Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Day 246 - When Baby Steps Lead to Stairsteps

Today's first time parenting tip - Teach your baby how to climb down as soon as they are able to climb up

No matter how hard you try, babies are going to find things to climb on. Even though you might have a baby gate on your stairs, grandma and grandpa might not. The bathtub, crib, boxes, pillows and furniture are all things he'll learn to ascend eventually. It makes sense to begin teaching him how to get down without hurting himself.

Humans usually learn by trial and error. But when it comes to getting down off something high, you can't afford the error.

I started teaching my son how to get off the air mattress my wife and I are currently sleeping on in our new apartment. The mattress itself is soft, it's not too high, he loves getting up on it and bouncing.

One safe way to get down that I teach my son is:

  • Position the baby rear end first towards the edge.

  • Say something fun like "Back it up! Baaack it up!" or "Back-back-back-gone!"

  • Mimic your baby's crawling motions by moving their legs backward as if they were doing it themselves.

  • Help them bring their arms down if they won't do it themselves

  • Make a big deal out of their success. Hugs, kisses and smiles are all excellent choices

My son's done it on his own a couple times, and while I never leave him alone if he's on something bigger and harder, he's starting to figure out that to go down, he needs to go backwards. They'll get there. Just be patient.

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