Toddlers and Christmas Trees - Los Angeles,CA

Updated on November 22, 2010
S.S. asks from Los Angeles, CA
20 answers

I'd really like to get a tree this Christmas but my 17 month old is very..erm..hands on with everything. He'll walk around and shake our floor lamps for example because he knows he's not supposed to. My husband thinks it would be a bad idea to get a tree b/c our son is just going to try and knock it over or pull off the ornaments or something. I'm not convinced that he would but am worried that he might... what has been your experience with your toddler and christmas trees? do they leave it alone or is too much lights and colors for them to ignore?

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answers from Dallas on

We put one up when DD was smaller (she's 3 now) and put a safety fence all around it. It looked different, but it worked for the most part. She still found a way to pull some ornaments off, but we just put the least breakable kind on that year. Last year was easier, but she still got into stuff. This year, I don't see that she'll mess with too much, but one can never tell...

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I own an in-home daycare & have always had a tree. I use some antiq trunks to block the tree off & it works! I cover the trunks with holiday tablecloths & stack presents on top of them. It works!

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Atlanta on

I refuse to not have a tree! I have a 2 year old and a 4 year old, and we have a very good tree holder/base that we purchased at Home Depot. It prevents the tree from ever "crashing." Even if the tree starts to topple or be pulled over -it has a revolving base within the base that can't come out, so the tree could literally be leaning almost all the way over -but never hits the floor (or a child underneath it). We also never put any breakable or damageable ornaments on the bottom -only knitted, felt, cloth stuff that can't be ruined. We also just say "NO" and make our "eh eh eh" noise whenever a toddler gets too close and starts touching. It honestly has never been a big problem -and I was scared of it too! We do the same for our presents under the tree. There have been a few ripped pieces of paper, but nothing crazy.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Asheville on

Christmas last year was the first year my girls were mobile. We already had a ton of unbreakable (plastic) ornaments that looked like the glass balls. (We have 4 cats and they like to climb trees:) )
Anyway, my girls really enjoyed 'undecorating' the tree every chance they got! I even took pictures. They had such a good time and mad the funniest faces when they were 'caught' in the act. The only time it got frustrating was when they pulled the beaded garland. Re placing it where I wanted was such a pain. I guess the cats thought the girls did enough damage that they didn't even climb the tree, but they used the tree skirt as a bed and dehairing it was, well hair-owing. (Sorry for the bad pun, blame my punny Mom!)
Just put the breakables at the top and have patience and a sense of humor, they are only little once and you may get some really cute pictures of the "denuding of the tree"

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Jackson on

If you can afford it, buy unbreakable ornaments. What's life without a little chaos at Christmas time. The worst that can happen is the tree falls over. I'm assuming an artificial tree to avoid the spilled water mess.

Seriously, it's also a great time for you to teach baby that it's okay to look and touch and it's "no-no to shake the sap out of the tree."

Every child has a different, response to a Christmas tree, (including my children, grand children, nieces and nephews.)

One child was in awe, the other couldn't wait to pat it, one wanted to take it with him to the toy room, most wanted to pluck the ornaments (we put the un-breakables ornaments on the lower half of the tree and allow them to repeatedly remove and replace the ornaments.

We do have an ask "Mommy/Daddy/Grandma etc... before touching the tree and ornaments, so far it's worked for us. We'll see what this year brings.

You'll never know until you try.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Plastic ornaments!
Plus a play yard wrapped around the front of the tree.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

okay first if you have children or pets a tree should always be anchored to the wall. Next you need to teach your little one that he can't touch those things. If he shakes the floor lamps after you have told him no he can go in a time out for a minute he will learn not to touch it. We use the plastic ornaments and put a few of the glass ones up high on the tree because the cat thinks the ornaments on the bottom are their for his enjoyment. You can also put a play yard up around the tree to help keep your curious little guy away from it or put it in a room that he does not play in.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from McAllen on

My son (now4) absolutely loves our Xmas tree, he likes the songs and the colors of lights, I use plastic ornaments, you can find really pretty ones, and I make the star on top myself (with his help). I think you should put a Xmas Tree and enjoy it together, let him know what he can or can't do, and just be careful with the electrical connections, we put a nativity set made of felt (by ourselves) and that sometimes gets his attention more than the ornaments.
Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I've only read your last 2 responses, and they pretty much nailed it. Lots of plastic or otherwise unbreakable ornaments that can be taken off and put back on a gazillion times, and put the tree somewhere it can be anchored, so your son can't pull it down on himself. We simply zip-tied our tree to a railing it stood next to, but there are many ways you can anchor it.

