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Surely, this isn't as insane as my family is trying to make me think it is..... - Page 4

post #61 of 91
We put a gate up around the Christmas tree when DS1 was 7 months old. He was a monkey. The gate didn't really stop him from getting into the tree, just gave him another obstacle to get around before I could stop him.

I tended to think babyproofing meant poor parenting when DD was little. I babyproofed the house and dd wouldn't get into anything that she wasn't suppose to--point for me and my great babyproofing. Then I realized that we'd go to the in-laws, they'd have a bowl of m&m's sitting on the coffee table and DD wouldn't even touch them, so it wasn't my parenting after all, just DD's personality. Then I had DS1 and realized that babyproofing just meant that I was giving myself sixty more seconds to get him out of wherever he wasn't suppose to be (pulling plugs out of sockets, figuruing out how to open the cabinet locks, climbing over the baby gate, climbing onto the coffee table, etc). I invested a lot of money for that extra 60 seconds. I'd take him into the bathroom with me, be mid-pee and he'd bolt out of the bathroom and be manuevering the gate away from the Christmas tree so he could go pull on the branches before I'd get a chance to put those kegel muscles to work, so i'd hate to think of what he could do if we didnt' have the baby gate there (we also had a baby gate surrounding our tv). DS2 is just like DD. He touches it and will take an ornament off, but only if it's already dangling from where DS1 played with it.
post #62 of 91
I kept our tree on a table for DD "toddler' years it was jsut easier Christams decorations are sosposed to be find and chasing a toddler off the blinking lights to me is not fun... Nw I was also lucky and had a pretty mellow kid where I jsut had to say no no honey just look and all was pretty much left alone but I still set up for success .
Next year our newest will be around 9 months at Christmas time depending on where she is moving wise I'll totally gate the tree if necessary.

Deanna
post #63 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by JL83 View Post
I keep small babies safe. In general I do that by wearing them, or by having a safe place to put them like a playpen.

I stop toddlers (the age in question) from serious injury or death. I guess small bumps, scrapes or scary things don't bother me. My 3yo still rides RFing in her carseat because that's actually a real safety thing.

I do think that this sets up an element of not parenting.

Or maybe I'm just not a fan of obsessive baby proofing.

I can't imagine not being the same room as my toddler unless they are sleeping (presumably not in the room with the tree). So when would they get the chance to climb the tree or pull it over?
First, IMO, wearing them and putting them in a playpen is actually more babyproofing and limiting to the child than making the environment safe for them is.

Second, if you have a child with an extremely persistent personality or poor impulse control, you can redirect all you want, but it isn't going to ever change the fact that they will keep going after the tree until they are old enough.

Third, the idea that you can always be within arm's reach only works when you have one child. And arm's reach really isn't close enough to keep super persistent and curious kids out of things all the time. Some kids are more passive, but some of us were blessed with children who make our days feel like we are trying to contain lightening while herding cats.

A part of parenting is making decisions that help ensure a safe and happy household so you don't have to spend every second of the day redirecting them and just letting them explore within appropriate boundaries.
post #64 of 91
continue to be strong and assertive mamma...
if the choice to put up a gate around your tree brings you and your child comfort and ease, then leave it in place and tell your extended family just that.

In the meantime...teach your little one to sit and admire the tree, sit together and enjoy the beautiful ornaments and talk about what they are and why they mean so much to you and your relatives. By simply creating special moments to treasure the tree, your child will learn to respect it's part in your home for many years to come. Because even restless pre-schoolers can knock over trees or accidently knock ornaments off...and you likely don't want to baby gate the tree for too many years (family comments can wear on us all!)

ETA: about putting the babe in a playpen...my initial reaction to the post was "better the tree than the kiddo".
post #65 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by FiddleMama View Post
Taking the time to teach and parent means different things to different people. I'd rather my kids have a safe place to explore freely than have a picture perfect living room.

I'd rather cage the tree than the kid, but that's just me.
Exactly this. I think if anything on this thread is "not parenting" I'm going to have to go with putting the baby in a playpen rather than putting a gate around the tree.

Our house is basically toddler-proofed. It's also a large ranch. DD wanders into the living room when I'm in the kitchen all the time. I love knowing that she's safe even when out of eyesight.

I'd also much rather keep things I don't want her playing with out of reach than telling her "no" all the time. I want her to explore her environment - the last thing I want to do is discourage that.

FWIW, my nativity collection is up on a shelf, well out of her reach. I have the study wooden one where she can reach it.
post #66 of 91
I put all breakable ornaments high above the younger children's reach, the bottom of the tree is all decorated with soft ornaments. It makes for an uneven tree but eh.
post #67 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by veganone View Post
Exactly this. I think if anything on this thread is "not parenting" I'm going to have to go with putting the baby in a playpen rather than putting a gate around the tree.

Our house is basically toddler-proofed. It's also a large ranch. DD wanders into the living room when I'm in the kitchen all the time. I love knowing that she's safe even when out of eyesight.

I'd also much rather keep things I don't want her playing with out of reach than telling her "no" all the time. I want her to explore her environment - the last thing I want to do is discourage that.

FWIW, my nativity collection is up on a shelf, well out of her reach. I have the study wooden one where she can reach it.
I have an awesome wooden nativity the kids can play with.


http://www.mothering.com/discussions...679&highlight=
post #68 of 91
Our tree is in the kitchen. We have a gate at the entryway into the kitchen and DS 1 spends most of his time in the livingroom.

