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Stair gates.

(28 Posts)
bayrans Wed 05-Nov-14 10:54:30

I'd just like some opinions please.
We've just moved to a new house after living in a flat. My daughter is 16 months and a confident walker and stair climber. She has had the run of the house for the last 4 weeks, happily climbing the stairs with only one minor incident of falling off the last 2. My husband has just bought and installed some gates, little one hates it and I hate how they look and how they seem so restrictive.
Is is not a bit late for gates now? Do you have gates and how old are your children? At what age did you get rid of them?
I really hate them! I watch her all the time but there are times when she does escape me and get up the stairs grin
I love watching her have a little independence but my husband is terrified of her having a bad fall.
I'd like to remove them, but is like a little advice first. Thanks!

JuniperTisane Wed 05-Nov-14 11:12:53

Of course they're restrictive. Thats the point. It gives some control over the times when you aren't watching. DS2 is 22 months, he's technically capable of going up and downstairs by himself and does so several times a day but I wouldn't want to not be there when he does it. The odd slip, a toy taken and played with and left halfway up, silliness. It only takes a second for a toddler to trip or fall down when you're eye is somewhere else.

I'm a stair gate lover, sorry.

mrsbee2be Wed 05-Nov-14 15:41:14

We moved when DDs were 16 & 3 months & didn't put gates back up at that time as I felt DD was best learning to climb up & down, I felt it meant she learnt that quicker. I'm not a natural worrier but in drive my MiL mad, she was constantly running to the stairs but I was confident she would never fall..... And never did.
My nieces are 5 & 3 & still have a gate & the littlest isn't the steadiest on the stairs.
We put them back up when my youngest started crawling but took them down around when she was a similar age/maybe younger again for the same reason.

(Although we do keep one up at the top of the stairs but it's rarely closed, it's just their to keep them either up or down dependant where I've just cleaned/tidied!!)

HKat Wed 05-Nov-14 18:25:48

My dd is 2.6 and is confident on the stairs. I let her climb up and down th independently. But I still wouldn't want her to do that without me watching her, just I'm case. Saying that, we live in an old house with particularly steep stairs so my perspective is maybe a bit skewed.

FoulsomeAndMaggotwise Wed 05-Nov-14 18:42:59

Interesting. I have the same situation, we're moving to a new house next week. I'm putting in stair gates simply because we have another baby due and so I won't be able to run after DS if he decides to go up the stairs, but if he was still my only child I think I might not have them. I think it's important that they learn how to go up and down the stairs for when they're visiting family without stair gates etc, but it is exhausting having to go up and down with them all the time.

Sorry, not much help was I?

LegoCaltrops Wed 05-Nov-14 18:54:07

DD is 2.6 & we still have 3: between kitchen & living room, at bottom of stairs, & at top of stairs. But, our kichen is small & leads staight out to the open back yard, neighbours whizz up & down the back street at top speed & yard isn't enclosed so we like the security if we have the back door open. Also, stairs go straight up from the living room, so if I'm in the kitchen, I know DD is safe, & at night, we know DD won't be able to roam around the top landing in the dark, & fall downstairs.

clairemarie5 Wed 05-Nov-14 21:26:47

I've had a stair gate since my son was 14 months and moved into a home with stairs, they do look a bit awful but it's better than seeing him fall down them.. He has no fear and will leap down steps/stairs like he's invincible and climbing up stairs he will turn around and lose balance, the gates are a must for our house but I suppose you can stop using them when your little one can easily get up and down the stairs by herself without slipping or tumbling off a step.. Our gate is at the top because baby's room is right opposite the top of the stairs and he would go straight down them if it wasn't there.. better to be safe than sorry even if they do look rubbish!

Shakey1500 Wed 05-Nov-14 21:32:27

I've just taken down and sold my stairgate. DS was 7 in August. That's 7 years old, not months grin

Goldmandra Fri 07-Nov-14 12:26:08

My DD2 broke her arm falling downstairs at 14 months because I left out gate open. She knew how to climb stairs and how to come down safely. She just wasn't old enough to understand the danger involved in falling.

You can teach them to climb up and down stairs safely but, if you're not supervising them, at this age they are likely to fall because the try to reach out to something or stand up and overbalance having forgotten there is a drop behind them.

Eva50 Fri 07-Nov-14 13:35:59

We still have the gate at the top of the stairs (homemade wooden gate that matches the decor) because the toilet door is right at the top of the stairs and a sleepy person could miss their step. I close it over once ds3 goes to bed at night. He opens it if he needs to come back down. We removed the bottom stair gate and kitchen one when ds3 was 4. Dc's are 19, 17 and 8.

manchestermummy Fri 07-Nov-14 14:37:36

Keep the gates. This is a temporary addition to your decor. You can still teach her to climb stairs safely with gates in place.

