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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!!!!



Mintymoomoo Mon 17-Mar-14 20:39:17

All my children were taught around 10-12 months old how to go up and down the stairs safely, I always took the time to teach them to turn around and come down the stairs feet first in tummy and have never had a accident on the stairs, of course I also had gate up until they were old to stop them escaping off around house but toughy it was important to teach them rather than risking them trying to walk down and fall head first

Shelby2010 Mon 17-Mar-14 20:32:30

Buy a spring loaded gate that shuts itself and teach your DD to come down stairs safely.

And for those who don't have gates because they taught their crawling babies to come down backwards, please be prepared for the terrifying day when they decide to walk down like a grown-up, but their legs are a bit short for the steps & they can't quite reach the rail........

Make him buy one of these:

soontobeslendergirl Mon 17-Mar-14 20:11:39

*I wouldn't bother teaching!

Just buy a gate that swings shut.*

So we shouldn't educate children to do anything then, just keep them strapped in a pram feeding them from a spoon until they are 18? hmm

MoominsYonisAreScary Mon 17-Mar-14 20:07:21

I have a 19, 11just turned 3 and just turned 1 year old. Have always had sg on the livingroom and bedroom doors.

They come down and go up with me there until between 3-4 depending on the child.

Surprisingly the 19 year old and 11 year old can happily negotiate the stairs even though they were quite old by the time they were allowed to do it on their own!

SackAndCrack Mon 17-Mar-14 20:01:08

I made his mistake. Or rather similar mistake. I held off getting a stairgate at the bottom of the stairs because I figured I could just shut the door instead.


The door got left open, ds (14 months at the time) got out, climbed up one step, fell off and broke his arm.

Show him this for godsake.

I still feel awful now a year and a half on.

I will always feel guilty.

ScarlettOHaraHamilton Mon 17-Mar-14 19:57:54

Glad someone else gets it, miaow, "2 year old" is an incredibly unhelpful term, there's so much difference between just turned 2 and nearly 3. Or maybe we're just inane pedants grin

Cigarettesandsmirnoff Mon 17-Mar-14 19:53:38

I wouldn't bother teaching!

Just buy a gate that swings shut.

MiaowTheCat Mon 17-Mar-14 19:48:53

ScarlettOHaraHamilton I hate to break it to you, but you have a two year old, not a 25 month old. Lolol

Oh do give it a break dearie.

I have two one-year-olds (well as of the middle of this week). One has just literally turned 1, 12 month old, and one turns 2 the following month, 23 month old. There is a WORLD of difference between them.

DinoSnores Mon 17-Mar-14 17:47:00

Bit on the fence as we only have a stairgate at the top of our stairs and that''s really to control who can get down! I decided to teach the children not to climb the stairs when we are not there and how to come down/climb up safely.

Fifyfomum Mon 17-Mar-14 16:53:10

I agree, different strokes for different folks but having a stair gate obviously isn't working for this family, so perhaps try a different think that works for lots of families and every family before the introduction of the stair gate

TrinityRhino Mon 17-Mar-14 16:46:48

I'm not surprised you're pissed off with him

perhaps just teach her to come down the stairs and then you can all relax

show her yourself

crawl to the top and then slide down backwards on your tummy

masses of praise and she'll manage it

ScarlettOHaraHamilton Mon 17-Mar-14 16:42:02

Oh, I'm so sorry. Let me rephrase that: I have a two year, one month old who is still prone to being uncoordinated like a.young toddler, not a 2 year, eleven month old who is much more stable and with far better language skills than a child nearly a year younger. Because that's an easier way of getting their age an abilities across quickly than saying 25 months old


WTFlike Mon 17-Mar-14 16:35:50

ScarlettOHaraHamilton I hate to break it to you, but you have a two year old, not a 25 month old. Lolol

sebsmummy1 Mon 17-Mar-14 16:27:31

We have a staircase that is about 7 steps, then a small landing, then a further 4 steps around the corner. He has fallen down the last four steps twice now as I thought I could trust him to go down on his front and instead he decided to plunge off face first while I had my hand full of laundry.

