How to Prevent Your Baby from Escaping Their Crib
Infants, being so new to this world of ours, are naturally curious. The urges to explore their surroundings can be very strong for these little ones that sometimes, the adults’ puny devices to contain them are not enough to get them to stay put. Cribs are no exemption. Starting between 18 and 24 months, babies start experimenting with escaping their cribs and are often successful with it. Many babies, particularly early walkers, are able to make it out at an earlier age. This behavior poses the risk of injury, and therefore has to be discouraged.
Now how can you discourage babies from climbing out of their cribs and potentially hurting themselves? Well, here are some tips that you can surely use.
- Have the baby dressed in a sleep sack before putting them in the crib. This particular apparel works like a night gown that you can zip up at the bottom, thereby enclosing your child’s feet with a bag of sorts. The purpose of this is to limit the baby’s movement and making it very difficult for them to simply pull up, much less climb out of the bed. This may not work on older toddlers, however, as they can easily figure out how to take the sleep sack off or move around with it.
- Lowering the mattress also helps. Configure the springs and the mattress to the lowest possible setting. This increases the height of the railing and makes it difficult for the crib’s young occupant to scale.
- Toys and other objects can provide leverage to the baby, so it will be in their best interest if you remove them from the crib. Babies can be pretty smart and will make use of things like blankets, bottles, and stuffed animals to give them a few inches up on their way to the rail.
- Be sure to move furniture a safe distance away from the crib. Furniture like bookshelves, tables, and dressers may give the baby a significant foothold to climb onto if they happen to be very close to the crib. It also doesn’t help that the nearest furniture can provide the child a means to get down the crib once they’re at the rail, thus encouraging them to climb out.
- Make attempts to catch your baby red-handed while climbing out of the crib. Keep notes of the particular time your child gets up. Should you hear some them stirring about in their room at that time, walk in in an attempt to catch them in the act of climbing. If the child is caught doing so, firmly tell them that climbing out of the crib is not allowed for them, warning them that doing that would be very dangerous. On the next day, should your child comply and did not get out of their crib, be sure to praise them. Rewards also help in encouraging good behavior.
- Many parents sometimes use crib tents to keep their children from escaping the crib. This should be avoided; there are several reports of children getting trapped in crib tents in their attempt to escape, resulting in injuries and, at worst, death. In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has even had the offending brands recalled from the market. While it is likely that not all crib tents are lethal, we do advise that these are not used at all to avoid the risk of potentially fatal entrapment.
- Babies sometimes just find a way to get out of the bed. As that is often the case, put pillows around the crib to cushion the child’s inevitable fall. Be sure to child-proof your entire home as well, as escaped children tend to go around exploring the house. You can put a baby gate just outside their room, or if you are feeling generous, at the far end of the hallway. This will block them access from the rest of the house prevent further risk of injurious accidents.
- You may also consider that maybe it’s time to move the baby to a toddler bed. The time that your baby is able to climb out of their crib may also be the time when they are ready to sleep in one. If you are unsure about this, you might want to first have to get your child to transition first to a simple floor mattress before moving them to a toddler bed.