Toddlers and Christmas trees


My son is 19 1/2 mo. I just strung the lights on the tree, and will soon be adding the garland and ornaments. I’ve bought some shatterproof ornaments (in place of my gorgeous all glass collection all painstakingly chosen from European craftsmen and now boxed indefinitely!), and some wood ornaments.

Please, tell me what to expect with this toddler and the tree! I’m somewhat fearful to put on the garland in case he grabs hold of it and tries to pull it off. The light string is a little less enticing I think, he’s more distracted by the lights.

Any advice or anecdotes will be very appreciated!


Be prepared to have the bottom half of your tree bare. Ask me how I know…:wink:


My good friend had a great idea. She sat the Christmas tree inside a playpen.

Those free standing baby gates can work too…


My mom always strategically placed them next to a wall or sofa and barricaded the rest of the tree with toyboxes. That’s what I plan to do this year since our little monkey is also about your DS’s age.


At 23 months, our son knows “better” a bit more now than he did last year. Last year, the bottom of the tree was bare and the rest (out of his reach) was decorated. This year, we did the whole thing. We’ve had a couple of ball/star removals from the little guy, but for the most part he’s steering clear of the ornaments. What we DO have to watch is him around the plug in (where the lights are plugged in).

Sigh. I am convinced he’s gonna be an electrician, the way he’s fascinated with all things electrical. :shrug:


I’ve heard of the playpen idea, too, just couldn’t picture it looking nice. Intead, get a smaller tree, and set it on a small table (card table) with a table cloth on it. It looks good, and protects the tree from the child (or the child from the tree?)


my grandmother gave me a collection of felt ornaments when I got married, made by her and other ladies in her retirement home, and I used them all the while my kids were little (and while we had cats and kittens, worse than a 2 yr old for trashing a Christmas tree), added to them every year, including other crafty ones of wood, straw, paper etc. from various ethnic traditions. broke up the collection and gave it to my kids, when we sold the house and moved down here, so most are still in use. I never did end up buying glass balls or other breakables, now I am getting old and arthritic and would not want to bother with them anyhow.

tip for parents of toddlers (and cat owners) insert good eye bolts in the wall with sheetrock anchors, or in the molding, so you have at least 2, preferably 3, so you can anchor the tree to them with monofilament tied around the trunk about 3/4 of the way up. if you paint the bolts to match the walls you can leave them up permanently.

no tinsel (the foil looking icicle strings) it can destroy the intestines of a teething baby or a cat.


I also left the bottom half bare of ornaments and even on the top half used non-breakables. I love the felt, paper, etc crafty idea.


I did this when my son was nine months old his first Christmas and just learning to walk! It was either him or the tree! Made for GREAT Christmas photos (especially the ones with my son holding on to the playpen–it was one of the mesh ones–and looking up at the tree!)


It made sense to me, because even without decorations there is the danger of little one pulling the entire tree over on themselves, this solved that problem.


When my children were toddlers (seems like a million years ago) we put our large scale (LGB) train up around the bottom of the tree. The tracks are large and not fun to step on or try to crawl across (we are a no shoes in the house kinda family) but not dangerous. My kids loved the train and quickly learned to stay on the outside edge of the tracks. Granted it was kinda of an expensive solution but 20 some years later I’m looking forward to one day having grandkids and settling the train out once again (I’ll probably have to but a new train 'cause my son will take his with him when he marries,)
The only time I’ve had a tree go over it was caused by a cat…nephew came to live with me while in culinary school and brought a cat along for “company.” Like to know what he thought his cousins, our dog and I were…


We hang individual jingle bells all around the bottom of the tree. When the “kid alarm” goes off, we know someone is messin’ ! :wink:


That’s an awesome idea! Thanks for that one!

Isn’t it funny how alike babies and cats are? Thankfully he’s over his fascination with the toilet paper roll now.


**No need to box your glass ornaments indefinitely! We string fake pine garland around the walls near the ceiling so I can hang cat and kid unfriendly decorations:thumbsup:

We had a small (3ft maybe?) tree up last year in that useless space above our fake fireplace that is supposed to be for a TV. It kept it out of Lily’s reach but she was only about 5 months old. This year I think we’ll have to just forget about the tree, lol. Between her and the cat (who works tirelessly around the clock to commit suicide by Christmas tree:p) it just isn’t worth it, lol.



I was seriously thinking about skipping the tree myself this year. My normally scrooge-y husband suggested we get one though, so I figured I better take him up on it!


I never had a Christmas tree after the first year I got my cat - she was always climbing up it, knocking the baubles off, and even tearing the foil off the chocolate treats but not eating the chocolate. She was still quite a young kitten then and also used to scale the net curtains, and then get stuck at the top. I miss that cat…:frowning:


Repeat after me in most authoritative cop voice you can muster:


Worked like a charm for years! LOL

And keep the glass boxed for a few more of them. :thumbsup:


Babies and toddlers do that to normally “Scroogey” husbands. The year my dd was born and spent 8 days in the hospital right before Christmas with bacterial meningitis my X brought a tree home that barely fit in the house…just what I needed with a toddler, a baby and a party the next day.


that sounds “just ducky”:wink:


We taught our children what “NO” means. It meant their hands got slapped a few times, but they are smart and caught on quickly.
This year my grandson is just over a year old. My daughter and son-in-law have the tree up already and it’s barricaded into the corner with those plastic storage bins you get at the dime store. The little guy is fascinated by the lights.


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