October 29, 2008,
H.H. asks from Cedar Rapids, IA on October 28, 2008
Climbing 15 Month Old! Help!
My son is 15 months old and all he wants to do is climb on things, then stand up on top- easy chairs, dining room table, ottomans....I'm so afraid he's going to get hurt. I rotate the toys, he has access to rubbermaid containers, baking pans, etc that he plays with a little but then just takes all over the house. I make pillow and cushion play areas for him.... He likes to play wrestle or play horsy and will let us read a small amount, but that involves sitting still. I am wondering what you've done with a very active little one who doesn't have a great interest in toys.
K.S. answers from Minneapolis on October 29, 2008
Attach all bookcases and dressers to the walls so nothing heavy can tip on him. Get rid of any chairs or tables that are weak or tippy. Then let him climb. Kids learn their limits pretty quickly and most kids are much steadier climbers than they are given credit for. So relax. I had a friend with a major climber. It was a little disconcerting to see him climb to the ceiling on their built-in bookcases when he was 22 months old but he was a good climber and it would have been impossible to stop him. She child proofed her upper cabinets and kept everything off the counters.
My son is a big jumper, always has been. I let him start young with judging for what he could handle. He started small and built up to huge heights, but he learned good technique as he went. It made people nervous who didn't know him but I was fine with it. IMO it is worse to limit their exploration of climbing and jumping because of our own fears. Just make it as safe as possible and spot them if you think it is beyond their ability. Then as you see that they can handle it, stop spotting them.
1 mom found this helpful
L.Y. answers from Wausau on October 29, 2008
My son was the same way at that age. He loved to walk up the 'outside' of the staircase...Still does in our new house and he just turned 7! When we lived in lower Michigan our town had an excellant gymnastics program. This is where you went if you wanted to be a gymnast! They had a program that started when the kids were about 18months i believe (maybe walking). Parents were with them the whole time (about 1/2 hr. i think). Then at age 3 they started class on their own. The kids learned proper ways to land with 'sticky feet' and how to fall. Obviously there were tons of mats and the instructors were right there. My son really gained a ton of confidance by learning how to climb and jump and balance from the teacher. That made us less worried when he was doing stuff. I wish my daughter had been able to start that program but moved when she was 1. Now at 4 she is still a little timid on balance beams and things like that. Maybe you could see if your area has anything like this that you could do with him. It might help (both of you:))
A.M. answers from Appleton on October 29, 2008
Nope, not just a boy thing...my 16 month old daughter is the EXACT same way! She is a bit on the shorter side so she can't always get up on whatever it is that she wants to climb on, but she TRIES, and whines if she can't get up. I am sure it is only a matter of time!
I basically pick my battles. There are times when I know it is completely dangerous that I run right to her and tell her NO. She usually gets right back up and does it again, but after I tell her NO and remove her a couple of times she usually gets the hint. If it is something that I think would cause minimal to no injury I let her explore and climb. I have to keep reminding myself that they are little explorers at this age, and exploration is good--but as their parents we do need to keep them safe!
T.H. answers from Minneapolis on October 29, 2008
My 2 year old has been the same way since he started walking about 15 months. My husband and I actually even say right now that the roof is not high enough to keep him off. Unfortunately the only thing we have done is try to do a lot more of one on one play with him and letting him "carefully" fall so he realizes that there is a distance factor. At this point they don't always understand there is a distance they could fall and get hurt. Just try and keep everything to the back of the counter and don't put anything that may be entising in his line of vision. Hope this helps.
N.S. answers from Minneapolis on October 29, 2008
Invest in a good indoor climber..like the things people have in the backyard, but smaller. www.onestepahead.com has alot of good ones to check out. They're pricey, but you can find the same products elsewhere. I'd just use the catalogue as a starting-point for product names etc.
If you have alot of hard floors, keep lots of cushions around and let him climb and play in them. My toddlers loved being able to take the big couch cushions and make home-made climbers to hop on, climb and crawl through.
One day my kids will curl up under a table in embarrassment when they see the pictures...but I made them wear bike helmets to protect their heads from about 15 months to 2 years. Especially my youngest who got huge lumps on his head almost daily from falls on our tile floors.
The littlest would climb out of his pack n'play and fall head first on to the tile floor if I turned away. I was convinced he was going to break his neck or be brained damaged! After a few trips to urgent care, I finally invested in a helmet. I have since seen non-bike helmets marketed in parenting magazines/catalogues for this very purpose. I've seen one for sure in www.onestepahead.com.
Good luck! They do out-grow it.
S.P. answers from Davenport on October 29, 2008
Wow, you are lucky! My son is NINE MONTHS OLD and already walking and climbing everything he can! He was climbing stairs by 7 mo. old or earlier. He will climb on his sister's chairs to reach higher places like the kitchen table and her little table to reach the stuff on our microwave cart or just climb on top of her chair and stand up!!! hello, he is 9 mo. old, he doesn't know that he can fall and really hurt himself(we have hard wood floors to top it off)! and he climbs on our stepstool to reach the bathroom sink! However, I do remember our daughter climbing but not until she was much older...and even now at 5 she climbs when she wants to get something, like the candy hidden on top of the frig!!! I told my husband we need to buy him some kind of climbing toy or build something, at least that way he is climbing on something safe and in an area that has a rug..or whatever padding we put down. The other day he even climbed on the the handle for the drawer under the oven and was reaching the knobs on the stove...note, this was all while we were watching in amazement...since he has to be watched every moment his eyes are open!!! My 9 mo. old is a TODDLER!
A.F. answers from St. Cloud on October 29, 2008
I'm laughing because my little one did that from 9 months and on.....she would jump off of anything she could. I still spend much of the day trying to catch her. She now (at 22 months) is enjoying books and playing a little but still loves to climb! Just the other day she climbed on top of our old upright piano to play with the candles. Yikes!
All I can say is catch them whenenver you can, make it as safe as you can (I'm sure you already do) and remember that kids are resilient.
T.C. answers from Minneapolis on October 29, 2008
My son is almost 15 months old and he is the exact same way. He loves to climb and jump and explore everything. I think it is just a boy thing. What i do is try to set aside time each nite and let him climb on things a little bit and watch him and just try to continue to teach him how to do things safley. It is definatly scary when they are so little trying to do so much. my son is a little daredevil. i keep saying hes going to be a stunt man when he grows up because he has no fear and it sounds like your son is the same way. just keep teaching him the safe way to climb and get back down and hopefully they will grow out of it a little bit eventually.