How to Keep a Toddler in Crib: 7 Effective Tips For Every Parent


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Your Quick Guide to Keeping Your Toddler in Crib

Are you frustrated with methods on how to keep a toddler in a crib? Do you have an active little one who likes to escape their bed? Containing them safely has plenty of benefits and limitations.

This way you don’t have to worry about them falling and injuring themselves. However, if they aren’t contained safely, they may get rebellious and wander somewhere else, start crying, or even hurt themselves.

So, what can you do to make them stay put and also get your beauty sleep? Well, read below for some tips and solutions.

Reasons Why Your Toddler Is Climbing Out of Crib 

Before we talk about a toddler climbs out of a crib solution, it is important to know the reasons why it is happening. 

You can only get to the solutions if you know the causes behind it. Again, there are many variables for this that we’re going to cover below! 

So, let’s start by finding out some of the popular reasons behind a baby climbing out of the crib. 

1. Discomfort 

One of the major reasons why kids do this is because they feel uncomfortable in there. 

You may already know that babies go through a lot of physical and developmental changes. They get bigger and may feel cramped up. Because of this, they may not be getting their perfect baby sleep. 

Try to observe them for any signs of discomfort. 

2. Becoming Independent

Here’s a fun fact for you: Toddlers have an independent streak

This means they are learning to do everything on their own and are determined to do so. 

Now, it may seem like a flattering thing when they start getting independent. However, it can be a huge hassle for parents, especially when they want to climb out all the time. 

If you have an 18 month old climbing out of a crib, they could be exercising their boundaries. 

In this case, you need to find a proper solution that we will help you with!

3. It’s Time to Transition to the Bed 

When your little one transitions as they grow, there are plenty of changes. 

For example, their diet and sleep habits change, they become more observant and are exploring their world around them. You will need to be diligent to prevent any injuries, make changes in their daily routine, as well as many more adjustments.

Similarly, when your baby grows up, you need to get them sleeping in a bigger bed. We shall discuss that in this article too, so keep reading!

7 Easy Solutions for Toddler Climbs Out of Crib

Now that you’re aware of some of the reasons, here is your toddler climbs out of crib solution to prevent them from doing it again. 

1. Make Enough Space For Them

As mentioned earlier, they are now bigger than they were as a baby. They require more space to sleep peacefully and comfortably. 

Here’s how to prevent a toddler from climbing out of a crib:

Lower the Mattress

The first step is to lower the mattress. When your little one was a baby, you may have kept the mattress at the highest position for ease in picking them up and putting them to sleep. 

However, they may be 15 months old climbing out of the crib now. To prevent a baby from climbing out of a crib, you need to lower the mattress as much as you can. 

Due to the height, their leg may not reach the railing now and not be able to crawl out of it as easily as before. This mattress depth will help deter your child from escaping from their bed and possibly injuring themselves. 

Remove the Extra Toys and Blankets 

Another way of making more space is to remove the soft toys and other things such as blankets, that they don’t need. You can keep their favorite things inside and remove the excess. 

Change the Position 

Lastly, if your baby’s bed has a shorter railing on the side from where they crawl out, you can push that side against the wall. This helps in preventing an easy way for the baby to get out of a crib. 

2. Try Getting a Bigger Sleep Sack 

You may have used a sleep sack for your little one but some things remain constant. 

In the past, a sleep sack may have helped them to sleep peacefully without waking up. Now, if you get the biggest size of the sleep sack, you can zip them up and prevent their great escape by containing their legs.

If your baby is a pro at unzipping, you can get a sleep sack with hidden zips. 

A sleep sack is the best idea especially if your child is in their ‘independent streak’ as discussed earlier. This way they won’t be able to escape even if they try to. 

The best part is that sleep sacks are quite comfortable when you find the right size for your baby’s height and weight, helping them get a good night’s sleep. 

Keep in mind that improper sizing may irritate your little one and could start crying or feeling uncomfortable again. 

3. Have a Reasonable Bedtime 

Unlike babies who sleep often, older children are the complete opposite. They’re always restless, quite curious, and tricksters when it comes to sleep! 

So, if you have one who keeps climbing out of a crib, it is time to set a reasonable bedtime. 

There are two possible reasons why they are acting out:

Too Early Bedtime 

If you put them to sleep too early, they’ll try to escape by crawling out of the crib. 

Too Late Bedtime 

If you delay bedtime, they may get very cranky. This can cause them to try something impulsive such as climbing out of the crib.

So, what’s the solution? 

