34 answers

Falling Out of Toddler Bed

I have two daughters, one of them just turned two and the other is four months. Our baby has been sleeping in our room and we decided that it was time to move her into the room with her sister. So we bought my oldest a toddler bed and had her try it out. She loved it for a couple of days, but then she started falling out of the bed in the middle of the night. Now she wont sleep in it and wants to go back to her crib. The bed has those built in partial railings, but shes kind of a wild sleeper. I have been trying to find other railings that will fit the bed, but have only found them for twin beds and bigger. I was wondering if anyone knows of railings that can be bought for toddler beds? Also, if maybe my daughter is just not ready for a bed and we should get another crib? We really want to move our baby into the room, any help would be appreciated.

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I've heard of people buying those floating pool "noodles" and putting them under the fitted sheet. That could help her stay withing the boundaries of the bed.

1 mom found this helpful

Someone else already mentioned the Ikea clip on bed rails, but I just wanted to chime in. I looked all over the place for rails for my son's toddler bed because his bed didn't come with any rails and finally found the clip on ones from Ikea. This worked great!

I tried a foam noodle type that goes under the sheets I bought from ebay but it took up too much space and was really hard to get the sheets to fit right. Also, it is not recommended to use the rails for regular mattresses because crib mattresses are not heavy enough to support the regular rails and it can cause the mattress to flip.

Step two makes options with high sides. Like race cars. They come with butterfly stickers. Or they have a castle that has higher sides. or little tykes may have some. I love their websites. www.step2.com or www.littletykes.com

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I've heard of people buying those floating pool "noodles" and putting them under the fitted sheet. That could help her stay withing the boundaries of the bed.

1 mom found this helpful

I moved my twins out of their cribs around 21 mos, when they starting climbing out. We put their twin mattresses on the floor to start. That way, they got used to having a bed, but there wasn't much room to fall if they did. Eventually, we put the mattresses into the actual bed and it worked fine. My son fell out once or twice (I placed a rug and pillows next to his bed) After that, I think his body learned instinctively that there were physical boundaries. He still moves around a lot when he sleeps but doesn't fall out of the bed.
And keep in mind that their bodies are still very pliable, so they won't break anything if they fall. It's obviously just very uncomfortable and frightening.

Step two makes options with high sides. Like race cars. They come with butterfly stickers. Or they have a castle that has higher sides. or little tykes may have some. I love their websites. www.step2.com or www.littletykes.com

Hi B., I would get her a full size bed and get the rsils for that. This will give her more room to be wild. If you get her another crib you may never get her out of it even when it gets dangerouds for her. Even a twin bed could work.

Have you thought of moving up to a twin size? My son started with a full size (because it was the bottom of his bunk beds) at about 2, with one side against the wall and one side with a railing. He never fell out since the bed was so big and he could be as wild as he wanted in it. My daughter started in her big girl bed around 18 months. She has a twin size which is the bottom of her bunk beds) with railings on both sides. She has fallen off once or twice, because she will move all the way to the end of the bed, but for the most part stays in. It does not require a box spring so it is lower than a normal bed. You can always get a bunkie mattress (with a built in frame) if you want your child to be lower to the floor.

My son still loves sleeping on the floor. (we'd rather he slept on his bed but we dont fight it. It makes for much easier travelling after all!) I've never been sure if it is because he falls out of bed or because he truly prefers to sleep on the floor. He is a bed roamer - moves a LOT in his sleep. As an infant, he'd be up against one end then the next time I walked by, he'd be totally upside down and by the other end, then he'd have turned himself around and is up along the rails... you get the picture!

What we do now is we spread out a quilt on the floor and put his pillow and sheet on that and he just rolls around. Yes sometimes he ends up sleeping on the carpet, which is why I'd rather he slept on his bed but the floor is his preference roughly 5-6 days out of 7.

Anyways, I share that just so you know your kid is not the only one should she decide she'd rather sleep on the floor than the bed. You can place the mattress on the floor (and pillows/blankets along the side to cushion the "fall" if she does roll off)

They need to learn at some point, and it's much better now while their bodies are little and the bed is not so tall, how to self-correct and stop their rolling over the edge while they're sleeping. Otherwise landing on the floor when she's weighing 60 lbs is gonna hurt more if she hasn't learned to stablize herself.

