How to Stop Your Toddler from Climbing Out of the Crib

4-16 months

Mar 16, 2021

Did your toddler try to escape bed last night by climbing out of their crib? If you’re thinking it’s WAY too soon to get them into an open toddler bed, you’re right. It’s way too early. In this blog & video, I’m going to give you a few solutions to keep your toddler from climbing out of their crib and get well-rested sleep!

How to help your toddler stay in their crib

One complaint I hear from parents all the time is their toddler is climbing out of the crib because it’s fun and a new skill, but it is so frustrating and disrupts sleep. Now the answer is not to get them into an open bed because that will solve nothing. There are so many ways we can teach your toddler that the crib is good and help them stay in their crib for naps and nighttime sleep.

Okay, so your child is climbing out of the crib. You may think it’s time to go to an open bed. That’s the perfect solution because they’re getting out, right? So it’s time to go ahead and move them. Not if they’re under three years old. 

What steps should you take to keep your toddler in their crib?

If you have a crib with a traditional style that has a tall back and a low front, just turn it around so that the tall backside is in the front. If you can wedge them into a corner, even better!  Ideally, they would be surrounded by mostly tall solid sides.  Some toddlers see the tall walls and the new crib arrangement and assume they can’t get out anymore (and therefore, give up!).

The next thing I want you to do (especially if your crib is the same height on all sides) is to use these pajamas called Little Grounders. Little Grounders have a webbing that connects the two legs of the pajamas so that your child can’t climb out. I used to recommend sleep sacks, but some agile toddlers have still figured out how to climb with a sleep sack on. You could try one first if you have some.

Another solution to keep your child from climbing out of their crib is to lower the mattress all the way to the floor. Please, if you consider this option, do some safety checks and make sure that there is no gap between the bottom rail and the mattress. If so, you might need to build a platform to rest the mattress on. I’ve had a few families build a platform and bolt it to the crib.

Make your child’s room boring

I need you to make your child’s room like a giant crib. What do I mean by that? Take everything out except for their crib—even if they’re not even playing with anything and going straight to the door and calling out to you.

I don’t care. Take everything out of their room—toys, books, and bookshelves. With the exception of a monitor, white noise machine, and toddler clock, the room should be empty!

Oftentimes, these little ones are climbing out because there are so many distractions in their room. They may not even know WHY they are climbing out. I also recommend setting up your monitor so you can see if your child is trying to climb out of their crib. With a 2-way feature, you can pop on the monitor and coach your child to go lie back down in their crib.

While crib climbing is absolutely so frustrating, the answer is not to move them to an open bed like a toddler bed. In fact, you will have more nighttime troubles, I guarantee it.

And once you transition to a bed, I can’t guarantee that your kid will sleep through the night if you make that move too soon.

Sweet dreams. See you next time.




How to keep your toddler from climbing out of their crib | Little Z Sleep

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