Climbing out of the Crib
I recommend that parents wait as long as possible before moving their child to a bed. Two-and-a-half is the youngest I recommend for making this switch, but most children will do better when they are three. If your child is younger than than two-and-a-half and has been climbing out of the crib, then this article is for you! I recommend a few things to try and keep them in the crib before transitioning to a bed.
Change what they are wearing
Crib pants:You can make these by sewing a piece of fabric between the two legs (around the thigh of footie pajamas). This will prevent your child from being able to lift their leg up over the crib railing
Sleep sack: Sleep sacks enclose a child’s legs and feet, leaving enough room to move comfortably, but not enough for your child to actually hike a leg over the crib to climb out.
Change the crib placement
If the front of your crib is lower than the back, you can turn it around so the lower side is facing the wall. Try pushing the crib into a corner where there are walls on two sides of the crib as well.
Move furniture away from the crib
Bookshelves, dressers, chairs, toy chests, etc. can aid your child in climbing out of the crib. They also increase the risk of your child getting injured if they do climb/fall out.
Remove anything from inside the crib
If there are bumpers, toys, stuffed animals, pillows, blankets, etc. your child may be using them as a launching pad to climb out.
Lower the Mattress
If the crib mattress is not already on its lowest possible point, see if you can remove the base of the crib and drop the mattress all the way to the floor. This can work well as long as there isn’t a gap left between the bottom of the crib rails and top of the mattress. If there is a gap between the mattress and the crib railing, then you can use something as a platform to rest the mattress on.
If you have tried all of these things and your child is still able to get out of the crib:
You will need to move them to a bed for safety reasons. It can be any kind of bed, really — a regular-sized twin bed works (as long as you add the appropriate safety rails), and so does a toddler bed or even just a mattress on the floor. But keep in mind that younger two-year-olds and toddlers under two often have a very difficult time understanding about staying in the bed and most of the time really lack the impulse control to do that. Therefore, you will want to make sure the room is completely child-proof and many times the door will need to be gated so you don’t have a child roaming the house in the middle of the night.
If you need a plan to get your child sleeping through the night, whether in a crib or a bed, contact me here: http://tulsapediatricsleepconsulting.com/contact/