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To think DP is being unfair carrying DD up and down the stairs

(87 Posts)
Booboostoo Wed 29-Jan-14 17:09:40

I need some perspective on this, is DP being perfectly reasonable and making his own parental choices, or is he messing up my parenting of DD?

DD is 2.8yo, weighs 14kilos and is 95cm tall, so quite a big toddler. I have had trouble lifting her for a while so this autumn I introduced other alternatives. When we are out she can choose between walking and the buggy which works quite well but in the house she just has to make it up our flight of stairs by herself because I can no longer carry her (also pregnant at the moment so becoming less and less able to carry her anyway). She can choose to crawl up, or bum shuffle, or whatever, as long as she does it by herself.

The no carrying on the strairs rule was quite controvercial to introduce and was met by quite a few tears but I stuck to it and 90% of the time she was going up and down without fuss. Then DP intervened and said he would carry her. I did object but he said it was his choice and nothing to do with me. He said DD could learn to go up by herself with me and be carried by him.

A few weeks forward we now have a situation where DD goes ballistic at the mention of the stairs and screams until DP (who works from home) comes to carry her. DP is now due to go away for work (2 weeks, back a week and then away for a month, so quite a long time) and I fear I will have to re-train DD about the stairs and she seems to be more wound up about it that before.

I asked DP to re-teach her to go up and down by herself and he refused saying that it was he parenting choice. He said I chose to bf her so he had to find other ways to soothe her, and he chooses to carry her up/down the stairs and I have to find ways to cope with that.

I think he is being an arse.

liquidstate Wed 29-Jan-14 17:39:17

He is an idiot.

headoverheels Wed 29-Jan-14 17:39:30

Just another perspective. My Mum never carried my DC after they were a few months old because she has a bad back. My DC never seemed to find it confusing that I carried them and she didn't. So I do think there is room for different parenting styles and you and DH don't always have to agree on everything.

Isn't it causing him more hassle than you if he keeps having to stop work to come and carry her?!

SaltyandSweet Wed 29-Jan-14 17:40:56

Agree with WooWooOwl - I'm similar to you OP in that I had to stop carrying my pfb as he was too heavy for me whilst my DH was still able to. We were lucky in that we didn't have stairs. The struggle was when we were out and about and even though definitely not tired of walking yet (e.g. out of the house 5 mins), my DS used to insist on being carried for awhile, walk for awhile, carried etc. I explained to DS that mummy couldn't walk too far whilst carrying him and offered my hand to hold and played games (spot the cat etc). When DH was with us he would still carry him occasionally and I thought this was fine - DS learned that it was different with mummy and with daddy and I just continued my way (no, DS, mummy can't walk and carry you at the same time). We had a few tantrums but they passed pretty quickly.

I'd explain to your DD that she's too heavy for you to safely carry her on the stairs but once you get upstairs/downstairs you can have a cuddle, a tickle etc. Cheery but matter of fact and ignore the tantrums. Oh and your DH needs to stop coming running to ferry her up and down the stairs when she starts screaming if you are the one who's taking her up/down. That is not part of his parenting choice, that part is interfering imo.

hugoagogo Wed 29-Jan-14 17:44:00

Woowoo did you miss the bit where the op said her dh works from home and comes to carry dd up the stairs everytime she wants to go? Not just bed time.

crazykat Wed 29-Jan-14 17:50:34

At 2.8 she doesn't need carrying up or down the stairs unless poorly. My ds2 has been going up the stairs by himself (with me or DH behind) since he was 11 months. He gets carried down because he isn't safe yet.

As long as she's safe - which she should be at her age - then there's no reason to be carried up and down. Occasionally my DH will carry one of ours upstairs when they are playing but its very occasionally. If your DH carrying her is causing you problems then he needs to stop as its not fair to you or your dd having mummy say no and daddy say yes.

WooWooOwl Wed 29-Jan-14 17:50:43

I did actually, but I think there's a difference between him intervening when there's a tantrum already going on and getting on with what he would do naturally.

It's not ok for him to step in and undermine OP when she has already told her dd to do something, but it is ok for him to do it his own way when he's looking after her.

nennypops Wed 29-Jan-14 17:50:55

Does he seriously think that you chose to breastfeed out of some sort of selfish motivation to exclude him from being able to comfort dd by feeding her? Was he happy to pay for all the bottle feeding paraphernalia and deal with all the hassle involved? And would he have seriously preferred to be responsible for night feeds?

He is being an arse, clearly. It's pathetic enough that he views this as some sort of tit for tat thing, but he is choosing to submit dd to a lot of misery when he is away rather than reintroduce stairclimbing in a gradual non-stressful way now.

Iworrymyselftosleep Wed 29-Jan-14 17:56:45

I think he's an utter arse.

I would let her scream. Sorry. I've never done much CIO but I do think in this instance, with a stubborn little one, you have to 'win'. You cant carry her - esp pregnant or with a newborn so she has to learn. Daddy being all indulgent and hero rescuer is just causing his daughter distress. Nice work big lad. Twat.

matildamatilda Wed 29-Jan-14 17:57:04

In a way it's good he's going away, right?

"Daddy's away, remember? Let's go upstairs and have your book. Oh, you don't want to come up the stairs? Okay, I'll read the book without you."

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 29-Jan-14 18:01:02

I fell down the stairs carrying DD when she was 15 months old, she was unhurt I was really badly injured and had months of pain afterwards. She was never carried on the stairs again, once they are big enough to hold the bannister and walk safely that is what they should do for everyones safety.

DorothyBastard Wed 29-Jan-14 18:12:54

The breastfeeding comment sounds like he is sort of punishing you.

vj32 Wed 29-Jan-14 18:14:06

DS is 2.8 and about 17kg. So HUGE. I am 33 weeks pregnant and physically cannot carry him up the stairs. Dh sometimes still does, usually when he takes him to bed.

