Have you caught your toddler climbing out of their crib? Are you just a pragmatic parent who wants to avert a potential escape or injury?
Once your infant has developed the necessary motor skills, they are able to push themselves up, stand and climb. This means that as they continue to develop keeping them in their crib can be quite a challenge.
Thankfully, there are a number of practical and easy steps you can take to avert your toddler from climbing out of their crib and becoming an escapee.
Is Your Toddler Ready for a Bed?
If you are having a challenging time with your toddler climbing out of their crib, you may be tempted to transition them from crib to an infant bed. Although the transition is a normal part of every child’s development, it’s not always a good idea to do it if they not yet ready.
Young toddlers often have a very difficult time with self-control and due to the fear of missing out will likely want to escape from their sleeping environment at the earliest opportunity.
For this reason, a crib often has more than one obvious function of safety. The crib serves as an effective barrier, helping to create a physical boundary for your child and prevent them from keep getting up. Of course, it also helps to keep them secure and prevents them from falling out of their crib during the night.
Since all toddlers develop at very different speeds, the exact time to transition to a bed can vary from individual to individual. However, the majority of toddlers are not ready for such a big change before the age of 3.
Toddler Climbing Out of Crib Solutions
Until your little one is ready to make the transition from crib to toddler bed, you are likely going to be faced with the possibility of him or her trying to escape. Often toddlers begin trying to escape from their cribs as soon as they learn how to climb and hoist their way over the rails.
So what can you do? Thankfully, there are a number of very effective and practical ways to help prevent your child from climbing or at least climbing their way out of the crib successfully.
With that said, here are some of the best solutions to help prevent your toddler climbing out of their crib:
1. Try a Sleep Sack
Many parents put their little ones in sleep sacks before they put them in their crib. These are essentially wearable blankets that keep your babies body and legs covered while allowing their arms to be free.
These sleep sacks are great for two major reasons. Firstly, they help keep your infant snug and warm during their night’s sleep, and many parents find that they also help prevent their infants from climbing out of their crib.
2. Place the Lower Side of the Crib Against the Wall
Many cribs often have rails that are shorter on one side, allowing you to more easily crouch down as you reach for your infant. However, the main issue of this design feature is that many infants find it easier to hoist themselves up onto and climb out of the crib.
For this reason, you may find placing the shorter side of the crib against a wall to be helpful. Hopefully, only having access to the taller side will help prevent your toddler from climbing out until they are eventually ready for a toddler bed.
3. Adjust the Crib Mattress
Most cribs come with a variety of mattress settings that allow you to set the mattress height on either low, medium or high. So make sure the mattress is on the lowest possible setting. This is especially important as they begin to stand and climb.
Depending on your crib, you may also be able to make other modifications too. For instance, some cribs have a spring mattress support, which you can remove to make the mattress as low as possible. Further helping to prevent them from climbing out of the crib.
4. Isolate Your Toddlers Sleep Area
If you have a limited space, you may struggle with this, but isolating your toddlers sleeping space can really help. Young children are often easily distracted by siblings who might still be awake and due to fear of missing out, and they might attempt to climb out of the crib. Noisy activities nearby are also a distraction that may prevent them from getting off to sleep.
5. Only Use the Crib for Sleep Time
Although it may be tempting to allow your child to play in their crib during the daytime, it’s not a good idea. It’s also not a wise idea to use it as a place to isolate them as a punishment.
It may serve you well for these activities, but your toddler might end up associating the crib with other things when they should only really be associating it with sleep time. This can result in confusion and make your toddler have conflicting ideas as to why they have been placed in the crib.
As a result, it’s always advised to only use their crib for it’s intended purpose – sleeping. That way there will be no doubt about what they are doing there, they will know it’s time for relaxing, winding down and sleeping, or at least associate it with those thoughts and ideas.
6. Evaluate Their Sleep Routine
Sometimes a restless toddler that is continually attempting to climb out of their crib just isn’t tired enough to sleep. As infants continue to grow and develop their needs change and their sleep routine is no different, so keep this in mind.
Start by keeping an eye on the times your infant starts to fall asleep before you physically place them in their crib. You can then determine when their body clock naturally makes them feel sleepy and determine the best time to place them in their crib.
Equally, putting your toddler to bed too late can also cause issues. Overtired kids at any age can often be moody, restless and have a difficult time falling asleep as a result.
Preventing your toddler from climbing out of their crib is essential to ensure their safety and to avoid any potential injuries resulting from falls. Thankfully, there are many practical steps you can take to help.
Firstly, you need to consider if they are ready for a toddler bed, if they are under three years old it’s unlikely. If they do have a habit of climbing, try employing some of the tips listed above.
Do you have any experiences with a toddler that loves to climb out of their crib? Perhaps you have some tips to share? Either way, make sure to share this post with any parent currently facing such issues.