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18 Month Old Can Get Out of the Crib

I have just discovered that my 18 month old in the middle of the night can almost get out of the crib, in doing so she almost hurt herself and I almost died of heart failure. Is there anything I can do besides turn her crib into a toddler bed? I don't feel she is ready for it or will understand the concept of it. There must be something out there that can prevent this. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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So What Happened?™

Ok so I tried the crib tent II (it sucked) I had to jimmy rig it to stay up in her crib since it wasn't a "standard" crib and she found a way to poke a little hole in it and rip the mesh. So we decided to convert her crib to the toddler bed, it is a long process and we are still trying to help her understand it. She did sleep in it all night a few times and some times wakes up crying. Thanks to everyone with all your suggestions I appreciated it.

Featured Answers

I had the same problem with my first child .We put her in a toddler bed made a big deal over it as being a special treat. Also we blocked of her room with a gate that she could not climb. This worked. Good luck

My niece climbed, and fell, out of her crib at 18 months. She broke her collarbone, which was actually a relief to my sister in law since it could have been much worse. Most definitely get the tent!

In most baby stores they sell a crib "tent". It attaches to the rails and is specifically made so a baby cannot climb out of the crib.

Good luck!!!

More Answers

Hi R.,
If I were you I would simply put the side down and make sure he couldn't get hurt.
Want to hear my story? Younger son was 5 months old and we kept seeing him in older son's bed when we went to check on them before we went to bed. Good thing we checked on older first. We would have been in a panic that younger son was missing. We thought the older boy was getting him out and we scolded him many days, and he would tell me he had not. He was not a liar but we didn't have another explanation. We finally decided to sit at the top of the stairs at the entrance to their room. About an hour before we went to bed, there was our just barely 5 month old shimmying up one side of the crib and then down the other and crawling up into his brother's bed. We did some major apologizing, and set up the other twin bed. By the way the older boy never climbed out of his crib, and he was 4 when we got the twin beds when we found out I was pg.

So you see 18 months isn't really too young although it seems that way right now. They do grow up fast enjoy every step. Probably old enough to be your mom so I try to encourage dialog between generations so
Talk to your mom, she might have some great stories to tell too.
God bless you
K. SAHM of 4, Married 38 years. Homeschooled our youngests --twin girls who are headed off to college in 3 weeks. Our younger boy (the shimmier) and his wife made us grandparent on Tuesday with the birth of their 9'5" baby boy.

I'm not sure where to find them but they do make a "tent" for cribs that can be put on. I don't know how well it would work to keep the baby in. A.

Hi R., They have what is called crib tents that you can put over the crib. You and the baby can see through it and it made of a strong mesh material so the air circulates. Babies r us has them as well as the catalogue..One Step Ahead. I have two for my twins and never used them yet but know people who are happy with it! I.

Buy a crib tent...you can get them at Babies R Us - they are worth their weight in gold...a little pricey, but worth your childs safety. I just got mine out to wash, I'm goign to start using ours again soon.

Best wishes,

I know someone suggested the crib tent. I want to say I highly recommend it!! I know some children are ready for toddler beds earlier than others - my son definitely was NOT ready when he was able to get out of his crib around 17 months. We bought the crib tent and it is wonderful. I have no complaints. He will be 2 next month and we still use it, he tries to zip himself in at night. Plus I know he is safe all night long, and I am able to relax. I found it at Babies R Us. Good Luck

You have 2 options. Put the side down so she doesn't get hurt climbing out or cover her crib so she can't get out.

Keep in mind she will get better at climbing out and before you know it she will be an old pro at it! Till then, make sure there is nothing near her crib that will hurt her when she falls. And yes, she will fall a few times before she learns to do it right! She may end up with a few bruises but they heal and teach a lesson!

In the old days....back before crib tents were invented, we used an afghan to cover the crib. We tied it on so the child couldn't pull it off. It worked great.

This may sound cruel, but we have a cat, so at Babies R Us I purchased tent nets, that go over the cribs. They keep the cat out, and the baby in!!

My girls did the same thing at about that age. Rather than fight it, I made it safe by keeping the crib rail down. They respected that they needed to stay in bed until they were done sleeping for some reason. I was adverse to a crib tent simply because I am incredibly clausterphobic and didn't feel comfortable doing that to my girls.

