to wonder how you have a Christmas tree AND toddlers

(65 Posts)
PrettyHairClips Thu 06-Dec-12 18:26:02

My toddler has just pulled the xmas tree down for a third time (and broken numerous ornaments in the process). I didn't have a xmas tree last year for this reason. A lot of people said, "awww no Christmas tree, that's a scrooge". But what's the alternative? Decorating the tree every day because it's been pulled down??

To those with toddlers - what's the secret??

TeeElfOnTeeShelf Thu 06-Dec-12 18:27:16

Put the tree in a playpen.

Or the toddler.

Honestly? We didn't have a tree until last year when our son was 2.5 and understood not to touch.

TheReturnOfBridezilla Thu 06-Dec-12 18:27:23

I'm planning to put the toddler in the garden for the month. grin

ChasedByBees Thu 06-Dec-12 18:27:49

I've got a 10mo and a tree that's been up mere days but I have a small one with battery operated lights (so not dangling wires) on my dining room table out of reach. Not ideal but it'll have to do!

Goldmandra Thu 06-Dec-12 18:29:00

We put the Christmas tree in an old wooden playpen for a few Christmases.

We now have a puppy, no playpen and no idea how the hell I'm going to protect the tree!

SquishyCinnamonSwirls Thu 06-Dec-12 18:29:06

I put a hook into the wall and tied the tree to it with a length of ribbon. Doesn't stop them pulling the baubles off but does stop them from pulling the entire thing over.
Now though, I've got a stairgate on the lounge door so they can look but from afar. (I cm, they're not my own toddlers).

ramblingmum Thu 06-Dec-12 18:29:13

we used the playpen as well

I havent put mine up as 11mo would be mesmirised by it. I miss it though, so might put it in my room with all tge presents under.

Our tree is going in a playpen. Since dd never went in the playpen it will be good to get some use out of it.

PrettyHairClips Thu 06-Dec-12 18:30:06

DD is 2.5 and still did this. Can't help that I decorated the tree with (breakable) Disney figures. Ahhhhhh the sweet, sweet rush of vodka running through my body. I needed that.

Fuck this Christmas lark.

blinkedandmissedit Thu 06-Dec-12 18:30:40

We just used to pick it up every time it got pulled over and re-arrange the decs. By the time Christmas actually arrived we couldn't be bothered so we just picked it up and it ended up looking very dishevelled!

I've got a 10 month old and a super skinny pencil tree that is going in the corner by the sofa with a table in front of it!

blinkedandmissedit Thu 06-Dec-12 18:31:59

Forgot to say, decorate only with cheap plastic baubles!

TeWisBeenNargledByTheMistletoe Thu 06-Dec-12 18:32:32

Tree is up high on top of a big box (i covered the box with wrapping paper) he can't reach it well enough to pull it down. There are no breakable decorations.

In the past I've tied the top to the curtain rail.

PrettyHairClips Thu 06-Dec-12 18:32:47

What's the point in giving them a 'magical' xmas when they just break shite? I feel like I'm trying my best to make xmas as awesome as possible (spent a lot of money on those decs cause I had the same ones as a young child) now there's £170 worth of broken decs on the floor.

TheJiminyConjecture Thu 06-Dec-12 18:33:02

We've always had a tree. I never even thought about it being pulled down confused DD is almost 3 now, so guess I've just been lucky.

I do appreciate that I've probably just cursed it now! grin

LemonBreeland Thu 06-Dec-12 18:34:49

Oh no. You've just reminded me what dd will be like with the tree. She was only 6mths last year so not a problem.

But as a toddler she is into everything. Her elder brothers were okay with the tree when little, but I just know she won't be.

CelstialNavigation Thu 06-Dec-12 18:39:45
sixlostmonkeys Thu 06-Dec-12 18:40:41

I made a deep shelf in the alcove and and put the tree there - well I put the top half of the tree there because of the height.

It was well out of reach but ds would look at it and be happy etc. The shelf was meant to temporary but 15 years later it's still there......

If you need it to be on the floor, then I'd buy cheap non-breakable decs.

OodKingWenceslas Thu 06-Dec-12 18:41:59

In a playpen/behind furniture.

EndoplasmicReticulum Thu 06-Dec-12 18:42:06

I put the tree in the playpen one year. It meant toddler couldn't pull the whole thing over. Also, don't put it up too early!

Startail Thu 06-Dec-12 18:42:40

You Rope it to the book case, use only plastic baubles and make sure that all the light wires and plugs are out of reach.

