Saturday, March 26, 2011

Climbing the Walls

Oh, it's on! The Baby has discovered her inner primate and there is no looking back.

How does this happen? One day, you have a sweet, docile little toddler who is cautiously teetering around on those tiny feet and then suddenly you wake up to a brazen mini-child who can scale the furniture.

How in the world can they barely feed themselves at this age, and yet possess not only the strength and agility to climb, but the engineering know-how as well? I know, gross motor skills vs. fine motor skills. Blah. Blah. Blah. All I can say is, it can be extraordinarily annoying rather inconvenient when your child-proofing suddenly has to go vertical.

It started with the stairs. She got really good at climbing them, really quickly. Within a few weeks, it was on to the couch. She figured out how to use just about any solid object (and sometimes, not so solid, with less than favorable results) as a stepping stool to get herself to the next level of what ever piqued her interest.

The next thing I know, she is SITTING ON THE TABLE. Oh yeah, pulling the chair out, hoisting herself up, the whole nine yards, or in this case, 30 inches from the floor. That. Is. Scary.

I guess the view is just better up there. Or maybe it is the treasure trove of no-touchables that we got into the habit of moving into the center of the table when she realized she could reach up and grab anything perched precariously close to the edge. Favorites here were Little Diva's nearly full cups of milk, and markers. Oh the markers!!

Worse yet is the kitchen. I cannot even begin to cook a meal unless she is safely strapped into her high chair, which although technically at the same height as the super-fun table, apparently not nearly as interesting to sit on. If I keep her on the loose, I am constantly interrupted by having to prevent her from attempting to mount the counters. Or having to extract her from whatever other surface nearby, she has elevated herself onto.

Because, oh yeah, the getting down part apparently doesn't come so easy. And she has her "ups" and "downs" confused, so I am serenaded all the while with "up, up, up!!" which means "I am stuck up here so hurry up and get me down NOW!"

Since my first born was not a climber, this is all new to me - any words of wisdom?


  1. Grateful that none of mine were climbers. How about a large play yard, playpen type of restraint?

  2. I can send you a climbing rope and figure 8 descender so that she can rappel from those terrifying heights with ease.

  3. I have/had a climber and sadly it took one pretty nasty little tumble to detour her -- luckily it was more scary that painful -- but eeeeks! I swear I lost a year of my life that day and gained 15 new gray hairs! LOL! Wish I had more advice...
    Love your blog!
    Hiya! Newest follower from Say Hi Sunday Hop-- please stop by and say hello! Would love if ya followed back!

  4. Both my kids were/are climbers. We used gates. When making dinner, I'd close the kids in the living room with gates, so they could still watch me cooking, but not be in the kitchen trying to grab the stove, climb on chairs, etc. I also bought one of those outdoor, round gates and placed it in various rooms when I didn't want the kids to be able to get on couches or such when I showered, etc. We had the bed tent in the crib for my son because he would climb out of that as well (more like jump out) and he was too crazy a sleeper to move a big boy bed at that age.

    Good luck!

  5. Please let me know if you find a solution to this problem.. BOTH of my twins have been climbing since they were about 12 mos old. (They are now 15 mos.) Chunk fell really hard 2 mos ago and STILL has a small knot on his forehead from it, but it has not deterred him at all. Baby gates/enclosures have not helped- they just climb them as well. All the gates have done is make our response time slower when we need to retrive a child from on top of the table/desk/PIANO!

    The only thing that worked for us with the table problem was lining all the chairs up against the wall several feet away from the table.

  6. Okay, I might have very strange advice...but it works for me. Here goes:

    When it comes to climbing the stairs...teach them to do it safely.
    ( What? am I kidding? or just crazy? ) Wait...before you hang up on me, hear me out. What I do is take my crazy little crawler/climber and let them crawl up the stairs, one at a time, me right behind them. They get half-way up (or to the top) I then turn them around and teach them how to go back down on their butt. One stair, then another, then another. Or, if they aren't sitting up well yet, I teach them how to go down one step at a time by scooting down on their tummies. If they start to stand up, I say "NO!" and make them sit back down, or go back onto their tummies. If done over and over, they learn "NO" means do not stand while on the stairs. I know this sounds terribly dangerous, but if you are there with them the first 30 or 40 times....they learn how to do it safely. Not to say that you WANT them to go up and down the stairs...but it *might keep them safe if they get to the stairs without you knowing. Kind of the same way you teach an infant or a toddler to turn over on their backs in the pool....just in case they fall in the pool...for that first 30 seconds until you get to them, they automatically know to flip over and float. We have stairs in our house....and nine children who were all babies who climbed the stairs. Not one ever fell down them. They all learned to be safe on the stairs. (now, once they got older and in their hurry RAN down the stairs....well, if they fell...that's because they were being idiots. Not my fault. LOL)

  7. Oh, I am just starting this stage again too. My little guy started climbing the playset ladder outside last night! So sweet, and scary!

    My kids still fall a lot--even the older ones. Maybe it's genetics. I should have made helmets a requirement for my children years ago.

    I did just teach my 1-year-old to go downstairs on his tummy. He loves it and and really flies!

  8. I was a serious climber. My mother said that she had to put everything almost out of her reach and lived a very austere life for the rest of that stage. Good luck!


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