I'd say to go ahead with the tree, and just use the above precautions!

Merry Christmas!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I hear you. My daughter was very hands on as well and was 15 months at Christmas time. We put up the tree and just used plastic ornaments. We put some breakable ones on but them at the very top where she couldn't reach. It took many times to pull little hands away and tell her no-no, but for the most part she left it alone after a while. This year my son is going to be 14 months next week and he is even busier than his sister...sounds maybe a little like your little guy...we've had more than one moment with the floor lamp too! ;) I plan on doing the same thing, especially with the plastic bulb ornaments. Yes, it's a bit more work to keep dodging them away from the glorious tree but it's worth it in my opinion. Yes, he will try and pull off ornaments, etc. but this is part of life, he has to figure out what's okay and what's not okay and if you want a tree, don't stop yourself!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Salt Lake City on

This year we decided we'd put up a tree an put it in a place where we can put a home made fence in front of it and secure it so my 1 yr old can't knock it over. (from a puppy play area we had bought at petsmarts for my puppy)

If you can't make something your toddler won't knock over or climb, how about buying a smaller tree that could be put up high enough he can't reach.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

I was worried about this with my 15mnth old, but I remembered the whole reason I bought the tree was for him (I was preggo with him at the time and was working for kmart and got this 6ft pre-lit tree for $25 right after christmas!) I was going to get a circular gate (the kind that turns into a playpen) but I can't really afford to buy one, my mother told me that we never messed with the tree itself just the ortaments. the trees needles were to sharp to keep wanting to grab. I think pre-lit are better because there is no excess slack in the light cords to pull. just make sure to put fragil things up top. and if there is a certain ortament that you really like maybe dont put it up this yr. I still remember when my sister was three she pulled ornaments off the tree and took them to the kitchen just to smash them on the floor

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

We just don't put ornaments on the bottom of the tree. It's the presents I'm worried about! So we may have to just wait and put presents under the tree on the morning OF!! My daughter was around the same age at Christmas as my son will be (16 months) but she honestly didn't really care about the tree or the presents all that much. I'm hoping my son will be the same way. But if not, we'll just redirect him or I hope his sister can keep him entertained and away from it!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

We had ours up, we just didn't put any ornaments on it in years past.
We're going to this year, because DS will be 2.5 and can understand the concept of NO! :)

Our tree is heavy and big, so I really wasn't worried about him pulling it over. Overall, he left it alone. He liked to get up close and look at the lights, but there wansn't anything on there for him to touch, so it was fine.



answers from Denver on

Hungarians have a Christmas candy called's a candy meant to be hung on a Christmas tree, like candy canes. What I did for my kids was put the unbreakable ornaments and a few szaloncukors and candy canes within reach. I thought it was the cutest thing when they'd circle the tree looking for little candies to find. It gave them something to focus on rather than prohibiting the entire thing. GL!! (And for the szaloncukor, you can order them online or just make your own by wrapping some little chocolates in Christmas paper and hanging them with a bit of string).


answers from Oklahoma City on

i got one that was large enough to make a good decoration but small enough to put on top of an end table and didn't put any "breakable" ornaments on the lower part of the tree and made sure lower limbs were stuck out high enough it still couldn't be reached....loved it



answers from Boston on

I have tethered the tree to the wall before so my little ones couldn't knock it over.



answers from Washington DC on

I've put up a tree every year. Just buy some gates to corner it off. Also, put plastic, non-breakable ornaments within his reach. 2 years ago I didn't pay attention, some glass ornaments were placed low by a helpful older brother, and the baby came along and broke them. Now I make sure to put the non-breakable, or homemade ones at the lower levels.



answers from Evansville on

Definitely put up a tree! We have 2.5yr old and the last two years he really enjoyed the tree - looking at each ornament, etc. By the end of the first week it was up, he knew exactly where each ornament was. What a great learning/memory game!! Just use caution - anchor it safely, use non-breakables on the bottom, and try not to use the hooks on the bottom (I just put them on with their string or used twisty-ties instead of hooks). And enjoy his amazement with the decorations! You will be glad you did... My son still talks about the 'christmas tree' from last year. He is so excited to put it up this year! He even helped me (at 18 months) help put the ornaments on!! Get them involved... as this will start memories and traditions for a lifetime!



answers from Anchorage on

When my boys were young we got a smaller tree and put it up on a table. Than, the first couple of years we had a bigger tree we did not put the ornaments on. We got a pre-lit tree so they could not pull on the light strings and got a tree train that was up out of their reach so the tree still looked festive even without the ornaments.

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