Real trees are very spiky, even fiddle with everything DD1 didn't wreak much havoc.

flaime Thu 06-Dec-12 18:42:52

We used to put ours in the corner of the room with a couple of toy boxes in front of it which they knew they weren't allowed to climb over. Seemed to work ok for us.

LaCiccolina Thu 06-Dec-12 18:44:07

Mine is stood in the hall. It's got sweets on. Dd is just 2 & has eaten a few candy canes but beyond saying its pretty ignores it. She helped put it up and I said no alot at start. Been 2wks now no pulling over. One in longe is a pop up on table. Ignores that too...

You wouldn't remove anything else, u would just say no? Don't see why this is different?

Meglet Thu 06-Dec-12 18:44:26


I didn't really bother until the dc's were 5 & 3 and even then I used cheap, safe baubles and tinsel.

Or get a real tree, they won't mess with that after they've been prickled a couple of times.

SantaWearsGreen Thu 06-Dec-12 18:45:45

I suspect this isn't going to be much help/that i'm going to sound smug blush

I have two toddlers (2.9 and 18 mo) and we have a 7ft Norway spruce. They have no interest. The first day it was up they pulled like 2 baubles off but that was it. They just don't really care.. Also it is very heavy and sturdy stuck in its stand so it would take a lot of strength to pull it over.

There's a few ideas I found last yr when I was worried one of them would pull it over.
Put a playpen around it.
Buy them a small tree with felt baubles for them to play with.
Place it in the corner with the sofa blocking it off.
Put it high up on a table.

toobreathless Thu 06-Dec-12 18:46:32

We have a strange toddler! At risk of sounding smug DD will not touch things that aren't hers, even toys at places like toddler groups she always looks at me for approval first.

No idea why we got lucky, possibly because I never baby proofed?? Went to a wedding when she was 13 months & just walking, it was a very small affair with low coffee tables for people to put wine glasses and food on & she didn't touch a single one.

The cats however have an annual pilgrimage to the top of the Xmas tree.

freddiefrog Thu 06-Dec-12 18:47:05

I never had a problem with toddlers, it was the poxy cats.

I tied the top of it to the wall - screwed a cup hook into the wall, tree tied to it, it never fell very far if it did get knocked over/climbed

NamingOfParts Thu 06-Dec-12 18:48:08

I agree with Meglet - a prickly real tree solves the problem!

D0G Thu 06-Dec-12 18:50:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChunkyPickle Thu 06-Dec-12 18:51:39

We have a classic, super-prickly tree, with a really heavy water-filled base.

This doesn't stop him pulling off the tinsel and baubles (which are slowley migrating further and further up the tree), and squirming behind/under it to hide.

It's really pretty though, and it's been years since I've been in my own place, in a country where I can have a real Christmas tree at Christmas, so I will do whatever it takes smile

OodKingWenceslas Thu 06-Dec-12 18:52:27

Saying 'no' depends on the child. Dd1/3 never bother(ed)and dd2 was still trying to climb it at age 5.

ChunkyPickle Thu 06-Dec-12 18:52:33

<splutters> 175 quid on decorations! With a toddler!

This is why I have Tesco cheapies (and who can tell in the dark from a distance really anyhow)

Splatt34 Thu 06-Dec-12 18:53:24

DD was 2 in october. She was allowed to decorate the bottom third of our 7 ft fake tree. She totally respects the tree & knows that now it's decorated she's not to touch it or Santa won't come. At 13 months last year she also knew not to touch it.

sweetkitty Thu 06-Dec-12 18:53:54

Cheap decorations so I dont cry when DS takes them off tree and uses them as footballs. He's getting bored of it now though.

AcidTurkishBath Thu 06-Dec-12 18:57:19

We have a small one with no lights until a few days before Christmas. Then we sacrifice space by putting the playpen around the large tree.

Climbingpenguin Thu 06-Dec-12 18:58:16

cheap tree and old decorations (the ones we like are still wrapped away)

Last year we put it up on Christmas Eve, as DS was still in the "grab the shiny things!" stage of toddlerhood.
He's 2.5 now, but we're still not putting it up until Christmas Eve - partly because seeing his little face at a tree appearing overnight will be fab, but mostly because kitten + toddler + tree = disaster waiting to happen! grin

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 06-Dec-12 19:06:16

Buy a real tree. The combined weight of it, the stand and a couple of litres of water makes it pretty stable.

Mine have always lost interest after a couple of days, and I put the decorations that might break near the top so they are out of reach.

I am boggling at you having spent £170 on decorations - what on earth are they?

Real tree in a bucket - quite a short one - if it is a real pull over risk.

To be honest, I have a real monster toddler, climbs everything, and pulling over of the tree hasn't been a problem. Touching the decorations for the first couple of days was but ....

