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Do you all use stair-gates?

(23 Posts)
passionberry Thu 16-Sep-10 11:31:19

I am using a travel cot at the moment to pop dd into if I need to go to the loo etc.

If I continue to do that, or just close doors to stop her getting to the stairs - then do I need the stair-gates?

How old can children safely use the stairs?

Everyone seems to have them - so I am thinking they must be essential??

OP’s posts: |
Octaviapink Thu 16-Sep-10 13:09:50

Our dd is 16 months and we don't use one - had one for about a month but it annoyed me massively. She's been able to go up and down them for about four or five months but I still supervise - especially as coming down she just straightens out and lets herself slide down on her tummy. I just keep an eye on her, to be honest - I know how fast she can move and if I leave her alone in a room I'm usually back before she's got into mischief.

BlueberryPancake Thu 16-Sep-10 13:41:22

Yes, had them top and bottom. I understand that some parents don't see the need for them, but both my boys crawled and walked and climbed very early and were very fast, and I couldn't keep an eye on them all the time (ie feeding the baby whilst the 18 month old tried to climb up, or anywhere including tumble dryer). If you have just one child or a bigger gap you might get away without one, but I found it much easier to relax about it abd put stair gates up. I still have them at top of the stairs as my 3 year old sleepwalks!!

AlicesWonderland Thu 16-Sep-10 13:57:11

I;ve just got one at the bottom of the stairs for my 2 yo ds

when we used to go upstairs when he was younger we'd shut the bedroom door but now her can go up and down the stairs confidently on his own (on his bum) we don;t bother with the door

Still have one at the bottom of the stairs though (infact have just bought a new one cos he could climb up the old one) just to keep him from getting up there and putting all my make up on grin emptying all the wardrobes out etc

I think when he goes into a bed that stairgate will get moved onto his bedroom door to stop him playing in the bathroom etc

PutTheKettleOn Thu 16-Sep-10 14:44:26

nope never had one - in the house we lived in when DD1 was born we could close the door to the hallway, and when we were upstairs i just kept an eye on her, she never seemed that interested in going downstairs on her own.

We moved to this house when she was 18 months where i pretty much have to keep the hallway door open all the time, but it was never a problem. By that age she would crawl up and down the stairs but only when i was with her, and she learnt pretty quickly to do it on her own.

Depends on the house and the child though, we might end up getting one when DD2 is older. But our stairs are carpeted and not that steep, I have a friend with v steep wooden stairs who still has a stairgate for her 2.5 yo.

pagwatch Thu 16-Sep-10 14:48:10

never had one

we have a freakishly wide stairway so hard to find one but tbh I just kept an eye on her.

lal123 Thu 16-Sep-10 14:49:48

Never had one with dd1 - But with DD2 we have one at the top of the stairs, we seem to spend more time up there and because we have 2 now we can't keep as close an eye on her.

Ragwort Thu 16-Sep-10 14:51:45

No, never used one; perferred to teach my DS how to use the stairs safely.

DanceInTheDark Thu 16-Sep-10 14:54:05

We moved into this house when DS3 was 8 weeks old and just never got round to putting it up. He is now 2.6. My older 2 would probably have left it open anyway. Stairs were just never an issue. I must add that i do have a small basket of toys at the bottom so that is probably a good distraction lol!

lynniep Thu 16-Sep-10 14:58:40

it really is a personal choice. I have stairgates because we have steep stairs and I really do worry about the baby who can get up them and moves like a whippet even on all fours. (and loves the stairs) I used them for DS1 for the same reason. I could just close the living room door, but that doesnt suit me because I like being in and out, and it doesnt solve the problem of baby upstairs. My friends have staircases that are split and they dont bother ( I dont know what thats called, where the stairs go down, then theres a mini landing then the stairs go down in the other direction)
I cant remember when we took them down the first time. I think DS was about 2, maybe younger.

PandaNot Thu 16-Sep-10 15:00:37

My daughter 2.8 has been taught to use the stairs safely and we took the gates off when she was just turned 2 but I'd still rather she didn't use the stairs by herself.

After watching her fall top to bottom when I was standing right behind her and couldn't move fast enough to stop it, the gates went back on! I've no desire to watch that again - I thought she would be seriously injured but turned out she didn't have a mark on her. I, however, still feel sick when I think about it.

passionberry Thu 16-Sep-10 16:49:52

Thanks all!

My mum is of the school of thought that you just keep a close eye and teach your child to use the stairs safely (I remember going down on my bum!).

