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(18 Posts)
Bumperlicious Fri 12-Aug-11 08:55:58

My 10 month old is suddenly very adept at climbing stairs. We have a gate at the top for when we are upstairs but weren't going to bother with the bottom. Currently we have a furniture barrier which she can already get through. We lived in a flat with DD1 so I have no idea how to deal with this.

Those of you who don't bother with gates, how do you stop them going up? Can they just learn no? And can they learn that at 10 months?

Bumperlicious Fri 12-Aug-11 10:02:08


Primafacie Fri 12-Aug-11 10:24:33

I don't think so. Perhaps reconsider and get a gate for downstairs?

AMumInScotland Fri 12-Aug-11 10:30:32

10 months is very early to learnt what "no" means - and you can only teach them that by repeatedly stopping them from doing something while using the word.

I think your options are

1. get a gate for the bottom
2. keep your eyes on her like a hawk at all times
3. accept that she may climb up to the top of the stairs and could potentially fall down them

I think people who don't have gates have to make do with 2 or 3 - personally I found getting a gate suited me better!

Bumperlicious Fri 12-Aug-11 12:11:17

Hmmm, I'm looking at our stairs and I'm not even sure we could put a gate at the bottom. Could I just tie her up?

Octaviapink Fri 12-Aug-11 12:12:48

Why don't you just go with her when she goes up the stairs? Or if you don't want to, take her to another room or into the garden or distract her. We never had a gate and it was fine.

Bumperlicious Fri 12-Aug-11 12:23:54

It'll be a long day if we do that! And the stairs lead up from our living room, which is connected to the kitchen/diner so there is no way to shut them off.

Octaviapink Fri 12-Aug-11 12:47:51

Well, it's worth remembering that going upstairs is very tiring for a very small person - if she goes all the way up then she probably won't want to do it all that often. Plus it will demystify it and stop it being so delightfully forbidden.

Tigresswoods Fri 12-Aug-11 13:40:26

DS 17 months became v interested in climbing stairs at a similar age. Wehave never had gates up or downstairs. We just kept an eye on him for a long time & now he is confident going up & down.

Other friends with similar age toddlers have gates and have a nightmare visiting friends with no babies & thus no gates.

It's doable to not have gates. grin

camdancer Fri 12-Aug-11 13:41:15

We only have a gate at the top. We went for AMum's option 2 and 3 but always kept the gate at the top open unless the crawler was upstairs so if they get to the top they don't get stuck. I usually kept the youngest on the same floor as me so I could keep an eye on them.

DS wasn't that adventurous, and the first, so it wasn't hard to keep watching out for him at all. DD1 was harder because she would follow people, but she got very good at going upstairs quickly. There were a few times that I'd hear the stairgate at the top bang and she was upstairs. It was scary thinking what might have happened but never did. DD2 is going to be a challenge as I can see her wanting to follow DS and DD1 rather than me but she's only 9 weeks so I've got time to plan!

AngelDog Fri 12-Aug-11 14:13:12

I don't think we bothered stopping him most of the time. grin We do have gates but have almost always kept them open - I just close them if DS is trying to pester DH when he's working in the study.

DS wanted to go up all the time. I got him to come up/down with me when I used the stairs (we have 3 floors so he got lots of practice) and as soon as he was confident, I just let him use them on his own if he wanted.

DS learnt not to touch a radiator at about 9 months IIRC by removing him each time he touched it, but I can't see that working with stairs where she'll be able to go up when with you.

woowa Fri 12-Aug-11 14:22:10

Our DD became a very proficient stair climber because we didn't bother much with the gate, only have one at the top to keep her up there if we don't want her to come down, but not to stop stair use, IYSWIM. I;ve often thought they are a bit pointless, and she has so much fun going up and down and dragging books and toys with her both ways that i am now pretty set in my ways about the pointlessness of them.

We just needed to teach her how to come backwards downstairs, once that was sorted she was fine. FUnny though, she closes the gate when she gets to the top, which is fine, except then she's stuck!

Bumperlicious Fri 12-Aug-11 14:26:54

I'm am of the 'teach her and she'll learn' school of though. Dh is not.

Maybe I'll go with the plan of letting her till she gets proficient or bored.

naturalbaby Fri 12-Aug-11 14:27:57

we babyproofed as/when we needed and avoided as many of the plastic devices we could but have ended up with more than our fair share of stair gates. ds2 (2yrs) can now go up and down on his own but i still close 1 or 2 or more to keep him contained.

how/why don't you think you'll get a gate at the bottom? where there's a will there's a way!

Iggly Fri 12-Aug-11 20:09:28

We have one gate at the bottom of one flight of stairs - because DS fell down at 12 months (he started walking at 10 months). He was fine but it happened so quickly I'd rather not chance it.

Now at 22 months he can walk up the stairs so the gates haven't stopped him learning to climb up. He's a bit of an inquisitive boy so can't keep my eye off him for more than a few mins!

InmaculadaConcepcion Sat 13-Aug-11 14:40:48

We have a gate at the top of the stairs because it's so easy for anyone to fall down due to the lack of room to manoeuvre and there's a good chance DD's less-than-perfect walking may cause her to topple over at the top of the stairs, even without the intention of going down.

That said, she goes downstairs backwards when she does go down (although often stops on the second or third step and asks to be carried) and has learned to obey "wait" at the bottom of the stairs until DH or I can supervise her going up. That "wait" command is very useful!!

Although DD CAN crawl up and down the stairs, she will still sometimes forget and stand up (distracted by something usually) - once this happened and she overbalanced and fell backwards (luckily only on about the second or third stair, so didn't hurt herself - gave her and me a bit of a shock, though).

Lovethesea Sat 13-Aug-11 19:55:01

We've got them on the top and bottom - DD is 2 and has no problems, DS is 14 months and very fast up them, but they twist at the bottom and top so go very narrow on one side. He has lost his footing taking the bends too tightly - but I've been behind him thankfully. I am working on his going down skills but I like being able to do other things than just shadow him until he's got it. Our bottom stair gate is slightly angled and has to be lifted when closing as the bannister ends before the last step.

Both gates are cheapy lindam ones that are pressure fitted so really simple to use. I'm about to go away for 2 weeks to in laws who wouldn't want them fitted to their nice wallpaper and I am dreading having to leap after DS all the time as people leave the door open.

MrsHoolie Sun 14-Aug-11 11:51:44

We have a gate at the bottom but it is in the hallway which is a double bonus as DD1 can now open the front door grin

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