Since my son wasn't a crib sleeper - he slept in the playpen. When it was time to transistion, we just put the crib mattress on the floor to get him use to that mattress and then we put a big body pillow next to the edge. I know it wasn't far to the ground from a mattress to the floor but he didn't know that and it was his small sense of security.

Maybe let her sleep on the mattress on the floor. My daughter would climb out of her toddler bed and lay on the floor next to the door so she could see under the door. She'd wake up every morning with carpet print on her face! Nothing I could do would make her stay in bed, but she seemed to sleep ok so I let it go. (And she would climb out of the crib, so there was no going back to that!)

If she really wants to be in her crib, maybe you could let her sleep in it and have the baby sleep in the Pack n Play or something? Then get her used to her "big girl bed" at naptime. At least then if she falls out she can see to get back in bed. It might only take a week or two to transition her like that. Just a thought!

Google "adjustable bed rails" you will find lots of railings that attach to the bed with "feet" that slip under the mattress. Most of these are made for twins so they should be long enough to cover the entire side of the toddler bed. Also, a lot of these bed rails are taller than the rails sold with the toddler bed and some of them even have cup holders for a sippy cup of water. Many are between $35-50 and some are sold in sets of two if you don't have a wall to push one side of the bed up against.

You could also try getting a "bed tent" and putting the mattress on the floor inside the tent. A less expensive alternative would be putting the mattress on the floor and getting a "mosquito canopy" to make it safe and more exciting for her. If she REALLY wants a crib, see if you can borrow, rent or buy secondhand for your new baby and give her the crib back. She will probably change her mind once she goes back to the crib, so don't spend too much money. :0)

Good luck!

Hi B.,
I would say that if your daughter wants to go back to her crib then you should let her. You don't want her to feel like she is getting kicked out of her bed for the baby. She may end up having resentful feelings toward your baby. Two years old is still a little young to fully understand the "big girl bed". As far as putting the baby in the other room, what about getting a pack-n-play for her to sleep in until your daughter is ready for a big girl bed. We have a friend who's son only ever slept in a pack-n-play and they thought it was great because then he never had any trouble when they traveled (which they did a lot) because they took his bed with them.

Hi B.,

Here's what I did that worked for us. I put my daughter's bed in the corner so one side and the head were blocked with the wall. Then I moved her dresser to block part of the other side. I placed the dresser so that it was nearer to the foot of her bed. That way I still had room to change the sheets and could see her better. Plus she could still see her night light. Anyway, with that set up, during the day she could play house or fort. Being able to play like that made her feel more comfortable about sleeping in her bed at night.

Hope this helps you as well. :o)

N. R

One side against the wall. Pillows to buffer the other side.

I'm also wondering if gently lifting the toddler bed or mattress on one side might help?

We have a very similar bed, it's at the foot of our bed. Our daughter is about 33 months and does not fall out or tend towards wild sleeping, so I guess I'm really lucky!

I also like the idea of letting your child sleep on the floor, especially if she likes to spread out or find "cool spots". Maybe pack up the toddler bed for awhile and put the crib mattress on the floor like a pallet until she gets the hang of it? At some point 99.9% of people stop rolling out of bed, so I'm sure your little girl with end on the right side of the bed one of these days!!!


My 3 1/2 year old son has just been moved to a regular twin bed. On both his toddler bed (without a rail, just the crib with the one side that you take off) and his twin I took a squishy pillow and tucked it up under the sheet on the edge of the bed to make a "bumper". This seems to have been the answer for him. I think I also did this with a "body pillow" on my daughter's bed when she was first in it....but that was years ago! Good luck, E.

We have our 2 year old twins on the floor on their mattresses and it has worked out great. They are definitely getting better about not flopping all over the place and landing on the floor, but they still do it and it doesn't even wake them up. They can crawl right back on to their mattresses without a peep. You might want to try that. Good luck!

