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Christmas Trees and Toddlers - how do they mix ??!!?

(32 Posts)
Tillysmummy Tue 03-Dec-02 15:35:22

I am a bit concerned. We get our Christmas tree this weekend and Im worried about dd and her prying hands ! I am going to put all the breakable decs at the top and wooden / non breakable at the bottom and am going to do my best to discourage her from wrecking it each day but am also worried about her trying to eat the needles and stuff ! My dh says we shouldn't get one but I am in strong disagreement with that and feel she has to learn anyway I love Christmas trees !

Im sure you wise women (and men - SimonHoward are you still around ?) will have some advice for me .....I need to know how to handle the inquisitive 15 month old and the tree situation.

SoupDragon Tue 03-Dec-02 15:44:03

I'm dreading this. We went for an artificial tree to circumvent the needle problem - there's time for real ones when they're older

DS1 never showed the faintest interest in our tree. DS2 is a completely different child though, much more "naughtily inquisitive" IYKWIM. He was too little to notice last year (10 months) but this year... I expect to find him clinging to the top of the tree at the very least

There was some discussion about this on another thread but I can't remember which one!!

Furball Tue 03-Dec-02 15:50:16

Exactly the same boat, we're not having the usual size tree as our 'little monkey' will be up to no good within minutes. We've deceided on decorations around the room and a very small tree - Probably artificial, on top of the TV.

Someone else said they were going to put their tree inside the playpen, great idea and fine if you've got one.

I've racked my brains for other solutions and nothing sprang to mind (not surprisingly!!) So if anyone has a fandabidozee idea, I too would be grateful.

Tillysmummy Tue 03-Dec-02 15:52:17

Looks like we are all in the same boat ! I am really loathe to go for an aritificial tree. I love my real Christmas trees and don't want to spend on an aritifical one that I probably won't use again (sorry, bad hang up about artificial trees to do with bad experience in past )

Bozza Tue 03-Dec-02 16:09:58

Tillysmummy I'm with you on the real Christmas tree front. I am a little anxious about 21 mo DS but will attempt to limit access by placing the tree in the corner between the two settees and maybe with a coffee table in front. Although DH will be able to get to it I think he will struggle to topple it. Bought some lovely new wooden ornaments - will go for glass nearer the top.

Tillysmummy Tue 03-Dec-02 16:22:33

That's exactly what I was going to do Bozza. Glass at top, wood at bottom. What if they eat the needles, do you think it will harm them ?

Katherine Tue 03-Dec-02 17:07:53

We have survived 4 christmases of real trees and babies/toddlers now and we've never had any real problems. Biggest worry is pine needles getting stuck in socks. They've never tried to eat needles or anything and as long as you fix it firmly shouldn't be able to topple it. Tree does start to look a bit bare around the bottom (after a couple of hours though) so there is a bit of a bauble harvesting problem but hopefully this year we can encourage them to hang them all back up again. Don't put chocolate decorations on though - its just asking for trouble!

If you are really worried you could always get a smaller tree and put it on a window sill - seems a shame to shut it away - just one of those things they've got to learn about I suppose. Personally I would think artificial ones are more likley to topple as they are lighter but then I'm biased as I love real trees.

janh Tue 03-Dec-02 20:30:34

Last time we had a toddler and a tree we put the tree in the corner, with the fireguard across it, wedged in between the front corner of the chimney breast and a sofa. It kept him out, amazingly! (He wasn't much of a climber though.)

(If you wanted to guard a fire as well you would need 2 guards.)

SofiaAmes Tue 03-Dec-02 22:49:11

Last xmas ds was 13 mo. and an absolute terror for getting into everything and anything. We put our xmas tree on top of the playpen turned upside down so that it was almost out of reach. (we had to get a shorter tree than usual) It worked very well and we didn't even come close to a mishap. It certainly never occurred to ds to put pine needles in his mouth. This year I think I will try the tree on the ground, but put the breakable decorations out of reach.

SnoobyKat Wed 04-Dec-02 06:22:15

Interesting thread Tillysmummy - have been wondering what to do as DS is 14mo and very definately into everything! Can't go for the real thing as I will spend the hols with a box of Kleenex permanently hung round my neck. Think I'll go for Furballs suggestion - saw a great one that 'bobs' up and down and plays ten tunes! ;-) Trouble is DH said he would divorce me if I got it :-(

leander Wed 04-Dec-02 09:24:11

I posted on the other christmas thread about this problem and we have now borrowed a fire guard, I'm putting the tree in the bay window with the fire guard and hopefully this should keep the little monster away.

Bozza Wed 04-Dec-02 09:30:07

Tillysmummy I haven't really worried about pine needles. My DS is probably beyond the stage of putting everything in his mouth. In fact I can see him making endless trips between the tree and the kitchen bin with one needle at a time because his current obsession is throwing things away.

I'm certainly not putting chocolate on it. His Bob the Builder chocolate advent calendar (supplied by MIL - whats wrong with pictures...) has to live on top of the fridge. Before Sunday he thought it was a video for some bizarre reason and attempted to stuff it in the machine, but since he got his first piece of choc. things have changed somewhat.

