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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!!!!



SooticaTheWitchesCat Mon 17-Mar-14 10:32:52


It is just completely irresponsible to leave a baby gate open and he needs to start doing it automatically and not rely on you to check. He is supposed to be a responsible parent and he needs to start acting like one.

I would be absolutely fuming. It's a shame you can't lock the baby gate and forget to give him a key!

BlackeyedSusan Mon 17-Mar-14 10:33:11


ds slid all the way down a set of wood stairs as ex left the door to the hall open in the holiday cottage. luckily ds slid down on his tummy and did not bang his head or roll down.

ikeaismylocal Mon 17-Mar-14 10:34:40


I would be furious.

I would be tempted to buy 15 safety gates and put themon every step, he wouldn't forget if he had to open 15!

Nennypops Mon 17-Mar-14 10:37:46

YANBU, but obviously what needs to happen is for him to close the gate rather than for you to be able to blame him if the worst happens.

If he can't close the gate, does he actually need to open it to get upstairs? We used to climb over ours regularly when we were in a hurry as the catch was awkward.

Would it work to do the annoying thing of standing there shouting to him to come and close the gate every time he leaves it? With luck it'll annoy him sufficiently if he keeps getting interrupted when on the phone/loo etc that he'll start remembering.

Or else put a mahoosive sign half way up the stairs saying "CLOSE THE EFFING GATE NOW!"

Ploppy16 Mon 17-Mar-14 10:38:41

YANBU, DH took the downstairs baby gate off the wall to fix it last week and our 2 year old spent the next half hour happily dodging round her Dad and shooting up the stairs so she could bum surf back down them... I think he went a little greyer that day! We had discussed the possibility of taking the gate off completely in the near future because she didn't really take any notice on the odd occasion when the gate was left open by her brother or Sister. Needless to say it went straight back up.
It's a special type of horror when you see your LO sliding down from the top step on her arse..

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 17-Mar-14 10:39:54

Aw, bless him. So remind me, why do you have the gate in the first place?

addictedtosugar Mon 17-Mar-14 10:41:45

Yes, encourage DH to shut the gate, but you could also show DD how to climb up and down stairs safely.
Mine could both get up/down stairs at that age, tho we had stair gates, and supervised when they were on the stairs.

Just the one at the top of the stairs left now. Open all day, shut when the kids go to bed.

youmakemydreams Mon 17-Mar-14 10:48:49

Hmm little on the fence really. By the time all 3 of my dc were crawling I was teaching them to come up and down safely so by 17 months they could all do it. I did have baby gates up but rather than have all this stress I preferred to teach them how to use the stairs from the get go. In fact I think by that age I only had the one upstairs at night in case they came out their rooms and stumbled in the dark. Tbh they never bothered with the stairs much because they weren't a forbidden fruit.

feesh Mon 17-Mar-14 10:52:19

Another one in the 'teach her to come down the stairs safely' camp! My twins can go up and down the stairs by themselves. They're 15 months now but have been doing it for a couple of months at least. I can't carry them both down the stairs together any more, so they have to get themselves down! It only took a day of teaching them how to do it and I trust them completely now. Admittedly, our stairs aren't that steep and we have 2 landings, but it's a big weight off my mind for the occasional time we forget to shut the baby gates.

LunchLadyWannabe Mon 17-Mar-14 10:54:51

I dont think dd would understand if i tried to show her how to climb down them.

Shes very good at going up the stairs, i let her climb up with me behind her everytime we go upstairs to change nappy etc.

DontWannaBeObamasElf Mon 17-Mar-14 10:55:36


I forgot to close the top gate a couple of weeks ago. I was getting 15 month old LittleElf dressed, she pottered out the room. I heard the gate but thought she was just hitting it like she usually does.

