Stop your toddler climbing the Christmas tree

It’s not just preventing your toddler from climbing the Christmas tree that you have to worry about. Toddlers find the new festive season presence in their home absolutely irresistible.

They adore the decorations like little magpies and will happily grab anything that looks like it will make a shiny, colourful addition to their toy box.

Of course they want to help Mum and Dad so they’ll also do their best to decorate the tree as well. A toddler’s creative imagination as to what passes as a decoration knows no limits. Look among the tinsel and you’ll find a wonderland of your jewellery, car keys and half eaten sausages.

Every child loves a den, and underneath a Christmas tree resembles something straight out of a fairy tale. It won’t take long for a toddler to spot the potential and take up residence. With a real Christmas tree there’s the pine needles just waiting to get knocked off the tree, resulting in your child possibly getting scratched and even eaten.

First it would be wise in your child’s toddler years to recognise that toddlers manage the impossible despite all your best efforts. Consider choosing a different tree to normal for the toddler years to minimise hazards. Maybe get a smaller tree than normal, go for a type of tree with soft needles or use an artificial tree instead of a real one for these few years until your children are older.

Then be aware of your child and the mischief he is likely to get up to. All toddlers are different so is yours likely to climb or put things in his mouth. Gear your Christmas tree, set-up to avoid your toddler’s most likely sabotage attempts.

Only use unbreakable ornaments that are safer if he does manage to get hold of one. Consider placing the ornaments high up on the tree out of your toddler’s reach. Avoid putting presents under the tree with all their obvious temptations until after your toddler is sound asleep on Christmas Eve.

Use the godsend of many toddlers’ parents at Christmas, a playpen. One of the old fashioned wooden barred ones is best because they blend in and don’t block the view of the Christmas tree. For once keep the toddler on the outside of the playpen and place the tree inside in safety.

Place the tree out of reach. Instead of a seven foot high tree getting close to filling floor to ceiling, opt for a shorter four foot tree and place it on top of a table making sure there is nothing handy for your toddler to utilise as steps.

Trees are a central part of many family’s Christmas traditions and it can feel like sacrilege to go against traditions that you remember from every year dating back to your own childhood. You must get things into perspective though, remembering that your toddler’s safety is far more important than any family tradition and also reminding yourself that children are only toddlers for a very short time so it will only be a few Christmases before you can return to your idea of the perfect Christmas tree.