10 Unique baby and toddler-friendly Christmas decorating tips
'Tis the season! This means pulling out the Christmas decorations from storage and setting them up only to forget about them until Valentines Day next year. But it sure is a lot of fun, isn't it?
If you have a baby or toddler, though, you can't bring out any precious pieces or family heirlooms as they will definitely get played with, chewed on, broken, or lost. Plus, almost everything is a choking hazard. It's just not worth it.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do that will allow you to still keep the Christmas spirit alive. Here are some baby and toddler-friendly Christmas decorating tips.
1. The “alternative” tree
Christmas trees are toddler magnets. No matter what you do, they will somehow find their way to them, and they'll always get grabby and chewy.
One solution for this is to go for a smaller tree this year, one that you can place up and out of their reach. It may not be as festive as a gigantic tree, but at least it's safe.
Another solution is to go for a fake tree. Fake trees don't shed, which means your baby won't pick up and swallow any needles. Plus, real trees are a fire hazard. Fake trees, on the other hand, do not have any of these issues. Just make sure to get one that's made using non-toxic materials because your little one is definitely going to come into contact with it.
2. Buy shatterproof ornaments
We all love a beautiful tree with dainty glass baubles, don't we? Well, you can't have that with a baby or toddler around. Smashing the ornaments is quite satisfying, and once your little one gets a taste for it, they won't stop. Plus, they are safety hazards especially when hung high up. The only workaround for this is to get shatterproof ornaments that won’t break even if they are thrown to the ground.
3. Put your Christmas tree in a different room
Everyone sets the Christmas tree up in the living room. However, if your little one has full access of the living room, it's only a matter of time before chaos ensues. So why not set the tree up elsewhere? For example, you can have the Christmas tree in a less obvious room such as the kitchen or the dining room, where your toddler is less likely to grab at it.
4. Use a barrier between the tree and the rest of the room
A playpen, baby gate, or some other safety barrier will go a long way in preventing the baby from getting to the tree. A playpen equipped with a play mat and a few of their favorite toys can give you a few hours of peace at a time.
5. Be careful about your lights
Incidents of house fires increase over the festive period due to things like candles and faulty lights. Always turn off your Christmas tree lights when you go to sleep. Make sure that all the fire alarms in your home are working. And if you have old Christmas lights, replace them with new ones that meet current safety standards.
6. Ensure your tree is secure and sturdy
Make sure your tree has a wide sturdy base to reduce the risk of it being accidentally knocked over. You can also anchor it to your wall or ceiling to secure it even further.
7. Set up a toddler tree
Your toddler will enjoy decorating a Christmas tree and discovering little trinkets as they go. Give them that opportunity by making them a little felt tree with felt ornaments that they can decorate over and over again. Alternatively, you can get them a mini version of your Christmas tree that they can decorate with ornaments they make or things that they like.
8. Use ribbons to hang your ornaments
Instead of using the stock metal hooks that are potentially dangerous to toddlers, use ribbons to hang your ornaments. Your little one will be able to toss the ornaments around without you having to worry about potential mishaps.
9. Decorate with soft items
Instead of conventional Christmas decorations, you can decorate with soft items like stuffed animals and plastic toys. This way, your little one can grab the decorations as much as they want and even play with them.
10. String Christmas lights strategically
String your lights inside the tree instead of outside. This will give your tree an ethereal glow when plugged in while also serving to keep curious little hands away.
As you can see, there are lots of ways to pull off a baby- and toddler-friendly Christmas. With the tips outlined above, your little one will not only feel included in the festive process, but you'll also have a lot less to stress over.