Crib Climber – AHHHHHH
So my munchkin will turn 17 months in 10 days, yet on Saturday she reached a milestone that the majority of toddlers don’t reach until well into 2 years – she climbed out of her crib!!! As a parent, this is a very terrifying moment. A child’s size and strength with give them the ability to get out of the crib, but what happens when the reach the other side? Will they jump over the edge, or slowly inch down? What happens when they are “free” in their room, while all along mommy and daddy are thinking they are nestled in their crib asleep?
While my peanut was napping on Saturday, we heard a thump (not too loud or heavy, but certainly a thump) followed by a cry. Tom, my husband (a.k.a. SmartyPantsDada), ran upstairs to check on the little one. As he reached the top of the stairs he found her standing at her door! Obviously this is not where he left her to nap! He was very surprised to find his little one out of her crib and so he brought her back to the crib, laid her down and left the room, peeking through the entryway to see what would happen. He then witnessed how she got out of the crib. He ran over and caught her as she attempted her acrobatic manner of getting onto the floor. At that point he brought her downstairs to strategize with me on what on earth to do. Note: I recently had major knee surgery that keeps me from climbing the stairs, or pretty much doing anything on my feet.
After some research online, I learned that as soon as a toddler can climb out of their crib the 1st time, they will continue to do so. Essentially, placing your child to sleep in a crib when they know how to climb out, poses a huge risk that they may injure themselves. So what now? Luckily, the crib we purchased is a conversion crib that easily converts into a toddler bed, with railings and all. Tom and my mom, converted the bed, and baby proofed her room to the max – assuming that she would climb out of the bed, we wanted to be sure that what she played with was safe. What’s super important to understand is that the use of a toddler bed does not mean that the baby won’t climb out; it simply lessens the chance that she’ll injure herself when she does! My munchkin climbed out of her new bed at the end of her 1st nap in it!
1. Always keep a gate locked at the top of your stairs.
2. Place a gate at the door of her room. For the likely chance that she climbs out of the bed, she can’t get too far!
3. Re-baby proof her room. Anticipate that she will be playing unsupervised in her room if she were to climb out in the middle of the night.
4. Place books or other quite toys in her bed after she falls asleep. This will give her something to entertain herself with when she awakes, lessening that desire to climb out of the bed.
5. Have a plan in place for when this milestone is hit. Does the crib convert into a toddler bed? If not, it is recommended that you place the mattress on the floor and have the munchkin sleep on it.
7. Smile that a new milestone has been achieved, even if it is way too soon for your liking!
Be a Smart Mama this week and prepare!
I am anxious to learn when your munchkin(s) climbed out of the crib! Please participate in the poll and leave a comment. The poll will be open until Tuesday, March 18th at 10 AM EST.