My Toddler Climbed Out of His Crib. Now What?
When my youngest son was 20 months old he was a little climber. I couldn't take my eyes off him for a minute without finding him on top of some surface. One day, I found him trying to climb up onto our kitchen counter with the assistance of a chair and a stack of books. My other two boys didn't go through the climbing stage, so this was all new territory for us. I was not going to be surprised if he was the first of our kids to climb out of his crib.
My husband and I transitioned our two older boys to twin beds right after their second birthday. Both of them eventually started sleeping through the night consistently with the transition. With Ryker being our third baby, I was in no rush to transition him out of the crib. So to prepare myself for what seemed like the inevitable great escape plan, I asked friends what they did when their baby climbed out of their crib. The range of answers was quite interesting.
“I switched my child to a toddler bed after he climbed out of his crib a second time. I did not want something to happen in the dark, like him not making it over or getting his clothes caught on something.” — Laquitta Jones Washington
“That was our signal to move our oldest to a toddler bed. We thought it was a fluke the first time it happened but quickly realized he not only was able to get himself out, but back in, which he would do if he heard us coming. I didn't want him hurting himself.” — Shell Roush, Things I Can't Say
“With our first, she never climbed out. She also slept through the night at an early age and gave us the impression that we were amazing parents.
“We changed her over as a treat when we had our second (she was 22 months at the time). For our second (29 months now), he's still in a crib. He climbed out once a few months back, and it terrified him, and he hasn't even tried it again. We're trying to wait as long as we can! Big-boy beds are pricey!” — Kristin Kudarauskas
“My oldest never climbed out of her crib or playpen. My son, on the other hand, was way too quick to learn to escape. He would hold on to the top rail and flip himself out. When I put the crib against the wall, he started climbing the side and down the dresser drawers. I gave in and put him in a toddler bed with a baby gate in the doorway.” — Amanda Santamore
“I really don't understand the whole ‘kid is climbing out of crib, so move to bed ASAP' thing. Ben's the worst sleeper ever, and the crib at least slowed him down. He's been climbing out since 20 months, and we JUST put him in a bed three days ago.
“I knew that if we put him in a bed at 20 months, he'd never sleep. We'd be fighting him for hours, with him getting out of the bed repeatedly, since climbing out of a bed is considerably easier than a crib. The kid is like a darn ninja! I never worried about him getting hurt — like a cat, lands on his feet every time.” — Heather Scott Anti, Cookies for Breakfast
“After our daughter climbed out of her crib the first time, we purchased a video monitor and watched her like a hawk. Every time she started to climb, we talked over the monitor to get her down. This took about a week, but she got over it.” — Krystyn Alter Hall
“Arden never climbed out. I have a feeling it will be different with Blaine! I have heard of using sleep sacks so they can't get their footing well, taking the springs out and putting the mattress all the way on the floor, and/or turning the crib, wall side facing out (if it is one of the convertible cribs where the wall side is taller than the front). We only moved Arden to a big bed because we needed the crib for Blaine.” – Rachel Griffith
“Switched immediately. I found him at 18 months old on top of the bunk bed in his brother's room, trying to touch the ceiling fan. I figured the crib wasn't doing its job anyway, and I put a gate in front of his door so he couldn't leave the room and practice his hijinks all over the house. And I ordered a new monitor that day, too!” — Amanda Rodgriguez, Dude Mom
Did your toddler make a great escape from their crib? What did you do about it?