when did you let your toddler go up and down the stairs unassisted? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 04-09-2011, 06:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My 2 1/2 year old figured out the stair gates several months ago.....since then I always have run to help her go up or down the stairs....

 

she is able to go up and down ok for the most part unless she wants to carry something w/ her.

She has made it up or down the stairs several times successfully when i wasn't able to catch her beforehand,

 

for the most part she seems pretty agile but then again she's still 2 1/2...

 

and though 98% of the time i think she'd be ok...I wory about the 2% chance that she might not

how old was your toddler when you let them go up and down the steps alone?

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#2 of 27 Old 04-09-2011, 07:13 AM
 
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My DD is 18 m/o and she's been going up by herself since 12 m/o (I always watch her though) and she won't go down without me yet (which is good)


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#3 of 27 Old 04-09-2011, 07:58 AM
 
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We have extremely steep stairs, but my son is an excellent climber.  He was able to go up and down the stairs unassisted by the time he was 13 or 14 months old, but we didn't start letting him do so by himself until closer  to 18

months.  Now he's two and I trust him to go up and down completely by himself, even holding onto something, so long as one hand is free to hold the railing.  However, he's got a buddy who is almost 3 and won't go down our stairs unassisted (because they're so steep), so I think he's a little young for unassisted stairs.  It's definitely an individual thing based on how good the child is at climbing and how safe the stairs are.  My friend has stairs with no side on them, and even though my 2 year old is awesome on the stairs, the potential for him to fall off the side and get seriously hurt is too risky for me to leave him unattended on those stairs.


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#4 of 27 Old 04-09-2011, 01:51 PM
 
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Our daughter was crawling up the stairs before she started to walk at 11 months, and by 12 months was going up and down the stairs by herself. She has always gone down with both hands holding onto the railing, and loves it. Sometimes she'll walk to the top and sit there waving at us. We got rid of the gate shortly after.

 

That said we have a very open plan setup and I can always see her when she goes for the stairs....

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#5 of 27 Old 04-09-2011, 02:40 PM
 
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DS is 23 months old and he goes up & down the stairs unassisted--ie, without holding my hand.  But since we're in an apartment, he doesn't have free access to the stairs, which are outside, so I'm always nearby while he's going up & down.  DS has tripped a few times, but always when someone is holding his hand.  When he's navigating the stairs on his own, he's much more cautious and pays more attention (and goes slower).

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#6 of 27 Old 04-09-2011, 03:16 PM
 
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My daughter is 18 months old and goes up and down our stairs unassisted and I have taken down the safety gate.  I still feel a little uneasy and if I am in the bathroom or somewhere I can't watch her I put the gate back up.  It is a little scary even though she does really well on her own.  I worry more when all of the children are home because I have visions of older children running up and down and knocking her down or distracting her enough to make her fall.  I feel that in another year that fear will be gone because she will be so proficient at going up and down.


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#7 of 27 Old 04-09-2011, 08:50 PM
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my kiddo's been going up and down unattended since maybe....9 months? shortly after she started crawling i taught her how to safely go up and down the stairs. i did supervise her until she had the "going down" part down-pat. 

i had to amp up the supervision a couple months ago when she started walking up and down instead of scooting but once she proved herself capable i've let her on her own again. she's 18 months now and so good at it that the idea of me having to watch her seems absurd. but i guess it would depend on the skill level.


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#8 of 27 Old 04-10-2011, 12:33 AM
 
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DD started walking at 9 months and started crawling up the stairs before that. She had good incentive because we were living in my in-laws' basement at the time, so grandma and grandpa were upstairs! She started walking up the stairs within a few months of walking, but I didn't let her by herself. She turned around and crawled down for a long time after that. 

 

Now she's 25 months and she goes up and down the stairs just fine and has for months. Our new house is a tri-level with carpet, so I feel pretty good about letting her handle those stairs alone. I still stay near her (generally just walking below her, but sometimes holding her hand, depending on what she wants to do) if the stairs are tall, steep, or hard (like concrete). She's hadn't fallen off the stairs in ages until a couple of weeks ago when she seemed to possibly forget she had one more stair to go or something. It was a minor injury since we were on "safe stairs" at home, so all it took was a little cuddling and she was fine. 


