• Martha Lewis

What to do if your toddler starts climbing out of his crib!

Many parents move their toddler out of the crib and into a bed at a young age because he or she starts climbing out of the crib. Then the trouble starts once your toddler realizes he can easily get out of his new bed and come into your room or roam around the house!

Let's say your 2-year old is now in a bed and has access to the whole house all night long. That can be dangerous, especially because at his young age he isn't able to understand the consequences of not following rules. That's why I recommend keeping your toddler in a crib until he is at least 2 1/2 years old.

So what if he has figured out how to climb out of his crib and you are worried about him hurting himself?  There are other solutions to this problem besides putting him in a big boy bed.

Here are my suggestions:

  • Use a crib tent. They can be expensive but are worth it to keep your little one from getting hurt and to keep him in his crib all night!

  • Lower the mattress. In some cribs, you can lower the mattress all the way to the floor which makes it impossible for them to climb out.

  • Put a sleep sack on backwards so he can't unzip it. The sack should keep him from being able to get his leg over the railing.

  • Remove any toys in the crib. I don't recommend toys being in the crib anyway, but if there are some larger toys that he can use as a step stool, then get those toys outta there!

  • Don't make it worth it. Most babies climb out of their cribs to get something, even if it's just attention. So remain calm and neutral and tell him "no climbing." Eventually the game will get old because he isn't getting anything out of it.

  • Be firm. You don't want him to get hurt, so set limits and don't be wishy-washy. 

  • Catch him early. If your toddler makes a habit out of climbing out of his crib, catch him in the act. Stand where you can see him but he can't see you (or use a monitor). The moment he starts to put his foot on the rail, immediately say, "No climbing." If you startle him enough and do it several times, he will stop trying to climb out.

As you can see, there are other solutions to keep your toddler from hurting himself by climbing out of his crib. You don't want to put him in a big boy bed until he's cognitively ready to follow a simple set of rules and understand consequences, usually around 2 1/2 years old.  

I say, keep him in a crib as long as possible to make it easier and safer for everyone!

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