My DS just turned 3. When he moved to his twin bed, we got a Snug Tuck Pillow (http://www.snugtuckpillow.com/). It's great b/c he can cuddle up to it.

She's probably not ready for it. Generally, they aren't ready to move out of the crib until at least 2.5 to 3years old. I'd recommend getting another crib - preferably one with a removable side so that as she is approaching moving to a big bed, you can take off the side and get her used to sleeping without railings. The crib with the mattress at the lowest it can go is usually lower than any bed and if you put a mattress or some other soft padding (a gym mat, e.g.) next to the crib to start, if she falls out it will be onto something soft and she'll be less likely to get hurt (or even wake up). She'll gradually adjust to no railings when she's older and more prepared to handle it.

Good luck!

Ikea has clip-on wooden railings that you can buy separate from the beds. They're relatively short, so you should be able to fit an extra one on the bed. They also have canopies that might make your daughter feel more secure while falling asleep (they do not provide protection from falling out of bed though).


I have 2 daughters 22 months apart. We elected to keep the oldest in her crib until she was climbing over the sides (around 2 1/2- 2 3/4 years old) We skipped the toddler bed. When we moved her to her to her "big" girl bed we bought those foam noodles that you play with in the pool and put them under her sheet to help remind her of where the edge of the bed is. Before the noodles she fell off a few times too. We kept our youngest in her pack n' play bassinet until she out grew the weight limit but ended up with 2 kids & 2 cribs for some time anyway:) My thinking was not to move my oldest out of "her" crib until it was really and truly necessary besides I didn't want the extra stress of her having free reign in her room while I was so exhausted with a new born. It worked for us but you'll have to see what works for your family. Good luck and happy sleeping.

My daughter had the same experience! She fell out a few times, and after that decided she would rather sleep on the floor. Because her toddler bed was converted from her crib (a 3-in-1 deal), we decided to just convert the toddler bed to the full bed where she has more than enough room to move around.
I wouldn't get another crib...since she is 2 & will be moving on within a year anyway. Maybe consider getting a twin instead - more room AND the appropriate railings? That way the twin will last longer.
Good luck!

My son went through that as well- the falling out of bed and wanting to sleep in his crib. I can't remember what we did. I think we required him to nap in his bed and let him choose where to sleep at night. Finally I think we just dismantled the crib. If you can keep your baby in your room for another month you could take the crib apart so your daughter has to sleep in her bed, then when she is used to it, move the baby and crib back in. If not I would go with the crowded room idea (pack-n-play, crib, & bed)

You can still use the ones for twin beds on toddler bed. Just take the rail off the toddler bed and use the one for a twin bed. Thats what we did. The ones for twin beds are also longer. hope this helps

I would suggest a twin mattress on the floor(no box spring). this is what we are doing for our 2 yr old and it work fine. He also is a WILD sleeper and because it's on the floor it's easy for him to crawl back in and not so far to fall.

First, keep her in the new bed definitely and don't let her go backwards. Do not get another crib. Put pillows on the floor next to her bed and a gate up at the door in case she decides to go roaming.

Why not try a basic twin bed where you can purchase full railings? Or purchase a twin bed and then just put the mattress on the floor?

Just please do not go backwards. Remember that our children learn what we teach them so teach her she is a big girl and can have a big girl bed.

God Bless -


Sorry if this is a repeat, but try putting the mattress on the floor. Its not too far to fall. I would try a twinn or full mattress too - no box springs. If she's a wild sleeper, it'll give her more room.

Someone else already mentioned the Ikea clip on bed rails, but I just wanted to chime in. I looked all over the place for rails for my son's toddler bed because his bed didn't come with any rails and finally found the clip on ones from Ikea. This worked great!

I tried a foam noodle type that goes under the sheets I bought from ebay but it took up too much space and was really hard to get the sheets to fit right. Also, it is not recommended to use the rails for regular mattresses because crib mattresses are not heavy enough to support the regular rails and it can cause the mattress to flip.

