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Stairgates at age 2.8 - yay or nay?(10 Posts)
We've just moved from a flat to a house. DH and I disagree about stairgates.
We have one on DS's bedroom, IMO only to use at night so that he doesn't go traipsing around the house in the wee small hours. DH sometimes uses it during the day for 'convenience', to keep DS in the room when he might be in DH's way.
DH also wants a stairgate at the bottom of the stairs so that if DS wants to go up carrying large toys such as his trike (one of those small, wooden ELC ones) we can intercept and help him up the stairs. I say that DS can actually climb very well up the stairs with large objects and that we should enable him to develop the skills that he already has rather than restricting him. DH is concerned that DS will fall (whether or not he's carrying large objects) and injure himself.
While I can see DH's point, I think he's being overcautious and is potentially limiting DS from doing what he's already capable of. If DS were a year younger I'd possibly agree with DH. But he's 4 months off age 3 and very physically capable. By nature he's more cautious than other toddlers so now that he's learning to explore his physical capabilities (and yes - take risks!) I want to encourage this - within reason, of course.
Can I have your opinions, please?
We still have a stairgate at the top of the stairs for our 3 year old (and 5 year old). My dh left it there long after the others were removed (have lots of stairs in our house!) because we have a very short, narrow landing outside the dd's bedroom and he worried they may get confused when getting up in the night and fall down the stairs.
If the top of the stairs are near his bedroom door I would put one at the top. I think the bottom is not necessary, and, surely, you'll see your ds trying to struggle up the stairs with his things so can help him.
Our stairgates are still there (ready for when DD starts exploring!) but we haven't used them since DS was about 2 and could quite confidently go up and down by himself. We hardly ever used the one at the bottom anyway, only very occasionally when he was having a strop and tried to run off up the stairs in a rage! DS knows not to carry big/heavy things upstairs and he knew to come down on his bottom (although he walks down now he's nearly 3).
I'd say just the one on his bedroom door to stop him wandering about in the night would be enough.
I'm in a similar situation as we just moved from a flat to a house three weeks ago (DD is 2.9).
I've been using a travel stairgate on the top of the stairs on an evening/when I'm in the shower, and don't see any need for one on the bottom.
So glad to see it's not just me, then! I suspect DH thinks I'm bordering on the negligent...!
We removed all of ours earlier than that (around DD's 2nd birthday, IIRC) because DD (a) could climb stairs very competently and understood that she needed to ask someone to carry her toy pushchair up and down and (b) could undo most of them anyway.
We still have one on her bedroom door (except when it has been taken off again for DIY-related reasons ) and one on the utility room door to keep cleaning stuff safe and stop her 'helping' with the laundry by reprogramming the washing machine.
I would remove all stairgates to be honest. If they are competent climbing and descending the stairs, there's no need for it. It teaches them to look where they're going, rather than relying on safety devices.
I my house there's a rule that they don't take big toys upstairs, they belong downstairs. So every now and then you have to take a ride-on off them, to reinforce the rule, but that's no big deal. Certainly not enough to have an annoying stairgate in your way for.
I've just done the same sort of move with 2.6 dd. I have one at the top of the stairs so I can shower without fear of her deciding to go off and do her own thing downstairs. But not one at the bottom - the house is not so big that I am so far away, really, plus I also agree that she is fairly safe.
Thanks all! I like the suggestion of not allowing DS to carry big toys on stairs, I think we shall introduce that one tomorrow!
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