Around here, we're a no-shame zone when it comes to decorating your house for Christmas the day after Halloween. You only get Christmas once a year - why not celebrate it for as long as you can??
All your amazing holiday decor ushers in, however, a new obstacle: holiday baby safety. Baby proofing looks a little different during the holidays.
Thankfully, you don't have to completely abandon your traditions. Christmas might look different with baby around - but it isn't any less magical. Here are our top 12 tips for baby-proofing your home during the holidays:
1. Hang Breakable Ornaments High
Your glass globes and ceramic angels? To the top of the tree they go! Spread them out so there's no risk of weighing down a branch and one of them falling. You'll still be able to enjoy them this year, just tuck them a little higher up! Because trust me - your little one will find them.
2. ...Or Just Stick with Felt/Wood Ornaments
If you don't want to worry about it at all, put the breakable ornaments to rest for a few years and upgrade to felt or wooden ones. They have adorable options everywhere, and they are safe for baby. Plus, they aren't heavy, so they won't weight down your tree!
3. Don't Put Gifts Under the Tree Early
Some families love piling gifts under the tree as they wrap them throughout December, but those gifts have to wait with a baby in the house! Bring them down on Christmas Eve night so they are ready for Christmas - but no earlier.
4. Don't Overload Outlets, Power Strips, or Extension Cords
With Christmas comes lights, electronic decorations, toy trains... you name it. All these things - your Christmas tree, Christmas lights, decor, etc. - are all plugged in. If you overload your outlets or extension cords, they could short circuit and catch fire. Be wary or how much your plugging in and how to distribute the load.
5. Throw Toy Packaging Away Immediately
On Christmas morning after you open all those new toys, make sure to throw away that packaging asap! Plastic bags can suffocate baby, and wrapping paper can smother them. Just do a quick cleanup before you start playing and have a big trash bag ready to go.
6. Make Sure Toys are Baby-Safe
You might not even think about this one - but it's important to double check even the toys we get for our babies. Also make sure if the toys you're getting your older children are baby-safe, and if they aren't, what the plan is. Toys with strings can potentially choke, small objects like Legos left out can be unsafe, and anything baby can swallow should be kept separate.
7. Store Batteries Out of Reach
Battery usage also goes up during the holidays, and if you have a few spares, make sure to store them in a safe place baby will never reach. This includes the electronics that use batteries - your baby could crack open that protective backing and get to those batteries if they try hard enough. Keep remotes, battery cases, and controls out of reach.
8. Keep a Baby Gate Around Your Tree
If you don't want to change your entire Christmas tree for baby, an easy fix is to place a baby gate around it. You won't have to worry about breakable ornaments, hot lights, or your baby pulling the tree on top of themselves.
9. Remember: Christmas Lights Can Get Hot
Whether you have a fake or real tree, the Christmas lights you wrap around it can get really hot. Not only is this a fire hazard, but it can burn your baby's little hands! Set automatic timers on your Christmas lights so they aren't left on too hot. When you're not watching baby directly, put a baby gate up so they can't touch those hot lights. Or simply keep the tree turned off during the day when baby's awake.
10. Put Holiday Plants Away
A lot of holiday plants are poisonous to pets and babies - and when baby puts everything in their mouth, it's best to put them away (no matter how festive and pretty they look!) We included a list below of holiday plants you'll want to keep out of your home when baby's around:
- Jerusalem's Cherry
- Peace Lillies
11. Secure Your Christmas Tree
If you don't love the look of a baby gate surrounding your Christmas tree, make sure to secure it so your baby can't pull it down on themselves. Putting more weight over the tree base can get the job done, or tying it to a nearby wall. Just make sure you baby won't be able to pull it one bit.
12. Keep Baby from Cords
Finally, cords are never safe toys for baby, but they seem to multiply during the holidays. Grab these cord covers to hide them away, and try to keep your cord use to a minimum this Christmas.
You've Got This, Mama!
The holidays might feel intimidating this year, especially if it's your baby's first Christmas. Sure, it takes paying attention to the details. But you're doing an amazing job already, and you know how to keep you baby safe best. Know the holidays changes a few things, but it's not impossible to tackle.
Wishing you snuggles by the fireplace, the holiday decor of your dreams, and the sweetest Christmas morning with your family!