Toddler Climbing Out of Crib: Solutions and Hacks!

Prevent your toddler from climbing out of the crib with these easy solutions and hacks!

You may have heard about it from other mommy friends or have experienced it once or twice yourself; you’re peacefully sleeping at night until a loud sound woke you up from your deep slumber, then the screaming comes next, and you just know it, your toddler climbed out of his crib and fell onto the floor. Oh, my heart!

Once your kid realizes he has climbing abilities, he will try to test the limits and may practice by getting out of the crib once in a while.

Unfortunately for us moms, this can be a source of fear and nervousness.

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I have experienced this a few times with my son when he was still a toddler and I felt terrible each time knowing that my son got hurt!

Then I learned a few solutions and hacks that prevented him from climbing out of his crib and I welcomed uninterrupted sleep into my arms again.

You get better sleep when you know that your child is safe, you know!

Who knew that on top of all the things that we have to do for our kids, we still need to think about how to keep a child in bed!

Fortunately, this is something that can be corrected with a few changes and a lot of patience!

Before anything else though, you have to find out why your toddler keeps climbing out of the bed.

Hungry – Do they sometimes fall sleep without eating dinner?

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This happened to my son a few times, tired and exhausted from play and fell asleep before dinner was ready.

Unfortunately, this can mean that they might wake up hungry in the middle of the night.

Instead of calling for you, they try to commit crib jailbreak! Maybe you can prepare your child’s food in advance to ensure that he or she is fed on time.

Scared – Are they afraid of the dark that they want to run to your room for comfort? Maybe a little night lamp will do the trick!

Thirsty – Perhaps you’re potty training and in the hopes of avoiding bed wetting, you are tapering liquids after dinner.

This helps avoid nighttime accidents but if you go a bit overboard, it may cause your child to wake up at night thirsty and may attempt to get out of the crib.

If you think you’ve done all you could to ensure that your kid gets a good night sleep and yet he turns into a toddler ninja in the middle of the night and tries to jump off the crib, no need to despair, below is a list of solutions and hacks to stop your kiddo from climbing out of the crib.

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10 Hacks to Stop Your Toddler from Climbing Out of the Crib

Create a Calming Bedtime Routine

• It is suggested that 7:30pm – 8:00pm is the best time to put your toddler to bed so avoid any rigorous activities 2-3 hours before bedtime.

Putting a tired and cranky toddler to bed is inviting rough nights. 

• Avoid desserts and sweets 2-3 hours before bedtime because the last thing you want is for them to have an energy boost when you want them to go to sleep.

• Routine, routine, routine – To establish a good behavior, routine must be followed regularly.

Maybe you can start with a warm bath an hour before bedtime, use calming lotions for a quick massage, a story or two, then a kiss goodnight.

Routine helps toddlers emotionally and mentally prepare themselves to go to sleep. You can’t expect a child who is engrossed in a play to automatically switch to sleep mode just because you said so.

Personally? This is my favorite solution to toddler climbing out of crib problems. I find this routine calming and actually gives me a good night’s sleep too knowing I had a quality bonding moment with my child.

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Setting proper expectations

A basic toddler climbing out of crib solution is making it clear to your kid that climbing out of the crib is a no-no.

If you catch your kiddo in the act, stop them in their track with a firm and modulated NO then explain why.

A one year old usually understands the word no already, so make sure to use it when he or she is unsafe to help them make the connection between a firm no and danger.

Keep the Crib Bare and Free from Unnecessary Things

Another toddler climbing out of crib solution or hack is to keep the crib as basic and free from clutter as possible.

This serves as a safety control so there is nothing that your baby can use to step on during the escape attempt.

Keep stuffed toys and pillows away and out of reach. You’ll be surprised at how imaginative and resourceful toddlers can be!

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Use a Toddler Sleep Sack

Using a toddler sleep sack can be heaven for moms of serial climber kids.

This is also safer to use compared to blankets. It keeps them warm at night and more importantly, safer because a sleep sack limits your child’s ability to put his or her leg over the crib.

This means you’re hitting two birds with one stone!

A tip – make them wear it backwards so they can’t unzip it! Or better yet, find one with the zipper on the back!

Babies are smart you know; you don’t want a naked toddler jumping out of the crib and running around the house!

Adjust the Crib

Most cribs these days are adjustable and allows you to lower the mattress.

Check the crib’s manual for proper installation/adjustments instructions and adjust the mattress support frame to the lowest notch possible.

Some crib designs even allow you to bring the mattress down to the floor. If your crib has this feature, then that is your best option.

Related: Best Toddler Booster Seat for Eating

Move the Crib

If your baby’s crib is right next to furniture that he or she can use to hold on to during the escape, it would be a good idea to move it away.

If you can tuck the crib against the wall, that would be great too. Some cribs have a side with a lower railing.

Make that side face the wall to make your child’s crib a safe sleeping space instead of a jungle gym as what your kid may sometimes think it is.

Also, keep the crib away from dangling cords and windows.

Let the Crib Go

We also need to realize that at some point, we may need to transition our kid from sleeping in a crib to a toddler bed.

Below are some signs that the crib-to-bed transition is in the very near future:

• You child is nearing 35 inches in height or almost 3 years old (note that some babies are born with the agility of a monkey and may have no problem climbing out of the crib sooner!). At this age and height, your baby is too tall and too smart to be made to stay in the crib.

• Your toddler keeps asking to be allowed to sleep on a bed can be a sign that he or she is ready for the move. Who knows, they will be too excited to be finally sleeping on a “big kid bed” that they will stay put all throughout the night!

• If you are nighttime potty training and your kid needs access to the potty at night then of course, it is time. Naturally, you need to transition at this time already, otherwise your kid will do anything necessary to get out of bed to pee or they have bed wetting accidents. This set-up can also cause confusion- “I’m not supposed to pee in bed, but I can’t get out of it!” and this will make potty training harder.

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• Your toddler starts showing crib aversion. Maybe he or she sees other siblings sleeping on a bed and may be wondering why he/she isn’t allowed to do the same.

• Your kid is toilet trained. If you have a toilet trained kid, then it is safe to assume that your kid is mature enough to sleep in a toddler bed on their own

• Your kid shows good judgement when left on his own. Imagine your kid being free reined in his bedroom the entire night, would you be comfortable knowing that should your child wakes up in the middle of the night, he will be in charge of what to do and what not to do? You know your kid best and if you feel your child is ready, then it is time.

Keeping your child safe in his or her own bedroom should be a top priority in any household.

Toddler climbing out of bed is just one of the many things that we should be concerned about.

You also need to make sure that baby-proofing is done and that you have a baby monitor or camera in the bedroom that allows you to see and make sure your baby is sleeping when he is supposed to be sleeping.

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