By Pam Dillon
Baby’s first Christmas? TIMBEEEEER!
Just kidding. But folks? Keep an eye on that tree. Better yet, attach it to the wall and be sure breakable ornaments are out of the reach of wee hands. This first holiday season as parents marks the start of celebrating festive occasions in a new, kid-friendly way.
That means the days of show-stopping, designer-style trees are o. ver. – at least for the next few years. Why? To baby and her brother the toddler, that beautiful, sparkly evergreen looks like Vegas R Us or the best new shiny toy ever. Full of innumerable enticing attractions, it beckons the small fry to come close, grab what’s within reach and see how it tastes. Tinsel? Garlands? Light strings? The hooks that attach tree decorations? They are like candy to a baby.
That’s why extra caution is advised. As for the precious, bone china ornaments gifted to you in your grandma’s will, it’s best to leave them safe in the box. Even trees attached to the wall have been known to swing and sway after a persistent tug or two.
Christmas with wee ones is truly magical, but the magic comes from seeing the celebration through their eyes and sharing in their wonder and joy. The coos and chuckles are enough to light up any room.
Here are some tips to keep the small fry out of harm’s way:
- Use hook-free, unbreakable, kid-safe tree decorations on the bottom portion of the tree. Keep the other stuff at the top.
- Talk to your wee ones and teach them not to touch. Repetition helps them learn.
- Put indoor Christmas lights out of the reach of young children. (The coloured ones look remarkably like Vegas ju jubes.)
- Realize any holiday decoration within reach of baby will head to his or her mouth for a taste-check, so act accordingly.
- Ensure toys and gifts are age appropriate. Relatives may have bought ones thinking your tots will “grow into them” but right now they may pose a safety risk.
- Beware of toys with small parts or batteries, as well as gift packaging. Ribbons, bags, Styrofoam and other packaging materials can pose a choking or suffocation risk.
- Be extra cautious with candles, matches and lighters.
- Spend maximum time playing and enjoying the holiday with your little ones. When your eyes are on them, you can ensure all is well.