Babies have a natural instinct to explore—hence all of the expensive baby playpens and toddler gates that parents install in an attempt keep them safe. Many parents even refer to their toddlers as “natural climbers.” Baby Ellie Farmer is one such child—but her skills have far surpassed most of the children in her age group.
Instead of just climbing over the walls of her crib, Ellie has been indoor rock-climbing since she was eight months old. That’s right, she’s been scaling walls since before she could walk.
Her parents, Rachael and Zak Farmer, are both competitive climbers from Flagstaff, Arizona. Her mother even continued to climb throughout her pregnancy with Ellie.
“She’s really been part of the climbing community since birth,” Zak told CNN. Rachael describes her as a “really active kid.”
While most babies are probably satisfied with plush stuffed animals in their room, Ellie, now 20 months old, has an eight-foot climbing wall in her room next to the crib.
Her parents say that climbing challenges Ellie to practice her core balance and fine motor skills.
“She has to think out the movement, decide where to place her foot, where to place her hand,” said Rachael. “She’ll maybe fall backward and engages that core and sits back up.”
Although Ellie climbs walls without a harness, Rachael and Zak make sure she’s never out of reach.