PatMullins Fri 07-Nov-14 14:45:19

I'm the only person I know who didn't have them, DD is 3 now

bayrans Fri 07-Nov-14 15:16:17

Thanks everyone, I appreciate your replies. I should probably keep them.

RoseTheHat Fri 07-Nov-14 16:50:35

I've never had them. Dcs are 4 and 18 months. Our stairs aren't as steep as some. Little one knows how to come down on his tummy.

NannyNim Sat 08-Nov-14 15:08:05

My LO is 2 and we still have them for the stairs. The bottom one is rarely closed because there's always someone to watch him but we close the top one whenever we're upstairs. We have a spiral staircase with no handrail so although LO can climb up he hasn't mastered coming down without a hand to hold just yet so it would be all to easy for him to slip and fall.
I only close the bottom one when I pop upstairs to fetch something and don't want him following me unsupervised.

IShallCallYouSquishy Sat 08-Nov-14 20:52:23

DD is 2.5 and we have never had them, and we live in a 3 storey house.

DS is 8.5 months and into everything and anything, and can crawl at lightening speed. Think we might be reviewing the stair gate situation wink

naty1 Sun 09-Nov-14 10:09:34

2.5 we only ever had a top 1 as we block off the lounge with another gate so cant get to the bottom of stairs.
Top 1 is to stop falling, accidentally running off.
Why worry how it looks youll take them down eventually.

Though i would say DD loves trying to climb stairs when we visit others, constantly trying to escape. I think it depends on their personality.
She is very cheeky and finds running away funny

6031769 Sun 09-Nov-14 15:16:03

we still have our top one and ds is 4.5 years. Don't close it at all in the day but do at night as stairs are opposite his room and bathroom is left and don't want him wandering down in a sleepy state. Also out stairs are the open plan types without backs so not the safest

stclair Mon 10-Nov-14 13:47:17

I'm a stairgate fan. Dd2 fell down the stairs at 15 months and knocked out two teeth, despite having plenty of stair practice.

ChunkyPickle Mon 10-Nov-14 13:54:19

We have stairgates for DS2 (13 months) because he's an over-confident little thing, who can climb up fine, but thinks he can walk down the same way. Plus he chases me upstairs when I'm trying to work. I think we'll take them down when he's old enough to understand and obey a bit.

DS1 wasn't a problem so we didn't have gates with him - despite spending his first year in a flat before being in a house with stairs - he just wasn't interested in going up the stairs, and was much more careful about coming down them.

In summary, it depends on the kid. Not very helpful.

ColdHandsWarmHeart Mon 10-Nov-14 13:59:07

DS is 2.5 and v good at stairs both up and own, but we still have stair gates top and bottom. I don't always shut them now, but I do find them useful for containing him while I shower or do a job downstairs. In some ways I think they give him more independence, because I can give him the run of an entire floor of the house (which is child proofed in other ways) without having to hover over him. They look ugly but they won't be up forever.

Millie3030 Sat 15-Nov-14 22:21:30

Having stair gates made my DS obsessed with trying to get up them, he would pull on it and twice it came down on top of him. So I removed it and he rarely goes near the stairs now. Have one at the top, but not at the bottom, I hated it anyway but my DS only comes down on his tummy in the morning and slowly crawls up in the evening to bed, so he leaves them well alone now he knows he can go up if he wanted. He is 17months.

UngratefulMoo Sun 16-Nov-14 08:43:03

We have them for DD (15 months) but we still spend time teaching her to climb up and down. Not least because I don't want to always be carrying her up and down.

But then we have two quite steep sets of stairs - one is uncarpeted and the other has a very hard landing on a tile floor.

merlehaggard Sun 16-Nov-14 08:51:40

My daughters' had them at the bottom of the stairs until 2-2.5 but my son was nearly 3. We kept the one at the top of the stairs till they were 3+. I never felt happy with them coming down until I felt like my kids were properly competent on the stairs. I didn't want to be constantly chasing them - with more than one child it becomes impossible. Yes they are a pain and nice when they're down but I think they are worth it for the peace of mind they bring.

Givemecaffeine21 Sun 16-Nov-14 13:43:49

I hate them but I have them top and bottom and on the lounge for when I'm cooking as my range gets really hot. As annoying as they are, the potential accidents outweigh the irritation. Mine are 17 months and 28 months and both good at stairs, but just today DS slipped when coming down, and I was right there so it was fine, but kids are so fast and can be up and down in a jiffy, and I just can't risk it. My GP told me that under 2's are the highest proportion of the nation to be in A&E. Lots of agility, not much understanding of cause and effect. My nieces are 3&5 and my sister still has one at the top of the stairs as the youngest gets out of bed a lot in the night. I see them as a safety necessity rather than a restriction.

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