AIBU to tell dh that i hold him fully responsible if dd has an injury on the stairs?

(117 Posts)
LunchLadyWannabe Mon 17-Mar-14 10:29:34

Im really mad at the moment.

Me and dh have a dd who's 17 months.

We have a stair gate at the bottom of the stairs (not at the top due to it not being needed as dd does not walk around upstairs).

Dh is leaving the stair gate open around 3 times a day. This is due to his work phone going off and hes rushing to get to it when its upstairs, rushing to the loo etc etc

Dh sometimes justifies leaving the gate open saying dd was in her highchair so he didn't need to close it straightaway.

I always close it whenever i open it, its automatic for me.

However at least once a day dd climbs the stairs unattended because the gate has been left open.

Yesterday i came into the lounge after clearing up the kitchen, and couldn't see dd. Surprise surprise the baby gate was open!

Dd was sat on the landing at the top of the stairs with her doll in her arms. So dd had climbed upstairs, gone into her room, took the doll off the chair, and was trying to make her way back down!!!

I ve told dh that dd will break her neck falling down the stairs and he obviously doesn't give a shit about her safety!

He says i shouldn't have a go at him and he's sorry he makes mistakes and forgets things!

I told him that once is a mistake, twice is deliberate,and three times is just bloody irresponsible!

His response is that i should always check the baby gate is closed!!!!

Argh!

AIBU?

HavantGuard Mon 17-Mar-14 11:09:37
TinyTear Mon 17-Mar-14 11:11:53

We have lots of stairs and the way our stairs turn we actually can't have gates at the bottom.
My 2yo is actually really good at going up and downstairs but it had happened that she slid down but i was there to catch her...

the way i teach her is ask if she wants to walk down stairs and then hold her hand while she holds to the bannister. but i also do a very light hold so she is doing it by herself and i just tighten my grip when she falls...

she also lights to go down on her bottom, sitting on the stairs and going bump bump bump... i only don't let her do that is we are on our way to a nappy change for obvious reasons grin

ZenGardener Mon 17-Mar-14 11:11:55

I had a safety gate that had a spring mechanism so it closed itself. Perhaps you could find one like that or fix some kind of alarm to the gate so it makes a loud sound if left open.

It's sheer laziness on your DH's part.

Emubaby Mon 17-Mar-14 11:12:20

My dd could use the stairs safely by the time she was one. I'm sorry op but I think by 17 months dd should be taught how to use stairs and then it wouldn't be and issue.
What happens if you go to a friends house without a stair gate?

Monetbyhimself Mon 17-Mar-14 11:13:11

I think the teaching them to come down backwards is much more dangerous than coming down one step at a time on their bums facing forward.

LtEveDallas Mon 17-Mar-14 11:15:41

I do need to start teaching her to climb down, do i teach her to try to walk down?

I taught DD to go down on her bum at around the same age. I did it with her every time, and she copied me from the start. I think its better than trying to teach her to walk down, and safer in case she tries to do it with stuff in her hands.

whatsagoodusername Mon 17-Mar-14 11:18:15

Please just teach her to do the stairs safely. Blaming your DH isn't going to help if DD has an accident.

By all means, keep the gates for your peace of mind, nag him to close them, but teach her how to do it. My DC were fully capable of doing it by 12 months because we couldn't fit a gate on our awkward stairs. Your DD is old enough to be able to climb the stairs, up and down.

aufaniae Mon 17-Mar-14 11:18:49

I'm teaching DD to go down backwards, gut instinct tells me that's safest, but I have no idea if it is. And tbh if she seemed to prefer going down on her bum I'd let get do it.

We have a stairgate, but our stairs are pretty trecherous and so I want to teach her ASAP.

fishybits Mon 17-Mar-14 11:20:31

Backwards worked for us because at 12 months she was still crawling and not walking. When she learnt how to walk, she was taught to come down the stairs on her bottom still holding on.

She has never fallen down the stairs. hmm

whatsagoodusername Mon 17-Mar-14 11:21:03

For coming down, they did some bum shuffling. I also pulled on their ankles (gently!) when they were in crawling position to teach them to come down backwards.

I think bum shuffling was more natural to them, and fun (Bump! Bump! Bump!). In crawling position they kept trying to go up, so harder to figure out.

ZenGardener Mon 17-Mar-14 11:22:02

Why don't you get him to teach her how to use the stairs?

If he can't be bothered shutting the gate then he should step up and take responsibility.

Ds goes down the stairs backwards. He tends to just slide down on his tummy blush if he were to sit he would probably stand and then fall. Once he's a bit bigger I will teach him to go down on his bottom. Dd was the same, touch wood no accidents yet.

Goldmandra Mon 17-Mar-14 11:22:34

Even if you teach her to climb down safely you also need to supervise when she's little. My DD was being taught to climb down backwards just as I did for DD1 and all my childminded children. She could do it safely and she climbed up and down the solitary step in our hall competently all the time. They can still forget where they are if they become distracted and fall down a flight of stairs.

