Large Motor: Climbing
Around the time babies learn to pull up to stand, they also learn to climb. It is a different skill but also involves coordination of legs, shifting weight, and using the arms to pull the body up.
Stairs are often irresistible to a young climber, but moving down the stairs requires skills that she will not develop for a few more months.
Parents have to be very attentive of children climbing stairs. We highly recommend placing baby gates at the bottom and top of stairs to prevent unsupervised explorations and accidents.
Bedroom & Kitchen Safety
Babies will also try to figure out ways to climb on top of furniture. Around this time, some ambitious babies make early attempts to climb out of the crib by stepping onto their bumpers. Be sure to place your child's crib on the lowest setting. If Baby shows an interest in climbing by placing her feet on top of the bumper pad while gripping the rail, it's time to remove the bumper pad. This should buy you some time before Baby is big enough to master how to get out of the crib. Keep in mind, most babies do not successfully climb out of the crib until close to their second birthday, and some babies never climb out.
Babies enjoy exploring kitchens, especially while a parent is fixing (or trying to fix!) a meal. Unfortunately, this is a space that can be dangerous for Baby if safety precautions are not taken.
Consider these warning areas to watch in your kitchen:
- Oven: Lock the oven if you can. Extra-inquisitive babies who can pull themselves up to a standing position are capable of opening the oven door to explore.
- Holding Baby on your hip and stirring a hot pot can lead to disaster. Just don't do it.
- Watch out for pots on the stove with handles facing out as a baby can grab and pull. Use back burners when possible.
- Dishwasher: There are sharp utensils inside waiting to be washed or put away—lock it if you can.
- Storage: Keep cleaners and plastic bags securely stored in a cabinet with a childproof lock securely fastened.
Use these tips to make the kitchen a safe place for Baby to practice new skills:
- Designate one cabinet in the kitchen for Baby. She'll enjoy opening and closing the cabinet.
- Offer her pots, pans, and measuring cups that are safe to handle. This is a period in development when stacking and fitting smaller-sized objects in larger ones becomes interesting.
- She also may want to hold a big plastic or wooden spoon and bang out a song on a pot. Notice how she can now hold one spoon in one hand and bang the pot with another.