Dear B.,
It sounds like you have quite a little flipper!
She's not too young to be in a toddler bed. She just needs to figure out, sooner or later, not to roll around so much.
My kids had toddler beds. This may sound weird, but turn the bed upside down, with the head at the foot and the foot at the head, up against a wall. That way, She will be covered on all sides except for the little open space on the exposed long side. It sounds like she wiggles down toward the "foot" of the bed anyway so it's worth a try. Put lots of pillows or blankets down to make for a soft landing if she still falls out.
I don't know how handy your husband is, but you could make your own "rail" with thin plywood and "L" brackets to slip under the mattress. When she's at that end of the bed, her weight will keep it from going anywhere.
Anyway, it may take a little time, but she will figure out she's only got so much room to roll.

Good luck!

Hi B.. What does your 4mo old sleep in now? We still have our 6mo old in a bassinet, as we had no room for a crib yet. (soon, though!) But I agree that the baby probably needs to be in the other room to let you sleep (ours kicks all through the night, always waking me up). Putting a packnplay or bassinet in the other room would free up the crib for your daughter, b/c some kids need more time in a crib. Maybe try it for a few months and then try your daughter in the bed again? Good luck!

Why not just put her in a twin bed? She is going to have to move out of the toddler bed eventually, and buying everything to accomadate a toddler bed can get expensive. My kids went straight to twin beds from the crib with no problems, we do have a railing on the side. Good Luck!!

my son is 22 months old and we are due with baby number 2 in october. he has been in a toddler bed for about a month and what we did is buy the guard that is supposed to be for a twin bed, but put it on his toddler bed. it has straps on it, so we've tied the straps to the wooden slots under tha mattress, so, if he's up against it he won't fall out. it wouldn't fit with the railings that came with the toddler bed so we've taken them out the side we are using the guard and the other side of his bed is against the wall. there is still a space at the bottom so he can get in and out, but it is much smaller and he is much more secure this way. hope this helps.....good luck!

We just went through this last week. My daughter out of the blue started climbing out of her crib at nap time on and I wasn't ready for that. Our boys didn't do this until they were almost 3 and she just turned 2. Anyway we made it into a daybed with just the front of the crib off and I know that won't work for you since you need the crib for your infant. So here is an idea put the toddler bed mattress on the floor, or you could put chair cushions on the floor right next to the toddler bed, this is what we did since we had a flufffy rocking chair in her room. That way if she falls she lands on something soft, or if you just put the mattress on the floor then maybe a big fluffy blanket next to the mattress her fall would be cushioned. Hope this helps.

Possibility of a body pillow to block the remaining opening? I don't know... just a suggestion if you can't find the rails.

You can use a standard crib tent on most toddler beds... it would be a fun "camping" adventure and you won't have to worry about her climbing out.

My sister did this and it worked very well, also inexpensive....

She bougth a "fun noodle" for pool play. You can cut it down to be shorter if you need to or buy more than one for a longer piece. Next, she rolled it up in a thick blanket and safety pinned the blanket in place. Then she slid it in under the sheet longways down the side of the bed. The sheet keeps it in place and you can adjust the thickness based on the blanket you use.

It is great because her daughter (almost 3 years) can not even climb over it without help and it is nice and soft. I would imagine you would need a strechy sheet or a sheet that is a little big for the bed. You can use those stretchy elastic things that keep sheets in place too, if it isn't a great fit.

Good luck!




Just did this 2 days ago and it worked!!! Bought this Jr. Loft Bed that has a club house made of canvas on the bottom part and just put an other matress on the floor inside the club house... and my 2.5 year old sleeps in the bottom one while my 4.5 year old sleeps on the top!!! Fun safe and they love it and now sleep in the same room!!! And the club house canvas walls will serve as a rail to stop them from falling out of bed!!! There are many designs even a pricess castle... Love, G.. :0)
P.S. As she gets older she can sleep on the top!!!
And the other on the bottom!!! They do not take much space and not as tall as a bunk bed...3 feet high!!! Oh and get her those stars that glow in the dark and put them on the ceiling so at night she can see them as you turn of the light, that way they are looking forward on getting in to bed!!!I live in Modesto & bought it here at the KIDLAND kid furniture store, you can go there and see them in person and see all your options in furniture for their room!!! Good luck!!!

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