What's Going Down

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Need BabyProofing Help.

You see, this youngest child. He's a wild one.

We've never lived in an apartment or house with stairs before. And especially not with a highly mobile yet unstable child. I think you can see where this is going.

3 times today, I caught him halfway up our 12 stairs (there is a "landing" in the middle). And while I'm thrilled he can go up, I'm not so thrilled with the one time a couple of weeks ago when he flopped like a rag-doll down the stairs and onto the tile. Yes, mother of the year! So, obviously coming down is a problem.

And boy, does he love those stairs. If you catch him on the first step or two, and start to get close, he'll speed up. Racing up the stairs as fast as he can. Gah! What's a mother to do!?

Babyproof, you say?

Well, here's the deal. I have no problem putting a baby gate at the top of the stairs. Two sturdy walls, and I've already got a gate! Woo!

The problem is the bottom of the stairs. They look like this:
mission: babyproof

There's no other side to support a baby gate. I'm totally stumped.

And so, dear internet of wisdom and love, I turn to you.
Any bright ideas?


stephanie said...

i think you could put a gate on the first step. the banister looks sturdy enough to hold a gate in place. darn stairs.

Mia said...

Ooo! Ooo! I know this one!

We have the exact same problem. This is what we use. http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/90113601
It's a tension gate with a swinging door (so you don't have to climb over it). We had to add two of the extension poles and screw the ends out farther than they're supposed to be, but it totally works.

The only issue we've had is that we can't leave it open for long periods of time. Because the ends are out farther than they're designed for, it has trouble maintaining the tension when the door isn't closed. But when it's closed, it's super sturdy.

I'll send you a picture of how we have it set up if you can't picture it.

Alissa said...

i totally can't picture it, mia... send me a pic?

Amber said...

We got a gate for my mom's old house that had wrought iron on one side. The gate had clamps... let me look and see if I can find one online.

Mia said...

We also have some friends who screwed a block of wood to their railing so that they could attach a traditional gate. I bet you could replicate that with some good clamps. As long as you could keep your kids from unscrewing them :)

Maleen said...

Yeah, they have better advice than I would have, however if you need company in the best mother department, my kids (well June) fell down the stairs twice, from the top, and we have 13 stairs—no landing. That was not a fun day.

Julie said...

I haven't commented on your blog before, but thought I'd jump in. I was told about your blog by a friend that loved the pictures you do. :)

We made some blocking out of wood that allowed us to use a tension gate on our wooden railing, but I know I've seen attachments to attach to a spindle so it's like a "c" that goes around the banister to keep it sturdy.


dastew said...

bean bags on the bottom to soften the landing

Amy G. said...

I think Mia is talking about the same gate that we have at the entry to our kitchen. I think if you got one like mine combined with the block of wood idea it might work!

Stephanie C. said...

Uh, I just put a chair on its side in front of the stairs. I have a gate at the top so there's no chance of falling down the stairs (I wouldnt ever use a chair at the top!). My older kids can step over it so I'm not constantly having to move it for them. And once my babies are mobile enough to get over it on their own, they are mobile enough to go up and down the stairs on their own.

(I'm expecting that the almighty "they" are going to show up at your house and take away your mother of the year award and bring it right to me now that I've confessed to the whole internet that I baby proof with a chair.)

Sabra at Sew a Straight Line said...

after getting Seth through this very thing, my advise is--work on going down. but yeah, good luck with that. cute little skinny butt, btw (his, too. ha ha ha)

Company EIGHT said...

He is certainly adorable, that's for sure! good luck with the babyproofing, and with the climbing!

Lisa Spiegel said...

We had that same kind of banister with our first...we used industrial plastic ties (got them at Home Depot) to attach a piece of wood that would hold the screws for the baby gate. Worked like a charm..I would suggest putting up on the second step, that way he can still play on step one for practice but not get hurt. :-)

Ambrosia said...

Michaela has fallen down our stairs-we have 13--but she fell down about 4. We put a huge rubbermaid in front of the stairs when we don't want her going up since the gate has rubbed off some paint from the walls. But, like Sabra, we just worked with her going down skills. She is good at it now..except getting down onto the first step to head down. So we just keeping working with her, our issue is that we can't put a gate at the top of our stairs.

digupstuff said...

From someone who has first hand experience with falling down stairs every morning as a chlld, put or make a comfy floor mat for the child to land on. At least they won't break their neck, although, I never did and had nothing to protect me!

Jay said...

3 foot piece of stiff bamboo blind covering the bottom3 stairs fo he can't get a foot hold will work. I've done this a few times-it works for little kids AND pups

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