Nice ornaments outside of reach. Cheap plastic ones in reach.

I've also brought him a small portable tree, red sparkly reindeer and a box with tinsel, plastic baubles, light sticks and other shiny shite in.

The rules. The tree is Mummy's. The box of tat is DS4's. Repeat every time he rubs his tummy on it to see whether the rules have changed.

The shiny red wrapping paper rolls has been another issue mind. I came down this morning to find he had red carpeted the stairs, the hall and the living room. He was very proud.

RiaUnderTheMistletoe Thu 06-Dec-12 19:25:15

No toddlers here but a dog that likes to eat baubles once everyone's gone to bed hmm As a result we have 90% of the decorations on the top third of the tree. Might it be less tempting if the decorations were out of reach?

BackforGood Thu 06-Dec-12 19:59:27

Another Play Pen fan here - or behind other furniture (had a few years of toddlers in the house with 3 dc).
But equally, there's nothing on my tree that would get broken if it were pulled/knocked over, and certainly nothing that cost more than about £1.70 I don't think, let alone 100x that shock

Pandemoniaa Thu 06-Dec-12 20:03:58

When the dcs were toddlers we had a real but small tree with cheap decorations on it. It was put up fairly high so as not to be too accessible. Being a real tree, it was spiky to the touch so even ds2 (who was a noted tinkerer about with anything and everything) did little more than touch it.

dgd was 11.5 months old last Christmas and also into everything. So the tree was carefully placed behind an obstacle and weighted down! To be fair, she didn't make a serious attempt on it and now, at 23.5 months you can reason with her and she understands that it is a lovely thing to look at but not to trash. But in neither year has ds2 or ddil put expensive decorations on it because that's just tempting fate.

Pandemoniaa Thu 06-Dec-12 20:04:51

PS. The dog is more of a nuisance with Christmas trees, tbh. He wants to piddle on real ones and chew the baubles on fake ones. He is not a puppy either. Little sod.

CaliforniaSucksSnowballs Thu 06-Dec-12 20:13:48

When mine were toddlers we used to put all the unbreakable stuff on the lower half of the tree hung without metal hooks. We have a 7 foot tree and they never pulled it over. I used to go around collecting ornaments a couple times a day and putting them back. After a few days they lost interest and only pulled an ornament off occasionally. Dd is 7 and spends every evening re arraigning the ornaments she can reach, this is more annoying than when she was a toddler.

NiceOneCenturion Thu 06-Dec-12 21:40:50

I don't think it ever occurred to me it would be a problem, so didn't have any safety precautions. I don't think I have an exceptionally well behaved child, he likes climbing on and messing with things as much as the next toddler, but there are lots of things in the same room that are more valuable that I don't expect him to pull over/destroy, such as the tv, the laptop, the bookcases - I suppose I treat the tree in the same way, and it' s been fine touch wood

We did involve him in putting it up, let him help me get the decorations out of the bags, hand us baubles, and I lifted him up to put the star on top. I haven't restricted him touching it, I let him take things off and look at them if he wants and help him put them back, ask if he wants the lights switched on etc so don't know if any of that helped. None of it is particularly expensive though, so easier to be relaxed about it I guess.

DamnBamboo Thu 06-Dec-12 21:47:45

Never had one pulled down although I have had it redecorated on a couple of occasion so that all decorations and baubles and the star was hung in 6 square inches! Really quite a remarkable feat and it didn't fall over either smile

TartyMcTart Thu 06-Dec-12 22:01:04

Sorry, another one who never had the thought that there may be an issue with kids and Christmas trees. We've always had a tree and loads of decorations around and been fine. Maybe we're lucky as I've never moved ornaments, glasses, etc. just because we had kids around. They have to get used to keeping their grubby mitts of nice things!

purpleloosestrife Thu 06-Dec-12 22:11:48

last year told my toddler "no" (17months) a few times until she got the message and left the tree alone!

this year at 2yo I have told her that Santa doesn't bring presents to anyone who touches his tree!! grin

plus I put all the gorgeous baubles at the top and the lowest branches have cheap plastic tat shatterproof baubles at the bottom

cardibach Thu 06-Dec-12 22:16:21

I've had a tree every year, both beofreand after DD was born. SHe's 16 now and has never even looked like she might pull the tree over. I don't get it. Why are they doing it? Why do you have to worry about this?

ZebraInHiding Thu 06-Dec-12 22:31:33

Same, cardibach.

My five year old likes to rearrange the decs every so often bit he us careful and it has never tipped. It was decorated without issues by the seven, five and two year infant without issues. They have always done it. They stand on chairs to reach higher (but it is only a four/five foot tree) . But then, we aren't at all precious about the tree. It is for them and they feel so proud to have decorated it.

