Thursday, December 12, 2013

Holiday Prep: Toddler Edition

If you’ve had a toddler for some time now, or a little one just entering toddler-hood as ours is, this post is for you!  At 21 months, our gal is into ANYTHING she can get her sticky little fingers on.  She climbs every piece of furniture in sight.  She is constantly on her tiptoes trying to reach for things on table tops and shelves.  She looks through any and all bags left on the floor like she’s digging for gold and if we bring something NEW into the house – well you can pretty much magnify the above mentioned behaviors by 10. 

To date, Grace has pulled the giant coat rack in the entryway down on top of her… It’s now mounted to the wall.  She has snatched crayons off the kitchen counter like a ninja and “decorated” the front of the refrigerator and the tile in the kitchen (several times).  She once pulled the metal fireplace cover down off the fireplace barely missing her head and she’s even figured out how to get into the pantry while appearing to be just days away from opening the front door on her own.  Little does she know, her mamas are on to her shenanigans and keep that door locked, at all times!  Did I mention that all of this has taken place in the three rooms she plays in that are baby gated off from the rest of the house?  I can only imagine what other incidents I would need to add to this list if she had free reign of the entire house!
Having said that, please don’t get me wrong… I love, LOVE the Bean’s curious nature and her strong desire to learn all about the environment around her.  It can just get a little stressful for a mama who is already a naturally anxious person.  Because of our gal’s endless ability to get into everything, the thought of bringing a 12 foot Christmas tree, glass ornaments with tiny metal hooks, and porcelain decorations into her baby gated area, gave me a bit of anxiety… Can you blame me?

A few weeks ago, I began brainstorming ways to keep Christmas accident-free and my Christmas decorations intact (aka, not broken by tiny toddler hands).  Below are a few of the safety precautions we took this year with our very active toddler.  So far we’ve had our décor up for 6 days and other than Grace taking a few ornaments off the bottom of the tree, so far so good!  If you’re entering the holiday season and you too have a toddler, I hope you find these ideas helpful. :)

Toddler Prep #1: mounting the Christmas tree to the ceiling.

I can’t take credit for this idea because it’s something I came across online long before G was even pregnant.  We have a 12 foot “tall & slim” style Christmas tree so it tips easily.  This prep step seemed like a great way to keep a kiddo from accidently pulling the Christmas tree down on top of themselves, so I made a mental note of it.  Once we decided where the tree would go this year, Georgia installed a hook in the ceiling.  She spray painted the hook white and with a little fishing line secured the tree to the ceiling.  Grace hasn’t made any attempts to pull on the tree but it’s good to know that even if she does, it’s not going anywhere.

Toddler Prep #2: sorting out “baby safe” ornaments to be placed around the bottom of the tree.

I can honestly say that about 80% of the ornaments that decorate our tree every year have some sort of sentimental value for Georgia and I.  Whether it’s our engagement, wedding or Gracie’s first Christmas ornament, we love them all.  We even have a few that we made as kids that are now 30+ years old!  Here are a few of our absolute favorites!  I’m sure you can tell which are me and G’s from when we were little. :)

Because of this, I would be super sad if one were to break.  More importantly, we all know how easily ornaments shatter and how scary it would be if a kiddo got their hands on the broken glass or sharp hooks…  To prevent this from happening, I spent all of 5 minutes separating the “toddler-friendly” ornaments from the fragile ones and those are the only ornaments we put within baby girl’s reach on our Christmas tree.

Toddler Prep #3: replacing hooks on “baby safe” ornaments with twine or ribbon.
I don’t think this step requires a lot of explaining, lol.  Remove hook – replace with ribbon.  Done. ;)

Toddler Prep #4: relocating breakable décor to out of reach areas.

This step was a bit more difficult because I’ve decorated our home for Christmas for the past 6 years and with as much decorations as we put up, I’ve been pretty set on where things go.  I wanted to set my Tree Lot up on the ledge of the fireplace this year but with Grace running around, that just wasn’t possible so it went on our pub table.  Other fragile things like our hand painted manger stayed in the box this year.  When Grace is older and/or when we have a larger home, I’ll takes these types of decorations out again.

And that’s about it.  Sure, there’s other Christmas decorations that could cause issues if the Bean is left unsupervised, especially considering she can climb like a spider monkey… but as my mom has always said, “I never baby-proofed when you kids were little.  I just explained to you what was off limits and why”.  I’m thinking she’ll do just fine with everything else.  Happy decorating friends. :) 


  1. mounting the tree to the ceiling is a brilliant idea!! Our gal is 21 months today and I'm so afraid of her knocking down the tree!!

    1. I was too and I will say, even though I don't think she would pull the tree down on herself now that I've seen her around it - it's good to know she can't even if she tried!

  2. Great idea! This Christmas is proving to be SLIGHTLY easier (at 2.5 yrs vs. 18mo last Xmas) because they understand much more. They have still taken to dressing and undressing the tree several times per day. We actually avoided most of the breakable ornaments this year. Our curious little ladies have proven to be quite destructive at times! Curiously is definitely a great trait in toddlers, but challenging at the same time :)

    1. It's amazing how different Christmas has been for us from just one year to the next. Last year, Grace was just crawling and didn't get into anything. This year... totally different story. It's great to hear that things get even slightly easier at 2 1/2. She's still SO much fun. We just have to keep a close eye on her! :)

  3. :) Love it ! I mean....I don't LOVE that she's making you put holes in your walls...but I love being able to relate.
    Syd's little best friends mom NEVER had to child proof with her. Her books and toys were always perfect and if she got anything out to play with....she'd only take one and then put it away when she was through. It made me insane. She had another one. She had to baby proof her house. I was happy :)

    1. I have a few fellow mama friends like the one mentioned above... Homemade meals on the table every.single.night that their kid happily eats... individualized learning activities planned every week (that the kiddo actually wants to do)... potty trained by one year old and every other perfect thing one can imagine. It gets annoying, lol. I've found that most parents who act or say their kids are perfect usually end up eating their words with baby #2, haha. It's good to have balance I guess. ;)

  4. It's great to see how differently everyone approaches Christmas decorating! I love the ceiling mount idea!
    We have become minimalists to avoid fighting off 3 toddlers, my anxiety couldn't handle itAs much as they understand they still have to test every limit & when it comes down to it, I'm simply out numbered.
    Hopefully next year we will be in a bigger place & can decorate the adult spaces nicely but for now, we are enjoying our tree decorated with toy trucks & kid art projects on the walls & tables :)

    1. So far the ceiling tie is working like a charm! I don't blame you for going the minimalist route with 3 boys running around and to be honest, I think I would choose your tree decorated with trucks over most other trees I've seen this year!


Thanks so much for keeping up with our little family! We love reading your comments and will get back to you as soon as we can.

K+G+g+w ♥

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