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#9 of 27 Old 04-10-2011, 05:29 PM
 
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Ds2 is 21 mos, and we took the gates down a few months ago. He was very mobile at a young age, and his gross motor skills and balance are very good. He always holds onto the handrail (well, the spindle on the handrail) or a hand when he goes down, and we didn't take down the gate until he was reliable at doing so.  Our stairs are half-flights, so it's probably a little bit safer than full flights of stairs, or at least it seems that way.


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#10 of 27 Old 04-10-2011, 07:55 PM
 
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Ds could reliably go up by about 9 months (& thus we put a gate at the bottom 'cause I was tired of chasing him up 100x a day) but he refused to go down until he could WALK down so he didn't master down until about 15 or 16 months. Sometime before he was 2 I started to be ok with him going down as well as up on his own. Even now though he is pretty cautious with down - I might feel different if he was one to dive head first into things.


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#11 of 27 Old 04-11-2011, 05:53 AM
 
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We keep our stairs always gated due to construction on the second floor... if the second floor were safe, I would no longer have the gate because they are half-flights and DS is quite proficient at going up & down (probably would have gotten rid of them around 18mos). When we are out & about, it's 50/50 as to whether I hover nearby or just let him do it alone. He can go all the way up & down my friend's very very long staircase but some other ones I follow him if they are steep or slippery or spiral (or if there are lots of other dangers nearby or I just happen to be going in the same direction anyway). He has never fallen, it has much more to do with my anxiety & fear of heights than any real need for me to hover, now that I think about it.

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#12 of 27 Old 04-11-2011, 06:38 AM
 
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DD (28 months) is VERY cautious on our wooden stairs.  She still holds my hand to go down, using the other hand to hold the railing.  She climbs up on her own but will only do it if I am behind her.

 

We still have our gates up- although she is so cautious I am worried about her waking up at night, getting out of her bed, and falling down them.  Which has NEVER happened, she just calls out for me at night when she wakes up...but I guess I am cautious about the stairs, too!


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#13 of 27 Old 04-11-2011, 07:00 AM
 
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DS learned to walk on his 12 month birthday-weekend. He was crawling up stairs before that. At 6mo, he started to climb up (opposite of steep) stairs on his own, then later on he started climbing up our "normal" apartment stairs. Our apartment stairs are indoors, carpeted, but the type that are slatted steps, no backing(fronting?) to prevent kids from sliding through the steps and falling. he would crawl up those on his own, no issue. 

 

the issue started when he decided he could go DOWN the stairs by himself. He's fallen exactly 2 times, down a small number of stairs(imagine my fright when he fell down the first set of plush carpeted stairs, I thought that when kids fall down stairs they ALWAYS get hurt, and I started freaking out.) These stairs were not our apartment stairs, and I think he was probably pushed/knocked by some other kid. 

 

The stairs we have now are marble, and he has almost constant daytime access to them. one time he drove his bike down them(EEEK!) luckily, the stairs have a landing less than halfway down and he only fell down maybe 5 steps. I've had to catch him a few times from falling, but he is usually better at maintaining his balance if he is doing it on his own. 

 

I don't usually worry if DS is on the marble stairs by himself. He has been walking for 10 months now(really, only that long? seems like forever) and I don't freak out about these things. When we walk together, I hold his hand, and make him hold the railing. Sometimes he will refuse to hold my hand, and I make him hold the railing instead. I wouldn't bat an eye at plush carpeted stairs(which he also goes up and down, at other people's house, usually without me in sight)

 

But I don't freak out about a lot of stuff. I'm also the parent who taught DS how to safely unplug and plug things into the outlet, so he wouldn't hurt himself, in lieu of buying childproofing that he couldn't penetrate. There will always be uncovered outlets somewhere, or stairs that you don't notice, and I choose to teach my DS how to do things on his own for when he decides to do it on his own anyways.

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#14 of 27 Old 04-11-2011, 07:54 AM
 
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I have carpeted stairs that are steep, but have a landing that curves, so not as daunting as straight steep steps.
Dd2 has been going up since we moved in at 12m. Going down took another month. I never assist as I tried once and that was the only time she fell. I think I was too much of a distraction.
She crawls up and slides down on her belly even though she has been walking for 2months.

