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When did you let yours go up and down stairs on their own?

(26 Posts)
Wonderstuff Tue 18-Aug-09 18:06:38

We live in a flat so it doesn't come up often, she is 21mo and really stable but the consequences of falling are obviously horrific, so I follow her up and down whenever. Just wondered when you chilled out and let them get on with it?

HeadFairy Tue 18-Aug-09 18:12:08

we had a split level flat so we had two sets of about 8 stairs. I was happy to let him walk down the stairs on his own by about 15 months. He was walking at 10 months so he was pretty stable. We have had a couple of falls, but nothing serious. We're currently in a house with a much longer staircase and stone tiles at the bottom, so I usually hover nearby (he's 23 months) or walk ahead of him to catch him if he falls, but he has gone up and down them on his own too, without any falls.

HeadFairy Tue 18-Aug-09 18:14:14

FWIW I don't think the consequences of all falls are necessarily horrific. As I said, ds fell down our carpeted stairs quite a few times with no lasting damage. A few tears and the occasional bruise. Obviously I'd rather he didn't hurt himself at all, but it wasn't horrific. I'm a little more nervous about the stone tiles in our current place, but I'm not going to stop him doing the stairs or hover over him continuously. I'm very much in the camp that believes a few falls are part of growing up.

Wonderstuff Tue 18-Aug-09 18:27:28

Generally I am in the let them take risks camp. But she is my pfb and I worry about her falling awkwardly and breaking bones.

HeadFairy Tue 18-Aug-09 18:32:53

they don't break bones at that age do they? They bounce? Seriously though, I know what you mean. It's hard to achieve a balance between allowing their natural curiosity and being too over protective.

kitesarefun Tue 18-Aug-09 18:33:22

Oooo I want to know this too.

We have very steep stairs (in small narrow edwardian terraced house), which DD fell down once when she was about 12 months old. I had forgotten to shut the stairgate

She was fine but had a nose bleed and bruises.

She's 2.2 now but I'm still a bit scared about letting come downstairs on her own.

TabithaTwitchet Tue 18-Aug-09 18:35:48

DD has just learned to come down safely (crawling backwards) so I now let her go up and down on her own - she is almost 20 months.

DamonBradleylovesPippi Tue 18-Aug-09 18:37:30

Not sure. DD2 16m can go up stairs really well. not so good at coming down as admittedly I haven;t given the chance too practice. If we had carpeted stairs I'd let her go on her own. As it's all wood I do hover a bit, sometimes pretending not to see so that she gets more and more practice. She is quite aware thought. DD1 much later. She's more heads in the clouds and clumsy.
I don;t worry about the breaking bones, I worry about craking head on wood or edge of steps. (apol for putting such horrific images in your head).

DamonBradleylovesPippi Tue 18-Aug-09 18:37:57

sorry about typos blush, I am battling against time.

MadameOvary Tue 18-Aug-09 18:43:41

DD is 16 months and went all the way up the stairs on her own today. I didn't let her come down but she probably could with some practice.
However she is a PFB so I am hovering waaay too much.

beesonmummyshead Tue 18-Aug-09 20:38:17

oh gosh now I feel like a terrible mother. I rarely watch 23 month old dd on the stairs and haven't for ages <wracks brains> gosh about 18 months ish (maybe sooner?) however in my defence she walked just before she turned 10 months old so is incredibly stable and very physical.....not getting out of this am I?! grin

Am surprised actually as I am very pfb...hmm

SorryDoIKnowYou Tue 18-Aug-09 20:43:49

DS2 is 17 months and has been using the stairs proficiently for some time. He could get up ages ago but it was only about 6-8 weeks we gave up worrying about him coming down. He comes down like a bullet, on his front, feet first.

We've never had stairgates. And also he's DC3. Don't know if either of those affect it?

spiderlight Tue 18-Aug-09 22:56:06

23 months. Would have been a bit older if I'd had a choice about it, but suddenly found myself having to stay at my dad's while he was in Intensive Care with a toddler, two dogs and no baby gates (and no way of fitting one at the bottom because of stupid bannisters). I fretted a lot at first; he just adapted and was perfectly fine. We still use one at the top of the stairs at night and when he's napping, in case he wanders around when he's still a bit sleepy.

JamesDavidsMum Wed 19-Aug-09 18:18:40

We live on a houseboat and have wooden quite steep stairs between levels. DS learnt to climb stairs on holiday when he was 10mths but we didn't let him climb the stairs at home for a while - he was only allowed on carpeted stairs when we were at the ILs - at Xmas he learnt to come down backwards at the ILs so we started to let him do it at home supervised he was 13mths.