The solution is to fix a proper bedtime. Try regulating what time they fall asleep every day. Set the bedtime accordingly and your child will begin to sleep peacefully on schedule. 

4. Catch Them Whenever You Can

Catching them when they’re climbing out of the crib works great for disciplined and quiet babies. 

Whenever you put them to sleep, make sure you stay awake for some time and try to catch them right when they’re climbing out. After this, you can give them a firm ‘no’ and keep them inside again. 

Keep in mind that this method won’t work the first time. You will need to do it repeatedly until you know for sure that they won’t get into the habit of doing it again. 

5. Don’t Use It For Play or Punishment 

One common mistake that parents do is using their bed as a means of play or punishment. Make sure to avoid this practice. 

When you use their sleeping place for playing or even giving a time-out, they’ll take it in the wrong way. 

So, whenever you put them to sleep in the same place, they’d either start playing or try to escape. To avoid this behavior, try to only use it as a sleeping area for them and nothing more.

By doing this, it automatically establishes in your baby’s mind that it is the sleeping time. 

6. Keep Them Away From Their Siblings 

If you have another child in your house, make sure they are away from each other at night. 

They can become partners and team up to create havoc even during bedtime. 

7. Don’t Overreact and Stay Patient

As a parent, you should always try to stay calm and patient. We understand it can be hard, but patience is always the key to success. 

Whenever you see your little one climbing out, don’t overreact. Try not to shout at them or get angry. 

Toddlers don’t like being told what to do, especially if they’re scolded. They’ll keep climbing out just to prove their independence. 

Avoid punishment and instead, saying a firm ‘no’ when necessary and they will learn to stop. 

Safety Measures to Take if Your Toddler Keeps Crawling Out of the Crib

For kids climbing out of cribs, you may want to follow a few safety measures to ensure your little one’s safety. 

Clean the Clutter 

If the baby room has a lot of clutter, such as toys or books, make sure you clean up before you put them to sleep. 

Not only will your baby hurt themselves if they land on a toy or book, but if these attention-grabbing items are still available, they will want to start playing instead of sleeping. 

Try Baby-Proofing Your House 

If you have a mischievous child that loves to roam about the house or even go out, it is necessary that you baby-proof the house. 

Try to baby-proof areas such as:

  • Kitchen 
  • Doors 
  • Windows
  • Electric outlets and sockets
  • Wardrobes 
  • Sharp edges of tables
  • Other rooms with important items

You can check out a babyproofing video here!

Make Use of Knob Guards 

We certainly don’t want other parts of ‘Baby’s day out’, right? 

For this, you need to make use of doorknob guards that will prevent them from wandering outside during the night. 

You can also use knob guards in rooms where you have sharp objects like your kitchen! 

They also help to keep them out of the bathroom that can contain chemicals, soaps, and shampoos. 

When to Keep Your Child in a Toddler Bed? 

If you’re unsure about keeping a toddler in the crib after they start crawling out, we’ve got your back.

Now, if you’re thinking of shifting them to bed because your baby crawled out just once, hold up! You’re not on the right track. 

You may feel like getting a bed can help in this situation. Well, the truth is that it may or may not help. 

Let’s understand the first case. 

When you rush them into making them sleep on the bed, you can open up a pandora’s box of problems. Sometimes when a toddler climbs out of a crib, they are not ready for a bed.  

Imagine, it’s bedtime and you’ve put them down for the night. You’re about to leave, but your little one is staring and smiling at you instead of sleeping. You may have to shift back again to make them sleep. 

Keep in mind that it isn’t an easy process, especially if your baby is just a year old or so. They should be around 2.5-3 years old when they can sleep in the bed peacefully. 

Don’t rush into it since each child is different. 

Now, let’s move on to the second case. 

If they are a 2 year old or closer to 3 years climbing out of a crib, you can think about moving them to bed. 

However, before you do, check the signs below to know if you should try the switch:

  • They continue climbing out effortlessly, despite you trying everything
  • Even with the largest sleep sack, they are not comfortable or cannot fit properly
  • They are no longer extremely impulsive when it comes to decisions like getting out of the main door
  • When they directly ask for a new bed
  • They don’t want to get inside anymore at bedtime

If you notice one or more of these, it could be an indication that you can shift them to a bed. 

Final Thoughts

Keep in mind that you know your little one better than anyone else. By changing strategies, there can be great ways on how to keep a toddler in a crib. The time will come when they need to transition to a bed.  

With a different approach, you and your little one will get the sleep you need, and they will remain safe and secure.

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