Keeping your toddler in their crib can seem like an overwhelming task; but no fear, mama! It’s a struggle we all face at some point in our motherhood journey.
Before you give in to purchasing a toddler bed, first make sure you’re not assisting in their jailbreak and that they’re actually ready for the next stage bed.
I have several tips and strategies you can start implementing today to make sure your toddler stays safe and comfortable in their crib.
How To Keep Your Toddler in Their Crib
Instead of shopping for your child’s big girl or big boy bed, try these strategies first.
Check your mattress setting.
Although most cribs come with details about the mattress setting, it can be easy to forget when to actually adjust it.
If you haven’t done so already, make sure the mattress is set on the toddler setting.
This is usually as easy as removing a few screws and dropping it down to the next level.
Majority of the cribs on the market today will have detailed instructions and a picture to help guide you on what to do.
Put the lower end of the crib against the wall.
Naturally, if your child sees a way to escape, they’ll most likely go for it. To help prevent their climbing adventures, consider placing the lower end of the crib up against the wall.
If your crib has an adjustable side that slides up and down, make sure it always stays in the upright position.
Remove toys and pillows.
As cute as the accessories were when they were babies, these can now be used to help them escape.
You’d be surprised at how the curious little minds of toddlers can work. To help prevent them from becoming little acrobats, take away all the extra pillows and toys.
Leave your toddler with minimal bedding (a blanket and one pillow).
Separate your kids.
If you have multiple kids sleeping in one one, make sure their beds are not close together.
If you can give kids close in age their own rooms, that would be a major plus as well.
This doesn’t mean they have to be separate at all times, but only for sleeping.
Ideas for Changing Climbing Behavior
It’s only a matter of time before your toddler begins making the connections between their hands and arms working together with their feet and legs to help them escape their crib.
While this is completely normal, it’s also a behavior that can be corrected and taught proper use. Here are some practical tips for doing just that.
Communicate with your toddler.
Use words and sentences to firmly communicate about the behavior you want to change.
In this case, be clear about their climbing out of the crib. Use hand motions to help them see that climbing out of the crib is a no-no. But don’t stop there.
Give them examples of when climbing is okay, like at a park or in the play area in the back yard.
Use the crib for sleeping only.
Sometimes you may want to use the crib as a time-out or place to put your toddler if you’re doing something around the house (like chores).
Instead of using the crib for multi-use, consider only using it for sleep time only. This will help them associate their crib as a place for sleeping.
Have a sleep schedule.
This can be a game changer. If your toddler currently chooses their own sleep schedule, the truth of the matter is they have trainer you.
In all actuality, you should train your toddler and help them take advantage of the benefits of sleep early on in life.
It may seem difficult in the beginning, but that’s where the next suggestions comes in handy.
5 WAYS TO HELP YOUR KIDS SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT
Do you remember the show The Nanny? She is the perfect depiction of what it means to be consistent.
She constantly showed parents that the root of their issues was a lack of consistency.
As you begin implementing sleep times and helping your toddler stay in the bed, be consistent. Every time they get out of bed, take them back and remind them it’s time to rest.
Try not to bribe them, but always aim to make it an enjoyable experience.
Be patient with yourself and your toddler as you redirect their climbing behavior and help their crib time be pleasant.
Use the tips and suggestions mentioned above and take it one day at a time. Before you know it, your toddler will love their crib.