbon can help a lot!
Get some really thick Christmas ribbon (I usually get mine at Costco) and wrap it around the branches of your Christmas tree.
It’s a great way to use up some space and let your Christmas ornaments shine!BUY ON AMAZON
You can also arrange your ornaments in a way that makes the most sense when babyproofing your tree.
By gradually increasing how special and how breakable the ornaments are as the decorating approaches, the top will keep little ones away from the cherished ornaments at the top.
Of course, parents may choose to remove breakables and choking hazards from the Christmas tree entirely.
Babyproofing the Rest of Your Home for Christmas
And if you are hosting family with a new baby or toddler this Christmas season, here are a few ways you can babyproof your home.
You’ll want to keep any breakable Christmas decorations up high where kids can’t reach.
Take advantage of fireplace mantles, bookshelves, and floating shelves.
Think twice about any garland or stockings that are low enough for little kids to pull them down and injure themselves.
Instead, you can decorate with Christmas signs, stuffed animals, and anything that’s not breakable.
Another helpful items is to use baby gates to prevent little kids from entering certain rooms or accessing the staircase.
We always kept them at the top and bottom of our stairs. Plus, it’s helpful to have in front of the Master bedroom and bathrooms.
You can also use them to keep kids in just a few rooms instead of roaming around the house for family gatherings. That way you don’t need to babyproof every room in your home.BUY ON AMAZON
If you usually use fancy dishes for Christmas dinner, you’ll want to make sure any babies or toddlers have a set of non-breakable dishes to use.
And you’ll want to grab a splat mat to put under their chair to catch any food droppings and protect your floors.
Hopefully these ideas help you cut the stress this holiday season and let you focus on sharing this festive holiday with your loved ones.