The Sleep Lady on Keeping Your Kid in His Crib
I like to keep kids in the crib as long as possible, but I know that's sometimes easier said than done! If your child does scale the bars, try not to freak out and move him to a bed right away. If you can, wait until your child is 2.5 to 3-years-old to move him into a bed so he can really understand the "big bed" rules.
Until then, try these tips to prevent your little Spider Man from crawling out of the crib (and keep him safe if he does!):
- Dissuade him by making the climb harder by lowering the mattress.
- Put pillows on the ground for safety in case he attempts Olympic-style hurdling.
- Remove large toys and stuffed animals from the crib that might serve as a launch pad.
- If he does get out, put him right back in the crib with minimal interaction, except to say, "No climbing." Be firm, but don't yell at him.
- Try stationing yourself outside the bedroom door, out of his line of vision if possible, and peek in. When he starts to raise his leg to climb out say, "No climbing." Sound like you mean it, and keep putting him back in the crib if you have to.
- You may also try to putting him in a long T-shirt, nightshirt or sleep sack to make it harder for him to climb.
- If despite your best efforts your child still seems determined to get out, particularly if he's under age two, try using a crib tent—a zipped mesh cover that lets him see out but not get out. Make sure you install the tent properly to avoid any safety hazards.
Kim West, a.k.a. The Sleep Lady
And my question to you is: Does your kid climb out of the crib? How have you handled it in the past? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Meanwhile, be sure to check in with your new friends on the 30 Days to a Good Night's Sleep Message Board. And if you have a specific question for me, post it on the Ask The Sleep Lady thread, and I'll try to get to it!
Check out these other challenges and sleep advice articles:
- Challenge 1: Commit to Getting Your Kid to Sleep
- Challenge 2: Sleep Assessment
- Challenge 3: Start a Sleep Log
- Expert Advice: The Sleep Lady on the Importance of Consistency When Sleep Coaching
- Challenge 4: Create a Soothing Bedtime Routine
- Challenge 5: Create a Sleep-Friendly Bedroom
- Expert Advice: The Sleep Lady Shuffle: What It Is and How To Do It
- Expert Advice: The Sleep Lady on the Importance of Putting Your Kid to Sleep "Drowsy but Awake"
- Challenge 6: Be Your Kid's Nap Coach
- Challenge 7: Check Off Your Sleep Coaching Checklist
- Challenge 8: Create a Solid Sleep Plan
- Challenge 9: Step 1 of the Sleep Lady Shuffle
- Challenge 10: Step 2 of the Sleep Lady Shuffle
- Expert Advice: The Sleep Lady on Nightmares and Night Terrors (And How to Tell the Difference)
- Expert Advice: The Sleep Lady on Potty Training and Sleep
- Challenge 11: Do Step 3 of the Sleep Lady Shuffle
- Expert Advice: The Sleep Lady on Transitioning from a Crib to a Bed
- Challenge 12: End Early Rising