I just cannot sit here doing this anymore...(68 Posts)
Help me, my 18 month old DS is driving me literally insane. I might be depressed but I feel better when I'm not with him so I can't be. He climbs on things. All day. I try to play with him, he is not interested. He goes to play group and has plenty of stimulation and I have lots of friends with children who he plays with several times a week but this climbing is out of control. I know it's probably normal but I actually cannot do it anymore. I have taken all the hard chairs away from the table and locked them away but this makes it hard at meal times as they are heavy and i have a very bad back. I feel so bloody useless with him. He climbs on the raised surface in our lounge which I can't remove and tries to fiddle with our blinds. He will repeatedly do this hundreds (quite literally) times a day. I have raised the blinds now despite the fact that we now have no privacy, at least he can't do it. However now he just climbs on the window sill. He doesn't get bored, which I find strange, he would do it ALL DAY. What do I do? Spend as much time as possible out of the house? We go to soft play areas and such but he wants to climb to the top which I can't let him do as its dangerous.
I know there is nothing anyone can say and it's a phase but I can't cope and don't know what to do about it...
Why can't he climb to the top of the soft play area? I'd let him. If they can get up, then they can get down.
I would think that going to soft play and letting him climb to the top would be ideal. Why is it dangerous?
Well the one that we went to the other day had some quite steep stair like things which I think he would have fallen back down and injured himself on.
I'm sat here crying.
Ok I might let him, I just thought he was too young for the very big ones.
You're right - it's totally normal. Young children love repetition so that's why he's not bored. If it wasn't climbing, it would be something else.
My DD (nearly 3) has always lived climbing and we actually encourage it - but show her how to do it safely and praise her when she does. We are both mountaineers though and have a vested interest in getting her to enjoy climbing so she can accompany us on adventures.
Depression is hideous (I have it too but under control now with counselling and anti-depressants) - are you being treated?
But if he falls backwards off the steep stairs he will only land on something soft and squidgy - I really don't think he is going to injure himself that way unless you go at peak time on a Saturday when I suppose a school age child might stand on him by accident.
Love - is everything OK apart from this climbing driving you mad? Because it seems that you are a lot more anxious and upset than the situation warrants, and a bit over worried about climbing at soft play.
And I go on the high bits at soft play too. I think I enjoy it as much as she does (just not that bastard curly slide that makes my legs bend 20cm before they do naturally). Can you get up there too?
Thanks neoprene. Been treated in last for anxiety but nothing currently. I find him difficult specifically.
But it literally does your head in when you do it day in and day out. I mean he is relentless. My daughter was just never like this. The soft play that we went to the other day was just too big, the bit like steps was steep and I would worry about him falling on his neck. I know I sound like a worrier but I'm pretty laid back, I'm just absolutely at the end of my tether. My daughter was so easy but I find him bloody difficult and I'm so crap with him, honestly, I'm just no good and I sound depressed saying those things I know, I'm a bloody mental health nurse FGS. Maybe I am. Think I might give HV a call.
it is quite understandable that a big soft play catering for under 9s or under 7s that some equipment would not be suitable for an 18 month old, the only thing you can do is babyproof your house as much as possible. or if you have a garden let him loose digging and stuff.
On a mindless quest for self-destruction.
Is there a creche you could put him in sometimes, give yourself a break in daylight hours?
Can you make a space where he can climb safely inside the home for example with some of those lowish ikea things etc and stick some cushions/pillows down just in case. Maybe if he can climb he'll just get on with it and give you peace. Alternatively - and despite his age - I'd get a nice high sided play pen he can't climb out of and use it to give yourself respite. My number 2 is way harder than number 1 and I agree that sometimes we just can't keep on doing the same repetitive crap: give yourself a break from him somehow.
My sympathy. My DS used to climb a lot, (pulling out drawers and using them as steps) and into everything (emptying whole bookcases, etc.) drove me to absolute distraction. I would have said I was depressed but, like you, I was fine when I wasn't with him. I loved him but my word...