It's a bloody good job I checked because the naked toddler was carefully making her way down stairs. My heart stopped!

morethanpotatoprints Mon 17-Mar-14 10:56:25

He is being irresponsible, but you need to take action.
If you hold him responsible or not, this is of no use when the accident has happened.
Its the same as a car going the wrong way down a one way street and knocking a child over, its a waste of time shouting at the driver when the damage is done.
Find a gate that doesn't open, if possible, or one which has a key of some description and your dh will have to climb over it.
Even if he says he won't do it anymore, could you trust him?

Peanutsandwine Mon 17-Mar-14 10:57:25

Teach her to use them safely, then no need for stair gates!

We did that with both children by this age, and tbh we never bothered at all with a stair gate with the second...

SpottyTeacakes Mon 17-Mar-14 10:57:37

That is annoying but I agree with teaching them to use the stairs safely. Ds is 15mo and as soon as he could crawl we taught him how to go up and down the stairs. We have gates, but not everyone does.

treas Mon 17-Mar-14 10:58:50

YABU - as long as you realise that you will be subjected to the same treatment when you do something idiotic (and you will) that potentially could hurt your dc

Goldmandra Mon 17-Mar-14 11:00:42

I left ours open once when DD2 was 14 months. My hands were full of rubbish and I decided to go to the bin before shutting it.

That thirty seconds was long enough for her to climb the first few stairs, fall down them and break her arm.

Tell him from me that watching your baby scream through the examination and having to pin them down for the X-ray makes you feel like shit. Looking after her in her cast for three weeks was quite an unpleasant reminder too. I never made that mistake again.

He is very welcome to learn from my experience.

LunchLadyWannabe Mon 17-Mar-14 11:02:57

I wouldnt have a go at him for forgetting on the odd occasion, however this is around 3 times a day!

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

I ve no idea how to teach her to climb down at such a young age, i wasnt planning on teaching her that for a good while yet

LunchLadyWannabe Mon 17-Mar-14 11:04:18


Will you please come to my house and lecture him?

yesnoyesnoyesno Mon 17-Mar-14 11:05:16

What's the safest way to come down, on their bums or climbing backwards? DH says the latter but I've been doing the former.

Ploppy16 Mon 17-Mar-14 11:07:50

All mine learnt to get down the stairs using a mixture of sliding down on their bums and walking down with us in front holding their hands (us going backwards). A kind of 'slide/step' type of way so they're going down facing forwards.

sadsaddersaddest Mon 17-Mar-14 11:08:04

Even my 7-year-old DS automatically closes the stairgate because he understands his baby sister could hurt herself.

Sneezecakesmum Mon 17-Mar-14 11:08:31

I think it's about time you did the screaming fishwife rant at him about broken bones, head injuries and behaving more responsibility.


fishybits Mon 17-Mar-14 11:08:43

By 12 months DD had been taught how to come down the stairs safely, backwards and holding on to the bannisters at all times. We still had a stair gate up but DH and I are not perfect so felt it safer to teach her how to come down in case we forgot to close it.

YANBU to feel the way you do but YABU not to teach your DD how to come down safely.

MrTumblesBavarianFanbase Mon 17-Mar-14 11:09:32

You can get gates that close themselves (automatically swing shut), we used to have one... but I agree the best thing to do is to teach your DD to come down on her bottom, if you don't think she is steady enough to walk down.

The not having a gate sounds ideal and I used to be firmly in that camp, but it is easier to do with some DC than others - had one when DC1 was tiny as I was a childminder, but moved abroad when she was 19 months and never bothered with gates - wasn't going to for DC2 but he seemed to have less intrinsic sense about physical danger than DC1 and had a lot more falls, crawled down 2 steps in another part of the house forwards as if he hadn't realised what they were and hit his head, so we got gates for him - we took them down when he was 2 and he immediately fell down the basement stairs as he was walking about with his eyes closed "pretending to be a closed eye robot" hmm . DC3 probably didn't need them and we put them up when he was crawling but took them down by 18 months as they were annoying, esp with a house over 4 floors and 2 older DC... he has never shown any likelyhood of falling down the stairs.

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