Is Your Toddler Climbing Out of Their Crib?

If your toddler is escaping from the crib, does it mean that they’re ready to move to a toddler or big-kid bed? Not necessarily.  Of course safely is our number one priority, but a close second is ensuring that you and your child get the sleep you need.

Before jumping right into this transition, you’ll first want to make sure your child is 100% ready for a toddler or big-kid bed. This transition is a big one! It affects your child emotionally, physically, and mentally.

How do you know if your child is ready? If your child:

  • Consistently climbs out of their crib (and the changes suggested below did not dissuade your crib-climbing toddler)

  •  Understands boundaries and can follow directions

  •  Is 3 years old

  • Asks for a big-kid bed

…then they are ready to transition out of the crib.

If your little one isn’t quite ready to transition out of their crib, that’s ok!  You may still be able to delay the move using the tactics below.

Remove the Bumper

If your little climber is escaping the crib by hoisting himself up with the help of their bumper, simply removing the bumper may be the only remedy you need to stop your child from climbing out of their crib. Without the few inches of height the bumper provides, it will be harder to climb out of the crib!


Use a Sleep Sack

Putting a sleep sack over your toddler’s pjs is an easy modification, but very effective strategy in preventing crib climbing, by reducing leg movement. Take your toddler shopping and let them pick out their sleep sack to make it a fun and exciting change for your little one. Careful! You may need to lower the temperature or modify your toddler’s pajamas so they do not become too hot in their sack. An overheated child will have a more difficult time sleeping!

Turn the Crib

If your crib is higher one side than on the other, just turning your crib around will do the trick.  With the higher side facing out, most little ones can’t climb out of their crib.

Catch Them in the Act

If your toddler is only climbing out of their crib at naptime or bedtime, this is extremely effective method to stop crib climbing. 

 After placing your child in their crib, saying your goodnights, and leaving the room position yourself near your child’s bedroom door with your video monitor in hand.  The very second your toddler starts to climb out of their crib, you’ll quickly open the door and firmly say, “no.” Without further conversation (you don’t want to give him any added attention as this will motivate them to try again), you will lay them down and leave the room. Often times children are so shocked that they were caught climbing out of their crib they do not try it again.  However, you will want to watch for a few days and repeat as necessary.  If you are 100% consistent with your reaction, the climbing will cease to occur ever again!

Well Rested Baby is a team of Family Sleep Institute certified sleep consultants that helps families like yours identify, address, and correct their children’s sleep issues (such as crib climbing and transitioning to a toddler bed) WRB works with moms and dads to create customized sleep plans that reflect a family’s comfort level and philosophies. When paired with WRB’s 360-approach, the entire family is set up for sleep success. WRB offers a variety of support packages. Contact WRB today to schedule a consultation or learn more about how we can help you and yours get the sleep you need and deserve.