The only thing I had left that I could do was put him in a day nursery for six hours, once a week, so not long but it gave me a beautiful break. I used to practically dance out of the door after I'd dropped him off.
I think it's the strain of keeping safe a person that has no sense but who has endless will and determination and seeing your environment completely disrupted and messed up all day, every day.
Do you think that might be a possibility OP? A spot (or more) of childcare so you can get your breath back?
We bought a climbing frame, and stuck it in the lounge for a number of years.
I did have several children. They loved it, visitors loved it [young and old]. And it gave them safe physical activity indoors. The children that is!
Thanks, all helpful advice.
Will be able to go to pre school soon, <counting down the hours>
Could try a play pen but I tried putting him upstairs in his cot for 5 minutes this morning when the climbing was particularly bad and that gave me same respite I guess
I will try and make a safe place to climb
I find him so difficult
Fourbears Thankyou so much, you seem to totally get where I'm from! I really agree, I love him but bloody hell it's hard. We can't afford for him to go to nursery while I'm not at work but gosh I cannot wait for pre school.
Yes he has used drawers as steps too!
I had this too. I think it is particularly hard if you have had the "easy" child first. My first was a climber and "toucher", my second DS never laid a hand on anything he was not supposed to. I was soooo jealous of mothers who could sit and have coffee with quiet children playing at their feet. You are not alone--I left many a coffee morning in tears with him struggling under my grasp. It really does pass and some kind of structured nursery, creche is the answer if you can afford it. By the way--my climber has grown into a lovely boy who is by no means hyper nor particularly restless IYKWIM.
And mine could climb out of his cot too, so that did not help!!!
As amillion suggested, you need to provide safe opportunities for him to climb, seeing as that's what he's into. Why not just leave the chairs locked away permanently for the time being? No need to haul them out every evening, just sit on the floor or the couch to eat. Or buy some bean bags or summat. Make life easy for yourself. DS (2) is a bit of a climber, and will climb on the coffee table, the back of the couch, the window sill, but it's all pretty safe so I take no notice. He's had a few knocks but that's normal for a toddler. I also let him go wherever he wants at soft play. He learns himself what he can and can't do, and actually other children have been great for helping and encouraging him.
If it's the climbing that's making you anxious then you have to make your peace with it as best you can. Do whatever you can to make what he does safe, then accept that he'll fall now and again but he won't do any major damage. If he does do the climbing over and over and you just let him get on with it, over time it'll lose its sparkle and he'll start to get into other stuff.
Bettybum, you are doing a great job to have got this far in keeping your climber entertained and you are doing even better in recognising your desperation (oh God, the relentlessness. Don't I just know it?) and calling the HV. Better still, make appointment at your GP.
The Surestart Centre near me has been amazing - suggesting activities, arranging (free) counselling, etc, so you could try there too. I can't recommending enough.
I don't think you're over-anxious about the risks presented to an 18-month-old on equipment designed for much older children. Just go with him and show hike how to do it safely (keeping 3 points of contact, concentrating, watching where hands are going, etc) while you spot him. And this IS a phase. It will pass.
Was just going to.suggest an indoor climbing frame but someone best me to it.
Or you could get some soft mats, or put the sofa cushions under where he climbs and just let him get on with it?
Also, you could get those stairgate things that you could use to fence off part of a room - to keep him away from the window?
Get a long bungee rope and pull the chairs together so he can't get to them and climb on them - easier than locking them away.
One thing though - is your blind cord safely stashed away out of his reach?
Mine is exactly the same, he has just mastered that if he takes his socks
Off then he can climb up the washing machine and onto the kitchen surfaces!! He is 2! He climbs and jumps off everything!
Do you have a tumble tots in your area? I found it really useful, they learn to climb and explore in a safe structured environment, maybe worth a try?
Try tumble tots, lots of climbing and teaches them how to climb safely.
Lots of really useful advice, thanks guys!
Now going to look into tumble tots...
Owl, yes I tie the cord up out of reach
neoprene thanks for your kind and encouraging words
DP made me feel loads better when he came home
I am finding this age testing! Lovemynails-I know about the crying at coffee mornings
Buy him a baby trampoline, bouncing is believed to be very good for regulating emotions in toddlers and if nothing else it will wear him out for a while!!
