What To Do When Toddler Climbs Out Of Crib

What To Do When Toddler Climbs Out Of Crib

Entering the realm of toddlerhood is a thrilling yet challenging journey for both parents and caregivers. It’s a phase marked by boundless curiosity and exploration, where little ones are keen to discover every nook and cranny of their surroundings. However, amidst all the excitement, one common challenge parents face is when their toddler becomes an escape artist, defying the confines of their crib. Toddler sleep can be extremely difficult for parents as our little ones learn the art of boundary pushing. Your heart may quite literally drop when you see them climb right out of the crib and it’s happening in real time on your monitor either at bedtime or in the middle of the night.  If you’re currently navigating this phase, fret not, for we are here to offer practical tips on what to do when your toddler starts climbing out of their crib.

What To Do When Toddler Climbs Out Of Crib

The toddler stage is filled with endless energy and curiosity, which can sometimes lead to unexpected challenges, such as your toddler becoming a proficient crib climber. When faced with this situation, it’s essential to stay calm and approach the issue with patience and practicality. You don’t want to run into their room, stop your child over and over again, and feel powerless. Here are ten tips to help you address this common toddler dilemma:

1. Lower the Crib Mattress

Lowering the crib mattress to its lowest position can make it more challenging for your toddler to climb out. Most cribs come with adjustable mattress heights, allowing you to lower it as your child grows and becomes more mobile. Ensure that the mattress is securely in place to prevent any gaps that could pose a hazard to your toddler.

2. Use a Sleep Sack

Consider using a sleep sack instead of traditional blankets to keep your toddler cozy and contained in their crib. Sleep sacks limit your child’s mobility, making it more difficult for them to climb out. Opt for a lightweight, breathable sleep sack to ensure your toddler stays comfortable throughout the night. 

3. Establish a Consistent Bedtime Routine

A consistent bedtime routine can help signal to your toddler that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. Incorporate calming activities such as reading a book, taking a warm bath, or listening to soothing music. Avoid screen time and sugar before bed. It can really affect your toddlers ability to fall asleep. Consistency is key, so stick to the same routine every night to help your toddler associate these activities with bedtime. If you are struggling with a consistent bedtime routine, check out our blog: Healthy Bedtime Routine for Toddlers

4. Install a Baby Gate

Placing a baby gate at the door of your toddler’s room can prevent them from wandering around the house if they do manage to climb out of their crib. Ensure the gate is securely installed and childproof to keep your toddler safe within their designated sleep space.

What To Do When Toddler Climbs Out Of Crib

5. Turn the Crib Around

If your toddler is constantly climbing out of their crib from a specific side, try turning that side of the crib around so that the higher side is facing outwards. This can make it more difficult for your toddler to hoist themselves over the railing and escape.

6. Seek Advice From a Sleep Consultant

If your toddler’s crib climbing persists despite your efforts, consider seeking guidance from a sleep consultant, like us. We can offer personalized strategies to address your toddler’s sleep challenges and help establish healthy sleep habits, boundaries, and rules. We are here to help

7. Consider Potty Training

Sometimes, toddlers may attempt to climb out of their crib because they need to use the bathroom during the night. If your child is showing signs of readiness, consider introducing potty training to reduce the likelihood of nighttime awakenings due to bladder urges. Please consult with your pediatrician on what expectations around night time training should be. 

8. Reinforce Crib Safety

Ensure that your toddler’s crib meets safety standards and that there are no potential hazards such as loose crib railing or protruding screws. Regularly inspect the crib for any signs of wear and tear and promptly address any safety concerns. For more insights on crib safety and how to prevent hazards, check out our post on crib hazards.

9. Consider Transitioning to a Toddler Bed

If your toddler is consistently climbing out of their crib, shows signs of readiness, such as understanding bedtime routines and staying in bed during nap time, and is close to 3 years old, it may be time to transition to a toddler bed. Consider reading our blog, 9 Signs Your Toddler Is Not Ready for Bed, or, 6 Signs Your Child is Ready for a Toddler Bed, before making the move. Making the transition to a big kid bed can be exciting by involving your toddler in the process and choosing bedding featuring their favorite characters or colors.

10. Be Patient and Persistent

Above all, be patient and persistent in addressing your toddler’s crib climbing behavior. It may take time for them to adjust to new sleep routines or the transition to a toddler bed. Consistently reinforce boundaries and praise your child for staying in their crib or bed during the night.

Navigating the toddler stage can be both exhilarating and challenging, especially when faced with common hurdles such as crib climbing. Toddlers will push all the boundaries, and it can be a varying jarring experience but remaining consistent and vigilant in your response is the key to getting successful results. By implementing these practical tips and strategies, you can help create a safe and comfortable sleep environment to either keep your toddler in their crib or transition to a new routine, promoting healthy sleep habits and peaceful nights for the entire family.

Sleep Shore Sleep Consulting

Sleep Shore Sleep Consulting

Is your toddler climbing out of the crib and you don’t know what to do? If your child is unable to fall asleep, stay asleep, or wake up at a normal time, it may be time to consider sleep training. Sleep Shore offers personalized solutions for each unique sleeping situation to get your little one on track- whether they’re a newborn, infant, or toddler. Sleep training offers babies and children with the skills to fall asleep on their own so they can wake up feeling more well-rested- and in turn, you’ll feel more energized, too! See what this mama had to say about our sleep services below: 

“Our son Aiden (2 y/o) was struggling to self soothe and fall asleep on his own and was climbing out of his crib. We went to Molly and she immediately provided us with tons of information on how to help Aiden fall asleep by himself and transition him into a toddler bed. She was soooo supportive to me every night when I was worried/stressed about whatever was happening with Aiden – she was always available to me and provided us with advice and coaching my husband and I on what to do and what not to do. Thank you Molly for helping us get back on track!!!”


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