ZebraInHiding Thu 06-Dec-12 22:32:16

Infant? Olds!!

armani Thu 06-Dec-12 22:33:53

My dc are 6, 3 and 2 and have so far been ok with the tree! I let them decorate it and they really enjoyed it!
Who cares that 90% of the baubles are on one branch at the bottom of the tree? smile

DewDr0p Thu 06-Dec-12 22:36:42

when they were little I tied the tree to a tack on the picture rail with normal sewing thread doubled up a few times. and left the bottom branches bare. They never managed to pull it over!

AndABigBirdInaPearTree Thu 06-Dec-12 22:38:35

When our rugrats were small DH wired ours to the wall. Seriously, tied wire around the top third of the tree and screwed it to the wall. Yes, you have to touch it up once it is taken down but man, it is worth it.

I bought and made non-breakable ornaments. The plastic baubles I superglued the top piece on first and then I used wire hangers and twisted them onto the ornament and then the tree itself. You could grab them and shake them and they stayed on. Special ornaments went up higher where they were hard to reach. I also put a basket under the tree with easy to hang ornaments that they could take off and put back on.

IwishyouaMerryChristmas Thu 06-Dec-12 22:42:51

Ours have never pulled the tree over, but we were concerned that they might s we had it in one of these with bags of gravel in there.

Spending £170 on tree decorations is mad though!

Splatt34 Thu 06-Dec-12 22:58:02

in defence of whoever mentioned £170 I suspect mine total more than that.My decorations are a collection started by my mum buying me one each year. The oldest is dated 1983 I think. A decoration for the tree is now the only souvenir I buy on holiday and as I bring them out eaxh year I can tell exactly when & where they were all bought.

Still the breakable ones are at the too the none breakables on the bottom 1/3 placed by DD (2) who knows she is now allowed to look but not touch or santa won't come. She also has a littke fibreoptic one in her room which DH bought her & she loves

redwellybluewelly Thu 06-Dec-12 22:59:11

£170 on tree decorations? holy cow!

We asked DD not to touch it and only used plastic baubles, it was a fake one and she only pulled it down on her head the once. This year we are staying fake but putting it on a desk out of reach.

Next year we'll have a real one.

Real tree.

Playpen up to the age of 2.

Then corporal punishment wink.

I have a tree for me; my 4 horrors couldn't give a monkeys - well, no, they do like it and 'helped' decorate it, but if we did not have one, they would not be bothered.
If it is stressing you out, get rid, why don't you? She'll not remember in years to come grin

redbusandbigben Thu 06-Dec-12 23:06:08

We didn't have a tree for years! Not that my children are naughty, they were just very adventurous and did have 3 under 3. Got a plastic tree that went on the wall!

Why make life difficult!?

pugsandseals Thu 06-Dec-12 23:08:02

1st Christmas we had a baby tree on top of the dresser. 2nd Christmas we put the big tree up in the conservatory & locked it out there so she could see but not touch. 3rd Christmas we shoved the tree in the corner & sandwiched it between the sofa & coffee table to block it in & shouted at dd everytime she crawled round behind the sofa to steal the Xmas tree chocolates! grin HTH

Morloth Thu 06-Dec-12 23:08:51

It didn't even occur to me that this could be an issue TBH.

They help put it up and once it is decorated it is a NO TOUCH, I was more worried about the cat this year, but she knows NO TOUCH as well.

Both toddler and cat like sitting and staring at the pretty lights, but NO TOUCH.

fluffypillow Thu 06-Dec-12 23:19:08

I had a similar problem last year when my DD was a year old. She wouldn't leave it alone, and damaged alot of the baubles.

This year I thought the same thing would happen, but she has been quite good, although I do quite often get to the shops, and realise she is carrying one of the baubles! I can live with that though, just as long as the tree still looks half decent grin

We've gone small, table top tree on a side table behind a fireguard, with squishy fabric decorations on just in case - they look nice actually, if a bit Kirstie's Homemade Bollocks.

NapaCab Thu 06-Dec-12 23:27:08

You know I thought this would be a big problem with my DS (14 months and in the classic ransack-the house-every-day phase) and wasn't going to bother with a Christmas tree but put it up last weekend anyway just to see.

So far, bizarrely, he has shown absolutely no interest in it! He doesn't like the feeling of the branches on his hands and sort of half-touches it and then moves away. Let's hope his tree-aversion lasts through the festive season... by the time next year rolls around, he'll be old enough to understand not to touch things, I hope.

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