It's really young for them to potentially be roaming the house by themselves and that was my biggest fear. What if they get up in the middle of the night and wander downstairs and hurt themselves? I got one of those door handle things that adults can squeeze to get the door knob to turn but little kids can't. It worked like a charm and kept them safely in their room.

Good luck. Your little girl is growing up!

They sell crib tents at Babiesrus. This would be perfect for you.

Our yongest son climbed out at 15 months, and we put a twin mattress on the floor(but he instead would sleep on the floor by the door ,like a doggy:)), now at 18 months we just put him back in the crib. Crib tent will not fit on some styles of cribs.What we did, we bought an Ikea crib mattress that is half the thickness of a regular mattress(so 3 " less and he stays in the crib:)).Our oldest was out the crib at 20 months, it was hard with naps and bed time, so I am keeping this one in the crib as along as I can:)...(some kids would stay in the toddler bed at a young age though, not ours).

what if you put the mattress on the floor and a gate at her door...

My son transitioned very early from a crib to a toddler bed and we had no problems. We set it up on a Saturday morning and before his nap that day let him explore the bed. He crawled right in and slept very soundly. Never once got out. Wish you the best of luck! ~A.

Your other option is to tell her "no" when she tries to get out of the crib. When our daughter first tried climbing out around 19 mos, it worked. We would put her back in if she climbed out and when she put her leg up, we'd swat it down. Everytime she tested us, we reinforced that she wasn't to climb out and put her back in. This worked for about 2 months.

Then she grew some more and became stronger and by 21 mos she could climb in and out easily. That's when we left the crib rail down all the time and started looking for a toddler bed. Luckily, we didn't have to purchase one and had one handed down to us.

I had thought about going right to the twin bed, but we didn't have a twin mattress or frame and the toddler bed worked out better. I don't have to worry about her struggling to climb in the bed or fall out of it. She loves her "big girl bed".


I can truly empathize! My son climbed out and fell to the floor with a load thud! I was mortified! I had never seen him try to climb out and his crib sits right next to our bed on my side (we are renovating our house). That's when I realized I had to lower the mattress platform. It sounds like your crib is a convertable like mine. See if there are lower holes to lower the mattress platform. This could give her more time in the crib if she is not ready for the toddler bed.

Good luck!

Mama of another mountain goat!

I had the same problem with my first child .We put her in a toddler bed made a big deal over it as being a special treat. Also we blocked of her room with a gate that she could not climb. This worked. Good luck

About all you can do is make it safe for the baby to get out of bed. I suggest buying her a regular twin bed, not too high off the floor. Maybe you can use a baby gate to keep her in her baby-proofed bedroom.
My first launched herself out of the crib head-first at eight months, and now she's a martial arts expert, so I guess the really active ones have special physical talents.

buy a crib tent. my son tried to climb out at 10 months. we bought one of these and he is safe and sound. we can sleep at night knowing he will not climb out.

it is called crib tent II. you can buy it online or at babies r us.

mother of twin boys, 2 on august 13th!!!!

Hi R.,
My daughter climbed out of her crib as well, and I bought the crib tent and it works wonderfully! She can't unzip it from the inside (at least not yet :) I would recommend it. I hope it works for you.

Why not teach her how to do so safely? I agree that there's no stopping them once they put their mind to it.

Our son cosleeps with us and at 9 months began making nosedives off the bed. We had to show him how to get off the big tall bed by himself. Now he just slides off on his belly until his feet touch the ground and off he goes... nice and safe.

I would spend some time with her, make it a routine, getting in and out of the crib so she learns to do so safely.

we had the same issue at about the same time. we found that the crib tent was the perfect solution. it's a tent that goes under the mattress and up the side of the crib to form a mesh tent on top. there's no way they can get out without unzipping the zipper. it's sort of a pain to change the sheet now, at least when the bumper is in, but it's worth the peace of mind. we found ours at babies r us (about $80, i think). good luck!

