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POLL: Are you using a baby gate?
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peachyisthelife posted:
I've been to several of my friend's homes lately where they do not have a baby gate on their stairs. They both have young toddlers (12mo and 20mo) and have stairs in their home. Is this common? I'm not criticizing this choice, I just need some clearing up I guess. If you don't use a gate (and have stairs) what do you have to do to ensure no accidents? Do you completely trust your toddler to go up and down the stairs by themselves without risk falling? Are you always watching their every move?

The woman I know with the 20mo old is a pretty laid back mom, never had a gate even when her DD was younger than this. And she allows her DD to go up and down the stairs on her own, when she wants, and the mom doesn't pay attention when she does it. Are some toddlers just really good at the stairs and you can totally trust them? Am I overly paranoid for having our gates closed ALL the time? My 20 mo old was going down the stairs the other day, with me right there, and she fell and if I weren't there to catch her, she would have fallen down nearly the whole flight. And my 4yo fell a few times as a toddler.

I dunno, just curious how common this is. Please explain what you do in your home and how it all works for you.

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Do you use a baby gate in your home?
  • Yes
  • No, and we have stairs in our home
  • No, but we don't have stairs in our home
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roni090909 responded:
We only use a baby gate for our stairs. The main part of the downstairs is baby proofed and we keep the bedroom door closed. DS know how to climb and get down stairs but I don't feel comfortable with him playing on them, so they are blocked off.
 
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jlcohen78 responded:
We have 4 gates. One at the top of steps on the 2nd floor. One at the steps off of our deck. Then 2 that keep the kids out of the formal living room and dining room --- which is where the stairs are that lead up to our 2nd floor. Lately the gates have been open most of the time and really only get closed because of our dog. The kids really only go into the living room and dining room to look out the window for cars coming down the street. And they don't seem to have any interest on going up or down the stairs. I trust DS completely to go up and down the stairs on his own. DD still makes me a bit nervous but I don't feel the need to watch her every move. She's pretty good at holding onto the railing which is the only rule I set for both DC when it comes to the steps.
 
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KityKatK8 responded:
We also have 4 gates, 2 for the stairs and 2 for the formal areas. We have 2 different brands, and the ones for the formal areas confound all the adults who visit (an additional benefit LOL!), but darned if DD hasn't figured out how to open them this past week!

The gates on the stairs will stay there for years, what with baby#2 here in a few months. DD is also really small, and has never been good about crawling up and down the stairs - she'd rather walk up and down - so I won't be taking the off until they both can get up and down safely.

I guess some toddlers are better at using the stairs. It might be the parent's teaching, it might be the kid. Definately not all kids are the same.
 
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katieb426 responded:
We don't have any gates up in our house. We have only used them briefly when each child was first learning to use the stairs. We work hard teaching each of our kids to use the stairs properly. It has not been a problem with any of our kids.

Lilly is delayed, but she is really great on the stairs. Baby gates block the older kids and then I am stuck lifting kids over the gates or fiddling with them- blah.

Honestly, it has worked just fine for our family to not use gates. :)
 
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cheeezie25 responded:
I picked option #3. No stairs, but I really really REALLY wish I could get a gate up to block off the kitchen, but with the way the appliances are arranged, it's not possible :( None of the grandparents have gates though, but DS isn't really walking yet, and since we don't have stairs, he doesn't really notice them much right now. He can go up and down a flight with no problems though... found that out this weekend!
 
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staceydflowers responded:
We have one gate in our apartment.

It is at our master bathroom door because that is where we keep the litter box and our cat's food and water. Unfortunately our new apartment doesn't have a seperate laundry room, but it is working out just fine to keep his living space in our bathroom =>
 
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mnmommy2010 replied to katieb426's response:
I agree!!! We taught our son very early, he learned the stairs way before he even learned to WALK!!
 
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linzuh04 responded:
We have 3 floors. There are gates at the top and bottom of each floor. The playroom is on the 3rd floor, so I like to be able to put them up there and play if I need to run downstairs and do something. I dont have to worry about them falling down the stairs. DS can go up just fine, but I've never seen him come down. They arent carpet, so they are kinda slippery (DH and I have both fallen).
 
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cyn22mull responded:
We have one gate up that goes from the living room to the kitchen. We do have stairs and we used to have a gate up when DS was smaller, but we worked with him and most of the time he only goes up the stairs to go to bed. Once in awhile he does chase after the cat and go up the stairs but not too often and he knows that he is not allowed to play on the stairs or go up them alone. We have all his toys in the living room so he really has no need to go up unless its bathtime and bedtime. Once we switch him to a toddler bed I will probably put the gate up at the top of the stairs.
 
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ukbluegirl02 replied to cyn22mull's response:
I answered over on another board. But long story short, we have three floors and no gates at any of the steps. DD has free reign of the house (she's 4 in July). DS (2 in 13 days) has no desire to go on the steps without us.

DS does have a gate at his bedroom door. My DH worries he will get up in the middle of the night and attempt to stumble downstairs half asleep. But DD gets up on her own and comes down. The children have the top floor to themselves. We are on the middle floor.
 
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mommyof12b2 responded:
We use a gate at the top of our stairs. My DD is pretty good at going up by herself but going down she sits on her bottom and kinda slides down. I always watch her going down just to be safe.
 
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kristinrayerootes responded:
We have a gate, but don't use it too often anymore. Macie is really good at going up and down. The only time I tend to use it is when she is on her riding toy upstairs. I don't want her to push too much and go flying down the stairs. I did just buy another one to put at the top of the deck steps so she can go out on the deck and not escape into the rest of the yard.
 
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bravefan76 responded:
We have a baby gate up in our hall to keep Colton from going out the door door and into the backyard!! That boy loves to go out the dog door. Problem is there are two concrete stairs that go off the porch to which the door "empties" out into. They and itself is fenced and doesn't have anything in there can hurt him, but if you read my blog, you know that he has hard time with those steps!! :O(
 
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DDK2005 responded:
I do have a gate at the top of my stairs but not on the bottom. I'm too nervous about her falling down whil we're upstairs. As for going up the stairs she does do this sometime on her own, but I never let her get past 3 steps without being behind her.


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