Now we don't really watch him - he can come and go as he pleases, except during another visit to the IL a few weeks ago he discovered he could come down forwards - he's 20mths - he started doing this at home until 2 weeks ago when he fell the whole way down the stairs - because he didn't try and stop himself he had only bruises and a cut to his head. It did however reinforce what we had been telling him about going down backwards, which he did the next time he came down the stairs. I think that it's a learning experience - though probably would be more wary if the stairs were concrete as I had a childhood friend who fell down concrete stairs and had a minor skull fracture.
But they need to learn both about the safety aspect which they don't really understand you just telling them and the basic skill - even if you watch them they could still fall.

meandjoe Wed 19-Aug-09 20:27:15

I still hover or hold ds' hand now and he's just turned 2. For me I just think it's better to be safe than sorry. It would be so easy for them to fall and bang their head or break their neck, which I realise is unlikely but possible. He is capable of going up and down stairs but I m always there to catch him just in case. He's still getting the practice in and refining the skill but I do not see the point in risking an injury. Maybe I am neurotic but for me it's just not a risk worth taking. I fell down the stairs age 5 and fractured my skull so it does happen!

allaboutme Wed 19-Aug-09 20:35:04

DS2 is 18 months (tomorrow!) and he goes up and down by himself all the time. He walks holding the banisters
We're in a 3 storey house and I only shut the stair gates now when we have friends over with babies or if I want to keep the kids upstairs while I shower etc

CMOTdibbler Wed 19-Aug-09 20:38:06

Ds was going up and down the stairs on his own before he could walk - about 13 months I think. He really wanted to do stairs, and learnt very quickly.

LittleMissBliss Wed 19-Aug-09 20:45:20

From about 19 months ds has been going up and down by himself. Not that i am that far away as our house is by no means huge. No falls yet in about 6 weeks. He's confident and steady, so just let him get on with it.

The stairs are carpeted and not steep. When coming down he prefers to come down holding onto the wall but i'm much happier him coming down on his tummy so try an encourage this.

He often likes to pop up to his room to get books or find a toysmile.

notforconsumptionbythemail Fri 21-Aug-09 08:41:00

DS is 10 months and can go up but noo down. Most of the time he stops at step 3 and looks behind him to check I am there. I tend to watch him go up but not follow him step by step. He is just learning coming down so I am still right there with him when he does that!

SpawnChorus Fri 21-Aug-09 08:46:58

I think it really depends on the stairs. Our last house had a very long flight of slippery and uneven stone stairs with sharp corners. The definitely would have been terrible to fall down. In fact DH slipped once and ended up with shocking bruises. So I was vigilant about supervising the DCs (then 3 and 2). However, the house before that had normal carpeted stairs and I let DD get on with them by herself as soon as we moved in (she was 18m old).

BubbaAndBump Fri 21-Aug-09 08:50:44

From about 19m, DD2 was here by that stage and couldn't physically breastfeed and chase DD1 up and down the stairs (come on human cloning!). Now DD2 crawling and climbing - REALLY need that clone!

StealthPolarBear Fri 21-Aug-09 09:02:45

we used to have stairgates so DS would only go up and down with us watching or holding on. Then we took them down soon after he was 2 as we had some furniture delivered, and never quite bothered to put them back. He's fine going up and down, and even nags us now to hold the banister blush

StealthPolarBear Fri 21-Aug-09 09:03:38

But I agree with SC that it can depend on stairs, we have carpeted stairs, a friend has wooden stairs (those open ones) and I wouldn't be happy leaving him to get on with it on those.

mamadiva Fri 21-Aug-09 09:26:41

When he learned ... must've been about 2 on his own but before that I always made sure I was either at the bottom of the stairs or with him.

I reckon as long as you teach the to hold onto the banister and take one step at a time and no jumping on steps (endless list here) they should be fine although my DS is a lazy 3YO and sometimes walks down others he sits on his bum and bumps down

I have seen more horrific accidents involving a stair gate than falling down stairs so I would not put one near my home!

mamadiva Fri 21-Aug-09 09:26:50

When he learned ... must've been about 2 on his own but before that I always made sure I was either at the bottom of the stairs or with him.

I reckon as long as you teach the to hold onto the banister and take one step at a time and no jumping on steps (endless list here) they should be fine although my DS is a lazy 3YO and sometimes walks down others he sits on his bum and bumps down

I have seen more horrific accidents involving a stair gate than falling down stairs so I would not put one near my home!

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