Keeping your toddler in a crib

Dec 12, 2017

So you know that your toddler is WAY too young (or even just a bit too young) to move to a big boy bed... but she's climbing or jumping out! Keeping her in bed is a nightmare, and you'd love to keep her in a crib for a bit longer, but how?

Sleep Sacks

The first thing to do is something looong before your baby becomes a toddler: sleep sacks.

Sleep sacks are wonderful for many reasons. I love that they're a safe, easy way to keep your baby warm by providing a "blanket" that can't fall off or be a SIDS hazard. And I also love the restriction they provide for the legs to ensure that your child will not be able to hoist a leg over the side of the crib to climb out.

I have met some toddlers who went into sleep sacks after they'd already jumped out once, but oftentimes, children will resist it if they're not used to it.

My favorite sleep sacks are Halo's - you can get in cotton and fleece, a variety of sizes, with swaddle flaps for your newborn or with feet openings for your walking toddler (though all my kids did just fine walking in the regular ones!).

But if your kid resists the sleep sack, what else can you do?


Make it Harder

Move your mattress support as low as you can (or, if you’re handy, drill some new holes!) so that the top of the crib rails will be higher and harder for your toddler to reach.

Some clients have tried building up the sides of the cribs with lattice.

If your crib has one side higher than the other, you can flip the crib around so that the higher side is facing out rather than the wall.


What if none of those work?

If none of the above will work, and your child will continue to jump out, then you may just have to move him to a big kid bed.

There are a couple things you can implement to make that transition as smooth as possible

  1. The OK to Wake clock - something like this or this. BUT the clock cannot do anything on its own. YOU need to be the one to enforce it
  2. Make sure your child knows what your expectations are. Toddlers are old enough to involve them so they can "own" it - have your child color in a page of what your expectations are so that he's super clear on it.
  3. Consequence when your child leaves bed.
  4. Give an immediate reward (something small) in the morning when your child has met your expectations (ex: stayed in bed the whole night).

Did you try any of these? How did they work?

Comment below with any questions!

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