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Posted by Dr. Monica Wonnacott | July 23, 2016

Quick Tip: What To Do With The Child Who Climbs Out Of The Crib

Twice this week, I had parents tell me that their one year-olds were climbing out of the crib (even with the mattress at the lowest level). Both times the parents were resigned to feeling like they had to move the child to a toddler bed to prevent injury. I think a one year-old in a toddler bed is a terrible idea. Usually the child doesn’t have the age/maturity and verbal abilities to understand staying in the bed, and so, the child is up and out of the bed multiple times at night. You end up trading one problem for another.

My simple solution is to take the entire metal frame that holds the mattress out of the crib altogether. Put the mattress directly on the floor and keep the wood portion of the crib all around the mattress still up. The only caveat is that your crib has to be the style that has the wood frame come down below the mattress. There can’t be a gap between the mattress and the bottom of the wood on the crib (that would be an entrapment risk). When your child stands up on the mattress, the top railing is usually at or above the child’s head (simply making it harder to swing a leg up and over).

To increase the difficulty for the child to scale, you may want to make the child wear footed jammies to bed as well. Bare feet are a little sticky and make it easier for a kid to monkey style climb out of the crib.