Also, we are only using unbreakable ornaments this year- and for the forseeable future. With one child, and when I was a SAHM I didn't gate it at all- but, I have three kids, and DH is the SAHP. The gate is a must for all of our sanity.
post #69 of 91
either that or only put up non breakable stuff on the tree until your LO is older. your not insane.
post #70 of 91
I actually think it sounds like a fine idea. Christmas light strings are a known lead poisoning hazard. Most of them are also cheap and shoddy, and probably an electrical shock risk too. Thus, just taking the breakable ornaments off the tree isn't much of a solution.

I don't think it's "not parenting" your child if you don't have the leisure to stand sentinel over the Christmas tree every moment your kid is awake.
post #71 of 91
Yea I kinda had to giggle over the idea that "gating" or child proffing a Christmas tree equaled ovely obssessing over changing ones enviroment.First off up untill now we've had only one child (and will for one more Christmas) so yes techinally it was just me watching her and I didn't even had the overly persistant climber toucher (luck) yet in out TINY apartment it would take her a split second to be into possible danger say with a tree. So unless I literly attached her to me ALL day which she deffiently did not like and killed my back or put her in a play pen all day which incidently was one of her favorite places but I think she'd object to all day... then it meant some degree of child proofing. Yet if you saw our home in those days you'd quickly realize we hardly did extrem baby proofing We had computers and there wires right in the living area TV and steroes with lots of exposed buttons all cabinets except one could be opened and we basically had a lock on the one that did because the doors would pop open with out it.. I mean yes we didn't put breakables out on side tables we made sure the windex and drano were on high shelfs outta reach and for a spell I removed the knobs from our gas stove but really we have the same setup now at age 7 (but new home) and no need to baby proof as we did then. Still we made the tree safe.


Deanna
post #72 of 91
OP you're totally not insane. Perfectly reasonable. I don't gate my xmas tree, but I do have a fence around my yard!
And I don't believe anyone who says they're in the same room all the time every minute of every single day with their toddler.
post #73 of 91
One year a friend of mine used all the packing boxes and bins she had stored the ornaments in to create a barrier around the tree. It all made complete sense to me.

I made gingerbread cut outs one year for ornaments. The house smelled wonderful and I didn't expect them to last long enough to pack away. Good thing as my sneaky kids ate the gingerbread men one limb at a time.

We adapt because we can and when we are paying attention we take on only what we can cope with so that we can give our children sane mommas for the holidays.
post #74 of 91
I think it's a great idea and if we had the room (and something to fence it in) I'd also do it.

I'm just not bothering with a tree because I have a climber who will want to be the fairy on the tree. It was bad enough when we went to visit Santa. She did a runner with one of his baubles and we were only there 5 minutes.
post #75 of 91
I think that's very clever of you to put a gate around the tree.
They probably would don't say nothing if you put tha gate around the baby
post #76 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by tessie View Post
It was bad enough when we went to visit Santa. She did a runner with one of his baubles and we were only there 5 minutes.
DS did this too!!
post #77 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer Z View Post

Third, the idea that you can always be within arm's reach only works when you have one child. And arm's reach really isn't close enough to keep super persistent and curious kids out of things all the time. Some kids are more passive, but some of us were blessed with children who make our days feel like we are trying to contain lightening while herding cats.


I have a feeling that ds2 is going to be like that.
post #78 of 91
I know of parents who have put the tree up IN a playpen, to keep the kiddies out of it! FWIW, I agree with the PP who said that if your family doesn't want to sit there and guard the tree, and redirect your LO, then they need to be quiet. At least a gate can be taken down as needed for photos or whatnot, or even only put up when your LO is in the room if seeing it bugs you.


I got off lucky with both DD's-- DD1 was 8 months and crawling at Christmas, and didn't really notice the Christmas tree set up behind the edge of the couch. But I had a back-up contingency plan to block off the Christmas tree in the corner of our living room with a couch and my desk if needed to keep her away from it! Thankfully, she didn't really notice until Christmas Eve, so we did a cutesy photo shoot, redirected her, and took the tree down the next afternoon. This time, DD2 is a whopping 3 weeks old, so she could really care less about the tree.
post #79 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketgirl96 View Post
I can't be the only one....

to have a play yard or baby gate up around the Christmas Tree?

Nope


Those who think that enough re-directing would keep a tree safe don't know my DD. Seriously. On several occasions, I have spent literally 45 min or longer constantly re-directing my dd away from opening the dishwasher and climbing on the door. I redirect her until I physically block the door, which results in her standing in front of the dishwasher howling while yanking on the door trying to open it. FUN! I still have trouble keeping her off it. She's smart, she's quick and she's stubborn.

We had the same issue with the DVD shelves. Those now live in DH's office, where DD can't go. The dining room table was also a problem, so now the chairs stay on their sides when not actually in use.

Sure I could replay that scenario with the Christmas tree from now till Christmas, but why? I'd much rather gate the thing.
post #80 of 91
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KristyDi View Post

Those who think that enough re-directing would keep a tree safe don't know my DD. Seriously. On several occasions, I have spent literally 45 min or longer constantly re-directing my dd away from opening the dishwasher and climbing on the door. I redirect her until I physically block the door, which results in her standing in front of the dishwasher howling while yanking on the door trying to open it. FUN! I still have trouble keeping her off it. She's smart, she's quick and she's stubborn.

Yes!Yes!Yes! My son is the exact same as your daughter! Love that picture!
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