Top Tips to baby-proof the Christmas tree

Your baby’s first Christmas is an exciting and memorable time. You’re probably wanting to make it special and to start some new family traditions. If your bub isn’t on the move just yet, then you won’t have to worry, but if you’ve got a crawler, cruiser, bum shuffler, or baby that somehow makes it across the room on their back, putting up the Christmas tree might be a daunting task.

It’s only natural that they’ll be drawn to it. Let’s face it, what would be more fascinating to a baby than a large, newly arrived object indoors that’s covered in shiny, sparkling things! But, there’s the fear that they could pull it down on themselves, break ornaments, or pull decorations off and put them in their mouth. Not to mention, you don’t want all your hard work ruined!

The thing to understand about babies is that we can’t expect them to learn not to do something, as they simply don’t have the brain power to think about and make decisions about their actions. They live in the moment and act on impulse.

Because of this, we need to make the spaces they use safe and keep things out of reach that we don’t want to give them access to. To give your baby the freedom to explore, while saving your sanity this Christmas without giving up your usual decorating flair, here are our top tips to baby-proof the Christmas tree.

Top Tips to baby-proof the Christmas tree

  • Use stair gates or a playpen

The perfect way to create a barrier between a curious bub and the tree. Use either stair gates that don’t need to be screwed into the wall (see if you can borrow someone’s old ones or get some second-hand to save buying them), or use a sturdy playpen that doesn’t easily slide across the floor if your baby is able to push it.

  • Placement is prevention

Put the tree up on a table, behind a couch, or any hard-to-reach spot. Just ensure that whatever it’s sitting on is either secured to the wall, or sturdy enough that it can’t be pulled over. 

  • Use an artificial tree

Even if you usually prefer the pine scent of a real tree, this year you might need to go for a fake one. Real Christmas trees constantly drop needles and they’re not something you want your baby to be putting in their mouth.

  • Skip the breakables and keepsakes

It could be a good idea to leave the delicate decorations in the box for now, or hang them somewhere else in the house up high. Use durable, shatter-proof ornaments instead to avoid any accidents.

  • Avoid tinsel

Babies are quick and tinsel is a strangulation hazard, so pack it away this year. There will be plenty of other Christmases when you’ll be able to add extra sparkle safely.

  • Hide the gifts

Gift-wrapping and colourful boxes are another intriguing part about Christmas. Rather than ending up with ripped paper and chewed-on ribbons, stow away the gifts until it’s time to open them on Christmas eve or Christmas Day. Looking for present inspiration? Here are some great Christmas gift ideas for baby.

  • Only decorate the top half

If you’ve got the tree weighted down and pulling it over isn’t a concern, but your baby wants to grab at all the decorations, simply decorate further up the tree and leave the bottom part in their reach with a few decorations they can play with.

  • Give them their own tree

There are so many great ideas on Pinterest to create baby-safe Christmas trees depending on their age and abilities. For example, you could just give them a small artificial one with robust decorations, or make one out of felt on the wall that they can attach felt decorations to and pull off again.

  • Create an alternative

A sensory basket or box filled with Christmas-themed items can satisfy their curiosity. Anything that’s novel, shiny, and tactile (as long as it’s safe and they’re supervised) can keep them entertained. Objects such as baubles, pinecones, wrapping paper, plastic cookie cutters, and ribbons all provide wonderful festive sensory input.

To help you further, here are 10 ideas to make Baby’s First Christmas special

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