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#15 of 27 Old 04-11-2011, 04:58 PM
 
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DS would go up the stairs as soon as he started crawling, but we didn't have any at home so it was only at other people's houses and obviously someone was always watching him.  We moved in to a house with stairs when DS was about 2 and he could easily go up and down without assistance, but I still felt the need to watch him.  Some time between then and now (DS is 3y 4m), I started trusting him on the stairs without direct supervision (I always know what floor he is on, but don't feel the need to watch him as he goes up/down) and he has recently started doing that 'hop' down, it's actually more like a gallop or skip down the stairs.  I don't know how to describe it, but it's how I go down the stairs when I want to go quickly.  I'm not worried, he is very coordinated and he knows that he is, under no circumstances allowed to PLAY on the stairs.

 

I also watch two kids during the day who, according to their parents, are not regularly exposed to stairs (except for at our house).  When they are here, I keep the gates (one at the top, one at the bottom) up at all times and then watch them carefully when they go up or down. 

 

The boy, who was 22m when I started watching him and is 31m now, holds on to the railing AND my hand when he goes up and down.  In the beginning he would trip a lot, but can easily work the stairs now. Just not on his own, for him it would be a very long while before I'd let him on the stairs unsupervised.

 

The girl, who just turned 1, has been trying to pull down the gate to the stairs since she could crawl.  She can crawl up the stairs quickly and without assistance (closely supervised) and also knows how to come back down, going feet first (something I taught her).  For her, it will also be a long while before I'll allow her on the stairs unsupervised.

 


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#16 of 27 Old 04-11-2011, 07:24 PM
 
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We didn't have stairs until dd was 18 months old, and she would go up but not down them on her own (they were really steep).  Then we moved to a place that had the stairs broken up in 1/2 so there are less stairs and they aren't steep.  The first day we moved in (22 months) she went down them fully standing up without issue and has been doing it ever since.  I have fallen down those stairs more than she has.


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#17 of 27 Old 04-11-2011, 07:58 PM
 
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I let my daughter go up and down from probably 18 months or younger, but we do use gates because I don't want her wandering around on other floors away from me- my house isn't that childproofed, and I don't want her playing in the toilet or rooting through the upstairs drawers. She's pretty comfortable handling stairs with railings. 

 

All my kids have fallen down some stairs at least once, though, and all have been fine. Of course it's not what you want to happen, but falling a time or two is usually okay and not a serious injury. 


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#18 of 27 Old 04-12-2011, 01:47 PM
 
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I think it's all about how much day to day practice they get. We used to live in a townhome with crazy steep stairs and ds1 and ds2 got good at going up and down unassisted from a very early age. Ds2 was before 12 months and was able to go up and down with no help, but friends would have 4 year olds with no stairs in their homes and they would not be able to handle the stairs without a helping hand. 

Now we have moved into a single floor home and ds2 (2 yrs old) has trouble with stairs now. He doesn't have that much practice anymore, so I have to remind him to hold on, or go down on his belly if they are steep etc.


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#19 of 27 Old 04-14-2011, 12:29 PM
 
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I honestly can't remember when DD or DS started going up and down stairs on their own.  I know it was when they were both under 18 months, I want to say around 15 month for both up and down with DD and and 18 month for down with DS, earlier with up.  I do know I haven't had to help DD in at least 8 to 9 months, but I am not sure if it was longer then that or not.


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#20 of 27 Old 04-14-2011, 07:43 PM
 
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My Lil' Man just recently started insisting on navigating the stairs independently. A large part of it is that there are stairs at the daycare center, and when his class goes out to the playground, they have to go up and down the stairs by themselves. They are in a line, holding onto a special rope (with shapes all along its length, each little one holds a shape like a handle when they're walking) but they go up and down without being carried. Now, when I drop him off in the morning, he won't let me carry him down; he screams at me until I put him down and allow him to go unassisted. I always walk a couple of steps ahead of him, close enough to grab him if he tumbles, but he won't even let me hold his hand!

The stairs at the apartment are different. Those are concrete steps with gaps between them, and although they have rubber grips in the middle of the risers, he walks towards the outside of the step in order to keep his hand on the wall. I am always afraid his foot will slip, and whereas the stairs at daycare are carpeted, these stairs could cause some serious damage if he fell. So, screams or not, usually I scoop him up and carry him at home.

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#21 of 27 Old 04-14-2011, 07:58 PM
 
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My daughter was doing it at 20 months, but that was with spending many months teaching her to scoot on her butt or go backwards (she won't hold anything with both hands) and knowing that she won't move if she is trying to hold something she can't scoot on her butt or go backwards with.  She is a pretty cautious kid though who knows her limits.

