It seems like only moments ago that she was lying on the floor, barely able to roll over. But now she’s not only ‘getting into everything’ she’s also climbing everything in sight. You can’t always be there to catch her or stop her so what can you do?

photo credit: Jenna Westerholm

What it looks like: Baby attempts to climb objects, sometimes in pursuit of things and other times just for the sake of climbing. At least in the beginning, she won’t differentiate between objects that are easy for her to climb (i.e. low stairs) and ones that are impossible (i.e. into her high chair).

Mistaken for: Pursuit of an object (this is sometimes the case but not always).

What baby is learning: How to climb! Which involves a LOT of spatial awareness and risk assessment – two of the most valuable skills both for you and baby. Developing these skills (I won’t say mastering because she’ll continue to develop them her whole life) will seriously enhance her ability to play and learn independently.

How to support: As always, decide what’s really important to say ‘no’ to and then mean what you say. If there’s a place that is unsafe for her to climb then make sure that she doesn’t climb there. However,  if it’s not unsafe, let her climb! Be there to spot her but try not to help her. Helping her climb is actually not so helpful as it eliminates any opportunity for her to develop her spatial awareness and risk assessment. Instead, it can actually cause her to develop a false sense of security which may lead to more risky behaviour, even when an adult isn’t present. She may become frustrated and look to you for help. At that point the best thing to do is narrate her efforts and perhaps direct her to an object that is more manageable for her to climb.
If you don’t have many safe climbing spaces in your home see what you can do to create one. It may just mean moving a few valuable items away from one of your couches. You can purchase wooden steps or just rig up a platform with some bread crates! (Both wooden steps and bread crates are available from Cosy.)

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photo credit: Jenna Westerholm