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I have a one and a half year old. She can't open doors yet. Our house is quirky and RIGHT outside of her bedroom are three steps that lead to a landing, then more steps... I shut her door at night, is that wrong? I have a camera and sound monitor on her all night. She wakes several times a night and comes to the door.

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Asked by 1974newmom at 4:20 AM on Jan. 16, 2013 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (11)
  • Sooner or later she's going to learn to open the door and then you'll have to find another solution. Why not just put a baby gate across the door. All you need it to do is ensure she doesn't get out at night until she can safely negotiate those steps. A baby gate should keep her safe at least until then.

    Answer by winterglow at 4:32 AM on Jan. 16, 2013

  • Have you started teaching your little one to negotiate steps? It might help to get her going down backwards, which is safer at first. Maybe try positioning a baby gate on a flight of steps a few from the bottom so she can practice. That being said, it doesn't hurt to teach a child to sleep with the door closed. I got mine used to it from the start so her room would be quieter at night, since we have a cat who likes to wander at night and always seems to be making noise in the wee hours. Does the baby seem distressed when she gets up and goes to her door?

    Answer by Ballad at 4:51 AM on Jan. 16, 2013

  • Wondering why you just didn't let her stay in a crib? How is she getting in & out of bed herself? Unless it's a mattress on the floor, If she can get in & out of a toddler/adult bed then she can maneuver steps. But I would put gates on the tops & bottoms of long staircases.


    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 9:51 AM on Jan. 16, 2013

  • We could do that. How long will it take for her to safely negotiate steps? Our room is 8 feet away from hers, but she would have to go down the 3 steps outside her door, take a couple steps on a landing, down another two steps, landing, then up two steps to get to our room. It's funny, when we bought the house, we thought it had so much "character". Lol. Now it's a maze of baby gates.

    Comment by 1974newmom (original poster) at 4:41 AM on Jan. 16, 2013

  • Yes, she wakes up, starts crying, and goes to the door. We don' get her unless it's more than 7 minutes of crying- a revised Ferber sleep training method- In less than 2 minutes, she climbs back into bed and goes to sleep. But it happens EVERY night... Always less than two minutes until she is back in bed.

    On the first floor there are 4 steps that lead to the garage door. She has fallen down those and her head hit the door. It was terrifying. I think a baby gate down a couple of stairs would have the same effect. She has been trying to negotiate stairs since she started walking. She can climb/go down a couple at a time now, but I worry at night that she is not really awake...

    Comment by 1974newmom (original poster) at 5:02 AM on Jan. 16, 2013

  • We had a swinging baby gate at the top/bottom of our stairs until our youngest was 2 1/2. She could navigate stairs well behind that, but like you I was concerned that sleepy she might have a harder time. I have mixed feelings about the closed door.

    Answer by missanc at 5:51 AM on Jan. 16, 2013

  • does she deal with the steps in the daytime good? If she does she is ok at night with them.

    Answer by louise2 at 6:50 AM on Jan. 16, 2013

  • My kids could both go up and down steps well by their first birthday... I taught them to go up on their hands and knees and down on their bottoms. They did not start climbing with their feet until they were taller at about 2.5 (my kids were short) Because they could did not mean I wanted them to without me knowing of course! I would put a baby gate across the steps. I may even invest in the ones that screw into the wall and open and close.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 7:05 AM on Jan. 16, 2013

  • You could use one of those retractable screen gates.  I don't think I would depend on a 1 and a half year old to navigate stairs in the middle of the night.  


    Answer by QuinnMae at 9:46 AM on Jan. 16, 2013

  • I was going to suggest a baby gate too. Start teaching her now how to go down the steps on her bum. It will still probably be a while before you trust her to do it alone but it's safer.

    Answer by maecntpntz219 at 9:54 AM on Jan. 16, 2013

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