Actually I did once swallow a pine needle myself - it had fallen in my glass - and apart from scratching my throat quite badly there was no problem...

Marina Wed 04-Dec-02 09:38:19

Tillysmummy, having seen your other thread on a related matter, can I suggest that you skip putting anything edible or sweet-smelling on the tree this year? In fairness to a toddler, that does add to the temptation! And possibly give out mixed messages if she is allowed to enjoy gingerbread otherwise.
And, if you are worried about needle drop, do get an artificial tree. You can treat yourselves to a really quite nice and convincing pine one from John Lewis, and if you miss the lovely spruce aromas, get some winter pine home fragrance oil from L'Occitane and burn it in a diffuser.
I'm a bit of a safety slob but was concerned about needles sticking in small paws more than ds eating them when he was little - a visit to a friend's house with a splendid real tree resulted in my picking dropped needles out of his jersey for the rest of the evening.
In no time at all you can revert to real greenery - we are looking forward to that this year.

Tillysmummy Wed 04-Dec-02 16:20:21

Thanks ladies and good idea about not making the gingerbread Marina. I am going to give it a whirl and hope for the best. I do love the smell in the mornings when I come down stairs

webmum Wed 04-Dec-02 16:49:06

I have decided to avoid xmas lights this year, I can just see dd trying to pull the thread, and I know, she'll find it, unless I put a socket high up on the wall....

tigermoth Thu 05-Dec-02 12:28:41

Hope it goes well tillysmummy. We've never had problems, even though both our sons were very inquisitive climbers. As little toddlers, the tree overawed them if anything. However, chocolate decs, as already has been said, are a no no.

XAusted Thu 05-Dec-02 13:39:22

What about having the tree outside? You can get loads of outdoor decorations these days? Or would it get nicked? Just a thought. We've always had a smallish artificial tree and put it high up.

JanZ Thu 05-Dec-02 14:36:03

The tree we get is so big (at least 12 foot) that ds won't be able to climb it! (attack of the pine needles will put him off).

With 2 Siamese cats, we already make sure that all the decorations on the lower levels are non-breakable - so no change there.

We're going to put a snib on the living room door though, to stop ds going in unaccompanied. It just means that we won't be able to have our weekend lie-ins while we (dreadful parents that we are) let him occupy himself Teletubbies/Thomas the Tank Engine/Singing Kettle, as one of us will have to be in the room with him.

THERESA Thu 05-Dec-02 21:24:33

This doesn't really address the problem of the needles or baubles, but my mum has a cat who launches himself at her tree and used to pull it over. She now puts it in a corner with a 'cup hook' in the wall behind it, put some string or tinsel around the trunk and tie it to the hook and it stops it being pulled over.

Tillysmummy Wed 18-Dec-02 09:54:12

Thought I'd just see how you're all getting on. We did stick with tradition and opted for the real version and dd has been an angel with it ! Apart from occasionally going to yank the 'nowman', 'apple', 'raydeer', 'ztar' and 'twee'.

No perforated tummies from consumed needles or anything else ! How are all of you doing ?

SoupDragon Wed 18-Dec-02 10:14:08

Our tree has been decorated, undecorated, redecorated, undecorated... repeat to fade. DS2 keeps coming up to me saying 'TAR! very proudly and presenting me with another metal (unbreakable) star.

Still, the wooden basket of moose (or moses?) by the fire has survived relatively unscathed as have the candles (unlit) and pinecones in the fireplace

Bozza Wed 18-Dec-02 10:41:01

DS has been fine with ours. He says 'nowman as well! He also points out Santa and star and drum. All the ornaments within his reach are not breakable but we've only had a couple off the tree. We've had to move a pop-up advent calendar I got him from Oxfam out of his reach because he is obsessed by it and "door door" is a constant refrain. The choccie one MIL bought has remained on top of the fridge.

JanZ Wed 18-Dec-02 10:42:15

Our tree is up now (only a small one this year - just 11 foot!). Ds has only shown a wee bit of interest and will usually accept being told "not to touch" - a message which is re-inforced at the child minders. His main interest has been the "balls" - he's taken a couple of decorations off to use as footballs! He has been told "No" in no uncertain terms - and seems to have picked up the message. He likes pointing to the different decorations - the "bells" (the only ones he is allowed to touch - to get them to jingle) - the "balls" and the "tars" (stars).

CookieMonster Wed 18-Dec-02 10:50:28

DD has shown remarkably little interest in our tree apart from yelling 'lights lights' as soon as we get home. As soon as I switch the lights on, she ignores it completely!

slug Wed 18-Dec-02 13:47:54

We havent got a tree at all, leaving that to the inlaws. Last night we went out for dinner at our local friendly Turkish (big floors, lots of old people who look after the sluglet and let us eat in peace) She was belting around the floor as usual, getting underneath the waiter's feet, when she saw it. It was like a moth to the flame. We watched as she approached, looked, reached out and BANG pulled the whole thing down. It just happened so fast. Fortunately they're very laid back there. She sat on some old grannie's knee while the waiters helped us pick everything up.

Bless them they even gave us a complimentary liquer to get over the shock, but that's settled it. There is no way I'm having a tree until she's old enough not to destroy it.

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