- Jessica Berk
Help! He climbed out! 4 hacks to keep your toddler in the crib longer
Once your kid starts trying to climb out of the crib, it’s time to move them to a big kid bed, right?
Not so fast!
Thinking that moving your crib climber to a toddler bed will solve their sleep problems is like thinking that having a baby will save your marriage. It doesn’t work that way!
Kids who don’t sleep well in the crib, will sleep even worse in a bed.
The freedom of the open bed can just be too much for kids to handle. The longer you can wait, the more mature they will be.
And the more mature they are, the better they can understand rules, expectations and consequences. And this is what you need to have a great post-crib sleeper.
I have the strong opinion that kids should stay in the crib until they’re at least 3 years old… or ready for college!
So, if you can SAFELY keep your child in the crib, do it.
Use these 4 hacks to keep your toddler safely in the crib longer:
1. Put them in a sleep sack
Most kids need to swing their leg up to climb out. A well-fitting sleep sack prohibits a wide range of leg motion.
2. Put the sleep sack on backwards
If your kid loves zippers and can escape from the sleep sack, put it on backwards!
3. Turn the crib around
If your crib has a higher, decorative edge that goes against a wall, turn it around so the higher edge is in the front. This 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 climbing.
*NOTE: This is not necessarily in your crib owners manual, but it can work if you do it safely. Be sure there is no gap between the mattress and the crib frame so no arms or legs can get stuck. Put blankets underneath the mattress to lift it up an inch or so if you need to.
If you try these hacks and your little Simone Biles or Harry Houdini still gets out... unfortunately, it’s not safe to keep them in the crib any longer and you will need to make the switch to a toddler bed.
If you need help getting your post-crib sleeper comfortable sleeping alone in their new big kid bed, check out my Toddler Sleep Course to give you all the tools you need.