My pediatrician told me about a "tent" piece that is supposed to attach to the crib and act as a tent over the top of it so a child can't climb out of it. He said that he uses it for his son. I'm not sure where you can get it and I'm sorry that I don't know the name for it, you may want to check online or in Walmart/Target. He told me to try to keep my daughter in the crib until she's closer to 3 because developmentally they just aren't ready for a bed yet. I have a 2 1/2 year old girl and a 4 month old boy. We ended up getting a used crib for my son so that she can stay in the more durable crib until she's ready to move into a bed. Best of luck with finding the canopy/tent and keeping her in the crib :)

R. -- someday you'll laugh at these times. Our son, 23 years old now, was a little monkey and climbing out of his crib at 17 months old. Outside of putting him in a cage or netting the crib which was suggestions from our friends -- jokingly!, we found that he was ready to share a set of bunkbeds with his 4 year old sister. The bottom bunk was low to the ground and for some time we had the crib mattress on the floor for protection should he fall out. He seemed to enjoy his new bed because what he really wanted was out of the crib. To this day he doesn't like being confined and loves the outdoors. He is a successful train conductor and still enjoys being active and climbing. Some worry about children getting up in the middle of the night and exploring the house. I would advise putting a short gate on the bedroom door. He'll under stand you more in listening to his needs than forcing him to stay put. This is not a spoilage thing based on our experience. Our son's three sisters never tried getting out of their cribs as early as our son. Best wishes. Enjoy your son, they do grown up so fast. Very sincerely, R.

honestly they don't make anything that can prevent her from getting out of the crib. If they do I couldn't find anything when I needed it. I had turned it into her toddler bed because my pediatrician said she was ready. When we did turn it into her toddler bed she loved it. She got in and out when she wanted to and never got out of it at night time. I did for a little while place a gate at her door but I was never worried. when I felt that she was okay I took the gate away and now my daughter safely walks into my room. We cosleep so I allowed her to come into my room and stay.

Good luck

Hi R.,

I've heard of crib "tents" that attach to the crib somehow creating a mesh tent over the top of the crib. Not exactly sure how it works but it might be something to look into. One Step Ahead has good safety items. Check there. I think the site is www.onestepahead.com.

Good luck!

Try this...


It's a crib tent. You put it on top of her crib and zip her in. It's a bit expensive, but it should work.

If the link doesn't work, go to www.onestepahead.com
Type in crib tent in the search area.

When my son started climbing out of the crib. I didn't want to put him in a bed above the floor for fear he will fall out. So I purchased a mattress and put it on the floor, if he fell out he didn't have far to go. I also put a gate in his door so he couldn't get out of his room if I was asleep.

Good luck.

Been there, done that. What I found was that you can not prevent your daughter from climbing out, but what you can do is try to prevent her from getting hurt. We lowered the crib rail so that our daughter and then sons would not have as far a fall. For us I found it was best to put the babies in toddler beds soon after they learned to climb out of the crib. I won't deny it was tough for a few days, we put the baby monitor in the bedroom so that we could get up as soon as the baby did. Our bedroom was right next door so it made it easier all around. If I were you I would try this. I will say this much, my 3rd son (4th child) gave us one heck of a scare, he stood up on the side rail with the rail up and jumped onto the floor. He didn't get hurt, but let me tell you, I got gray hairs that day and my heart was in my throat, my husband and I never ran so fast in our lives; needless to say the toddler bed came out of the attic and was put together immediately, as I was not going to let that happen a second time.

the crib tent is the way to go. you cant put a price on the peace of mind, im on my 3rd baby with it, its great.

In most baby stores they sell a crib "tent". It attaches to the rails and is specifically made so a baby cannot climb out of the crib.

Good luck!!!

Hi R., I feel your pain. I had to put my son in a toddler bed at 13 months, ready or not!! BUt,,what I did do which worked really well was two things... I bought the Step2 Fireengine Toddler bed, if you look at the picture you'll see how it's made, it's almost fully enclosed so it simulated the surrounded feeling of a crib, I took the wheels off and set it right on the floor. Then, beause he definately wasn't ready at that point to get up and wonder around his room, I got the Superyard Gate with the 2 panel extension and it made an enclosure 100% around his bed, so as he was getting in and out,,that was still his only option for mid night adventures. It worked really well, he transitioned nicely. I left it like that til he was older finally I removed the gate first, then eventually replaced the bed with the twin matress on the floor. My son was also quite the climber so for my own sake I kept a couple body pillows on the floor next to the bed so if he was playing/climbing over the sides of the bed he had a cushioned landing. good luck...