Ooh a baby trampoline is a good idea. DD has one in garden but it's huge!
Now booking TumbleTots...
You have my sympathies, DSIL had a climber- bonkers - trying to get out of second floor windows, the lot. You may be depressed but I would guess it is largely to do with having a high-needs toddler.
No useful advice aside from that it will get better. DNeice is now far calmer at three.
Have you tried cutting out any e-numbers known to cause hyperactivity?
I think it is indeed my son and his climbing that makes me feel awful.
Everyone's advice and kind words have made me feel so much better...
Will look into his diet.
Am joining a tumble tots and saw another thread here when someone advised letting him go mad somewhere for a child who sounded similar. We live opposite a park and huge rec and although he loves to play on the park we rarely just play on the rec...
My DS was the,same and it was a shock after two girls,who stayed where you put them!
We got a plastic little tykes fort thing with a sloe and those foam mats with letters and numbers on and had it in the living room.
Surestart is a good idea ours do a soft play thing which is a bit smaller and less heart in the mouth!
You may also be able,to find a toddler gymnastics, or little kickers is great for active toddlers. Hang in there, once he has the concentration to play with stuff it will get easier.
My 20mo DD climbed a 7m ladder yesterday. Took 3 of us to get her down.
Some kids climb. A LOT. Luckily, they usually seem pretty adept at it. DD has not fallen yet (though I couldn't take a repeat of yesterday any time soon!).
Well just to update we went to TumbleTots for a trial session this morning and it was FAB! DS loved it, climbed to his little hearts content! Fell asleep on way home and went straight down for nap when we got in. I'm so pleased I think I have found something to help him with his physical nature. I plan to take him every wed and DP will take him on a Friday if I happen to miss a session.
Will still take all the other ideas on board and when we have money will buy a mini trampoline and maybe the fort for our lounge as its quite big and he has a playroom too which I could probably fit something else in...
Thankyou all so much, you all really helped me yesterday when I was at my wits end and I shall save this thread for all the ideas!...
My DD is 21 months and is also a fearless climber. She will often climb on the table, the back ridge of the sofa, the window sil. She has been doing this since she was about 16 months. I have noticed that she is worse when we have not been to the park or seaside. She is very active and needs to go out for exercise and fresh air once a day at least! I have an older DS (5) who was and still is keen on playing inside with toys so I do know how relentless it can feel. Is it an option to go to a park, even if it is slightly raining? I have an all in one waterproof outfit for DD and she doesn't care about it being wet- she loves it!
I've got a climber too, she's 15 months old but her strength and the situations she can get herself in absolutely amaze me. She will build her own 'stairs' out of books or toys or whatever she can find to climb up and over things. Amazingly she hasn't worked out how to get out of her cot [thankful for small mercies].
She got a baby trampoline for Xmas which she loves but I can't say it's stopped her climbing (sorry).
I'm sort of not worried about it because if she can get up then she can most likely get down, and I think all the climbing gets her nice and tired for bedtime. I'd love to take her to tumble tots or soft play but sadly I work full time so it's difficult. I'm definitely going to look into getting the fort mentioned above.
Can you do toddler swimming too? It tires them out nicely for a while..!
another climber here! tables, bookcases, beds...
I think you have to just go with it, rather than restrain. Second plastic climbing frame indoors! Beds are good for climbing and bouncing on.
Folding chairs can replace heavy chairs(then you put them away after meals)
Climbing is a great skill for any child, it is brilliant for their development. Mine are much older now (10 and 12) but I remember all their friends were obsessively climbing too, both boys and girls. Real climbing is best too, tree trunks etc, those smooth round rocks in playgrounds, piles of cushions that you tumble off etc etc. Please look after yourself, and ENJOY!
