How Do You Keep A Climber Off The Dining Room Table? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 37 Old 03-07-2011, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That pretty much says it all. 

 

This is my third baby and first time I've had a climber. He's 16 months old. Earlier in the week he mastered climbing onto the dining chairs by himself. Yesterday I was making dinner, so I was facing the stove with my back to him. A minute later, literally,  I turned around to find him happily sitting in the middle of the dining room table, holding a pair of my craft scissors in his hands, smiling as if he had won the lottery. 

 

Obviously I won't be leaving things ON the table from now on. 

 

We have a small house, so I can't just put the chairs elsewhere. There is no where else to put them. We eat at the table at least twice per day. I can't gate off the kitchen/dining area, as it is all one space and the opening is so wide that we'd need the gazillion dollar special size baby gates, which we can't afford. 

 

When he tries climbing onto other dangerous things (like things with wheels) I just remind him to sit instead of stand...over and over again. When that doesn't work, I just remove the object he is trying to scale in hopes the phase will pass soon. I can't remove our dining room table. 

 

So is there some magically obvious solution I am overlooking here? headscratch.gif

 

Or am I just on hyper-watch until his fascination with climbing  passes? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#2 of 37 Old 03-07-2011, 11:28 AM
 
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I have one too! Joy.

I also have a very small house and here are a few things I have tried:

I stashed the chairs behind a baby gate when not in use...very annoying that.
I swapped out the regular chairs with folding chairs that we kept folded up under the table. Also annoying.
I tied a rope around all the chairs and the table so he couldn't pull them out...better
When none of the above I watch him like a hawk as my eyes twitch from the stress... check!
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#3 of 37 Old 03-07-2011, 01:41 PM
 
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A new climber here too... 16 months and climbing everything, even the 'side' edge on the outside of the stair case! It is unnerving to say the least. I don't want to limit his development but at the same time I must watch for his safety. Not an easy balanceredface.gif

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#4 of 37 Old 03-07-2011, 06:39 PM
 
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My ds is also a climber and I have the same issue. It's been a few months now and he still loves to climb on the table. I've given up on trying to keep him off and I make sure that there is never anything on the table for longer than we need it. It has actually gotten better, I think the excitement is starting to wear off.

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#5 of 37 Old 03-07-2011, 06:54 PM
 
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When my DD started climbing tables, I took here off the table, told here 'No climbing on tables.' and set her on the ground. If I caught her in the process of climbing the table, I did the same. I did that about ten times and then the messege had sunk in.
I use the strategy almost always, if I have to forbid her something and while it takes some repetition to get the rule established, my DD respects the rules reliably.
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#6 of 37 Old 03-07-2011, 07:00 PM
 
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My (two) climbers have taught me that in this situation there are two options:

 

1.  Get rid of the table (or chairs, if it's impossible to get up without them)

 

2.  Learn to live with the child climbing on the table until s/he is older  (this can involve frequently removing and redirecting, but they'll still end up on the table)

 

 

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#7 of 37 Old 03-07-2011, 07:29 PM
 
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I pushed the table against the wall so the chairs on that side are not accessible and switched the rest of the chairs for folding chairs so they can be folded and stacked when not in use. The table is ikea and very shaky so climbing on top it is not safe. But beware because climbers tend to be very industrious and they find other things to climb on. 


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#8 of 37 Old 03-07-2011, 09:08 PM
 
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My boy loved to climb, but I'm lucky he did that trick very early on, like around 10 months.  It was horrible then b/c he'd just climb up there over and over and over.  I took him down over and over and over.  But, he didn't understand why not at his age and it was one of the reasons for a while, we could hardly be a home just because he would scream and scream and keep on trying to climb.  Now though, he's older and he understands its off limits.  We have a glass chandelier that he used to stand on the table to reach, so it was an obvious no for us.  I find that if he knows there is some kind of consequence to his action if he breaks your rule, then it'll deter him from trying it again.  I don't know if this is an ok AP answer, but time outs work for us and my ds is learning what things are acceptable behavior and what things are not and it works well for us.