This has only been a problem a few times, mostly when he is tired. He asks to be carried, I refuse and tell him I can't carry him any more he is too big. Twice it has got as far as him refusing completely to go upstairs to have his nappy changed. So once I brought the stuff downstairs, once I told him he would just have to sit in poo until he was willing to walk up the stairs. Less than 5 mins later he gave in.

Just tell her you can't carry her and stick to it. Your DH isn't helping, but I don't think she will need retraining if you stick to the message that you can't carry her anymore.

LumpySpacePrincessOhMyGlob Wed 29-Jan-14 18:22:04

He has completely undermined you and it has resulted in an upset child. Our job as a parent is to enable our children. As for his analogy about you choosing to breatsfeed...confused

Eatriskier Wed 29-Jan-14 18:22:49

Dh carries dd to nursery and back if he drops and collects. I literally can't though. Dd soon learned that daddy can do it but mummy can't. She doesn't even ask me anymore. A few 'that's your special thing with daddy' may help.

zeno Wed 29-Jan-14 18:23:20

I hear you op. I will spend lots of energy persuading dd that being able to do things independently is a good thing, then someone else just does it for her a few times and it sets us back. In the end she will do it independently all the time as she is pleased with being able to do it, but I often have to bite down the feeling of being undermined.

I also have physical issues that have made it difficult to carry dd. she has always been told that different adults are able or willing to do different things with her. At primary age now she accepts that completely and it's not an issue, but I did used to feel furious when someone else got her used to being carried around again, even though they were perfectly within their rights to offer her a carry. For a while I tried asking them not to, but in the end I realised it was my trouble, not theirs, and that dd would have to get used to being more independent with me than with others.

Anyway, my point is, I get what you're saying completely, but I don't think you can reasonably ask him not to carry her, even though it makes you feel cross. Your dd will learn and accept that there are differences in what adults can or will do, but it will take time and persistence.

MabelBee Wed 29-Jan-14 18:29:48

I think it is important when you have a child who doesn't have a natural inclination to do something like climb stairs, for you both to be consistent. I have a toddler who doesn't do anything without weeks or sometimes months of training. It undoes all of my hard work when other people baby her as she doesn't then progress.

You are justified in wanting this done your way.

TeacupDrama Wed 29-Jan-14 18:38:07

my DD is 4 now I occasionally carry her up to bed if she fell asleep in the car, she learnt to climb stairs about 1.5 she has not needed to be carried since then when she was younger i might if she was tired, unless your DD has problems a 2 year old is more than capable of managing stairs they need practice hold onto rial and no messing about on stairs i presume you do not have open stairs which can be a bit scary for wee ones and have a banister

unless a back story your DH is babying her

Shelby2010 Wed 29-Jan-14 19:20:45

Although children learn that adults do things differently, in this case DH is undermining you by carrying DD during the day when you are caring for her. If he persists I would make it as big an inconvenience as possible for him eg if he comes to take her upstairs then he might as well do the nappy change or whatever & then bring her down afterwards. Go up & down a lot and maybe he'll get fed up.

Alternatively (and probably more reasonably) I would use positive reinforcement to get DD back in the habit. Initially this might mean a smarty or chocolate button on every other stair to go up and maybe letting her throw a couple of soft toys down before coming down herself. With DH acting the 'good' cop, I think it will be easier to use rewards rather than exhausting yourself by waiting out the tantrums each time.

msmoss Wed 29-Jan-14 19:36:16

It's not unreasonable for him to carry her up the stairs if he wants, DS1 is a similar age and knows that Daddy will carry him sometimes but Mummy won't although this is out and about. He is being unreasonable to give in to her tantrum though.

I get DS to 'race' me up the stairs. He hates loosing and always seems to win wink which results in him getting to choose the first story.

FlockOfTwats Wed 29-Jan-14 20:01:02


My daughter is five this April and either her dad or his mum (not sure which one was doing it) would carry her everywhere and she expected it of me too, She is not a faint little thing and i just couldn't cope. I have back problems as it is.

She eventually learned shortly after turning four that mummy doesn't carry because in not as strong as her dad, but it took me getting pregnant for her to accept it without arguments.

FlockOfTwats Wed 29-Jan-14 20:06:02

Dainty little thing*

Deliah88 Wed 29-Jan-14 20:13:54

My partner carries our son up to bed, he's 2.7years, 18kg and 101cm so huge. I don't really see the problem. He can climb the stairs and come down. We put him in his sleeping bag downstairs before he goes to bed, so has to be carried.

Booboostoo Wed 29-Jan-14 20:30:32

I don't know why she doesn't want to go up/down the stairs. After I worked on it last time (didn't give in, rewards, etc.) 90% of the time she would do it no problem, so the whole thing was resolved. I am just a bit disheartened that she has taken a massive step back.

I also resent the bf comment. DP has a massive chip about bf. He always comments that had I stopped earlier ('earlier' is any time earlier than 'now') it would have been really easy to stop (neither DD nor I want to stop), that bf has made her attached to me and shy, that bf excludes him, etc.

DorothyBastard Thu 30-Jan-14 08:48:18

Then it really sounds like this is punishment. Perhaps he views BFing as something you do to deliberately exclude him and he has decided the stairs thing is a way of 'giving you a taste of your own medicine'. Which is pretty twisted.

StandingInLine Thu 30-Jan-14 08:50:09

My son was going up and down the stairs at about a year old ,and walking up and down them properly at about 18 months. She needs to learn herself so just leave her. Believe me ,she'll find a way up there.

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