5 Ways to Toddler-Proof Your Christmas Tree
Decorate with a Baby Gate
A staple in most homes with kids, a baby gate is a great way to guard your Christmas tree. You can repurpose your baby gate to work with your Christmas setup or get a new one. A trifold baby gate works well when your tree is positioned in a corner, but if the tree isn’t near a wall, a gate with six or more panels provides the best protection. Even though a baby gate is primarily functional, it can still accentuate your Christmas decor. Adorn it with lights, bells, and bows for some festive charm. If the standard baby gate look doesn’t fulfill your decorating dreams, opt for a picket fence design that gives off some country Christmas vibes.
Create a Faux-Gift Barrier
A Christmas tree surrounded with brightly colored packages is the center of many holiday dreams. Set out those packages a little early this year and use them as a Christmas tree barrier. Faux gifts make a great fence alternative and maintain a holly jolly holiday aesthetic. Fill large cardboard boxes with something heavy, like books, bricks, or rocks, and wrap them with cute, sturdy wrapping paper. Be sure to cover all the wrapping seams with clear tape so prying fingers can’t pick away at the paper. Once your faux gifts are wrapped, you can artfully arrange them around the tree for an adorable holiday blockade. Plus, your kids might be so intrigued by the gifts that they don’t pay attention to the tree at all!
Keep Breakables Out of Reach
If a tree barrier isn’t your style, take precautions to make sure that your cherished ornaments and decorations are safe. Glass ornaments and other delicate decorations need to be placed high on the tree. Even if your inquisitive youngster happens to use a stool, the breakables should still be inaccessible. The bottom half of the tree can be completely bare or trimmed with child-friendly ornaments. Think felt characters, shatter-proof bulbs, wooden figures, and plastic garland. Let your toddlers help decorate the bottom of the tree — if they’re involved in the process, they may be less likely to un-decorate it.
Choose a Safe Spot for Your Tree
When you’re choosing the perfect spot for your Christmas tree, you have to factor in good visibility, access to outlets, and of course, your kids. Smart tree placement can decrease the chance that a spirited round of horseplay will bulldoze your tree. A corner is a popular place for a Christmas tree. It provides stability in the event that someone knocks into the tree; plus, two sides of the tree are automatically covered. If you don’t have a logical Christmas tree corner, create one with furniture. A sofa and a loveseat positioned at a 90-degree angle form an impromptu corner that’s perfect for your tree.
A Christmas tree full of lights means a lot of cords that need to be plugged in. With little ones running around, you’ll want to make sure that your outlets and power strips are covered to keep kids safe. Consider arranging your Christmas tree so that it hides the outlets and power strips — if toddlers can’t see them, they won’t want to play with them. Hidden outlets are inaccessible for your kids, but they’ll be hard for you to get to as well. Instead of trying to climb around the tree to plug and unplug it, use outlet timers. You can adjust the timer to turn your tree on and off at the same time every day.