Mothering Forum banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,083 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
<p>We're moving into a house soon (no more apartment. I'm ecstatic!) but it has stairs.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>We went last night to take photos and DS, of course, wanted to play on the stairs. He's 19mo and very agile (he's physically advanced). He has zero trouble going up the stairs. He also knows how to "go down safe" (slide from one step to the next on his butt) and walk down carefully ONLY if there is someone there to hold hands.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>However...</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Last night, after seeing him go down the first 5 on his butt I felt a little more okay about them. DH walked over  a few seconds later to check on him again and he was 3-4 steps from the bottom. He talked to him and thanked him for being safe and turned to tell me something....THUD THUD THUD. *sigh* He was fine, more scared than anything. My guess is that he tried to turn around mid-step and come back up to us.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>If we get gates we would have to get the kind that install into the wall because my son is really strong and will just shove them over if they're the pressure kind.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>DH says we don't need gates. We just need to constantly reinforce being safe and keep a good eye on him. Eventually the stairs will lose their sparkle and just be part of life. We can reevaluate the situation when the new baby starts moving around...</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I'm pregnant and freak out about everything....</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p>The stairs are carpeted if that makes any difference. The bottom landing is not.</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Thoughts? I'm thinking that he's right and putting gates on it will only make it that much cooler (because this child ALWAYS wants what he can't have). And knowing my son he'll figure out the gate anyway.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,246 Posts
<p>I use gates.  By the time my older one figured out the gate (which isn't that easy, even some adults seem to have trouble) she was fine to use the stairs.  And if you're pregnant, there'll be another one needing safety around the stairs soon.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,595 Posts
<p>At that age, we weren't using our gate.  But my kids have always had stairs so there was no newness to them.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I'd probably get the gates for now for those times you're in the bathroom or have your back turned our something.  But also give him lots of opportunities to climb around on them and practice going up and down.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
<p>We took our gates down around 16 months with DS1 because he just climbed over them anyhow and I didn't want him climbing over the gate at the top of the stairs. <span><img alt="yikes2.gif" height="25" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/yikes2.gif" width="19"></span></p>
<p> </p>
<p>We just made sure that he got lots of practice going down the stairs (backwards crawl) and then when he wanted to go down walking, he could only do that holding our hands until he got very good at doing it on his own.  He actually followed those rules all the time.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,083 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>RaeDyCo</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284482/talk-to-me-about-stairs#post_16104691"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>We took our gates down around 16 months with DS1 because he just climbed over them anyhow and I didn't want him climbing over the gate at the top of the stairs. <span><img alt="yikes2.gif" height="25" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/yikes2.gif" width="19"></span></p>
</div>
</div>
<br><br><p>My mom mentioned this exact thing, actually. I told her I never considered it...but she raised my brother (that's his picture next to "accident prone" in the dictionary) and she said that was her FIRST thought.</p>
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,800 Posts
<p>I have a couple of the wooden pressure gates and they are very tight.  It would take a lot of effort for *me* to push it out, so I don't think your son could!  That being said, I rarely actually use them.  I do allow my son to climb the stairs, up and down, by himself.  I have for a few months now.  If he is tired or just woke up I will hold his hand or carry him.  But most of the time I know he is capable on his own.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,765 Posts
<p>At 19 months I would just teach him how to do the stairs safely.  He'll learn quickly.  I just took down our stair gate at the bottom when dd was 16 months because she can get up and down safely (and had figured out how to open the gate anyways).  I sitll have a mounted one (the evenflo wooden one) at the top of the stairs because we close it at night in case any of the kiddos wakes up  groggy and goes wandering.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,083 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>DahliaRW</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284482/talk-to-me-about-stairs#post_16105451"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>At 19 months I would just teach him how to do the stairs safely.  He'll learn quickly.  I just took down our stair gate at the bottom when dd was 16 months because she can get up and down safely (and had figured out how to open the gate anyways).  I sitll have a mounted one (the evenflo wooden one) at the top of the stairs because we close it at night in case any of the kiddos wakes up  groggy and goes wandering.</p>
</div>
</div>
<p><br><br>
He still sleeps with us and will sleep on a mattress on the floor for awhile yet so him getting up isn't an issue yet...</p>
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,809 Posts
<p>We have gates. We have the evenflo "top of stairs" gates and love them. One at the top and one at the bottom of the stairs. The one at the top is closed at night or if we're up there doing something else - for me, its simple peace of mind that I don't have to worry about turning my back and having them tumble all the way down, yk? The one at the bottom does the same - it allows me to let them play, and run around and be able to doing other things and not constantly worrying about the stairs. :shrug </p>
