Have you ever happened to glance in your toddlers’ room and had that heart-stopping moment of seeing them scaling their crib? It is a mixture of being terrified they are going to fall, and a realization of what they are now capable of. When this happens, you may start asking yourself if they are too old for a crib and time for a toddler bed, or if they should continue to sleep in their crib. Toddlers are, after all, little escape artists!
At Rocky Mountain Sleeping Baby we suggest that the transition from crib to bed not start until your toddler is between 2.5 and 3 years old. Transitioning prior to then poses risks of your child not being old enough to fully understand their new-found freedom of a toddler bed. Cribs are designed to keeping your toddler safe until they are ready emotionally and mentally for their new bed. When it is time, we will be here to guide you through that transition, meanwhile, as your certified sleep consultants, we have tips to help you keep your little wanderlust safe in their cribs.
1. Keep Reactions to a Minimum
When you see your little escape artist climbing their crib, do not give them positive or negative reactions. Doing so only encourages them to try it again as they will react to your feedback.
2. Lower the Mattress
Babies have milestones that signify what setting the mattress should be at. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the first milestone is when your baby is starting to sit independently. When this happens, move the mattress to the second-lowest setting. When your baby is starting to stand independently, move the mattress to the very lowest setting.
3. Turn the Crib Around
With traditional style cribs, you have an option of being able to turn the crib around so that the higher back-side is now in front, and the shorter front-side is against the wall. Better yet, try to move the crib between two walls in the corner of the room, if possible. This reduces the options of escape routes, and it may also trick your little one into believing they cannot escape anymore.
4. Remove Enticing Items from Reach
If there is a changing table, rocking chair, lamp, or dresser nearby, move them far enough away so they are not an accessory to helping baby climb out. Limit the number of toys and/or pillows in the crib as well, this will deter baby from using it as leverage to make them taller.
5. Sleep Sack/Wearable Blanket
It was so easy when we could swaddle them, and keep them nice and tucked up, however, now that we have dropped the swaddle, we have a new friend in the sleep sack or wearable blanket. If your little Houdini can also escape out of a sleep sac, try putting it on them backwards. There is also a new product introduced called Little Grounders, which are crib pants, per se. These come with a anti-climbing piece of fabric connected between the two leg pieces.
6. Sleep to Wake Clock/Toddler Clock
If you have not heard of a toddle clock/sleep to wake clock, they are great tools to start teaching your toddlers routines, and boundaries. There is a learning curve to it, and you have to treat it as a tool not a toy, though by using this you can create a pattern they will understand of when they can get out of bed, and when they have to stay in it.
7. Routines and Responses
As a certified sleep consultant, we often stress schedules and routines are very important for our babies who are growing into toddlers. Through our baby sleep training to toddler sleep training, there are always adjustments to consider as they grow. If you notice your toddler climbing out of their crib focus on the pattern. Try to gain a better understanding of why they are pushing these boundaries. If you have tried many of the options we shared with you, and your toddler is still making an escape, it may be time to move them to a toddler bed. If that is the case, we have a lot of great tips and ideas to make the transition smooth and reduce interruption to their sleep schedule or sleep routine. We are not just certified sleep consultants; we are your partners in parenting and are here to help you in anyway we can. Please feel free to browse our website or call or email one of our experts here at Rocky Mountain Sleeping Baby. Based out of Colorado, Kansas & Texas we help families across the United States!
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For help achieving a good nights rest, your Denver sleep consultant and team is here to help! Our well trained team will support you in every way possible. Give us a call to schedule your free 15-minute sleep consultation and start the journey toward happiness for you and your family!