How many of you are like me and have a child who has learned the fine art of climbing out of their crib? My daughter is 15 months old and did this for the first time last week.
At first I thought it was a fluke and that there was no way she had actually figured out how to climb out. After all, she is 15 months old! But then she did it again at nap time, and again at bed time, and I started to panic because I knew this wasn't a fluke but that she was also not ready for a toddler bed. Afraid she was going to get hurt, I hit the internet looking for solutions to keep her in a safe sleeping environment a little bit longer. The answers ranged from helpful to ridiculous and while I got a good laugh at some I also found a lot of other mamas in the same boat.
First and foremost make sure the crib is lowered all the way down and that they aren't using a bumper, blanket, toy, pillow, etc to help boost them over the top. In my case the crib was all the way down and I watched through the door to make sure she wan't making her own stepping stool. She's tall for her age and was in fact lifting her leg up, doing a little shimmy, and flopping over the other side. Here's a few things I found to combat her new trick:
1) Sleep Sacks
This is what I ended up settling on for right now because it was a quickly implemented solution (we already had one) and a relatively inexpensive fix. For under $30 you can keep your little climber from being able to hike their legs up and get over the top rail. The Halo brand sleep sacks sizes range from newborn all the way through extra large which is approximately an 18-24 month fit. Not only do they prevent them from being able to climb but they're safer than loose blankets in a crib. A win win.
2) Remove the metal crib part from the crib frame and put the crib mattress completely on the floor.
This may be our next step. We have a convertible crib that is extremely sturdy. By placing the mattress on the floor you are lowering it even farther and therefore making it hard for your toddler to pull up and climb over. The crib still surrounds the child which keeps them in a safe, protected environment but they can no longer reach the top to climb out.
3) Be brave and go for the toddler bed
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I know my daughter and while she is an amazing sleeper, if she was given an all access pass to roam the house all night she would most certainly take advantage of it. I envisioned hearing pots and pans used as cymbals at 2 am, the toilet as a water table at 4 am, and a lot of grumpy people at 6 am. I give parents who go this route a lot of credit but to be honest I just wasn't ready.
4) A Montessori room
Similar in concept to moving to the toddler bed the montessori room has the crib mattress placed on the floor of a completely baby proofed room with a gate usually placed at the door. Children in these rooms are offered the freedom to explore and have a safe place to sleep. I'm honestly intrigued by the concept and think it's worth investigating but as stated above I'm not ready to give her the freedom it offers.
5) Homemade fixes
Pull out your sewing machine and sew a small strip of material between the legs of a sleeper to keep them from being able to get up and over the crib. Can't sew? You can find these exact pajamas and many more on Etsy at Charley Cake.
Have you had an escape artist at your house? We'd love to hear how you dealt with this and any tips you might be able to pass along.