How do you know when they can be trusted with stairs?

(17 Posts)
hedgehogsdontbite Thu 21-May-15 22:43:20

DS has just turned 2 and is quite a climber. We only use 1 floor of our house so it hasn't been an issue so far. But now he wants to be outside all the time. The problem is we have 8 wooden steps down from the back door to the garden, which means I have to be with him all the time if the door's open. I want to be able to let him come and go freely but the steps terrify me, although he manages them fine while supervised.

Is he still too little? I'm so torn.

poocatcherchampion Thu 21-May-15 22:46:27

With our heart in our mouth we've let dd2 do these things unsupervised since about 14 months. Unsupervised because we don't want our presence to distract her if we are not directly behind her - rather not look!

She is really good at it.

Dd1 was well after 2 but she is much less of an adventurer

So it depends I guess..

BlueChampagne Fri 22-May-15 13:11:22

Depends on the stairs! Not the steep narrow straight uncarpeted flight in our previous (Victorian) house, but DS2 allowed up and down stairs freely from 21 months in new house (short flights with landings and carpeted).

Also depends on the child (DS2 was an early walker) and their attitude to risk!

hedgehogsdontbite Fri 22-May-15 14:23:27

DS's attitude to risk seems to be 'Bring it on'.

YDdraigGoch Fri 22-May-15 14:25:43

What's at the bottom of the stairs? If it's grass I'd say let her crack on - she's not going to do much damage if she falls. If it's concrete, I'd still be inclined to let her get on with it. Kids are pretty soft and bouncy at that age - she might get a few cuts and bruises if she does fall, but she's not likely to break any bones.

YDdraigGoch Fri 22-May-15 14:26:14

*Sorry, him/he, not her/she

hedgehogsdontbite Fri 22-May-15 14:32:19

These are the steps:

hedgehogsdontbite Fri 22-May-15 14:33:52

The bannister has since been improved and one has been added to the other side.

Livvylongpants Fri 22-May-15 14:37:01

my son is 20 months and has been navigating our stairs for a while. I let him get on with it. first thing we taught him was how to come down safely. didn't let him walk down them, come down backwards on knees if that makes sense

Most 2 year olds would be fine on those steps. All 3 of my kids have used steps and stairs unaided ling before 2, but as we have 3 flights of stairs I guess they had a lit of practice. .. The only one whose ever fallen down the stairs is me blush and I stopped insisting on holding DD's (pfb) hand when I almost pulled her down with me when she was 21 months and I was heavily pregnant and consequently a bit off balance... realised she was far safer doing it alone (as was I and unborn DC2).

mrsmalcolmreynolds Fri 22-May-15 19:47:08

Those look fine for a two year old to me, especially if you can encourage him to use the railings.

KleineDracheKokosnuss Fri 22-May-15 20:04:20

Mine has been doing stairs since 1.5. She was naturally good at them though. I'd let her loose on yours at 2 no problem.

SweetAndFullOfGrace Fri 22-May-15 20:16:17

They don't look like dangerous stairs to me. By 2 they are quite robust, their fontanelles have all closed and their muscles are developed enough to allow them to buffer a fall. Also they're old enough to understand cause and effect. I'd leave him to it.

hedgehogsdontbite Fri 22-May-15 20:38:24

I put my brave mummy hat on and let him go for it today. Just for a while as my nerves were shot to pieces. He doesn't see them as a means of getting from one place to another. He sees them as a source of fun and wouldn't leave them alone. I kept an eye on him and at one point he fell and rolled down to the bottom. Once he realised he wasn't hurt he went back up and kept trying to recreate the experience. Then he started jumping off the bottom one shouting 'JUMP!'. When he stood at the top and shouted 'JUMP!' I brought him in and shut the door. The little bugger was psyching up to jump off the top. No wonder I'm turning grey.

BlueChampagne Fri 22-May-15 22:54:43

Currently dyeing away the grey and teaching mine to cycle on the road ... glad all in one piece so far.

hedgehog as you don't have indoor stairs in use and haven't let him use these unaided it's absolutely normal the steps have novelty value for now - he'll lose interest as long as you don't make a big deal of it.

Mind you my 4 year old still insists on jumping off the top of the steps to our 6 ft slide and hasn't lost interest in that yet).

I had a friend who lives in a bungalow come to stay and her toddler was obsessed with stairs too, for a couple of days til they became normal and so uninteresting.

Rjae Sun 24-May-15 09:02:58

I would say no because although he may have the physical capability of climbing stairs safely he doesn't have the emotional development to understand safety (as he himself demonstrated).

DS, also 2, can drag toys to the window, climb onto that, up the radiator onto the windowsill and was trying the different keys! Just because he can do it doesn't mean he is safe!

Stair gate remains in place as, although remarkably stable on them, pushes himself to stand up like the grown ups and did stumble and fall! Luckily I was there to catch him as he was at the top still!

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