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Getting up and down the stairs

(3 Posts)
PartialToACupOfMilo Wed 01-Jun-11 21:58:38

My dd is almost 18 months. She can climb up and down steps very well as there is a step into almost every downstairs room in the house and several outside in the garden. When we go upstairs though 9 times out of 10 she wants me to either carry her or hold her hand when walking up - which I find a bit dangerous as the stairs are quite narrow and she's not very tall either. Tonight I had several things to take up when we were going for her bath and she wanted to go up herself for a couple of steps then sat down, faced me and wanted to be picked up. I put the things down and she starts to 'bump' down the stairs on her bottom - with me only a couple of steps below her. She thinks this is hilarious hmm

Coming down the stairs was never a problem and she always came down backwards on her hands and knees, but has now decided that she needs to face forwards (like a big girl, I guess...) and wants to either hold my hand, hold the handrail (way too high to be anything other than a hindrance to her) or just walk down on her own. She's not stable enough to do this and it's so heart wrenching that I've now taught her to 'bump' down on her bottom figuring that falling from sitting, must be better than falling when standing. This has now turned into a game though and I have visions of her lifting her feet and hurtling down the stairs and straight into the wall at the bottom (stairs turn at the end and are kind of in a cupboard, in that they are between two rooms). Last night I accidentally left the landing gate open and had to practically wrestle her to the ground to just close it, while she fought to get past me and bump down the stairs.

A couple of months ago she managed to fall out of the front door and down the concrete 5 steps outside. Dh had left the door open and although I don't blame him at all (100% accident) he's now hypersensitive that she's going to fall down the stairs and break her neck or something - she was fine after the front steps fall btw, just a little bruise on her face where she landed.

So after this long winded explanation, my question is simple: What's the best way to teach a child to get up and down the stairs safely? (Bearing in mind that my dd is a bit of a thrill seeker in training)

SomebodyNew Wed 01-Jun-11 22:06:54

Marking my place, same problem!

TottWriter Wed 01-Jun-11 22:16:48

We had this with DS. It was a case of grin-and-bear it, I'm afraid.

Try to minimise the amount of attention you give when she messes about on the stairs as she doesn't really understand - just pick her up and carry her while not making eye contact. Complement this by praising her ever time she goes up or down the stairs sensibly, so she gets the idea. Eventually she will work it out and be okay - though my DS is now three and still messes about now and then. I just make sure to always supervise him, annoying as it is.

I'm afraid I don't know when you'll be able to trust her alone; we're still not there yet.

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