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#9 of 37 Old 03-07-2011, 11:35 PM
 
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Our 16-month-old is also a crazed climber Spidertoddler. There is no way that repeating the "don't climb there" message is getting through to him. He has heard it probably 10x a day for months, from both parents. It's essentially our only rule, the only time he hears a firm "No!" and is removed from the situation. Otherwise we're redirecting hippies. But we might as well not have a "no death-defying feats in the house!" rule for all he pays attention to it.

 

He hasn't yet figured out that he can climb on the dining chairs - we live in fear of that day. Instead, the intrepid explorer climbs up onto the back of the couch and scales the windows behind it. We live in a very small urban apartment, and the living/dining/kitchen area is all one space. There's literally nowhere else to put the couch. His other favorite thing is to try to climb out onto the bookcases that hold his toys and which flank the couch. Again, nowhere else to put them. Ahhhh.


I don't have any advice for you, OP, only commiseration! This one has really stumped us! We've adopted a policy of "this too shall pass", and we take him outside as much as possible. That's all we've got.


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#10 of 37 Old 03-08-2011, 01:53 AM
 
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My 15-month-old daughter has been a spider-monkey for a few months now.  Yeah.  I found out a week before her first birthday.  See, I went to the kitchen and she was happily playing on the living room floor. I just went to put a glass on the counter.  As I walked back, she was on the end table...falling off.  Since then, she's learned to pull her daddy's desk chair just so, and drag his tool box right there, climb, climb, and scale the glass desk! Quickly.  Very quickly.  She's nimble and quick and strong.  It's nuts.  

 

Like your home, we can't baby-gate anything off either.  We looked into gates big enough, and we just can't afford them.  

 

I've resolved myself to the fact that she's just going to have some spills.  We do our best to keep an eye on her at all times AND WITHIN ARM'S REACH, but that second part is easier said than done.  If we sternly say her first and middle name to stop her, she'll give a challenging look, then do what she was trying to do.  

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#11 of 37 Old 03-08-2011, 04:36 AM
 
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We have the same here.  We have this really wide staircase that normal baby gates wont even fit in.  So we piled chairs up there.  Well, she figured out how to climb the  chairs.  LOL.  I mean, you just have to laugh, right?  she'll also climb the outside stairs liek someone else mentioned.  I have older daughters and sometimes I'll just have one of them follow her up and down the stairs, so at least she can climb but it feels safer.  I dont know how many times this week i've sat on the middle step while she climbed up and I'd put her down. Up and down.  Over and over. LOL

 


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#12 of 37 Old 03-08-2011, 07:39 AM
 
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Show them how to climb down (or make sure they already know how!) and make sure the table legs are sturdy. That's my best solution... my DS likes to walk along the top edge of the couch (right near the window) and it gives me panic attacks but in a whole year of doing that multiple times a day, he has only fallen once (and that was kind of my fault!) so he is way steadier than I give him credit for! He used to climb on his little table but after it nearly broke he has stopped because he gets that it's not stable. He still climbs on our dining table (which is pretty sturdy) every once in a while but for the most part he stays off of it... for a while I was just taking him off a million times a day... I found for him that taking him off without saying a word worked best -- I'd just pick him up & put him on the floor -- because otherwise he kind of liked the attention and us saying "Don't climb on the table" lol...

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#13 of 37 Old 03-08-2011, 08:21 AM
 
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If our table had been sturdy enough, I might just have let DS climb on it, but it wasn't.  It was really frustrating for both of us when he kept climbing up and I kept putting him down.  Finally, I gave him a good stern NO! and made it clear that he was NOT allowed to do that anymore, ever.  He got the message (maybe it took a few tries, but no more than that), stopped doing it, and we were both happier.  He was about the age of your DS, but more compliant than most toddlers.  I'm sure that wouldn't work for all of them.

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#14 of 37 Old 03-08-2011, 08:30 AM
 
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If you absolutely can not move the chairs then flip them onto to the top of table, like we used to do in school, flipping the chairs onto the desk. Then you can take them down when its time to use the table.


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#15 of 37 Old 03-08-2011, 08:35 AM
 
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DS was a climber at a really young age. What we did was find a climbing toy on craigslist, a little tikes thing with a slide. When he would attempt climbing something he shouldn't, we redirected him to the climber which was an appropriate thing for him to climb.

