Toddler Challenges – Climbing

Just when you get your child on a good sleep schedule, they throw you another curve ball, like climbing out of their crib!  Or maybe your child was never a good sleeper and now you have a poor sleeper who can move about the house!  Either way, chances are you may need some tips to figure out how to deal with this stage.

While your first thought may be getting rid of the crib, it is actually better to try to keep them in it as long as possible.  If your child is throwing themselves out and there is a real danger of them getting hurt and you need to do something immediately (maybe you are reading this at 3AM and your child just started vaulting out), you may just want to pull the mattress out and put it in the floor in their room.  You may need to stay in there with them at the moment, but keep reading for some more longer term solutions.

Behavior Changes

One of the first things to do is to make it clear to your child that climbing out of the crib is not a behavior you will allow.  The difficulty in this is to react in a clear confident manner, but to not overreact.  Overreacting may make the child continue the behavior because they are getting attention and making Mommy or Daddy react!

Sleep Sacks and TShirts

Halo makes toddler sleep sacks which do have leg openings for walkers, but they also don’t allow the legs to open as wide, making it a little more difficult for children to climb over the crib.   Another thing that may help is putting your child is a long tshirt, which again makes it more difficult for them to lift their legs.  With that option though, they can always figure out how to lift the tshirt first, then climb out.


Baby Gates

Maybe your child climbs in and out of their crib during the day, but not yet at night.  My son did this, he and my daughter would play in the crib during the day.  I knew he could safely get in and out and so if he did do it in the middle of the night, I wasn’t too worried.  However, I did not want him wandering around the house in the middle of the night, so we put up a baby gate at his door.  (This also served to keep the dogs and cats out of his room!)  Once your child is walking, you may want to consider that they could climb out of the crib.  Be sure to child proof their room and take steps to keep them safe if they were to get out.

Tackling the Sleep Issues Themselves

If your child was never a good sleeper, this is a good time to get them sleeping!  What you don’t want is a non sleeper with the ability to move around their room and the house at night.  There are occasionally times where moving a child into a bed and out of the crib could cause them to sleep slightly better, but more often than not, things remain the same, or may even get worse.

Here are some posts to read to work on their sleep issues:

Toddler Naps

Bedtime Routines

My Child Wakes Too Early in the Morning

Top Sleep Tips for Preschoolers

And if you may need some more help, I can personally work with you to help your child sleep!  Check out my Sleep Services and Pricing page for more information.

Moving to a Bed

If it becomes a situation where you cannot keep your child in their crib, and there is a possibility they could hurt themselves either escaping or once they are out, here are some tips to make the move to a bed a little easier – Transitioning from A Crib to a Bed

Sleep Well!

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