Friday, January 1, 2010

97. Put up stair-gates

J-cub has suddenly discovered that once he's lying down, or crawling, or in any sort of prone position, he can sit himself up. And from there, he can pull himself to standing. We've been greeted for the last few mornings with a baby leaning precariously over the edge of the cot, conjuring up mental images of a baby falling out of the cot, somehow being okay, but then crawling into the hall and falling down the stairs.

My first job today was therefore to lower the base of the cot (I skipped the middle position, and went straight to the bottom), so he's got no chance of getting out.

We'd been putting off fitting the stair-gates due to wanting to decorate the hall, and thinking that it would be better to decorate before drilling holes into the walls. Safety became our primary concern, especially since it seems unlikely that we'll be decorating any time soon as we can't decide on any colours.

So we fitted the first gate at the top of the stairs...

... and tried to fit the second gate at the bottom of the stairs (actually 3 steps up, as I'd read something which said children are far more likely to have accidents on stairs if they haven't been given the chance to have a go at some low ones and discover that however easy it is to climb up, it's much easier to fall down again). Despite the fact that we live in a ticky-tacky standard house with standard width stairs, the standard stair-gate is too narrow and necessitates an extension kit which we'll have to order. We therefore have elected to keep the lounge door shut (which it is anyway, to stop the cats using the front door mat as a litter tray) for the moment.

Our previous efforts at baby-proofing the kitchen with a travel stair-gate has turned out to be more annoying than not, as you have to screw the gate in each time you open and close it, so we've just been climbing over it or, more often than not, not using it at all.

I thought that the frequency with which we were taking J-cub away from the kitchen doorway, or fitting the stupid travel gate, was likely to be greater than the frequency that we'd want to shut the door into the kitchen (which you can't do with a normal stair-gate). So for now, we've put the second stair-gate into the kitchen doorway. It's only been there a few hours, and already it's far easier to get on with things, knowing that J-cub is safe.

He loves it, and today it's been his favourite place to hang out, sitting just inside the gate under a side table, chewing on a plastic spoon. Bless.

Kitchen doorway...

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