With the holidays coming up, decorating is a big part. The tinsel, lights, trees, and poinsettias are all a big part of most holiday setups but how can you keep this time of year safe for a newly curious about everything infant? You don't have to give up a single part of the celebrations once you become a parent, but you should watch your baby's development (is baby crawling, cruising or starting to walk already?) and make sure that the baby can't reach the decor.
Make sure tinsel is out of the reach of curious hands. It's an obvious hazard- baby can get it tangled and choke or even hang themselves. It's a beautiful addition to the banister or tree, but it's also a big hazard. Try to skip it if you can, or keep it high enough that the baby cannot reach it at all. Even better, keep it in a room that the baby rarely goes into, and keep that room shut until guests arrive when you know you can safely monitor the baby around the tinsel.
Holiday lights are another strangulation hazard but also electrocution. Make sure the cord is unfrayed, in good condition and not a potential fire hazard.
Toddlers almost always seem to bring down the tree at least once per year- make sure it's either in a location baby can't get to and gated or secure enough to not fall. Also, make sure all choking hazards and breakable items are hung too high for little fingers to grab.
Poinsettias are toxic (they will make the baby sick but not fatally). They are best kept out of reach, they do make beautiful fake flowers as well- and those are safe.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1680"] Via Crate and Barrel[/caption]
Mistletoe will need to be hung up strong enough to make sure it never falls. It can cut the insides of baby's mouth and on down if swallowed and is poisonous if ingested.
Other holiday plants
Keep a close eye on all other holiday plants you bring in. Poinsettias may only be toxic but there are many others that can be deadly besides Mistletoe.
Spray snow and other related types of decorations can be toxic when inhaled when first sprayed but are nontoxic when dried. Make sure baby isn't around when you're spraying and if s/he is, make sure their face isn't where they could breathe it in.
Make sure choking hazards (beads, small ornaments, etc) are out of reach and secured where they won't easily fall into reach. Babies love putting items in their mouths.
Decorating for the holidays can be a very fun way to spend time with your whole family and baby can happily join in but you need to use caution- not everything is safe to eat and not everything is safe to play with. There is a list here of other potential hazards.