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This Model Hopes to Avoid ‘Hideous Baby Gates’ by Teaching Her 9-Month-Old to Climb Stairs

Baby-proofing stuff is notoriously ugly. Foam corners for tables, plastic cabinet latches, and those no-nonsense baby gates … oh my! But, well, they keep our offspring alive and unmaimed, so parents accept the negative effect on our home decor. In any case, the crushed Cheerios, piles of laundry covered in spit up, and eau de diaper room fragrance have pretty much exempted us from winning any decorating competitions. Mom and model Hilary Rhoda is not giving up the dream yet, and revealed she’s committed to teaching her 9-month-old son Nash Hollis to ascend and descend a flight of stairs so she can avoid “hideous baby gates.”

Rhoda shared this interesting plan in her Instagram Story with a video of the baby practicing crawling up a set of stairs as she encouraged him.

“Good job,” she is heard saying, holding her hand behind her as he weebles and wobbles up a stair. “That’s my guy! Go Nash! You’ve got it. Go buddy!”

Captioned on top of the video are the words: “Teaching him how to climb stairs so we don’t have to buy any hideous baby gates.”

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Instagram Story/Hilary Rhoda

Though the caption also includes a laughing emoji, it appears that Rhoda is not joking about training her baby, whom she shares with pro hockey player husband Sean Avery, to go up and down the stairs.

Apparently some Instagrammers DMed her with their concerns, with one writing, “The problem isn’t getting the baby to go up. It’s when they’re coming down… that’s why gates are installed primarily.”

This didn’t phase the model’s plans, as she wrote over the screenshot of the message, “The idea is that he will learn how to go both up AND down. Got lots of DMS that this worked for other ppls kids so I’m not crazy, it’s a thing! Haha.”

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, stairs are a ready-made — but potentially dangerous — obstacle course for babies 8 to 12 months old. “Although your baby needs to learn how to go up and down stairs, you should not allow her to play on them alone during this time,” the AAP recommends. “If you have a stair­case, she’ll probably head straight for it every chance she gets. Place sturdy gates at the top and bottom of your staircase. When you’re playing with her on stairs, encourage her to work her way down them backward, a skill she’s likely to pick up quickly. Even when she does, however, keep the stairs gated at all times.”

While baby Nash might develop the skills to go up and down with supervision, it’s those unsupervised moments that make us worried! Even the most attentive of moms and dads have moments of distraction, and little ones learning to crawl and walk are notorious for getting into things they shouldn’t. That’s why baby proofing and putting up those child safety gates, hideous as they may be, as a must.

Rhoda seems like such a stylish mom, surely she can figure out a way to spruce up a baby gate! Might we suggest a coat of some gold metallic paint? It’s a luxe look that is bound to go with any decor.

These are some of the reality-TV alumnae we love to follow as they tackle motherhood.

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