Wow, we have a 18 month old. He is a little monster sometimes, and to think that he could have the run of the house scares me. With my oldest one. We put pillows all around his crib. Just in case. He always looked as if he could jump, but never did. We figured it would be a softer landing.

I also recommend the crib tent. Our almost 2 year old is still in his crib because of it. We made it fun and he thinks its his own house. Every morning when I go to get him I pretend to ring the doorbell lol

Depending on the size of your daughter you can also use the halo sleep sacks as they can't get their legs up with those. Our son was in the 2-3 yr size and it was working great until summer when we discovered they don't make the big version in the lightweight fabric :/

Babycenter had the crib tent on sale recently with free shipping, might be worth checking that out if you decide to go the crib tent route

Good luck!

You can buy a crib tent. It'll prevent her from climbing out. Babies r Us and Toys R Us carries it. My friends used it for their son who did the same thing and it worked great. it attaches to the top of the crib and creates a tent effect. It's made of mesh so as not to obstruct vision.

It looks like the crib tent is the way to go. I hadn't heard of it with my daughter. I lowered the side, but this actually made it harder for her to get out (she used the corner of the crib to pull herself up). Lowering the side made it more difficult and more likely for her to fall. Also, if you don't use the crib tent, make sure the room is baby-proofed and your daughter can't get out of the room, or as one of the other mom's mentioned put a big baby gate around the bed so she can't explore very far.

Good luck!

They do sell a crib net.....that would be your best bet.....I used one when my daughters shared a room - so that the older one didn't throw anything in on the baby.....anyway - go online they sell them there.

I think it's the One Step Ahead catalog/website...www.onestepahead.com... that has a crib tent that you can attach to the top of the crib. It's mesh, so it's ventilated, and she can't get out (supposedly; I've never tried it, as my DD has yet to get out of her crib, but then, she's old enough for a toddler bed). Maybe that would help?

My niece climbed, and fell, out of her crib at 18 months. She broke her collarbone, which was actually a relief to my sister in law since it could have been much worse. Most definitely get the tent!

You can get a crib tent (you should be able to get one from Babies R Us--go on their website to see a picture--or any baby store--I believe the One Step Ahead catalog also sells them). They are about $70, and well worth the money. Its basically just a mesh tent that covers the crib to prevent the child from climbing out. I got one for my son when he climbed out of his crib and fell on the floor--it really works well and will let you keep your baby in the crib until you feel she is ready for a bed.
Good luck

We just dealt with this issue one month ago with our son. We discovered the Crib Tent II by Tots in Mind. They also sell one for portable playyards/pack-n-plays. Great products.

Hi R., I know how you feel. My daughter was like Houdini. She could climb out of everything! I added extensions to her crib and she pushed it away from the wall and got out the other way!!!! I know there are products out there to help you. I have seen them listed when someone else had this problem. Years ago I had to use a carriage harness out of desparation. My daughter would be in the bathroom swishing her hand in the toilet...ugh! I also had 2 boys before her and they never did this. Also 2 boys after and none were climbers. Best wishes, GRandma Mary

Hi R.,

My son tumbled out of his crib at an even earlier age. After thay, I looked around on craigslist for the tents that attatch to the crib. You just unzip it to get her out. My son is very active, so for this to contain him & he hasn't figured out how to unzip it from inside, I highly recommend it. It's called a crib tent...they are a bit pricey, but you can try to find one that's used.

Good luck!

Hi R.,
My suggestion would be to let her sleep with the side down so that she can get out without hurting herself, since you can't stop her from getting out. Make sure you thoroughly childproof her room and put up a baby get in the door so that if she does climb out, you know that she is in a safe environment and not wandering the house.
Good luck.

They sell crib tents in toys r us. I used one for my son. It fits around the mattress and is a mesh tent that you zipper closed at night. I found it to work well.

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