Climbing Toddlers

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Categories Ask the Moms, Ask the Readers, Parenting, Parenting Twins, Safety, Toddlers
Andrew's infamous window climb. Window was taped off with cardboard shortly after.

I thought I’d given myself enough time for this post, but once again, I’ve procrastinated. …and by procrastinated, I mean I’ve cleaned, chased babies, did laundry, made meals, and cleaned some more. Hello, I’m last minute Margie from Double the Giggles.  I’m so happy to be a new addition to HDYDI, a blog I’ve turned to for multiples advice many times in the past.

As a mom to two very active ‘almost‘ two year old boys, I face many challenges.  Daredevil was never something I’d thought I’d have to deal with…well, not just yet, I guess.  My little Andrew is very strong and loves to jump, leap, climb and flip.   The kid does a better summersault than I did after years of gymnastics class.  That’s problem #1.   Problem #2 is that my little Wesley is not as coordinated (ahem, bull in China shop) however, has a severe case of the Monkey See, Monkey Do’s.

Insert Band-Aid here.

The boy’s latest feat is the bookshelf in their room.   The bookshelf has been stripped of it’s many toys and books (by the boys, themselves) and is now used as a playground toy.   Fear not, it’s firmly bolted to the wall.  My husband and I have come up with all sorts of innovative baby-proofing in our house, but where does it end?  If I tape poster board over the lower shelves to deter climbing, it will only get torn off.   The changing table/dresser has already been removed from their room due to climbing… Is it time to remove the bookshelf now, too?  Is it crazy to have just beds in their room?

My question to other moms of multiples who have dealt with this is:  When saying “Don’t Climb” and/or “Feet on the Floor” don’t work, and your toddlers are determined to climb and jump beyond where it’s considered acceptable (say, at a playground or in a bounce house), what tricks worked for you in keeping them grounded?  I have endless kisses for boo-boos, but all these Band-Aids are getting pricey…

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Margie is happily married and the proud momma of fraternal, red-headed twins Wesley and Andrew.  She has her Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Science and went from a full-time to part-time federal worker when her boys were born in 2009. Margie is an active member of her local Mothers of Multiples organization and finds that the friendships she's made with other moms of multiples have been a huge support thoughout the "twinsanity" of life.  When she's not completely exhausted, Margie forces herself to go for runs and tries to eat healthy.  She loves Christmas and anything chocolate, and she enjoys the outdoors, cooking, being crafty and snuggling on the couch with her family and 3 dogs.  Margie is the author of Double the Giggles.

13 thoughts on “Climbing Toddlers”

  1. Unfortunately I’m not much help here. My husband and I completely rearranged our living room including tv placement with all of the rewiring that entailed when our three thought end table dancing was fun. Now at almost 4 they don’t seem to have the same issues staying off things that shouldn’t be climbed and haven’t for at least a year, so at least there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. :)

  2. My kids aren’t climbers like that, but I’ve removed all the extra distractions from their bedrooms. A one point I even took out the laundry basket because they would empty it all over the floor during nap time. There are no toys (just the babies they cuddle with for nap time), not extra furniture (just beds and a dresser). When they are older, I’ll consider putting more things in their room, but for now, I’m keeping it simple.

  3. I have the same problem! My Baby B is a couch-to-window-sill climber too and he also loves to stand on any table and stomp around 😎
    At almost 3, he will listen when I tell him directly in his ear, calmly but firmly to get down, but only since the last few months or so, and then he is up there again 10-15 min later.
    I also tell him that if he climbs again, he goes to time out and then follow thru. That usually buys me another hour or two.
    If I had a bigger house and more $$ I’d buy him a small climbing structure and redirect him there.

  4. Thanks for the post… I showed my husband the picture, and he took himself off to the store for baby proofing equipment, and spent the evening installing stuff… after months of nagging. One of our 14 month olds is showing signs of being a daredevil, and his brother does whatever he does!

  5. There’s always one in every set, isn’t there?! I think it was around that age that we started hunting through Craigslist for climber/slides. The Kangaroo Climber (Step 2, I think) quickly became their favorite thing to do and it gave them an outlet for their apparent compulsion to climb (and something to do in the backyard). Now a little past 3, mine rarely play on it anymore, so perhaps the need to climb ebbs after awhile.

  6. My son was like this and we have NO furniture in his room but a bed. Sometimes it is easier to remove then keep instructing them until you go crazy. Later we added items back without repercussions (only to now be removing them again thanks to our youngest).

  7. We have a little tikes climber/slide thing in our great room which is also the boys’ play area. I wish I could say that it was all the outlet they need for daredevilry. Our main issues so far have been climbing onto the dining table, the fireplace hearth and, the most annoying: out the dog door. We have an older dog who needs constant and immediate access to the yard, and one of my boys goes out there at least a dozen times a day. He wags his finger and says “no, no” and goes and sits himself in a time out, so he clearly knows he’s not supposed to, but he’s overwhelmed with the draw of the outdoors. Hopefully he’ll learn by winter…

  8. About this age, I asked my boys pediatrician, “How high is still safe for them to fall?” He laughed and, as my kids proceeded to scale his exam table and shelving unit simultaneously, explained that kids can fall from about their own height safely in most situations. That meant they could safely fall from the bed, the couch, the lower shelves, etc.

    So we chose some areas that were approved for climbing, directed them that way, and LET THEM FALL from those heights. It didn’t make things easier for me, but it did give me a better sense of perspective! 😉

  9. It sounds counter productive, but I found that giving my son something to climb on, slide down, and jump off of really helped him leave the rest of the house alone. For his first birthday we bought him a plastic rockwall-slide combo thing from Toys R Us. Now it’s in my daughters room. It’s short, so if they fall off it they won’t get hurt. It’s fun to climb through, over and slide down. If they are in a crazy climbing mood, I direct them to the “playground” they have in their bedroom.

  10. Oh my heavens! I think that twins are just something else because they take ideas and build and build and build off of them. One twin does a jump, the other twin does it from higher, the first twin does it higher while holding a toy, the second twin does it higher while holding a butter knife…. Just kidding about the butter knife. well, lets say I’m kidding about the butter knife. But one thing that I’ve found is, even though I still can’t keep my 3 yr old boys from ruining my house, blogging about it sure makes other people laugh. So, there’s that. At least you’re helping the rest of us frazzled mothers to think “Hey! Maybe I’m okay afterall. Maybe my kids aren’t the only crazies in the world!” I really love your writing by the way. this post was awesome. Sorry I have no advice beyond entertaining others with fb status updates like: “today’s technology casualties include a tv remote in the toilet, a cd cracked in half, and a dvd player jammed full of graham crackers.”

  11. I love this picture… One of my girls is a climber, too. She always claps for herself when she gets to the top… I guess that means we are good at positive reinforcement? At only 13 months, I’m definitely seeing some window sill climbing in my future. Everyone always tells me, they only get hurt once! But I’ve found they just don’t learn.. they love to test the limits. The only way I have been able to minimize the climbing is to make sure I get them to a playground or out for exercise. Unfortunately, that doesn’t fit neatly into every day so there are some days where they are literally off the walls. Hang in there – I’m hoping Gretchen was right about the climbing coming to stop soon!

  12. our son is 2 and climbed the outside edge of a 10 foot staircase! I wish he would be fine with climbing 3-4 feet! on the other hand he is an excellent climber. we are considering gymnastics for him

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