What age do you think is appropriate for a child to go downstairs by themselves of a morning?

(56 Posts)
scumbagcollege Sat 17-Sep-16 08:21:40

Just that really, my ds is four and either wakes up of a morning at 7 or sometimes 6, he won't stay and cuddle in the bed with me and dp (which is fine btw) he wants to go downstairs straight away. He also won't go back into his room to play with his toys whilst we wake up a bit. This again no problem, he wants to get up and he wants me or dp all fine.

What's bugging me is dp keeps saying every time he comes in a bit too early "just take him down give him his breakfast and come back to bed, I was allowed to be downstairs on my own at that age". I am dead set against this, I do not feel four years is old enough to be left downstairs on your own whilst we get some more sleep. I understand we can do this when he is older (I did this when I was about six but I was also with my sister who was three years older, we knew how to make breakfast for ourselves etc).
When I say he's too young I think it's neglectful he just keeps repeating I was allowed at that age (he however had an older brother who was also three years older). I won't relent on this one, I just get up as you are expected to do when you're a parent, my son wants me and that's that.

However I was just curious to see what age you think is appropriate for a child to get up on their own of a morning?

ShowOfHands Sat 17-Sep-16 08:26:53

I wish my 5yo would go down by himself. He won't. Not even with his 9yo dsis.

I'd be fine with the 4yo. Dd did it at 4. She was sensible and the house is safe. She would just play or read and come up if she needed anything else.

FathomsDeep Sat 17-Sep-16 08:28:24

Depends on the child. My oldest was going downstairs by herself from about 5. She loved being able to watch what she wanted on TV (kids channels only obvs) and was very sensible. My youngest is 5 now and there's not a chance I'd let her downstairs on her own at the moment. She's less mature than her sister and I don't think it would be safe.

Mine were quite young tbh when one of us would make them milk, put the TV on and go back to bed for half an hour. Maybe 2 and 3 when we started it. They never moved from the sofa and I would have heard if they had (v light sleeper). Not sure if the rest of Mumsnet will agree, but we felt the risk was very low of anything bad happening.

NancyJoan Sat 17-Sep-16 08:30:21

Six or seven, maybe. When my two were 8 and 5 they would go down together, DD would sort out drinks for them and stick the TV on. But if she was still asleep, I wouldn't have wanted 5 yr old DS going down on his own. Your DH had an older sibling, your DS doesn't.

Meadows76 Sat 17-Sep-16 08:30:34

Mine don't. I have always got up with them. Nothing to do with trust or ability issues I just feel that they deserve to have a parent around.

milkysmum Sat 17-Sep-16 08:32:21

My 4 year old is downstairs right now watching tv and I'm still in bed

BarbLives Sat 17-Sep-16 08:33:02

My oldest did from 5, went down and put Netflix on grin

scumbagcollege Sat 17-Sep-16 08:33:32

Thanks for the replies, yeah i agree I think it probably does depend on the child. My ds would still struggle to sort breakfast for himself and can be a bit clingy he would still be up and down the stairs wanting me or dp, jumping all over us until we woke up. I might as well get up, but yeah part of me feels a bit guilty about leaving him downstairs on his own.

superram Sat 17-Sep-16 08:33:55

As soon as they can turn the tele onwink. I think mine eldest was 5ish but now my 4.5 year old will go with the 7 year old. They don't have food though (so never get to sleep much longer). No more dAngerous than them playing in their room. As long as you don't leave last night's wine glasses out.

BarbLives Sat 17-Sep-16 08:34:23

When he was younger I'd go down with my duvet, put the tv on, give him some milk and a banana and go back to sleep on the sofa.

Rachcakes Sat 17-Sep-16 08:35:58

We lived in a flat with DS1 so the living room was next to our bedroom. He was about 3.
I think DS2 was about the same age but with his brother, who was 7 by then.
I think 4 is about right. They are at school at 4. I did have a spell before they were totally allowed of going with them but dozing on the sofa while they watched TV.

nocutsnobuttsnococonuts Sat 17-Sep-16 08:36:21

My eldest starting going into front room on her own from about 3 to watch tv/play with toys but we lived in a flat then.

