How do you handle climbing? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 07-07-2008, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My babe is only 13 months. She climbs on anything and everything. Then she stands up and dances After getting her off of the item a million times, I turned over the furniture that's low enough for her to climb. I turned the coffee table upside down. Then she got on the dining room chairs. I said to heck with it and let her.

She did fine climbing on the chair and then she fell a week into it. Fell right on her head. I turned all the dining room chairs on their sides. My house looks a little crazy right now, everything turned upside down and sideways (If the chairs are pushed under the table, she pushes them out....and them climbs).

But then there's the couch. And other things I can't turn upside down. Yeah, and the couch is the newest thing she can cilmb on. I need a clone to help me with this monster.

What are you supposed to do? Do you let them climb? Do you hover them so they don't fall? Do you let them fall to learn? Do you repeatedly take them off of item and teach them not to climb? Any words of wisdom greatly appreciated
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#2 of 15 Old 07-07-2008, 08:50 PM
 
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I let mine climb. but I am there as a spot to help and try to anticipate falls, but they do happen and she learns. I also try to teach her how to get down rather than just putting her down. I like her exploring nature and the fearless girl in her! I think its good for her to learn, she has to at some point. Actually, she doesn't climb on furniture that much, maybe because I let her and its not as fun if she is allowed to, or it could be because we have a lot of stairs and that helps her get the urge to climb out of her system. This is one of those things that if I tried to stop it then I would be exhausted. Certain things though are off limits. But I let her climb chairs, the couch, even the coffee table, anything to flimsy or too high is off limits

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#3 of 15 Old 07-07-2008, 08:50 PM
 
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i have a few cardboard boxes like 4 in the living room for DD to climb on. So if she climbs on something not for climbing I put her on her boxes, yes there is a tantrum because she wants whatever she wants but I just follow through, ignore the tantrum maybe explain : dangerous or whatever up to 2 word explenation i would say.

Basically though i am constantly following DD around the house, holding on to her as she climbs and keeping her safe. Its all i do chase her around our non child proof house.

I think eventually the climbing will not be so fun and her toys will be more fun. or find something else to offer that is more fun. i think turning furniture upsidedown might just encourage more climbing? maybe? if she sees taht as a fun thing like wow i climb on this and then mommy makes it into something else to play with.
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#4 of 15 Old 07-07-2008, 09:14 PM
 
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I, too, have thought about emptying the house of furniture! Going with the padded room motif instead... lol

Our 18 mos. old ds has been climbing for months now, with no end in sight. Our dd was not a climber, so this is all new to me and I'm hoping for advice, too!

We basically let our ds climb anything that seems safe (sofas, chairs, stairs, etc.) I do "spot" him if he seems to be having trouble/going too far.

We have drawn the line at tables. After a visit to a friends where ds did nothing but try to climb onto their table and swing from their lighting fixture, I decided there needed to be some limits. There's a downside though. Now, many times a day, I pull our son off of our dining room table saying something to the effect of "people don't get on tables", or the like. Eventually it will sink in!

It can be frustrating and exhausting, though. I dearly love our ds, but can't wait for the climbing stage to pass!
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#5 of 15 Old 07-07-2008, 10:09 PM
 
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I've been working really hard on teaching the little ones (14 months) to get down off things safely and to be safe while on them. I accept that the couch is going to be climbed on (DS1 can't stop himself despite 4+ years of being told not to), so I focus on trying to keep them safe while climbing. I have put my foot down about climbing onto the toddler picnic table, and I expect I will do that with tables generally. The dining room chairs will be another one where I am tougher because they are flimsier and slide on the floor.

Another thing I try to do is make sure there are things I am happy for them to climb on available. We have climbing toys indoors and out and toddler couches and soft chairs.

Kate
mother of Patrick (7/31/03), and Michael, William, and Jocelyn (4/27/07)
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#6 of 15 Old 07-07-2008, 10:12 PM
 
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I let DD climb, but when she gets up on a chair I remind her that chairs are for sitting, "please sit on your bum". She's 14 months and seems to get it. She LOVES to climb into the rocking chair in the living room and stand holding on to the back. If she was ALWAYS holding on then I wouldn't mind so much, but she tends to forget and let go, then there is a fall danger. I had a severe concussion as a child from standing on a chair and falling off and I don't want to see that happen to her. That said, I don't spot, I don't coddle and I don't have to yell. She's got excellent receptive language skills and we simply ask her "get down please" or "Sit on your bum please". After a while you don't even have to repeat yourself much

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#7 of 15 Old 07-07-2008, 11:05 PM
 
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DD isn't much of a climber, but I let her climb, watch her, and try to give her more appropriate outlets for climbing like the playground.

I do fear I'm going to come out of the bathroom someday to find her not only over the kitchen gate, not only on the counter, but up on top of the fridge or some other equally crazy spot. She's FAST!


