If your baby is new to walking, she's probably not ready for stairs yet. Slow things down a scooch and take a few precautions.

  1. Set up gates. Even though she's getting good at walking, she still won't be able to mount stairs for a while. She might be pushing for her independence, but let your baby know that if he wants to use the stairs, he needs to hold your hand.

  2. Slide first, climb later. Going down the stairs is harder than going up. You may want to teach your baby how to slide down on his belly, feet first. This is the safest method right now, and you can also treat it as a game.

  3. Hold on tight. When your baby is skilled enough to walk up and down stairs without help. Just teach him to always hold onto the railing so he stays safe.

Things move along really quickly from here on in, so stay close to supervise your baby's progress up – and later, down – the stairs.