- Jessica Berk
4 Hacks to Prevent Crib Climbing
YIKES! Your 2-year-old climbed out of the crib last night. You’ve been dreading this day for a loooooong time.
You think “Okay, it must be time to move him to a toddler bed.”
Not so fast!
If you can keep your adventurous toddler safely in the crib a little longer, you should do it. But you have to make sure they can’t climb out. Fortunately, there are simple strategies to prevent crib climbing.
Today I’m sharing 4 easy hacks to keep your toddler in the crib, so read on to get all the goods.
>>Watch this blog on my Awesome Little Sleepers YouTube channel! 👇
Toddler Crib Safety Tips
If possible, I recommend keeping your child in the crib until they’re at least 3 years old - but only if you can do it safely without them climbing out.
The freedom of the open toddler bed can be too much for young kids to handle. Even just taking down the front rail of the crib can feel too open for kids, like it’s an invitation to get up and run around.
Switching kids out of the crib too early can cause several sleep issues – like refusing to stay put at bedtime, suddenly needing you to stay in the room with them, or waking up overnight.
🔥And hot tip: if you’re already having sleep issues with your crib-sleeper, the switch to the toddler bed will just intensify those issues. Kids who don’t sleep well in the crib will sleep even worse in a bed.
So, if you can safely keep your child in the crib without climbing out, do it.
4 hacks to keep your toddler safely in the crib longer
1. Put them in a sleep sack Yes, the same sleep sack that you probably used when your child was a baby. They sell sleep sacks up to 2T, 3T and even 4T sizes.
Most kids need to swing their leg up to the top of the crib legs in order to climb out. If you put your child in a well-fitting sleep sack, it prevents their legs from being able to spread wide enough to get to the top, so they physically can’t climb out.
⬇️ Check out my sleep sack recommendations ⬇️ https://www.amazon.com/shop/awesomelittlesleepers/list/WTR2ES7GB8GY
2. Put the sleep sack on backwards If your kid loves zippers and can escape from the sleep sack, put it on backwards so it zips up the back! Then your little Houdini can’t escape.
3. Turn the crib around If your crib has a higher, decorative edge that normally goes against the wall, turn it around so the higher edge is in the front. Even if the sides remain lower, having the higher edge in the front is a great deterrent to climbing.
4. Move the crib mattress to the floor Take out the bottom crib slats and put the mattress on the ground. This usually gives you an extra couple inches, which is enough to prevent kids from being able to scale the sides.
Note: This is NOT necessarily in your crib owner’s manual, but it can work if you do it safely. The main thing is to make sure there’s no gap between the mattress on the ground and the bottom of the crib frame so no arms or legs can get stuck. If there’s a small gap, try putting blankets or yoga mats underneath the mattress to lift it up an extra inch higher than the crib frame. Please do not try this strategy if there is any gap there.
Next steps for toddler sleep safety
If you try all four of these hacks and your little one still gets out... unfortunately, it’s not safe to keep them in the crib any longer and you’ll need to make the switch to a toddler bed.
If you need help getting your child comfortable sleeping alone in their new big kid bed, check out my free Toddler Sleep Masterclass. You’ll learn all about my REST Method to get your child happily to bed before 8 p.m. and sleeping 10-12 hours straight through the night with no wake ups.