Little Daredevil: How to Handle Stairs and Your Baby

Your baby is on the move, wanting to explore every inch of your house. Which is great, except… it turns out your house is full of dangers!

Okay, so maybe it’s not so dramatic, but there is definitely plenty your little one could get into that you should be monitoring—starting with the stairs.

Hopefully you baby-proofed a while back, before full mobility began, and you’ve got gates on both the top and bottom of your stairs—because you don’t want your baby climbing stairs solo just yet. But that doesn’t mean your little one can’t begin to explore his or her stair climbing abilities! They actually have a lot to gain from this activity—their gross motor skills can only be improved by practice.

So when you are willing to monitor your baby’s daredevil activities, go ahead and open those gates. Be sure you stay close behind your baby as he or she explores those stairs, though.

At first, they will try to climb by crawling up, step by step. You can encourage this activity by offering a helping hand to start out with. And obviously, stand where you could quickly catch your little one if he or she fell.

Once they get up a few steps, though, your baby will be a little nervous at first, trying to figure out how to get down. Help him or her by showing them how to slide down, feet first on their belly — the safest method for new climbers.

You should only have to assist a few times before they pick up on the moves necessary for successfully climbing stairs, but of course, that doesn’t mean they are experts just yet. They’ll still need plenty of practice to get there. And now that they’ve figured out they have this new skill to hone, they’ll be desperate to practice as much as possible.

Which means closing those gates as soon as climbing practice is over—if you leave them open, your little one is bound to start practicing without you. And solo practice could result in a fall or injury; as big a pain as those gates can be, they are totally worth it for preventing the tears of baby injuries.

All babies develop a little differently in this arena, so you’ll have to monitor your baby on the stairs until you feel confident that he or she has mastered the skill. Of course, once they start walking—they’ll have a whole new way to learn how to climb!

Welcome to motherhood—where your baby will give you new heart attack with their daredevil antics at least every few months or so!

Written by Leah Campbell, infertility advocate, adoptive mama, writer and editor. Find me @sifinalaska on Twitter.

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general informational basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.