One of the scariest moments for any parent is when your little one starts crawling and walking around, and then they get near a set of stairs. Whether they're looking to go up or down, it basically makes your heart stop when you even see your little one by the steps.
So how to do you keep your babies safe around stairs while still helping them learn how to use them?
Step by Step
Heh. See what I did there? But really, just know that once your little ones are crawling, pulling themselves up on furniture, and eventually walking, they're going to be interested in stairs simply because they are part of the house and they are interested in EVERYTHING. The best thing to keep in mind is that they will get the hang of stairs when they're ready, and we can help by keeping them safe when we're not there to help them. Give them the space and room to try when they are showing us that they're ready. I like to let my littles get exposed to stairs when they start crawling because I feel like it takes a little while to get used to, but whenever you feel like your little one is ready, just set them up and see how they do!
One of the best pieces of advice I can give is teaching your kids how to use stairs in safe environments. If you're going to be at the park, work with your babe on walking up the stairs holding on to the handrail, and showing them how to come back down on their tummy. This is a great way for them to get used to the mechanics of up and down and how their body needs to move. You can also practice at home on the first couple steps on your staircase.
Model the Motions
If your little one has an older sibling, this is a great time to put them to good use. Have them show their little sibling how to go up and down on their hands and knees, or do it yourself. Get down there and move their legs around for them, and show them how to safely make it down the stairs without hurting themselves. I always recommend standing a step below them whenever you're practicing, or helping them up or down, just in case they lose their balance. You'll be right there and they won't have far to go until they run into you.
Keep them Closed
Stairs should pretty much always be off limits to our babes unless we are there with them. They can be a huge danger area for our curious littles if we don't close them off, and even if you're mainly on the bottom floor of your house and your little just learned to crawl, I always suggest getting a baby gate. You never know when they're going to get it in their sweet little heads that climbing those stairs is totally within their abilities. The next thing you know, owie! Our little girl has been walking for several months and has mastered the stairs, but we kept the gate up until just a couple of weeks ago. Worth it for the peace of mind!