Chances are you've reached this blog because you've Googled "Toddler is climbing out of the crib". If your little one has entered the toddler climbing stage, but is not yet ready for a toddler bed, here are a few of my top tips that will hopefully keep your toddler sleeping safely in their own crib, without the climbing!
The climbing stage for many little ones begins as soon as they can pull to stand; however, most toddlers don't get into the full swing of climbing until 18-24 months. Climbing is an important stage in the development of gross motor skills, but it can be hard behavior for parents to manage, especially when it comes to concerns of safety. One area to pay particular attention to is crib safety. A toddler climbing out of their crib can result in obvious injuries from falling from the full height of their crib, but there are also concerns of what a toddler can get into when they are wondering their room, or even the house, during the middle of the night.
(I also frequently recommend the use of a Door Monkey. The Door Monkey's unique design automatically locks interior doors in a slightly cracked position, helping protect little fingers from painful door pinch injuries and securing the room for safety.)
If your little one has entered the toddler climbing stage, but is not yet ready for a toddler bed, here are a few of my top 5 tips that will hopefully keep your toddler sleeping safely in their own crib, without the climbing!
𝟭. 𝗟𝗼𝘄𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗿𝗶𝗯 𝗺𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀: I know this probably seems like a no brainer but many parents often do not know to lower the crib mattress when their little one learns to sit.
𝟮. 𝗞𝗲𝗲𝗽 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘀𝗹𝗲𝗲𝗽 𝘀𝗮𝗰𝗸: Yes, that sleep sack does not expire at 1 years old. Sleep sacks not only are a positive sleep cue but they also keep your little one safe. Sleep sacks help prevent little limbs from getting in between the slats on the crib. It also makes it difficult for your little to climb out of the crib because it's tough to swing their leg over in a sack. Oh, and another benefit is it keeps them out of their diaper, which can become a real problem for some parents.
𝟯. 𝗧𝘂𝗿𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗿𝗶𝗯 𝗮𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱: Most little ones climb over the front of the crib so if your crib has a higher back, simply turn it around to help prevent this from occurring.
𝟰. 𝗨𝘀𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗿𝗶𝗯 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘀𝗹𝗲𝗲𝗽 𝗼𝗻𝗹𝘆: We want our little ones to associate their crib with sleeping, not playing so try to keep times in the crib to only sleep. Some parents will use a crib as a playpen or "time out" zone, but this can be confusing for a little one, which often results in your little one looking for a way out, aka climbing.
5. 𝗧𝗿𝘆 𝗮 𝗽𝗮𝗰𝗸 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝘆 𝐟𝐢𝐫𝐬𝐭! Transitioning to a pack n' play from a crib will feel like big move for your toddler while keeping them safe without the big fall if they continue to climb. The pack n' play is also a great transition prior to moving to all the freedom of a toddler bed.
𝗧𝗿𝗮𝗻𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘁𝗼𝗱𝗱𝗹𝗲𝗿 𝗯𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼𝗼 𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗹𝘆 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗰𝗮𝘂𝘀𝗲 𝗺𝗮𝗷𝗼𝗿 𝘀𝗹𝗲𝗲𝗽 𝗱𝗶𝘀𝗿𝘂𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀.
Before the age of 𝟑 𝐲𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐬 𝐨𝐥𝐝 most little ones do not have the developmental capacity and language skills to understand "stay in your bed". A toddler bed is a newfound freedom and if the switch is made too early, it can result in many unwanted trips out of bed in the middle of the night, which leads to an overtired toddlers and we all know how that turns out 😩
It is possible to set healthy sleep foundations and education at any age.