Ds2 learned to climb stairs at 7 months, that was fun with a 3yo and 4yo who never remembered to close stair gates! I lost count of the number of times I turned my back on him for a second and found h ii m upstairs
I found not stopping him climbing too often worked well, lots of safe places in the house he could climb meant Jr wa dd mote willing to listen if we said no. I was always pretty relaxed about table climbing with all mine and they got bored eventually.
Could you pay a mattress down under one window and pet hI'm climb on that sill if he wants?
Oh, and I should add, he's almost 4 now and doesn't climb anymore, he's actually fairly laid back now!
Sorry I'm a bit late but well done BettyBum on finding something that helps!
Glad you found something that keeps him happy. One thing I would say though is don't go too many times a week as he may get bored. Sometimes the local gymnastics centre does a soft play session which will be like tumbletots but without the structure x
Ds same age won,t stop climbing. No advice just sympathy.
i had this with my daughter. Into absolutely everything. Exhausting!
it does pass.
it Will get better.
Aaarrrrrggghhh. Unfortunately tumble tots snowed off last week but hope to go tomorrow. He is driving me mad again today.
Taken all the chairs out of dining room again today. Just kills my back.
Have had little money for trampoline or fun fort thing.
Thanks for sympathy!
To be honest, you should just let him at it. Be ready with kisses when he falls over. He will be fine.
Even the chairs. Let him. He has to learn to live in his environment. A few bumps won't kill him!
Cushion mountains v popular in our house too. Put all cushions, inc big sofa ones on floor and let 'em at it. ;)
Get a play pen. We got one from John Lewis many moons ago. It was larger than the cheap ones at local shops so DS had lots of space to play in.
I would only leave him in there for short periods but about 30min break from having to worry or chase DS was enough for me to retain my sanity
I always recommend mothers go back to full time work after they have babies as soon as possible as then this kind of stress is avoided and it is better for mother and child. That would be one solution and you might be a lot happier too.
xenia-do you think maybe you could try saying something different for a change?
My life-line is my local council gym - 3 mornings a week they run a play group staffed by qualified childminders, it's only a couple of pounds a session, and it means I can do an exercise class then have a swim, followed by a lovely uninterrupted shower! I work shifts so usually only make it to one or two sessions a week, but they make such a difference! Plus when I collect DS (16mo) he's worn out, I give him lunch then he usually has a good nap while I get stuff done. Can you find out if there's anything like this near you? The exercise makes me feel great too, plus it's helping with my weight loss, which also makes me feel great!
Xenia is here. Now all we need is for seeker to turn up and somehow work the GS debate into the thread
I have sympathy - ds was similar as a toddler - the strain of keeping him safe got distraught at times. I think he needed movement and adventure - his inquisitive active side developing far in advance of his understanding of gravity. And yes he frequently got into places he could not get down from. In snow like now we still went to the park (in warm clothes and lot of spare mits) - he enjoyed me building a snow wall circle or little pillar to knock down ( many times). Wearing him out helped!
feather - I did something similar except I usually just sat in the cafe with a book and a cuppa. Although we were supposed to be on site I would often go for a wander around the shops that were a few minutes drive away.
Being full on with an energetic young child is never easy but I found that short breaks here and there does help you retain your sanity in the long term so don't give up just yet
On the upside, when he is older he might really enjoy going to an indoor climbing facility. There are many more of these around now and climbing is such an excellent activity. Both my children were like yours, OP, as toddlers and the both went on to do climbing as a sport. DS2 would climb all the way up my body and stand on my shoulders (with a bit of balancing help from me!) when he was about that age.
I know it is relentlessly hard work now, but it must be lovely to see his growing skill and determination.
I'm right though. No wonder she's fed up. No one likes being a home all day with an under 5 which is why most men and women work.
But what about the people who work with under 5s all day? Genuine question!
I used to go with ds to a nursery and it was lovely! Ds 'interacted' with the exciting 'new' faces (the staff) and I had great fun with playing, reading, sticking or singing with little ones who actually wanted more sedate activities!
