14 answers

18 Month Old Climbing Out of Bed

My 18 month old just learned recently how to climb out of her bed. I don't think she is quite ready for a toddler bed, and not that safe to keep her in her crib at the same time. I never had this problem with my other daughter and didn't switch her till she was potty trained which was 2 and a half. I also have another problem that her room is upstairs and she knows how to open doors. So I am afraid that one of the times she gets out she is going to fall down the stairs and the fear is the same for the toddler bed. if any moms have dealt with this any advice would be welcome. Thanks

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CRIBTENT!!! I used them with my 1st two boys who both climbed out of their cribs at 18 months. They seemed a bit hesitant at first, but after a few nights soon loved their tent. After a month I didn't even have to zip the cover, they didn't want to get out of bed(and I had the full tent so the sides were to slippery to get a good grip). they loved the coziness and I didn't have to put up gates or locks.

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My little one did exactly the same thing - you can either get a crib tent or convert the crib to a bed with a rail to make sure she doesn't fall out. If you google crib rail, you will find the ones specially made for cribs. they are narrower than the ones made for beds. The other option is to put her matress on the floor. I did that while I looked for the crib rail. In the cases where she now can get out, you will need to deal with the issue of her getting out. I had one of those childproof handles oon the door, so she can't get out of her room. There are definitely a few days of work with this as she learns to stay in her or his bed. good luck.

CRIBTENT!!! I used them with my 1st two boys who both climbed out of their cribs at 18 months. They seemed a bit hesitant at first, but after a few nights soon loved their tent. After a month I didn't even have to zip the cover, they didn't want to get out of bed(and I had the full tent so the sides were to slippery to get a good grip). they loved the coziness and I didn't have to put up gates or locks.

She has to go to a big girl bed, period. If she falls out of the bed, she will hurt herself. I had convertible beds...we switched them to a daybed when the kids climbed out. If you don't have a bed with a rail...go buy one or just roll up a blanket and put it under the sheet so it provides a barrier. I don't know why it works, but it did for both of mine. Put one side of the bed beside the wall and the rolled blanket under the sheet on the other side.

Then get a gate for the upstairs. Put the gate up each night before you go to bed. Or get those doorknob things so she can't open her door?

Thank goodness I din't have to deal with that. My son climed out, got hurt and never did it again. But my sisters' daughter is notorious for climbing out of anything. She bought a net that fits in the crib and zippers so she can't get out of the bed. SHe said she bought it Babies-r-us and spent about $65. She bought it when she was 16mos (she is now 2) and is going to continue to use it as she has a 2nd baby on the way that will share the room.

Hi J.,
We just had this happen with my 22 month old. For us, we decided to use a crib tent to keep him in his crib safely until we think he can handle the transition to the "big bed". I know some people do not agree with the tents, but he is a very high energy and curious little guy and that was the right decision for our family. Best of luck to you!

we never used a toddler bed. I never got the point about that. we moved our sons right from the crib to a twin bed. never had any problems. no one fell out of bed..ever. we placed the bed with one side against the wall. as far as the kids getting out of bed at night(we are also upstairs) we put a child gate at the door. that way, if they got up, the could ot leave the room. if they needed or wanted us..we heard them. we slept with our bedroom door open. it all worked out well..the kids are now 20 and 14!!!!

I have a question for you,is the crib mattress in the lowest position? The reason I ask, is I have a 19 mos. and there's no way her legs are long enough yet to climb out of her crib. IF it is, then I would definitely move her into a "big girl bed". I agree with the previous post in safety proofing her room VERY well & putting the mattress on the floor first. I bought some plastic door covers (babys r us $6.99 for 2), which can be placed on her bedroom door knob & she won't be able to open it or lock it. Definitely put up a gate on your stairs. You could also put an eye hook on the outside of her door to keep her safely in her room. Good luck! I know this is a tough transitional time, but I think you will do more harm then good by trying to keep her in the crib , get rid of it & let her get used to a twin bed. You could always sleep a night or two with her on the floor until she's used to it. Good luck, I know its tough, but I am right there with you!


I would remove the crib or at least put a "twin" mattress on the floor. Kids are smarter than we think. Give her the "choice" of where to sleep. If/when she climbs out, offer her the mattress on the floor. Put a baby gate with a step on the outside of it on the door, so she doesn't get out. This worked well for our second daughter who also when through something similar.

We had her nap in the "big girl bed" to start the transition. Also it wasn't a smooth transition (she wanted the crib back), my DH wasn't comfortable with the risks. Of course, the bedroom was CLEARED of most everything she could chew on, a child handle lock was put on the closet door, blinds were pulled up and string secured high, etc.

I think some kids are just climbers. As a parent, you need to do your best to keep her safe. BTW - I've seen this question posted before, so check the prior posts. I've read some other parents who used the crib tents and loved them. We didn't want to invest in one nor prolong the crib use since she'd be moving to a "big girl bed" within a year or so anyway. I respect other people's decisions. For us, we don't usually buy lots of those types of items for our kids...we're basics kind of people.

Also, our pediatrician agreed with our decision to just move on to the floor. Our daughter stayed on the floor mattress for about a year, then was "awarded" a frame when we knew she would behave (no jumping off the bed), however we did already have the bed rail to prevent rolling off the bed (from our other child who kept rolling off since she was in a big girl bed at 22 mos).

Best of luck - I know this is a hard transition time.


Crib tent, sleep sacs (they make thin ones for summer), gate your stairs, gate the bedroom door

Hi! Definitely purchase a crib tent!!

I started using a crib tent on my son's crib when he was 20 months old in Dec. and he threw himself over the rail. (The mattress was at the lowest setting and the rails were up.) We went out and bought the tent the very next morning. I LOVE it!!! Worth every single penny, as I'm sure it has saved him from an injury.

My son is extremely active and a climber. I know that if I was to try to transition him to a bed, there is no way he would stay in it. The tent will allow me to keep him in the crib until he's much closer to 3 (the age that Pediatricians recommend for crib transition) and I will have a much easier time teaching him to stay in a bed. My son needs his healthy sleep -- not nightly bedtime battles.

Hi J.,

My first daughter did the same thing at 18 months and we also have a large flight of stairs. We invested in a "crib tent". It seemed really odd at first and she cried for a little bit the first three nights, but she got used to it and it kept her safe. She slept in her crib until she was 3 years old.

Most parents have this situation with at least one of their children. You have to child-safe the house. Put a tall gate on the staircase. Preferably one that screws in to the wall and railing post ( small repair in a year or two and well worth the safety factor). Lower her bed mattress to the lowest setting so the mattress is almost on the floor. This way she should be o.k. a little longer. Make sure you have a monitor in her room so you can hear her when she wakes up and can check on her. She's going to be a very smart little one. She's inquizative already, that's why she's up and out. Happy mothers day hun. There are lots of troubleing times to come but it's always worth it...the little ones are so loving and sweet and those times go by fast. Enjoy.

I highly recommend the crib tent as well, there is even one for a pack and play if you travel. They keep your child safe. For my son, 18 months was way to early to move to a big bed. He actually enjoyed the idea of a tent! Once my climber moved to a big bed naps became harder to enforece because of the ability to get out. I always say to new moms, keep the crib for as long as you can - no reason to rush it. They grow up too fast as it is.

I haven't read the other posts so this may have already been suggested but I would recommend moving her before she falls out and gets hurt. As for the door -- if you leave it closed at night, a childproof handle works well. Otherwise, a gate in the doorway. My son could certainly climb a gate but he never tried so it stays up every night and when he wakes up in the morning, he lets us know he's awake.

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