4 Effective ways to stop your toddler climbing out of the crib
By: Jenn Kelner
Do you have a toddler that has been climbing out of the crib or is about to climb out of the crib? Do you think you might have to transition your toddler to a bed because of it? Safety is our number one priority, but you want to avoid moving your toddler to a bed before they are ready. With a toddler bed comes much more freedom which comes with many more bedtime headaches. Before you jump into transitioning your toddler from their crib to a bed, try these 4 effective tips to keep your toddler from climbing out of their crib.
1. Rotate the crib
Some cribs have a side that is higher than the other sides. Other cribs may have a side that is solid instead of with bars. If your toddler is climbing out of the crib using the bars, rotate the crib so that the higher side or the solid side is facing out. It will become much more difficult to climb.
2. Use a sleep sack
If your toddler isn’t using a sleep sack, consider introducing one. With both legs securely zipped into the sleep sack it is very difficult for children to lift one leg over the side of the crib. If your toddler is able to take off the sleep sack, put it on backwards. With the zipper at the back, it will be almost impossible for them to unzip!
3. Catch them in the act
Try catching them in the act of climbing out of the crib by setting up a video monitor and watching just outside their door. As soon as you see them lift a foot, promptly go into the room and say “NO!” This will startle them, which will deter them from continuing to do it. You may have to do this multiple times, but if you are consistent with your response they will soon stop trying.
4. Remove any launch pads
If there are any toys or stuffed animals in the crib that your toddler can use as a launching pad, take them out. If you are using bumper pads, remove those as well. Your toddler can step on these things giving them that extra few inches to lift their leg over the rail and climb out of the crib.
When is a good time to transition your toddler from their crib to a bed? I recommend parents wait as long as possible, but the closer the child is to their 3rd birthday, the better. By age 3 your toddler will be able to follow directions and understand what the bedtime boundaries are. They will be better able to follow their new toddler bed rules, which will help prevent many of the bedtime battles parents have to deal with.
Jenn Kelner is a mother of 3 children (including twins!) and a Certified Child Sleep Consultant at BabyZzz. She helps tired families with infants, babies and toddlers become well rested families through customized sleep solutions and support. She offers various services including home, phone/Skype and email consultations. For more information visit www.babyzzz.ca