My other issue is that they look fairly horrible and I'm sure there was a lady on here once who fell on one and broke her lady bits!!! shock

Anyway - dd hasn't started crawling yet so I guess I will wait and see how fast she is and how interested in the stairs . . .

OP’s posts: |
Itsjustafleshwound Thu 16-Sep-10 16:55:19

We only used stairgates for a short time - my DD got used to the stairs pretty quickly and we were having our loft done! Unfortunately, we only have bathrooms on the 1st and 2nd floors and a potty training toddler so DS had to learn PDQ...

They are ugly, never really fit properly and like any security measure - it has to be monitored and stops the baby learning about danger and stairs ...

upsydaisy85 Thu 16-Sep-10 17:59:56

We've got one and my DSD is nearly 5. The main reason we have it is that because her time is split between us and her mums she has come out of her room in the night half asleep and forgotten where she is. We only have it at the top, during the day its pushed back and not used.

prettybird Thu 16-Sep-10 18:05:28

Never used one. Taught ds how to use stairs safely. Barricaded the top of the stairs (our main living floor is the 1st floor) for a short time with a blanket box until we were sure that he knew how to climb up and down properly. We tried to teach to trun round and go on his tummy, but he insisted in sitting and shuffling down. After watching him, we realised that he did so very cautiously (ie lent right back "into" the stair as he bumped down a step), so left him to it.

Never once fell down the stairs.

inthesticks Thu 16-Sep-10 18:13:09

I truly don't believe you can teach a 9 month old baby how to use stairs safely. Mine were both crawling rapidly at that age and would climb anything including stairs.

I had gates top and bottom and DS2 still managed to roll down stairs when he was 7 months old. DS1 was 2 and had gone up ahead of me and the baby. I put the baby down while i turned to close the gate and FLIP he went right to the bottom. Only the bottom gate broke his fall and thankfully he was not injured.

He later went on to be a sleepwalker so the gate was useful then.

wb Thu 16-Sep-10 20:14:07

We had them. I think it does depend on how early your children crawl/walk and the design of your stairs as to how necessary they are.

Ds2 walked at 10 months and we have very steep 'Sheffield' stairs so they were a must for us. Even then he managed to cartwheel down them once - was rather bruised and now bumps down them on bottom or holds on to rails.

ilikeyoursleeves Thu 16-Sep-10 20:18:03

Get a travel one if you need it then it won't be across your stairs all the time My DS1 barely used it but it's there just in case (I think we will need it for crazy DS2!)

prettybird Thu 16-Sep-10 20:42:19

Ds didn't learn to commando crawl until he was 11 month olds, was cruising at 12months, learnt climb stairs at 13 months and walked at 17 months.

NellyTheElephant Thu 16-Sep-10 20:46:06

It really depends on your stairs. If you have nice wide straight carpeted stairs then you probably don't need them. We had unbelievable steep half spiral staircase which everyone (me, DH, my Mum etc) had fallen down at some point. The gates were necessary. At new house with straight stairs we didn't bother for DS and he's been totally fine - learnt early to go down backwards. All mine started to go up stairs from about 9m. Even with good straight stairs it's quite hard to be safe with a 9m old with access to stairs - they lose concentration and fall.

yummumto3girls Thu 16-Sep-10 21:08:52

We had gates top and bottom for first two children, hated one at top. Have always had one at bottom to keep the dog downstairs !! DD3 is 10 months and has just started crawling - someone please tell me how you teach a 10 month old to use the stairs safely - not possible. We have just put one back up at the top of the stairs and also one of those Kiddicare roller blind type ones across her room door so that she can be contained whilst I tidy upstairs, shower, bath the other kids etc so I dont then need to follow her around tidying up the mess the she creates behind her.

Meglet Thu 16-Sep-10 21:14:54

DS is nearly 4 and DD is 2 and I still have a stair gate at the top of the stairs (ton contain DD upstairs when necessary) and at the kitchen door (to stop them running riot when I'm cooking). They can both do stairs really well but I don't want them running riot in the house all the time so keep the gates up to keep the peace.

I'll take the stairgates off when DD can open them, DS knows how to open them but doesn't do it often.

I bash my legs on the damn things every day. Wish I'd bought the roller blind style gates.

Karoleann Fri 17-Sep-10 12:52:35

We'ver nver used them, our stairs have really spindly bannisters and I just can't attach them.
I taught both of mine to come down the stairs on their fronts, backwards from about 14 months, then watched them like hawks for a couple of months until they got the hang of it.
I do actually use one to keep my little one in his room at night (across the door).

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