There is no way there wouldn't be a stair gate on my stairs if they were a continuous run.

ScarlettOHaraHamilton Mon 17-Mar-14 16:22:44

Safety and risk assessment is your decision as a parent. I'm happier at the moment with what we do as I'm as sure that DD keeps away from the stairs as other posters are that their DC will always go down on their tummies. Horses for courses - we'll work on going down when we're happy to do it.

Which is all a bit by the by; I just meant to say that some staircases are more amenable to feeling comfortable if your young DC are on them than others.

Fifyfomum Mon 17-Mar-14 16:17:05

We have lived in houses with incredibly narrow and steep stairs. All the more reason to teach safety on them.

MerryMarigold Mon 17-Mar-14 16:05:47

Sounds like my house Scarlett. Except we do have a hallway at the bottom, but also a radiator. Tbh, they are much more careful when little. And if you teach them to come down backwards, the worst that could happen is that they slide down a little faster than they intended (mostly they intend to go down on their tummies as fast as poss).

ScarlettOHaraHamilton Mon 17-Mar-14 15:58:41

There's no one size fits all though, is there?

We live in an old terraced house with very steep, narrow stairs (the kind that definitely wouldn't pass building regs now) with a wooden floor at the bottom and a wall just over a foot from the end, and a a t-junction at the top leading on either side into bedrooms, with an extra step into those rooms.

At the moment I'm not even going to teach my 25mo how to use those stairs safely on her own: they are steep and dangerous so she knows not to go near them and only go up and down with someone with her. Then good gates at either end, and keep an eye to see if she wants to climb them (she won't, she won't even touch them).

If I had shallower, carpeted stairs and hallway I'd be very different.

NaturalBaby Mon 17-Mar-14 15:43:29

My children didn't fall down the stairs till they were much older and running/carrying things/jumping down the stairs.

Children have to figure things out for themselves by doing it themselves.

Fifyfomum Mon 17-Mar-14 15:38:16

My one year old is fine on the stairs, we don't monitor him every time. If a child falls when they are facing the stairs sliding down backwards they will just hit the step in front of them. Accidents on the stairs are not at all common when the stairs have been shown to young children. More accidents happen as a result of stair gates meaning people are lax about training children about dangers, not less.

Artandco Mon 17-Mar-14 15:36:27

Ok maybe it's just me then. My 2 year old spent yesterday climbing up a tree and on zip wires. It wouldn't occur to me to still monitor him on some stairs. A stair gate would just be climbed over here

waterrat Mon 17-Mar-14 15:32:15

er - how did people survive before stair gates? well probably lots of children had serious accidents?! what a strange question - firstly, stairs have only existed in most people's houses for probably the last couple of hundred years - if that. so for the vast majority of the tens of thousands of years humans have existed, they didn't have stairs - so it's not a 'natural' skill.

I think it's ridiculous to suggest a one year old or even a 2 year old can be trusted on stairs, I have watched my - very agile - 2 year old try to come downstairs and he only has to put a foot slightly wrong and his whole body tumbles. They simply don't have the rational sense or dexterity to be as careful as they ought to be.

A one year old has no concept of broken bones or of risk more generally - they could climb down perfectly 20 times but be distracted the 21st time by somethng and put a foot wrong.

NCISaddict Mon 17-Mar-14 15:30:11

Somewhere there is a video of, I think, JustineMN helping a Mum teach her baby to turn round at the top of the stairs and come down on their bottom. Not sure what the programme was called, must have been about ten years ago?

I taught all my three to slide down before they could walk, they very quickly got the hang of it and slid terrifyingly fast, never fell down though apart from one time when I came down holding DD's hand, slipped and pulled her with me.blush
The only time they got hurt was the first time each of the boys tried it without a nappy on but they managed it without bashing themselves the second time. It's really important if you plan on having a second one without a huge gap as three year olds are notorious for leaving gates open.

DontWannaBeObamasElf Mon 17-Mar-14 15:25:37

That was easier than I thought! She did stand up and try to turn around every other step but I feel comfortable now that I'm teaching her.

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