Dog bed as staircase landing pad

Michele of I Got Two, Babe came up with this answer for the baby + stairs problem:

We have almost 2-year old twin boys who have been fascinated with the stairs since they could crawl to them.  We have them gated off, but are starting to let the boys try to go up and down them “like big boys” (walking, not crawling).  Plus it is time for us to ward off the inevitable gate security breach that we expect any day.  I found a way to cushion a possible fall and my nerves while they learn is to put a big, (new) pillowy dog bed at the bottom of the stairs.  The stairs are carpeted, but the landing is wood and the dog bed offers a softer landing.  You can find them in any of the big discount retail stores for about $30 and up.


  1. Chris says

    I guarantee this will encourage the age-old child art of “stair diving”. Not that they wouldn’t come up with the idea eventually on their own anyway, but … a big fluffy pillow at the bottom of the stairs? Come on, that thing has GOTTA be for jumping on, right? :D

  2. none says

    Yes this is good. I still have the slow motion replay memory of my 2 yr old niece, tumbling all the way down our stairs. Her dad caught her right before she hit the hardwood floor. I was more concerned about her during the fall though, it was ugly to say the least. She did slow down a bit before the bottom. I now have the stairs baby gated top and bottom for my 11 mo old. Maybe a helmet and some pads, or some kind of net.

  3. Shalini says

    Good idea! If you get lucky, you can sometimes find big cushy dog beds at Costco for under $20. As the owner of a bed-eating dog, I’ve learned to appreciate a competitively priced dog bed.

  4. hedra says

    I recommend moving the gate just a few steps up, at first. That gives them the ‘scary’ part without so much ‘dangerous’ if they do fall (which they will). Some stairs can’t be done that way, but if they can, it is really useful. My older kids were generally more cautious about the stairs after a fall off the second step.

    However, the twins (aka ‘monkey girls’)… um, well, they took way longer to develop caution. I recommend following them (up) with a basket half-full of laundry. Easier to catch both in a basket than with the hands… okay, haven’t had to catch both at once, but close, and have had to catch one at a time (I still have the image of R cartwheeling head over feet down three stairs and plop into the basket shaken but unharmed…). Harder to carry the dog bed up the stairs, and a lot of injury can happen in transit… And not so useful for the way down. Hand holding on the way down. (Don’t know why, but my kids tend to fall on the way UP the stairs, not down. Maybe because they can see ‘the down part’ and use more caution when going down, but going up, they’ll just turn around like there’s floor there and step off into space.)

    We also installed a hand rail at their height. Anything to help.

  5. Atlanta Jill says

    While I’m not exactly eager for my kids to take a tumble down the stairs, my pediatrician pointed out to me that falling down the stairs is falling a dozen or so times, each only 10 inches or so. The falls that usually break bones are actually one fall from higher.

    I also think a handrail they hold is better than a soft landing at the bottom. As commenters have often pointed out, once you start something with children it is hard to change it later. Better to make landing at the bottom somewhat scary to prevent jumping from the beginning than have to take away the soft pillow at the bottom after they’ve started the jumping game.