Our little adventurer has discovered how to climb, and climb she does. When you realize you could stand on a box, a chair a couch or a bench and see the world from a whole new perspective, why not climb all day long? The problem is, she does not quite understand the concept of gravity. She stands on her perch high on an armchair, leaning over the edge. And there’s nothing funnier than seeing mommy come running toward her, waving her hands in the air, saying, “No, no, no, no!”
“No, no, no!” she repeats, giggling. Such fun. It’s not fun when she falls off the side and lands on her head, giving her a big bruise on her cheek. Then, it’s tears. But, that doesn’t stop her from playing the game again a few minutes later.
How do I stop this from becoming a game? When I say a stern, “No,” she just laughs and goes at it again.
I’ve read that babies at this age are not able to use their executive functioning skills yet, so they might know right from wrong, but that doesn’t mean they can stop themselves from doing the wrong thing. They might say, “no biting, no biting, no biting” while they’re biting someone. And it’s too soon for timeouts because she’s not going to sit quietly by herself and ruminate on what she did. The only solution, I’ve heard, is to consistently say no and redirect.
Every new stage poses new and interesting challenges. I didn’t know we’d have to baby proof vertically, because she’s kind of short. But now that she’s learned how to climb, she’ll get up on the couch and start shaking the big mirror hanging above it. Our living room has been functioning like a play pen. We’ve got all of our furniture pressed up against the walls, we’ve got those safety plugs in, we have gates, we’ve removed all floor lamps, and we’ve put up gates in the doorways to keep her in the room when we want to. Now, are we going to have to take the chairs out of the room? Today, I tried turning up the cushions so it’s harder to climb, but I have no doubt she’ll find a way around that. But what’s best, to remove all potential trouble spots, or to keep setting limits and redirecting? You know, ideally, she’ll eventually understand gravity a little better. I am a little nervous that she’ll try to climb out of her crib one of these days, though.
I’d like to do activities that will foster her adventurous spirit while keeping her safe.
Good thing it’s spring, because we don’t have to spend so much time in the living room. We can get outside and explore the world. There are flowers to pick, birds and airplanes to hear, trees and bunnies to see.
Do you have a little climber? I’d love to know!