Many parents are quick to transition their toddlers from crib to bed the minute their little one either attempts to or succeeds in climbing out of the crib.  But be warned that once your toddler is in a bed, there could be many more challenges.  Not only does a toddler bed mean more freedom but it also could mean many more bedtime battles.   If you don’t think either you or your toddler is completely ready for a bed, try these simple tricks below to keep them from climbing out of the crib.

A Note on Safety

Climbing out of the crib can be very dangerous so it’s important not to ignore the situation and hope that your toddler stops doing it on his own.  They could injure themselves on the way down, especially if their room isn’t carpeted.  It’s also important to make sure their room is baby-proofed in the event that they do escape their crib and are on the loose.  If your child has mastered opening doors, you then have a bunch of other safety issues including stairs and access to the rest of the house.   If your toddler is climbing out of the crib, you need to take action right away.

Introduce a sleep sack

A sleep sack works great to keep little ones from attempting to climb out of the crib.  It’s very difficult to lift one leg over the side of the crib with both legs securely zipped inside the sack.  If your toddler is able to take off the sleep sack, put it on backwards.  With the zipper at the back, it will be almost impossible for them to wiggle out of the sleep sack.

Rotate the crib

Some cribs have a solid side, and other cribs have a side that is higher than the other sides.  If your toddler is climbing out of the crib by using the bars, rotate the crib so that the higher side or the solid side is facing out.  It will become much more difficult to climb.

Lower the mattress

It may seem obvious, but make sure that the mattress is on the lowest possible level.  Your toddler will use every extra inch you give them, so make sure you aren’t giving them a ‘leg up!’

Use a video monitor

Try catching them in the act of climbing out of the crib by setting up a video monitor and watching just outside their door.  As soon as you see them lift a foot, promptly go into the room and say “NO!”  Your loud reaction will startle them, but it will also deter them from continuing to do it.  You may have to do this multiple times, but if you are consistent with your response they will soon stop trying.

Remove any toys or bumper pads

If there are any toys or stuffed animals in the crib that your toddler can use as a launching pad, take them out.  If you are using bumper pads, remove those as well.  Your toddler can step on these things giving them that extra few inches to lift their leg over the rail and climb out of the crib.

If you need help keeping your toddler in their crib, or need help transitioning your toddler from their crib to a bed, visit for a list of our services.