Written by Smita Srivastava
Once your toddler masters walking, very soon they begin to climb. Your heart does a flip flop when you notice your toddler trying to climb all over the place. Why your toddler loves climbing on everything and how to keep them safe? Well, toddlers do not know the fear of falling and they are at a phase of exploration. They are fascinated with the new world around them, and they set out to conquer it.
Toddlers manage to brace their fall instinctively as they find new use of their muscles or body movement. Yet sometimes they hurt themselves as despite their love for climbing, it is not easy to tackle. This is where you need to be vigilant and move behind your toddler like a shadow. Be with us as we tell you why your toddler loves climbing and how you can ensure their safety.
In This Article
Why does your toddler loves climbing is because it makes them feel on top of the world. It gives them a thrill. Climbing for them is a fun and exciting activity which lets them explore their surroundings. It gives them a vantage point to see things better. And when they manage to make their way up on a sofa, or bed, or a stool etc., it also makes them feel tall.
They love to wriggle their tiny bodies around and climb on chairs, sofas, tables and even you! It is like they are trying to scale up a tree. You must be prepared, since out of the blue, they may try to scale you.
It is truly a developmental stage of the brain, where the body tries to coordinate with both the sides of the brain. Toddlers manage to place their hand and foot with an inherent quality to have a connect with body and brain.
Around the 18-19 month mark, you may see your toddlers trying to climb. It comes right after they gather mastery over walking. But, you may be surprised to know that the act of trying to ‘climb’ begins once they start to crawl. You may notice them trying to crawl ‘over’ your legs, or on your tummy etc. This is their very first initiation into ‘climbing’.
But the actual climbing starts between the ages of 1-2 years roughly. Some toddlers who start walking early may start climbing by the time they turn 12-13 months of age. But most toddlers master the art of climbing by the time they turn 2. They grasp at doorways, windows and tables, anything you name it, and they use it as a lever to climb.
Climbing works toward development of both the upper and lower body of toddlers. It is good for toddlers to be moving around and climbing as it has many physical and mental benefits for them. Some of the benefits of climbing are-
Climbing and balance go hand-in-hand. To learn one, the other is required too. Here are a few tips you can try to encourage your toddler to learn balance while climbing-
Toddlers cannot comprehend the severity of a fall, so their approach toward climbing anywhere and everywhere is very naive but brave. However, a toddler loves climbing, and the fear of falling should not come in their way. Here are a few tips you can try to help them climb better-
Part of a developing toddler’s mobility is their natural affinity towards climbing. Consider this a natural part of progression. The trick however, is to let them climb, but find ways and methods to prevent your tiny tot from climbing on anything and everything.
Put a set of rules in place on what your toddler is allowed to climb and what is out of bounds for them. Be firm and clear and implement them well.
When your toddler disregards your warnings and climbs on things which are potentially dangerous and a threat to their safety, then you need to intervene and remove them from that place.
Let them know which all areas and things are safe for them to climb. For example, pillows and mattresses, some rides in the park, play gym, step stool etc. are some things which can be a safe outlet for them to climb.
Be vigilant and on guard when your toddler is climbing. Prepare yourself to be the official catcher when they fumble or take a tumble.
Many dangerous and potential accidents can be avoided if you prepare well in advance and remove anything which may cause injury.
There is no harm in winning a few bruises while learning to climb. But, you should not let a few falls discourage your toddler from climbing. Instead, find ways to keep them safe, like-
Generally, toddlers start to climb at various ages, and some are late bloomers. But, around two and a half years of age, if you notice that your toddler is having any restricted mobility or an inability to jump, then consult your doctor and physical therapists. They will ascertain the toddler’s balance and strength and check if any physical therapy is required.
Once they realize the scope of their mobility, toddlers embark on an adventure of their own. Climbing is one such activity which helps develop their gross motor skills. So, however much it may make your heart flutter with anxiety when your little one attempts climbing, the key is to remain cool, watchful, and encourage them.
Yes, climbing is a milestone. Climbing develops alongside other milestones like crawling, standing, and walking. For example, a toddler who learns to crawl may soon try to ‘climb’ by crawling over the objects. Climbing in itself is an impressive act and is termed as a nerve-wracking milestone.
Curiosity to explore and the fun element tempts toddlers to climb everywhere. The reason they are so good at it is because they are not afraid of anything. So, in the process of exploring and trying to climb, they actually become adept at climbing.
When you feel that your toddler is climbing on anything and everything, including things which could lead to potential injuries, it’s best to remove them from the scene. Take them for a walk, or distract them by indulging in some other activity, or by showing something outside the window etc. It is better to stop them from climbing on potentially dangerous stuff rather than regret later.
With a background in Mass media and journalism, Smita comes with rich and vast experience in content creation, curation, and editing. As a mom of a baby girl, she is an excellent candidate for writing and editing parenting and pregnancy content. The content she writes and edits is influenced by her own journey through pregnancy and motherhood. When not writing- She can be found curled up with a book. Or, bingeing on Netflix.Read more.