Please show your DH my post, OP. If he doesn't listen, pm me your phone number and I'll give him a blow by blow account.

LunchLadyWannabe Mon 17-Mar-14 11:22:56

Im going to have a go at teaching her but i dont think shes going to understand.

What happens if dd doesnt grasp climbing down the stairs for a while?

How do i deal with dh not shutting the gate?

Theres no way i could teach dd to climb the stairs at 12 months old, she wouldnt even weight bear at that age!

Shes only been walking 6 weeks, so i dont think shes going to understand.

Fairylea Mon 17-Mar-14 11:28:29

Yanbu. At all.

And I'm surprised by the number of people who have managed to teach a very young child to come down the stairs safely. I'm not saying you're all lying -smile - I'm just genuinely surprised because neither of mine could manage it until about 2 and a half really. I certainly wouldn't let them go up and down on their own before then. But maybe I'm a bit ultra cautious as I fell down the stairs as a toddler myself and still shudder when I remember it now. I broke my foot and still have an odd bit of bone there that sticks out awkwardly.

We taught our two to come down backwards feet first, so, sliding down on their tummy. that way they have their feet, knees and hands avaialable to slow themselves/stop when required. We did have a completely straight set of stairs though so no twists or turns etc involved. Also taught them to count as they are going down and recognise "landmarks" on the way i.e. a mark on the wood etc so they had an idea how far they were down.

We didnt have an option as I had hip problems when pregnant and couldn't carry no 1 son even though he was under a year old, he was really heavy.

SummerRain Mon 17-Mar-14 11:29:29

Tbh, all mine were safe on the stairs by 17 months and I really wouldn't have found it this much of an issue.

ds2 started crawling at 7 months when dd and Ds1 were 4 and 2, they never remembered to close the gates and I often found him upstairs happy as Larry.

Our gates usually came down somewhere between 18 months and 2 as at that point I was so thoroughly fed up of the damn things I couldn't tolerate them anymore and the kids didn't need to be kept from the stairs anymore.

I'd focus on getting your dd safe on the stairs and avoid the need for the gate altogether of I were you tbh.

My eldest was only about 10/11 months old and not walking yet when my OH taught him to come down on his tummy - they pick it up really quickly.

Could you just put the gate on the room that your daughter is in most instead of the stairs?

That way you your dh just need to ensure that she is in that room and safe and then you don't need to worry about the gate?

Op ds is only just starting to walk (can walk from room to room now smile) and he can do it. Obviously they do need supervising as they don't understand that if they turn around etc they might fall, but in my experience they're concentrating too much on getting to the top/bottom. I know it's not an immediate solution but it'll be worth it in the long run.

In the mean time tell your dh to shut the bloody gate angry dp forgets too and it's really annoying (twice yesterday).

I taught them to bump down on their bum. By your dd's age my dd was hugely tall and could walk. But ds1 was a late walker but a super crawler so he went up crawling and came back down crawling backwards. I never really taught them as such I tended to just going down with them and seen what they naturally went for with a bit of guidance. Touch wood none of them have fallen down the stairs and youngest is almost 4.
You would be amazed what they are able to pick up and copy even younger than your dd though. Sit with her and show her how to come down on her bottom and keep doing it. I have seen almost school age children tumble down the stairs because they have never been shown how to properly. I don't think they suddenly know what to do unless shown how to safely early on.

BeaWheesht Mon 17-Mar-14 11:38:50

Slightly different but my dd always shuts the gate and she's 3!

MerryMarigold Mon 17-Mar-14 11:40:11

YABU. She is clearly able to do it. She is 1.5!!! You need to teach her to do it safely. If you don't have a toilet or phone downstairs, it would be difficult to undo gate, do it up and get to phone on time, so I can see dh's point. By far the safest thing for her is to teach her how to do it.

I never had stairgates with 3 kids. I taught them how to do it ie. crawling up, and coming down backwards so feet first (usually a tummy slide tbh). They never attempted to come down until they were confident, because there was no 'forbidden fruit' attraction and it's a bit scarier looking from the top to the bottom.

I think stairgates, especially used unsafely, are a lot worse than no stairgates.

Goldmandra Mon 17-Mar-14 11:40:17

Sit on the stairs just below her and encourage her to slide down one step at a time, feeling her way with her feet.

Teaching her to do it safely may help to keep her safer if she gets to the stairs unsupervised but she needs to also be old enough to understand and manage the danger so she doesn't just stand up forget about the drop. That means that you need to keep the gate shut when you aren't there to supervise her at first.

MerryMarigold Mon 17-Mar-14 11:41:35

And my kids all have different characters. Dd and ds1 are a bit dare devil. Ds2 we call 'Mr health and safety'. They all did it. No-one ever fell apart from ds1 when he was about 3 or 4 and tried to go up with about 10 cars in his hands.

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