How to Keep Toddler in Crib: 6 Top Tricks and More
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How to Keep Toddler in Crib: 6 Top Tricks and More

Parents often ask how to keep toddler in crib when they turn about the age of 1.  Haven’t you noticed that your house gets a bit messier by then?  

Looking after the tot is more difficult too.  You’ll find yourself as if hanging by the edge of the cliff when you see your kid climbing the couch to jump to your coffee table.  Sometimes, they attempt to climb the stairs by themselves even when they are not masters in walking just yet.

But more often than not, you will find your little kid jump over the crib.  Yikes!  It is terrifying to think that your precious little one is already capable of climbing out of the crib.  For this reason, parents tend to think that it’s already time to switch to a big kid bed.  This shouldn’t be the case though.

According to experts, you should not be hasty in making this big decision.  The reason is that young ones are naturally curious and they will experiment with climbing out of the crib (or anything they come across with).  Some kids even do it way before they turn 1.

Some babies try to escape their crib as early as 15 months.  The thing is they are not yet ready to transition to a toddler bed.  If you do so, it’s pretty much telling them that they have all the freedom in the world that they don’t know how to handle yet.  This results to more problems.

But in this post, we will give you tips on how to keep toddler in crib.  Let’s get started?

How To Keep Toddler in Crib

Safety is always our non-questionable top priority.  Every parent knows this.  For parents who are struggling when it comes to handling how to keep toddler in crib, here are strategies that you can apply:

  • Hide your emotions.  No, I am not kidding you.  Kids love big reactions and when he sees you overreacting to his crazy antics, he will do it again and again just to amuse himself.  The next time he climbs or attempts to climb out of the crib, do not react.  Feign disinterest if you must.  It’s really difficult to pretend to not notice your child but you have to try.
  • Set limitations.  Be firm when saying no as this will stop your kids from trying their tricks.  If they see that you are really serious in implementing the “no jumping from the crib policy”, your child will stop doing what you fear most.
  • Clear the crib.  Take away items that will give your child a boost.  Pillows, blankets, books, and toys can be used as accessories to their “crimes”.
  • Sleep sacks can help a lot.  Before your tot sleeps, put him inside a sleep sack…BACKWARDS.  This way, your curious little jumper won’t be able to unzip it.  Add sleep sacks to your nightly routine so your child will understand that this is a signal to go to bed.  Apart from keeping your kiddo safe, this also gives added comfort.
  • Change your mattress settings.  Check your crib if you can adjust the mattress higher or lower.  If so, put the mattress as low as it will go.  The best time to make the adjustment is when toddler can already stand.
  • Remove accomplices.  There are instances when a sibling helps the toddler escape from the kid.  You will need to separate them when they sleep to keep the escape from happening.  This also helps them fall asleep faster because of less distractions. Also, we suggest that you keep your baby monitor in the room to check for any movements or activities.

How To Keep Toddler in Crib: Next Level Prevention

Don’t worry if you are done with the basic tricks mentioned above and your kid still tries to climb out of the crib.  There are still many things you can do.  You can still change their behavior and encourage them to have a positive attitude towards sleeping.

You can try any or all of the tips below:

Change their bedtime schedule.  Between 1 to 3 years old, the tots’ internal clock changes as well.  If your little kid is fidgety and restless, this might mean that his bedtime or naptime is too early.  You might want to try creating a journal for this.  Take note when or what time your toddler falls asleep.  Then, adjust the bedtime schedule accordingly to reflect their biological clock.  Slowly change their bedtime schedule by 10-minute increments every night until the child learns how to stay still and you find the best time for your child.

Watch out though.  You might be putting your child to bed a bit late.  When kids are too tired, they become irritable and find it harder to go to sleep.  Experts suggest sleeping time between 7:30 pm and 8:30 pm, but this still depends on your child’s body clock.

Crib is only for sleeping.  Oftentimes, we use the crib as kid prison to punish them or as a safe place for playing.  Doing this will give them a different idea of the real use of the crib.  This only makes it harder for them to grasp the need to stay inside the crib.

Kids link their feelings to places so avoid putting them inside the crib when they are upset.  Wait until they have calmed down before you use the crib.

Make sure that the crib is the place for sleeping ONLY.  This will help them associate the crib as their official space to rest.  And when you transition them to a big kid bed, the will carry this attitude as well.

Silence is key.  Escaping out of the crib is, sometimes, the toddler’s way to get your attention.  How to keep toddler in crib?  Return them silently.

When is The Best Time To Transition To Toddler Bed?

According to experts, it is best to wait until your child reaches 3 years old.  This age can better handle the independence that comes with a toddler bed.  By this time, they can already understand cause and effect concept, already have the ability to solve simple problems, and are beginning to understand time.

However, it is best if you wait until your child requests for a bed.  If they are not asking for a bed, it means that they are still happy with their crib.  If they are not escaping from it, there is no need to suggest the transition.

When you take away their crib without asking for permission, some kids just get shocked because the crib is their sleeping area for a really long time.

Keep in mind that your child’s happiness and comfort both come first.  Transitioning to a toddler bed will not and cannot happen overnight so be patient.


We hope that you learned a lot from our tips on how to keep toddler in crib.  Do you have more to add to this?   Tell us about your experiences.

Better yet, pass this post to other mom friends who are struggling with tots who are good in escaping their cribs.  You got this, momma.

Elkyra Park

I'm a first time mom who wants to help parents navigate parenthood unscathed. I know being a parent can be all too overwhelming and daunting all at the same time so let's help each other in this exciting journey.
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