Our 1 year-old recently started climbing. And, by climbing, I mean anything he can climb, he will.
It’s an interesting time of balance between curiosity and safety.
We want him to be curious and to continue to grow his motor skills. But, we also want to protect him.
So, what can you expect if your baby is in this phase?
Here’s something I came across in Parenting Magazine:
The article includes various milestones for toddlers. Among them is the climbing phase.
Toddlers typically climb from 12 to 24 months, according to the magazine.
“Toddlers climb up on the kitchen table (or your desk or the bed) for the obvious reason: Because it’s there. Kids this age are trying to find a balance between risk and challenge. Of course, you know that the challenge of climbing up the bookcase isn’t worth the risk, but the average toddler’s ability to reason isn’t in line with his physical prowess. Climbing is an important physical milestone, though. It’ll help your child develop the coordination he needs to master skills like walking up steps.
Ways you can help:
- Provide safe opportunities for climbing. Toss sofa cushions or pillows on a carpeted floor, or let him loose at a toddler-friendly playground.
- Anchor bookcases and other pieces of furniture to the wall, even if you think they’re too heavy to topple. Clear shelves of things that could fall on him – or that could tempt him to climb.
- Limit access. Keep chair seats pushed under the table, and take a closer look at the stove: Could your child get to it by climbing up shelves or cabinets?
- Set up gates at the top and bottom of the stairs. It’s the only way to keep your child from attempting that irresistible – but dangerous – ascent. To help your child learn to climb the stairs safely, practice together by taking him up and down while holding his hand.”
While this is great information, it can be scary.
The reality is that Nathan is going to keep climbing for the thrill of it and little will discourage him from it.
He also likes to play with the cat, and even the cat scratches don’t seem to curb his curiosity.
So, as Parenting Magazine says, the best advice is to make the environment as safe as possible.
It’s part of the process, so try to roll with the punches (and stay out of the emergency room.)
• An editor by day, Scott Mayes is also dad to Matthew, Micah and Nathan. He’s a high school parent, a youth basketball dad and changes diapers. He’s also hiding the step ladder for fear of finding his son on the roof.