<p> </p>
<p>EDIT: DS1 appears to have finally figured out how to open the gates uh... this week? He'll be 4 in march. He was able to climb over them at ~3yrs, but only does so rarely - it takes him a good bit of effort. DS2 at 16 months is nowhere close to being able to climb over them. And they are both definetly "climbers" :shrug</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
681 Posts
<p>We did a gate at the top of the stairs until my son was going up and down safely (I believe around 16 months).  He would crawl up, and crawl down backwards.  Now he walks up and down (holding the handrail and usually my hand as well).  I also tell him we don't play on the stairs.  (Sometimes he'd take a toy or whatever and play on them).  I think it's just too easy for him to get distracted while playing and slip or fall down. </p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
908 Posts
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>mamadelbosque</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284482/talk-to-me-about-stairs#post_16109622"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>We have gates. We have the evenflo "top of stairs" gates and love them. One at the top and one at the bottom of the stairs. The one at the top is closed at night or if we're up there doing something else - for me, its simple peace of mind that I don't have to worry about turning my back and having them tumble all the way down, yk? The one at the bottom does the same - it allows me to let them play, and run around and be able to doing other things and not constantly worrying about the stairs. :shrug </p>
<p> </p>
<p>EDIT: DS1 appears to have finally figured out how to open the gates uh... this week? He'll be 4 in march. He was able to climb over them at ~3yrs, but only does so rarely - it takes him a good bit of effort. DS2 at 16 months is nowhere close to being able to climb over them. And they are both definetly "climbers" :shrug</p>
</div>
</div>
<p>We have the same set-up.  Just because they are installed, doesn't mean they have to be closed - and they aren't always closed  DD just has to ask me to open them, that's all.  My older 2 can open them themselves.  They are really handy when you are busy doing something and need to turn your back for a second.  They can still go up and down the stairs, but less casually, that's all.</p>
<p>Also, a friend's child fell down the stairs and had multiple skull fractures, so that freaked me out and made me glad that I had them.<br><br>
 </p>
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,487 Posts
<p>We moved to our current house when our youngest was 9 mos (and the older three were 2, 4, and 6).  We didn't do baby gates - well, actually, we bought one, and put it at the bottom for like two days.  My kids can scale baby gates easily - even before they could walk - we tried to use them when the older kids were younger and we lived in apartments, like to keep them contained or out of a specific room.  Never worked b/c they climbed right over.  So, I never planned on putting one at the top of the stairs, as it would be more dangerous, IMO. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Anyhow, we took the gate off after a couple days and DS learned how to get up and down the stairs in no time - as he was learning to walk.  I was never afraid of him falling, much less the 2 year old.  He crawled up and down, staying close to the stairs, and eventually started walking up and down them.  He's almost 4 now, and is very proficient. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>I guess I just don't see gates as necessary, or even helpful, IME.  But every home and kid are different, so see how it goes.  I do think the novelty of the stairs will wear off in time; also, the more opportunity they have to maneuver the stairs, the quicker they will learn to be efficient on them.  If you do install the permanent ones, just know they will be a bit of a PITA for the adults/visitors, as they have to be unlatched every time you walk through. My kids would figure out how to undo them, I'm fairly sure!</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,324 Posts
We don't have gates because I know I would forget to close them. I do wish we had the money to install a kid height rail my kids could hold when going up or down. The adult one is just too high to be of much use for them in preventing falls. I did insist my kids go up and down on all fours until about age 2.5 since it lessens the risk of head over heels falls.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
179 Posts
<p>We have gates at the top of our basement stairs and a door at the base of the stairs going upstairs. That keeps my daughter on our main floor (or, it did until she could open doors, and now she goes upstairs sometimes);  I'm especially grateful for the gate at the top of the basement stairs---those steps are dark and long and lead to places like litter boxes, where I def don't want my daughter to go! Still, the times I've forgotten to close the door/gate, she's often taken advantage of them and made her way up/down without trouble. I just feel as though I don't have to be so on guard all the time with the gates up (which is good or bad, depending upon how you look at it).</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,617 Posts
<p>we don't have gates and have hardwood stairs. it freaked me out at first but i just spent alot of time teaching dd to go up and down the stairs as soon as she was able to do it herself and then alot of time supervising her. she's been going up and down by herself with no supervision since she was around 11 months old. </p>
<p>i would imagine you could do the same with an older kid. just spend alot of time teaching and watching. </p>
<p>now that she's been walking there have been times on play equipment where she's shown interest in trying to walk up or down stairs. i remind her of the safe way to do it but as soon as she starts trying that on the real stairs at home we're going to have to revamp our supervision.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,297 Posts
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>AFWife</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284482/talk-to-me-about-stairs#post_16104288"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Thoughts? I'm thinking that he's right and putting gates on it will only make it that much cooler (because this child ALWAYS wants what he can't have). And knowing my son he'll figure out the gate anyway.</p>
