We live in an apartment and my 14.5 month old does not have regular access to stairs. However, when we visit friends and family with stairs, he is very keen to climb up and then come back down - over and over again. He is still very young and we will not let him climb up or down by himself. But, I would like to start showing him how to climb down. He figured out how to climb up all on his own. But he doesn't know how to come down and I'm not sure what technique we should teach him. Should he slide down on his bum? Crawl down backwards?

What is the best way for a toddler to come down the stairs and how can I teach him to come down safely?

asked 24 Jul '10, 00:01

cat_g's gravatar image

accept rate: 25%

Hello cat_g these answers may be useful for you to read too! http://moms4mom.com/questions/2310/when-to-let-your-child-use-the-stairs-by-him-herself

(24 Jul '10, 12:33) Emi

This article from iParenting suggests teaching toddlers to go down the stairs on their belly.

Our 16-month toddler goes down stairs a couple of different ways:

  • Stepping down holding our hands
  • Crawling down backwards "by himself" (with us hovering :) )
  • For our back porch, there are just a couple of steps and he walks down by holding on tightly to the railing. I probably wouldn't allow this for a longer flight of stairs.

Holding our hands while descending is the only one we ever helped him with. He figured the other ways on his own but we do have stairs he has to traverse multiple times a day.


answered 24 Jul '10, 01:23

Kiesa's gravatar image

Kiesa ♦
accept rate: 26%

We taught our daughter to go down on her bum so that she could see where she was going. The house we were in at the time had some steps going to the second floor that were angled and we just felt better about it when she could see how to negotiate them.

For our son, he decided that he would either hold someone's hand or he would hold onto the rail. His sister tried to show him the sitting method, which he used to some degree, but he very quickly decided he wanted to go down like mommy and daddy.


answered 24 Jul '10, 02:19

mkcoehoorn's gravatar image

accept rate: 8%

edited 24 Jul '10, 16:08

@mkcoehoorn that's how our daughter goes down longer flights of stairs unless she's holding our hand.

(12 Aug '10, 14:09) Tammy ♦♦
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Asked: 24 Jul '10, 00:01

Seen: 7,611 times

Last updated: 24 Jul '10, 16:08