I had one who was a 'climber' - total nightmare. I also found him v difficult. He didn't sleep properly, was v strong willed, v active. He's 14 now and I love him to bits - he was a difficult toddler but is an amazing teenager with an active mind and he is very social, energetic and empathic. He still doesn't sleep and he still has enormous amounts of energy but he's learned to control it. I also have another DS who was completely different, very laid back. And now a DD (nearly 2), who will play with her doll's house and stuff while I chat, cook, work etc - very different. Some kids are just like that and you can't do anything but just get on and deal with it and look after yourself too!
I don't know if it is helpful, but I did come out the other end with my active boy and you mustn't be too hard on yourself. Dr Chris Green's said in one of his books that these super active, lively kids are the politicians, doctors and lawyers of the future, and I think that is right, as long as you help them to handle themselves (which you are doing). You also need to be well. I think that is more important and something I would prioritise. I kept thinking with my DS that I was at fault and this fed the depression. When I accepted it was just his personality and that this would lead to some great things later in his life, I coped better.
DD1 was a compulsive climber. You just had to trust her. She didn't fall, she knew what she could and couldn't do.
Big kids bit of the soft play and big kids end of the park.
The very tops of trees as a 8-9yo.
I got completely used "What an irresponsible mother letting her child do that", looks.
She stopped at around 10 as she got to big and heavy to do it easily and she's not the sporty rock climbing type.
However, she now dons a wet suit and frightens her poor mother in other ways.
You just find you know where every soft play, park and trim trail is in every town you visit and every climbable tree.
We also have a large climbing frame in the garden. I'm afraid OP it will rule your life, DCs that climb will climb, it's just our job to try and prevent it being the book case.
Oh and DD1 was no better at nursery, she used to give the leaders the slip and climb the main school wall bars
Get a playpen, saved me no end of stress and i managed to get my housework completed without worry!
My eldest was a climber. He walked at 10 months and climbed as soon as he could walk. I could never enjoy mums coffee mornings as all the other babies were sitters and I had to rush frantically about stopping him wrecking everything. It was very hard.
I gave him as many climbing opportunities as I could at soft play and other environments where he could climb high and take risks more safely and learn how to risk take. I am the opposite of a helicopter mum and fearlessly let him do things other mothers wouldn't. In fact they'd rush to his rescue when he was fine and make me feel bad but I DID know him best. Don't hide your chairs just turn them backs to the table so they can't flip backwards with his weight. He will probably climb on the table though.
He's 8 now and has never injured himself (badly) being adventurous, he's a very good judger of risks.
My 2nd was a sitter but my 3rd ......... he's 19 months and I found him on his brother's top bunk yesterday ......... Gaah!
Oh and DS1 could climb out of play pens and cots by 18months even with a sleeping bag on so I switched him to a bed and he was fine, often slept on the floor though.
I feel proud of how well I handled him in retrospect even though he pushed me close to the edge. He's an amazing boy and everyone loves him.
We/He got asked to leave Tumbletots because he wouldn't sit still for the sitting still part ...... Well obviously; he was surrounded by fun looking climbing stuff why would he want to sit still??? It made me feel like a crap mother at the time though, how ridiculous!
Also we have a 10ft trampoline with netting in the garden, I often give my 19mo free reign on it to run madly around and crash into the netting and fall over. It is like a fun cage. He can't jump yet just runs and bounces on his hands and knees. I can sit outside with a cuppa rather than have to chase him round continuously and help him on the full height climbing frame.
It's hard to understand what is so bloody annoying about his climbing when I'm sitting here now and he is asleep in bed.
I can't just let him do it. I just can't. Not really sure why, a mixture of fear that he will hurt himself or ruin/break something in the house (I'm probably too house proud)
Xenia I do work two days a week which I enjoy but we cant really afford it any other way and I like the home/work balance mostly!
Zipity it's terrible that you got asked to leave TumbleTots!
So glad for all the advice and sympathy. Met a woman today who said her son was the same which made me feel better. You always feel like you must be the only one huh?
I second the gym, swimming if at all possible.
Our pool had a crèche and I'd swim for an hour doing proper lenths then take exhausting DD in for 30 minutes.
After a session with the nice crèche ladies and a swim she'd have anive long nap.
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