</div>
</div>
<p><br><br>
I'd gate it.  It might become cooler, but it will be safer.  Depending on the gate it is unlikely your ds will figure it out.  My ds is 3.5 and we just took the gate down a few months ago. He has taken a couple of tumbles down the stairs and didn't do any major damage, but why risk it?  It scared the crap out of me and it is worth it to me to have stairs gated off.  The gate will be going back up as soon as our newest addition is mobile.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,246 Posts
<p><br><br>
I agree 100%.  People in this forum are all about minimizing risk as much as possible for car crashes.  After car crashes, the leading cause of death for children is household accidents, and the highest number of those deaths are from falls.  I think this is a big deal.  You can remember to close the gate just like you can remember to buckle the child in the car seat.  And by the time they can figure out a gate, they're probably old enough where it isn't as big a risk.</p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Magali</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284482/talk-to-me-about-stairs#post_16118321"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>AFWife</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284482/talk-to-me-about-stairs#post_16104288"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Thoughts? I'm thinking that he's right and putting gates on it will only make it that much cooler (because this child ALWAYS wants what he can't have). And knowing my son he'll figure out the gate anyway.</p>
</div>
</div>
<p><br><br>
I'd gate it.  It might become cooler, but it will be safer.  Depending on the gate it is unlikely your ds will figure it out.  My ds is 3.5 and we just took the gate down a few months ago. He has taken a couple of tumbles down the stairs and didn't do any major damage, but why risk it?  It scared the crap out of me and it is worth it to me to have stairs gated off.  The gate will be going back up as soon as our newest addition is mobile.</p>
</div>
</div>
<br><br>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,193 Posts
<p>Yes, get gates.  We have one gate at the bottom of the stairs, and another at the top.  The one at the bottom is a pressure mounted, the one at the top is hardware mounted.  The one at the top is substatially taller than my dd, and is metal vertical bars, think like jail bars.  It has a latched "doorway" and the latch is at the top of the gate.  I am guessing that my two year old with soon figure out how to open it, but I am hoping that with the latch too high for her to see it will take a while.  She can't climb it because there's not horizontal grip or place for her to step to do the climbing.  We have a pressure mounted one at the bottom because it's the bottom and even if she knocks it over, that means she's at the bottom you know.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>My 2 year old totally knows how to go up and down the steps.  When we go to bed at night, she climbs up herself.  When we come downstairs in the morning to start our day, she comes down him on her own.  Sometimes she does the "butt scoot" and sometimes she actually steps down, holding the rail. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Despite that, she fell down the stairs, from the top step, just a few weeks ago.  I was RIGHT THERE, but I was next to her and not in front of her.  She simply missed the step.  I couldn't catch her in time and she went down the entire flight, with me chasing her the whole way.  Thankfully after tumbling over once, she ended up spread eagle on her belly and basically just slid down the rest.  But it was one of the scariest moments of my life.  I do not want to take the chance that something like that will happen in the middle of the night if she gets up looking for us (she has her own room) and in dim light finds the stairs instead.  So, for now at least, she's blocked from the gates, and she is only on the stairs if DH or her teen sister or I is below her, to catch her if she misses.  And since we have a 3 month old, the gates for the steps will be up for a while.  I won't be comfortable taking them down until my youngest is tall enough to hold onto the banister effectively.</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p>ETA: Shortly after DD fell down the steps, <em><strong>I</strong></em> fell down the steps, while carrying the 3 month old.  Thankfully it was only down the last two and I managed to get my hands under DD3's head before it hit the ground, bracing myself so that I didn't crush her when I went down over her.  I fell because I wasn't holding the banister.  Everyone should ALWAYS hold the banister while going down steps.  Most 2 year olds aren't tall enough to hold the banister effectively and IMO, the butt scoot method simply isn't reliable enough to be considered a safe alternative. </p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
<p>We have gates up and down but don't use them any more and my son is 14 mos. I found it more effective to teach him and watch him than constantly block him. I also found that teaching the sit on your bum way down to be impossible for little ones and was able to teach him to turn around and shimmy down at about 8 mos. At the top of the stairs I would turn him around and move his legs down showing him what I wanted him to do. He now breezes up and down without a word from me and now that he's walking I will remind him at the top to "turn around" and he plops to the floor and comes down. This technique has worked so well, he will even turn around to slide, get off things or walk down ramps at our gym class (pretty funny to see!). I'm pregnant with number 2 and will definitely use this method again. I get comments from other mother's constantly on how well he handles stairs... and I'm so thankful, he's a big 31 lbs. so I'm thankful for the break!</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
<p>I would get a good gate for the top of the stairs just in case he wakes up before you and he does not wonder down stairs. Our son grew up with stirs and the ones we had the bottom it was impossible for a baby gate. I just had to watch look and listen. We did have a couple falls, it will happen..but at night I slept well knowing the gate was up. He is now three and all gate free! He goes up and down the stairs as he wants...Good Luck =)</p>
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top