How do you teach baby to go DOWN the stairs?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 03-14-2007, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My almost 11 month old gets the going up part, really well. Too well!

How do you go about teaching them to go back down stairs? Does it take longer to master?

Thanks!
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#2 of 20 Old 03-14-2007, 12:21 PM
 
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As SOON as my children figured out how to get up the stairs I was teaching them to sit on the step and slide down ONE step at a time. I kept the stairs blocked until they understood how to properly get down. I would go up with them and slide down on my butt step by step with them. That way I KNEW when they got it.
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#3 of 20 Old 03-14-2007, 12:23 PM
 
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I have lots of stairs in my home and we don't even own a baby gate. I taught dd at around 10 months to slide down on her belly, feet first. She got very good at it quickly. I feel this is the safest way to have a baby do stairs on their own and even at 18 months that is still how she does it unless she is holding my hand to walk down.
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#4 of 20 Old 03-14-2007, 12:25 PM
 
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DD learned to go up the stairs at around 1 but just now at 17 months is she learning how to go down. We practice by having her climb up and then I teach her to to slide down on her belly one step at atime. She never caught on to the slide down on your butt method and prefers it this way. Luckily we don't have stairs at our house.
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#5 of 20 Old 03-14-2007, 12:47 PM
 
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Yep, like others, I demonstrated for her how to slide down one step at a time on her belly, feet first. My kids love going down stairs this way and we've rarely had an accident when they are doing it the way I showed them.
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#6 of 20 Old 03-14-2007, 12:58 PM
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I tried teaching DD to slide feet first and she wouldn't do it. :

So, if your child is like mine... First, she tends to be cautious (but stubborn) so I didn't have to worry about her going down before she could walk down. That is an important trait for the stair thing. We used a baby gate for a few weeks and we spent a lot of time walking down with her holding my hand and guiding using the wall. She has now been walking down the stairs for 6 months or so while touching the wall without an accident.
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#7 of 20 Old 03-14-2007, 01:04 PM
 
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I am in the process of teaching DD to go down backwards, one step at a time. My parents have stairs that aren't overly compatible with any gate under $200 and none of us have that kind of cash right now.

I demonstrate, then I sit behind her on the stairs and show her how to move her feet. I let her do it, and catch her when she falls (before she hits the next step, but I do let her drop a bit)

I taught DS to slide down on his bum, but he was much older than DD at the time. DD is so still little, the stairs just bounce her around and she cries. She is 9 mos, and we have been working on this stair safety project for about 3 weeks now.
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#8 of 20 Old 03-14-2007, 02:01 PM
 
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Like the other posters, I too taught both of my kids how to safely go down the stairs once they mastered going up them. We started with going down backwards on the belly. I didn't use a gate with dc2 until He started trying to go down the stairs by himself, which I was not completely comfortable with. I then gave him the freedom to try them by placing the gate on the 5th stair (from the top). This way he could practice and I didn't have to worry that He would fall all the way down. Eventually I realized that He was very aware of the stairs (after only 1 fall down just 4 stairs) and let him go up and down on his own.
When my dcs were 17 mos. and trying to walk down, I taught them to reach the railing and the wall for help.

Have you read The Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff? This is a wonderful book addressing children being aware of their surroundings and keeping themselves safe. I pretty much followed that and it worked for us.

wave.gifWoHM to reading.gif DD age 10, peace.gif DS age 7, and sleepytime.gif DD age 4 and DP toblueman.gif

 

 

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#9 of 20 Old 03-14-2007, 02:17 PM
 
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We started with the couch and the bed first, turning DS around to go down feet/belly first. He hasn't had many opportunities to try with stairs, but now we can transfer the technique.
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#10 of 20 Old 03-14-2007, 03:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks to all for your suggestions. We have 2 sets of stairs, which are carpeted, but still dangerous and very accessable. I had not thought of actually showing/modeling to her what to do.

I've been trying to place her legs in the correct position to go backwards, which really makes her mad for some reason. (I guess because she's hell bent on going UP!) I will try the belly/slide down backward method after she wakes up from the afternoon nap.

It's amazing how much I never knew, I didn't know:
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#11 of 20 Old 03-14-2007, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by devster4fun View Post
Thanks to all for your suggestions. We have 2 sets of stairs, which are carpeted, but still dangerous and very accessable. I had not thought of actually showing/modeling to her what to do.
Modeling is the best way for me to teach DD anything. She resists everything else.
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#12 of 20 Old 03-14-2007, 04:42 PM
 
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I let her figure it out herself, with me standing behind her for if she fell. She chooses to go down on her belly.
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#13 of 20 Old 03-14-2007, 05:33 PM
 
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Mine learned the belly slide, feet-first, around 9 months. He got really fast at it and by 18 months he was basically body-surfing down at full speed. Visitors in our basement were always surprised to hear this "thump thump thump thump thump!" and see a grinning toddler at the bottom of the stairs.

Now he tries to walk down, with a hand to hold, and is much slower.
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#14 of 20 Old 03-14-2007, 05:56 PM
 
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My mother showed me how to teach DD to go down backwards. She started off being a little resistant (she wanted to go FORWARDS and didn't want to turn around and go down) but picked it up really quickly. We actually have no steps at all, so she's forgotten some of her skills, but still slides off the couch or bed backwards.
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#15 of 20 Old 03-14-2007, 06:04 PM
 
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I used to pull on their legs to make them "crawl down". We'd make a game of it- baby climbs up a few steps- mommy makes baby crawl back down a few steps. After a few days they were able to mimic the movements and crawl down independently. Then the game would be baby crawls up a few steps- mommy helps baby crawl down a couple steps then baby crawls down a few more without assistance, then crawls back up again. The game usually ended with me picking up baby at the bottom of the steps before s/he could go up again. Sometimes they were happy to be distracted by something else (like nursing) but other times I dealt with tears because baby still wanted to play on the steps but mommy said no.

Remember that just because baby knows how to crawl down the steps safely does NOT guarantee that the baby will always do so, and playing on the steps will be a supervised activity for at least the next year or so.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#16 of 20 Old 03-14-2007, 06:07 PM
 
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DD is 27 months, and still doesn't go down the stairs on her own. She still crawls up the stairs at home most of the time. I carry her down the stairs. I'm really scared, so I just haven't made a big deal about it. I'm sure eventually she'll need to learn, because I can't imagine carrying a 17 year old down the stairs!!
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#17 of 20 Old 03-14-2007, 06:23 PM
 
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My little guy learned to go up steps at 6 mos. and down steps around 8 mos., backwards on his belly. He still goes down that way but he's starting to try to walk up and down steps. He does a good job holding my hand. Our steps aren't carpeted and we don't use a gate.
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#18 of 20 Old 03-14-2007, 07:21 PM
 
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My 18 mo old dd goes down the stairs by herself now. I definitely recommend the going-down-on-your-belly method. My dd does great with that method and she's fast. She also knows how to go down on her bottom but it's slower. Unfortunately I caught her trying to go down the stairs like mommy and daddy by standing and holding on the railing. She slid down some of the stairs so we strongly discourage her from standing while going down.
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#19 of 20 Old 03-14-2007, 08:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Aliviasmom View Post
I'm sure eventually she'll need to learn, because I can't imagine carrying a 17 year old down the stairs!!
I have nothing sensible to add, just that this quote made me laugh out loud!
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#20 of 20 Old 03-14-2007, 08:46 PM
 
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I think teaching crawl down is safest. I would never let them do it alone though. Even at 2.5, I prefer to watch DS go down the stairs
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