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For a 2-year-old toddler, climbing down the stairs is not an easy task. It requires a lot of coordination, balance and thought. Help your child achieve this by following a few strategies and tips. She’ll be down-walking stairs in no time!
Once your child starts walking, it’s just a matter of time before she’ll want to explore climbing up and down the stairs. No matter how dangerous the idea may seem to you, it’s safer to teach her how to do this, rather than have her try it on her own. Mastering stair-climbing, up or down, helps build confidence and independence. It also helps strengthen muscles and teaches coordination and balance.
Some Down-Stair Climbing Strategies For Toddlers
Let your child practice climbing up and down on only 3-4 steps at first. A long flight of stairs can be scary and tiring for a 24-month-old. Gradually increase the number of steps she climbs down as her confidence grows.
Scoot Down While Sitting
Standing at the top of a long flight of stairs can be frightening for a child. To encourage yours to climb down, have her sit at the top step and scoot down step by step, all while sitting. Most babies start going downstairs by crawling backwards on their tummies, so this technique can be less scary for them. Soon, she’ll be confident enough to walk down steps with some support.
Toddlers are often unsure about which foot to place first when alternating their feet to climb down. Tap each leg as a cue to move to the next step. You can also use visuals to help her. Place stickers or rubber foot prints on the stairs, so she knows which foot to place where.
Use Play Equipment
Getting outdoor play equipment with steps or a short ladder to climb is great for teaching downstairs walking in toddlers. You can also get a small plastic slide with a ladder, or you can take your child to the playground and help her climb the monkey bars.
Safety Tips For Toddlers Climbing Down Stairs
When making toddlers walk down the stairs independently, it’s important to have some safety measures in place. Install gates at the top and bottom of the stairs if you don’t want your child getting into places not meant for her. It’s also a good idea to have carpeted stairs. If possible, install a railing or a wall on either side of the stairs for safety. Till you’re confident of your child’s climbing abilities, always be around when she’s climbing up or down. Stay close by, preferably behind her, in case she slips or loses her footing.
Once a child begins to walk, parents wait for when their toddler will walk down the stairs. They can start crawling up stairs around the age of 13 months, and may start walking up and down with support from 15 months onward. However, most toddlers start to climb up before they learn how to climb down because it requires greater balance. They generally become confident climbers around the age of 2-3 years, but it can take longer too.
Has your tot begun down walking yet? How do you help her?