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#16 of 37 Old 03-08-2011, 08:44 AM
 
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I take him off the table and redirect him to the  climber we have inside.  I take him off the computer desk, and redirect him to the climber. I take him off the kitchen counter and redirect him to the climber.  Yesterday, I found him on top of the fridge, and I realized this is a battle I am unlikely to win, but I took him down and redirected him to the climber and slide. He is my third child, and the only one redirection has not worked with. 

 

At least I know who I can send up to clean out the gutters on the house in a few years. 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HollyBearsMom View Post

If you absolutely can not move the chairs then flip them onto to the top of table, like we used to do in school, flipping the chairs onto the desk. Then you can take them down when its time to use the table.



With my kids, this would have rapidly resulted in chairs being pulled down onto their heads.... lol.gif

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#18 of 37 Old 03-08-2011, 10:26 AM
 
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I also had two climbing boys, but the first one was much worse. He started walking at 8 months, but he was crawling up things at 7 months. He would walk/crawl right off the edge of whatever he was on until he was around 10 months old. I found the quote below to be the only good solutions for a dedicated climber.
Quote:
Originally Posted by prothyraia View Post

My (two) climbers have taught me that in this situation there are two options:

 

1.  Get rid of the table (or chairs, if it's impossible to get up without them)

 

2.  Learn to live with the child climbing on the table until s/he is older  (this can involve frequently removing and redirecting, but they'll still end up on the table)

 

 


We had all the chairs in the middle of the living room for almost 6 months. I tried pushing them in as well as flipping them upside down on top of the table. My DS1 pulled a chair down on top of himself with that solution. Please be very careful if you're going to try that solution! At one point we even flipped the table upside down as we had no where to store a table. (We were living in a very small apartment in Germany at the time.)

I love when people say that you just need to tell them sternly that they aren't allowed up on the table. That worked for my second son, but not for the first one. I might as well have been sternly telling the wall to sit down for all the good that did. It probably had more to do with his age than anything else. The only way to keep DS1 off any horizontal surface was to make it so he had nothing to climb on to get up there.

Once he hit the point of being able to push things over to an area and climbing up on them, then I let him do it. He was probably around 14 months old at that point. The funny thing was that he seemed to lose interest once he was allowed to do it. I also kept the table empty so that there was nothing for him to do once he got there. It was a horrible phase but he stopped climbing by the time he was about 17 or 18 months.

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#19 of 37 Old 03-08-2011, 10:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by insidevoice View Post

I take him off the table and redirect him to the  climber we have inside.  I take him off the computer desk, and redirect him to the climber. I take him off the kitchen counter and redirect him to the climber.  Yesterday, I found him on top of the fridge, and I realized this is a battle I am unlikely to win, but I took him down and redirected him to the climber and slide.



I am loving this thread.

 

 

Quote:

I love when people say that you just need to tell them sternly that they aren't allowed up on the table. That worked for my second son, but not for the first one. I might as well have been sternly telling the wall to sit down for all the good that did.

 

I think that's funny, too. I imagine there are just some kids who are amenable to being told "No, get down!" - but my child is not one of them.

 

For those with wide spaces to block off, we were able to solve that particular problem with the North States play yard. It's ugly plastic, but it's relatively affordable (I think ours was about 60 bucks on Amazon) and we've been able to zig-zag it across the room and tuck the ends behind furniture. (If there's no furniture to be had, a friend of ours velcro'd hers to the wall with industrial velcro.) It does not create a rigid barrier like a metal baby gate in a doorway would (our kid sometimes likes to make it sway back and forth, but can be redirected from this activity.) But it does work to block of a really wide space. Or works "well enough", I suppose.


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#20 of 37 Old 03-08-2011, 10:32 AM
 
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My little guy started doing this after he learned to walk at 9 months!  It freaked me out. 

 

I would move all of the chairs away from the table--on the porch or into a bedroom and shut the door.  When we needed the chairs they would come back.  It lasted for a few weeks, then we moved, and now he is on to other things...

 

Having something they can climb is very useful (little tikes slide, etc.)