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#22 of 27 Old 04-15-2011, 08:41 AM
 
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I don't know precisely, but...7 months?  8 months?  As soon as she was crawling, between 6 and 7 months, she began climbing the stairs.  We didn't gate them, but kept an eye on her for a while until it was clear she had mastered it.  for a while, she would climb up, but call for us (you know, in *her* language) from the top when she wanted to come down.  I would go up, help her get turned around so she was headed down feet-first, and help her climb/slide down on her belly, until she was able to do it herself.  She's almost 20 months now, and walks up and down, holding the hand rail.

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#23 of 27 Old 04-17-2011, 04:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpajama View Post

I don't know precisely, but...7 months?  8 months?  As soon as she was crawling, between 6 and 7 months, she began climbing the stairs.  We didn't gate them, but kept an eye on her for a while until it was clear she had mastered it.  for a while, she would climb up, but call for us (you know, in *her* language) from the top when she wanted to come down.  I would go up, help her get turned around so she was headed down feet-first, and help her climb/slide down on her belly, until she was able to do it herself.  She's almost 20 months now, and walks up and down, holding the hand rail.


This, exactly, except dd is 26months!

 


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#24 of 27 Old 04-21-2011, 08:37 AM
 
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I've let my toddler go up and down stairs alone since 18mo or so.  It might have been earlier if we had our own stairs, but she only gets practice at other people's houses.


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#25 of 27 Old 04-21-2011, 09:22 AM
 
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We moved into our house when DD was 7 months old and was just learning to crawl. Her room had two small steps down into it from the kitchen. One day I plopped her in her room so I could do some dinner prep thinking that she would be "contained" for the time it would take to chop some veggies. I turned away for a minute and suddenly I felt a little hand pulling on my pant leg - she had climbed the stairs alone! We quickly taught her to turn around and go backwards down those stairs, which she mastered in a few attempts. She started going up and down the 15 step stairs in our house about a month after she mastered walking (about 13 months) holding onto the railing or a hand. About a month later, she was going up and down alone, holding onto the railing facing forward. She's only fallen once and it was from the bottom stair because she tripped over the cat. She carries things up and down as well, but she's been really coordinated and has amazing balance.

 

Long story short - it's very individual. Some kids I wouldn't let near stairs at 4 years old and 1 year olds I wouldn't bat an eye at letting them go.


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#26 of 27 Old 04-25-2011, 09:04 PM
 
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DS is 18 months and has been able to go up and down the stairs for many months now. However, I always stay near him and have no intention of taking the gates down any time soon.  He's very physical and has great gross motor skills, but also has no sense of danger or self-preservation whatsoever.  He plunges headlong into everything. He's already fallen off of everything he can get onto.  I don't trust him not to manage to plunge headlong right down the stairs.  He knows perfectly well how to crawl up and down (which is safe enough) but he thinks he must walk since everyone else does. He's tall but there upper stair has no handrail and the decorative railing in the middle isn't up to modern baby-safe standards; the handrail on the lower stairs is just a bit too high for him. So, I let him walk if I'm with him, but he isn't allowed to use the stairs without strict supervision.

 

That said, when we moved into this house when my daughter was about 2, we never bothered putting up baby gates 'cause she was totally trustworthy on the stairs.  She had gross motor delays, but more to the point, she was also a very cautious child and never fell off anything.


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#27 of 27 Old 04-26-2011, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It has been a  while since i posted this

but now i feel ok w/ DD going upstairs by herself, though i try to watch if i'm near,

going down though i'm less comfortable,

there's a turn in the steps that if you don't scoot towards the the wall it can be a sharp turn.

I fell at this point but luckily i had my arm over the bannister, but bruised my armpit! LOL

they are carpeted at least but it's a wood floor and a wall about 3 ft away at the bottom

 

the problem is that sometimes she wan't to carry a bunch of toys down the stairs....

we did find away to secure the gate that she can't undo by herself,

it's a short thick stretchy loop w/ a big plastic ball bead (kind of like a bigger version of one of those ponytail hoders)

for now it's working, hopefully by the time she figures it  out I'll be more comfortable w/ her agility

I just started her in gymnastics so maybe this will help

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