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Anyone in a 3 storey house decided not to use stair gates?

(40 Posts)
nappyaddict Sat 31-Jan-09 11:52:39

My friend at the moment hasn't bothered getting any stair gates. She lives in a terrace house so the stairs are quite steep with a corner to turn. They are moving to a 3 storey house and she isn't sure whether she ought to get some now.

Podrick Sat 31-Jan-09 11:56:06

In my experience of living in a multi storey house young kids are always on the same floor as you so closing the doors to the stairs may be enough.

FioFio Sat 31-Jan-09 11:56:59

well i live ina 4 storey and we have 3 gates
1gfoing down to basement
1 on top of first floor stairs
1 on top of attic stairs

one of the resons is to keep track of where everybody is as all the agtes make a different sound blush

llareggub Sat 31-Jan-09 11:57:03

I have a sleepwalking DS. Need I say more?!

Mummyfor3 Sat 31-Jan-09 11:58:08

We installed stair gates when DS1 started getting mobile - after the nth time that DH or I fell over them, sometimes with baby on our arms, we removed them again and did not have any stair gates with DS2 and 3.

You have to be v "stair aware" to get away with this, ie know were kids are, and have the option to close a door between them and stairs.
Having said that, they all learnt how to negotiate stairs v quickly: up on all 4s and down crawling backwards.

Any stair related accidents were all due to 4 and 5 year olds having jumping competitions from step 4 or 5 o 6... grin

No stair gates worked for us, but I can see how this is not the official advice and how it will make a lot of people v nervous wink

Mummyfor3 Sat 31-Jan-09 11:59:53

Oh, my mum and dad have very steep tiled stairs into basement and we have insisted on state of art stair gate for this yawning hole which attracts crawling children like a magnet grin...

Joolyjoolyjoo Sat 31-Jan-09 12:04:34

We have precarious open-plan stairs and NO stairgate. I feel it would maybe be more dangerous to have them, as then I would THINK ds must be safe, but in actual fact my 5 & 3 yo's would no doubt manage to open them and leave them open! As it is, I have to be vigilant. And ds (14mths) has just started learning to negotiate the stairs (under supervision!)

nappyaddict Sat 31-Jan-09 12:09:22

mummyfor3 how many storeys do you have?

nannyL Sat 31-Jan-09 12:10:22

if you dont want to trip you can get gates that open the whole way so you dont have a bar to trip over and a rediculously small gap to walk through!

2HotCrossBunsAnd1InTheOven Sat 31-Jan-09 12:20:09

I live in a Victorian terrace in SW London. We have done the loft conversion so we have 3 stories and 4 main flights of stairs. No stair gates. DS1 is 3.8 and Ds2 21 months. I agree it helps if you can sht dooors betwen the kids and the stairs but I have found they have learned to manage the stairs from as soon as they were crawling. And at least you don't have the assumption that the gates are shut and the kids safe when they might not be.

SpaceTrain Sat 31-Jan-09 12:20:11

I had a 4 storey house and no stairgates. I just kept the kids close and taught them how to get up and down the stairs safely from a very young age

nappyaddict Sat 31-Jan-09 12:40:43

2HotCrossBuns and SpaceTrain - if you were downstairs were your kids allowed to go up the stairs on their own?

nappyaddict Sat 31-Jan-09 12:46:00

Also I presume on the higher storeys you kept them in the bedrooms or whatever with the doors shut rather than letting them crawl around on the landings?

giantkatestacks Sat 31-Jan-09 13:09:17

I have been thinking about this as we have a nearly crawling dd and we are in a townhouse. I did think about not having stairgates but I thought it was unfair on my 5 year old ds to have the responsibility of always remembering to shut the living room door etc behind him especially when he's got friends round for playdates - the stair gates tend to clang shut on their own by contrast.

I just dont know how many I will need - I will need 4 to cover all the stairs and only have 2 - am thinking the living room landing - then baby can neither crawl upstairs to the bedrooms nor fall down to the kitchen.

Amandoh Sat 31-Jan-09 13:14:57

We're in a three storey house and found that we needed stairgates once DS3 discovered he could turn on the taps in the upstairs bathrooms.

2HotCrossBunsAnd1InTheOven Sat 31-Jan-09 13:59:05

yes I let DS1 roam free and have done for a while. DS2 is just starting to want to - he thinks he's 3 and a half just like his big brother! DS1 will tell DS2 to "turn around", "sit down" etc so they are not too scary!! Each to their own I think - it depends on your house, the children themselves, how many kids there are etc etc.

tartetatin Sat 31-Jan-09 14:09:07

Never used them and live in a three story house. Just made sure they were all trained how to go up and down v early - turn around onto front and slide down carefully! Never had any problems - maybe just lucky.

nappyaddict Sat 31-Jan-09 14:19:35

2HotCrossBuns - But you wouldn't let DS2 roam free on his own without DS1 to watch out for him?

2HotCrossBunsAnd1InTheOven Sat 31-Jan-09 14:34:54

No probably not. DS1 is at pre-school every morning so it's not too bad to watch just DS2 then anyway. In the afternoons DS2 is DS1's shadow! I'm at work 3 days a week when the nanny has them and she doesn't seem to have an issue. When each of them was just starting to get mobile we did have to watch them like hawks at bathtime or keep the bathroom door age shut. But the plus of having no stair gates is that the kids become very aware of where the stairs are at an early age.

BirdyArms Sat 31-Jan-09 14:51:22

In a victorian terrace on 3 levels with lots of bits of stairs in between. For ds1 I didn't have stairgates, taught him to go up and down and he generally stayed with me. For ds2 I absoltely needed them, he was forever following his brother round and trying to go up and down too quickly so had them at the top and bottom of the longest set which had a hard tiled floor at the bottom. In theory I don't approve of them but swallowed my principles after watching ds2 fall from the top to the bottom with my heart in my my mouth.

troutpout Sat 31-Jan-09 15:05:59

i live in a 4 storey
we used to have 1 stairgate at the top floor and 2 on the next one down (there was a landing separating them). Nothing at the bottom (the stairs were in the hallway so i could close the door) and nothing on the stairs down to the basement because they were also behind a door

Mummyfor3 Sat 31-Jan-09 15:57:31

Sorry, for late reply, I have been off line for a while - RL does get in the way of MN something terrible wink!

We have 3 levels with 2 stair cases, I think @ 12 steps each (I have NOT counted them).

I think the whole stair gate issue depends on lots of things: temperament of child/parents, what kind of stairs etc, and, at the end of the day, what level of risk you are prepared to live with.

We have v good friends who had literally every door way secured with stair gate so their daughter would not have access to anything she should not have access to when she was a crawling baby. They are currently installing a child height banister along their (carpet covered) stairs for the now 2 1/2 yr old. I can see where they are coming from, but this would not be my choice.

duchesse Sat 31-Jan-09 16:12:05

We never did. Instead my husband spent weeks from about 6-7 months onwards teaching them how to crawl down the stairs properly, then padded the bottom of the stairs with quilts and cushions and let them at them. The very few times there were falls (about 3 to my recollection) all happened at ages when you wouldn't have stairgates any more anyway (4-5 year old, when they had started jumping down three at a time).

duchesse Sat 31-Jan-09 16:13:24

Mummyfor3- I see we have had the same stair experiences!

nappyaddict Sat 31-Jan-09 17:36:32

jooly when you say open plan do you mean your stairs are in your living room area rather than off a hallway?

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