Three separate parents in clinic yesterday brought up the problems of their young child crawling out of the crib. In all of the cases, the parents ended up moving the child to a toddler bed before the child was developmentally ready because they were appropriately worried the child would get hurt. Crawling out of the crib creates a two-fold problem. First, the child can fall and get hurt. Second, the child is up and out of the crib at all hours of the night.
As many of you know, I have a nearly 2 year old. She’s cute, but a complete monkey. The first time she climbed out of the crib, I came up with this solution. This is a picture of her crib. All I did was take the metal frame out of the crib and put the mattress directly on the floor. I left the wood frame completely assembled. As you can see, it works because the wood side slats come down farther than the top of the mattress (there is no gap where she could crawl out). It’s a simple solution to the scaling toddler.
Most kids need to stay in a crib until they are potty training age (generally 2-3 years old). And some kids do better in the crib until they are over 3 years old; it depends a bit on the child. Most young children roll around when they sleep. If they are contained to a crib, most will wake briefly and go back to sleep. If they are in a toddler bed, many will get out of the bed (seeking mom and/or dad) and be up at night. And let’s be honest, all parents could use more uninterrupted sleep. May you have more restful nights. Feel free to share the tip!