We have bar-height dinign room chairs, and her high chair is one of the FP Space Savers, so it's on one of those tall chairs. She climbs up into it all the time, (she's 21 mo) to the extent that we now have to make sure the tray is off and the chair and high chair are turned into the table, to discourage/prevent her from climbing it all.day.long. The chairs are heavy, so she can't easily turn it. She did pull the whole thing down on top of her once, and though she was scared she wasn't hurt - that stopped her from doing it, but only for a couple days.
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#8 of 15 Old 07-08-2008, 05:31 PM
 
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At about 15 months I just let her go, watching closely and helping her learn to get up and down safely. She has boundaries (no climbing on the patio chairs for instance), but otherwise I just help her do it safely and make sure she gets down before I let her out of my sight. She's now 17 months and hasn't fallen in a while.
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#9 of 15 Old 07-08-2008, 06:11 PM
 
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Like others have mentioned, I let 17 mo DS climb but I'm there to watch him and I also impose boundaries. His favorite thing is to climb the end table, scoot over from the end table to the couch, and then jump down and repeat 10 times over!

He also likes to stand on his toddler chairs and play with door knobs, argh!

Re: the couch, could you try putting some of the back cushions or throw pillows on the floor to cushion her fall if she did slip?

We're strict on not letting him climb on top of his toys (like overturned storage bins or his ride on lion, LEO) or on bookshelves and his toddler table. He understands NO and is good about respecting the limits we set.

I don't think there's anyway I could completely stop him from climbing! Another way to curtail it is to let them climb to their hearts' content at playgrounds. I find that if I take him to the playground and let him climb and go down slides he's less apt to repeat it at home.
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#10 of 15 Old 07-08-2008, 06:21 PM
 
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I agree with sparkysgirl. My DS is 19 mos and has been climbing for what seems like forever. I try to kind evaluate the situation and if it's not going to be a trip to the ER if he does fall I let him go. I have noticed that he is learning from the falls he has endured. He is more careful and his balance is getting better everyday. Although I do worry he'll get more brave. Nothing scares this child.
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#11 of 15 Old 07-08-2008, 06:21 PM
 
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I have always let him climb anywhere and everywhere that won't break under his weight or tip over. I 'spot' him and I give guidance if he's having trouble manuvering. I also give him lots of climbing time at the park, so he releases a lot of energy that way.
I do have some rules, no climbing on the dining room table and no climbing over the balcony edge I actually got a small climbing structure for our balcony so he'd climb that instead...it worked

He doesn't fall much, but on the rare occasion that happens he usually 'lets' me kiss him, brushes off and tries again.

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#12 of 15 Old 07-08-2008, 08:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the input. DD has been successfully climbing now for a little over a month. At first, I hovered her. Then I realized she was steady enough and watched from across the room. She got down the same way she got up, no worries there.

I had my living room in shambles because I moved everything so I could paint. She got up on her table...but almost fell on hard "stuff" lying everywhere. It scared me and I flipped it over. I later flipped it right side up, but next to a wall so there's more security (until the painting is complete, then I'll move it where it's supposed to go).

Then she started on the dining room chairs. I did do the "please sit on your butt" thing and she listened sometimes (she knew that from the tub already). But it's more fun to stand up and dance. A few days before I posted here, she was on the chair having a good 'ol time. I was working in the same room. I had my back turned and she hit the floor--head first from standing position. I felt horrible. That's when I turned all the chairs on their sides and asked for advice here.

So, I guess I'll just turn the chairs upright again and let her climb. If it's not the chairs, it's something else. It's just that I *can't* hawk her 24/7...I have things to do (as we all do). I try to give her as much freedom as she wants while still keeping her as safe as I can...it's just hard at times.

The only toddler park I've found around here doesn't have much for the todd's to do. A couple slides, a swing...and this "maze" you walk through, nothing spectacular that will satisfy her climbing desire.

Thanks for all the replies though. One of the many challenges.....
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#13 of 15 Old 07-08-2008, 08:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MayBaby2007 View Post
The only toddler park I've found around here doesn't have much for the todd's to do. A couple slides, a swing...and this "maze" you walk through, nothing spectacular that will satisfy her climbing desire.
We skipped the toddler park...the stuff just isn't as much fun. My daughter has been playing on the "big kid" playground since she was a year because Miss Master Climber was driving me nuts and I didn't want her on my fridge. I found it best to go first thing in the morning before the park is packed (I think families with older kids sleep later or something novel like that) - around 9am. Then I didn't have to worry about her getting plowed over by the bigger kids. Now, at 27 months, she can judge when she needs to move out of their way.

Angela
Chatty Girl - 3/2006, Lovey Boy - 1/2010, Delicious Baby Girl - 1/2012
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#14 of 15 Old 07-08-2008, 09:36 PM
 
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I just let mine climb. Once she showed real interest in climbing, there was no stopping her without her throwing a huge fit. She's fallen once a few weeks ago and has since taught herself how to safely climb off of the couch.

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#15 of 15 Old 07-09-2008, 12:20 AM
 
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You'd be amazed how well your little one will do on bigger kid playground equipment - not the stuff meant for toddlers.

The toddler park around here is a great idea, but DD can do so much MORE - and she isn't even a "climber" per se.
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