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#21 of 37 Old 03-08-2011, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow! Who knew that so many babes were half monkey like mine?! lol.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asiago View Post

A new climber here too... 16 months and climbing everything, even the 'side' edge on the outside of the stair case! It is unnerving to say the least. I don't want to limit his development but at the same time I must watch for his safety. Not an easy balanceredface.gif


This is me too. I find that the more he practices climbing something, the better he learns how to balance and climb w/out falling. The dining table is so high though, which is out of my current comfort zone.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by intime0 View Post

We have the same here.  We have this really wide staircase that normal baby gates wont even fit in.  So we piled chairs up there.  Well, she figured out how to climb the  chairs.  LOL.  I mean, you just have to laugh, right?  she'll also climb the outside stairs liek someone else mentioned.  I have older daughters and sometimes I'll just have one of them follow her up and down the stairs, so at least she can climb but it feels safer.  I dont know how many times this week i've sat on the middle step while she climbed up and I'd put her down. Up and down.  Over and over. LOL

 


Yep. I took him off the dining table about 20 times yesterday. 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

Show them how to climb down (or make sure they already know how!) and make sure the table legs are sturdy. That's my best solution... my DS likes to walk along the top edge of the couch (right near the window) and it gives me panic attacks but in a whole year of doing that multiple times a day, he has only fallen once (and that was kind of my fault!) so he is way steadier than I give him credit for! He used to climb on his little table but after it nearly broke he has stopped because he gets that it's not stable. He still climbs on our dining table (which is pretty sturdy) every once in a while but for the most part he stays off of it... for a while I was just taking him off a million times a day... I found for him that taking him off without saying a word worked best -- I'd just pick him up & put him on the floor -- because otherwise he kind of liked the attention and us saying "Don't climb on the table" lol...

Ooohh...I'm gonna try this starting today and see if it helps. Thanks!
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by HollyBearsMom View Post

If you absolutely can not move the chairs then flip them onto to the top of table, like we used to do in school, flipping the chairs onto the desk. Then you can take them down when its time to use the table.

scared.gif Thank you for the suggestion, but if I tried this, he'd pull the first chair down onto his head by the time I put the fourth chair on the table. 
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by lalemma View Post

Our 16-month-old is also a crazed climber Spidertoddler. There is no way that repeating the "don't climb there" message is getting through to him. He has heard it probably 10x a day for months, from both parents. It's essentially our only rule, the only time he hears a firm "No!" and is removed from the situation. Otherwise we're redirecting hippies. But we might as well not have a "no death-defying feats in the house!" rule for all he pays attention to it.

 

lol.gif
I don't have any advice for you, OP, only commiseration! This one has really stumped us! We've adopted a policy of "this too shall pass", and we take him outside as much as possible. That's all we've got.


I think you are probably right. 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by insidevoice View Post

I take him off the table and redirect him to the  climber we have inside.  I take him off the computer desk, and redirect him to the climber. I take him off the kitchen counter and redirect him to the climber.  Yesterday, I found him on top of the fridge, and I realized this is a battle I am unlikely to win,  yikes.gif  but I took him down and redirected him to the climber and slide. He is my third child, and the only one redirection has not worked with. 

 

At least I know who I can send up to clean out the gutters on the house in a few years.

Wow! He's a pro! The fridge? I don't even wanna ask how he did that, as I am afraid that my little guy will read my mind and try it himself. LOL

And I like your positive spin on it regarding the gutters...wink1.gif

 

 

 

Thanks for all the advice and commiseration, everyone!

 

I'm wondering if it is indeed just a stage, or it he's going to be a climber forever. Only time will tell I suppose. 

 


 

 

 

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#22 of 37 Old 03-08-2011, 10:58 AM
 
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I allowed the climbing... it became unsafe for me to continue to tell her NOT to climb so I tried to show her how to do it safely. If I felt uncomfortable with something she was climbing I stood beside her and held my breath, lol. More often than not she knew her limits and wouldn't push them. One of my older boys was also a climber and was constantly redirected from climbing and he didn't know his limits, was often hurt in the process of sneakily climbing because of it.