We moved into our house when they were 5 and 2 and the eldest has always been allowed downstairs alone, the youngest joined her from about 2.5-3 smile

It's only weekends and I leave out fruit, brioche and a drink. They can work the tv out and come and get me if they need to.

scumbagcollege Sat 17-Sep-16 08:39:23

I wish mine would just sit quiet on the sofa, he's pretty full on of a morning he just likes being around people. But it is interesting to hear what you all do with your dc's, I often think am I being too overtop but each child is different.

LocatingLocatingLocating Sat 17-Sep-16 08:42:37

DD was probably 4 (she's always been pretty responsible). DS about 3 ( NOT very responsible) but with DD. DD loves telling tales on DS so we were comfortable that we would know immediately if there were any "hijinks" .

They were allowed to get food/drinks from when DD was about 7 (DS would have been 5).

Gyderlily Sat 17-Sep-16 08:43:40

Mine are 3 and 6 and get up on their own... DD1 was maybe 2.5 however it may be different as I don't have stairs, have always lived all on one level so they are only really a few feet away! They help themselves to bananas and either have jam on bread or DD1 will make them both toast! Currently on holiday in a caravan, still in bed reading mn and 3 year old has got up, got her self cereal, a banana and breadsticks, switched the heating on with my instruction and brought me a coffee. (The cold type from the fridge... I don't go as far as letting my 3 year old use scalding water)

drspouse Sat 17-Sep-16 08:45:49

My four year old goes down and makes his own breakfast (milk pre-measured). Has been doing for months (not before he was 4 though).
He can't find Cbeebies nor does he know the code to the iPad so we don't get that much respite though!

Chasingsquirrels Sat 17-Sep-16 08:46:14

It's hard to remember, but I'm pretty sure ds1 would go downstairs on his own at 4, not least because ds2 is 3.5y younger and took all my time.

juneau Sat 17-Sep-16 08:49:21

DS1 was around four/five when he started coming down on his own. He knew how to put the telly on CBeebies or Milkshake and he'd wait until we came down for breakfast.

DS2 is five now and he comes down with DS1, who puts the telly on for him, or he watches Fireman Sam or Octonauts on the iPad. DS1 can get his own breakfast, but DS2 can't. However, it would be easy enough to leave something out on the counter for him if he wanted to eat straight away. Luckily he doesn't so I got to lie in until 7.40am today grin

PurpleThursday Sat 17-Sep-16 08:55:38

My friends son (age about 7/8 at the time) started choking downstairs while she was up stairs bathing other DC. It was silent choking on food, she heard nothing. Ended up in hospital. Horrendous experience for them all. Ever since I heard that story I haven't left my youngest children to eat anything alone. It happens too easily.

LuchiMangsho Sat 17-Sep-16 09:07:45

DS is 4.5. I wake him up, he puts on his uniform and gets a head start in breakfast (cereal and yoghurt) while I finish jobs upstairs and then get dressed and make my way downstairs. DS is a good kid and won't get up to anything naughty. When I was v ill a few months ago he would go downstairs on a weekend, eat a banana and play with his trains till I came/staggered downstairs.

LuchiMangsho Sat 17-Sep-16 09:09:26

*on his

Gyderlily Sat 17-Sep-16 09:15:34

What did he choke on though purple ? It would be very difficult to choke on cereal. Obviously grapes etc aren't advisable!

Oblomov16 Sat 17-Sep-16 09:18:50

4 is perfectly OK for some children, to go down and turn on the tv. Depends on child.

Gizlotsmum Sat 17-Sep-16 09:24:02

Hmm see we get up with ours (8 and nearly 5). They will squabble and create carnage if we don't! Never really thought about letting them get on with it. Am sure they could (apart from the squabbling and potential death defying stunts)

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