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#23 of 37 Old 03-08-2011, 10:58 AM
 
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To answer the question in the title, I keep the kitchen gated off.  We have a wide doorway so we had to spend big bucks for the gate, but that was our only option.  I got pg when she was just a year old, as she started climbing, and there simply wasn't a way to be able to be consistant about physically removing her every single time she was up on something (which was like every other minute.)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minalas View Post

When my DD started climbing tables, I took here off the table, told here 'No climbing on tables.' and set her on the ground. If I caught her in the process of climbing the table, I did the same. I did that about ten times and then the messege had sunk in.
I use the strategy almost always, if I have to forbid her something and while it takes some repetition to get the rule established, my DD respects the rules reliably.

This made me giggle.  Because my dd is 28 months, has been climbing for 18 months now and I have certainly done exactly this more than 10 times in those 18 months.  It simply doesn't work for my dd.

 

I have tried every stategy, redirection, firmly saying no, removing her from the situation, spanking, yelling, letting her climb some to take away the novelty, providing an indoor or alternative climbing object, NOTHING works.  She pushes her climber over to the door or windows and climbs up on top of it to use it as a stepping stool to get to higher ground.  At any given moment, you could find her halfway up the stairway banister, on the halfwall between the kitchen and family room, on top of the piano or standing on her slide reaching into DH's stuff on the top shelf of the coat rack.  My day is a constant litany of "get down from there, please don't climb up here, come off of there, here climb this instead, get down, come here, stay off that, the couch isn't a jungle gym, get off the arm of the chair," etc etc etc

 

 

When does this stage END?

 

 

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#24 of 37 Old 03-08-2011, 11:58 AM
 
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Quote:
scared.gif Thank you for the suggestion, but if I tried this, he'd pull the first chair down onto his head by the time I put the fourth chair on the table. 

Ouch!!  Though thats kind of a natural consequence, eh?  winky.gif LOL!!!


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#25 of 37 Old 03-08-2011, 12:05 PM
 
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Oh- as for how he got on the fridge... 

 

He has learned to defeat the safety latches on the cupboards.  He opened one and took out the big stock put turning it upside down, climbed that to get to the counter.  The microwave is on the counter next to the fridge, so it was up on the microwave then to the top of the fridge. 

 

I have now double babygated my kitchen- one on top of the other.  

 

 

 

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#26 of 37 Old 03-08-2011, 12:22 PM
 
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That's amazing. As scary as these things are, I am kind of impressed by the gumption of these kids!

 

I halfway wonder if this climbing thing is genetic. My mama-in-law was just telling me that my husband, as a little one, was also an outer-edge-of-stairs climber. And my parents used to claim that I was half goat. Maybe we've passed it on to our kid.

 

 


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#27 of 37 Old 03-08-2011, 12:32 PM
 
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He's the first of them to be a super-climber.  The other kids did normal kid climbing stuff, but he is downright scary.  My brother was the same way when he was young (jumping off 20 and 30 foot cliffs because he could as he was older!) so maybe there is some genetic component. 

 

 

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#28 of 37 Old 03-08-2011, 01:30 PM
 
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My chairs spent a good few months shut up in the back room haha. The interest has seemed to wear off now. I keep our table pushed against the wall. Two of the chairs are 'trapped' behind there and we pull the whole set up out if we have company. The other two chairs he could technically still climb in but like I said the interest seems to be gone now. He'll occasionally climb on the table if DH is sitting there with his laptop but the rest of the time he's fine with them. Now if only I could figure out a way to get him to stop climbing my entertainment system I'd be happy lol. 


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#29 of 37 Old 03-08-2011, 01:41 PM
 
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My DD was a climber. I just pulled her off whatever she climbed on over and over and over until she got it. It took a while and drove me insane. but not as insane as kids climbing on the furniture wink1.gif

DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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#30 of 37 Old 03-08-2011, 04:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lalemma View Post
For those with wide spaces to block off, we were able to solve that particular problem with the North States play yard. It's ugly plastic, but it's relatively affordable (I think ours was about 60 bucks on Amazon) and we've been able to zig-zag it across the room and tuck the ends behind furniture. (If there's no furniture to be had, a friend of ours velcro'd hers to the wall with industrial velcro.)

 

We have this as well, and it's great.  (well, relatively cheap and functional, at least) thumb.gif
 

 

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