Just Turned Two. What About Crib?

Updated on July 05, 2012
R.Y. asks from Memphis, TN
24 answers

My son turned two yesterday. along with about a million other questions, i wonder when most people consider their child too old for the crib?? Ethan still throws himself around so much in his sleep, there's no way i'd convert his bed to a toddler bed today. but when do many people do this? And is there never the scare they'll roll off the end?? Do they just learn not to after one bad experience? I worry about Ethan getting out of his crib (flipping over top) but he's small for his age and definitely can't do that yet. I just wonder about the toddler bed and when is it safe, and how do you know when it's safe?? I don't sleep with my son (not even to nap) and whenI do lay down with him, it's like i'm more of a distraction. so, i'm not in there to know! advice is helpful, thanks.

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So What Happened?

Thanks to everyone... my son can't get out of his crib yet, but i'll take the mattress suggestion when he can.

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answers from Chicago on

Keep him in for as long as you possibly can! Once a child has freedom, it throws off nap schedules and bedtime. If he's not climbing out or potty training, let it be.

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answers from New York on

If it's not broken don't fix it!! Lol!! I left mine in the crib as long as I could. They were close to 3, as long as they aren't trying to climb out I let them be. It is so much easier, no worries about them falling out of bed, or getting up and wandering.

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answers from Columbus on

We went to a toddler bed when my son started climbing out and fell to the floor doing so. I thought he learned the first time, but when he did it again, we got the toddler bed. I felt he was much too little, not because of throwing himself around but because I wanted him to stay in bed at night and not keep getting up - but the bars weren't working for that, and he adjusted well. He was 2.

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answers from Missoula on

I would leave my kids in their cribs til they start kindergarten if I could.

Seriously, though, you will know it is time for a big bed when your son is climbing out of his crib. Until then, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. There is nothing wrong with a two or three year-old sleeping in a crib.

When he is out of the crib you may have to deal with him wandering the house at all hours, not to mention not staying in bed at bedtime, better that he remain contained for as long as it works.

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answers from Redding on

Keep him in his crib until he shows signs of crawling out.

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answers from Austin on

Our daughter was climbing out of her bed at 1 year.

It was ok the first time, but the day my husband saw her head first coming over the rail with her feet in the air, we knew it was time to get her out of there. She could have broken her neck, with that big 'ol head, hee, hee.

We took the whole thing apart and just put the crib mattress on the floor in a corner. We put up a gate across her door .

She was really young to have to understand to stay in bed. So if she woke up she would either cry or start calling us and shaking the gate we would give her a few minutes, if she did not stop, we would lead her back to bed and tell her time to sleep.

A few months later we purchased a queen bed. Again started off with just the mattresses on the floor in a corner, that was just a week, then we set the whole thing up..

She was tiny in that big bed, but she had lots of books and stuffed animals on there. There was 1 night she rolled onto the floor and woke up crying.. After that she only fell out maybe 2 times in all of those years.. I would find her on the floor asleep next to the bed wrapped in her blankets.

Yes, there were times we had to walk her back to her bed. Or had to read more books.

We did discover as the time changed, we had to put up quilts to block out the light.

We also had a loud neighbor child right next door that could wake the dead with her laughter and voice, so we had to play some quiet music or a book on tape to block that sound. She also liked her room really cool so we had a fan on even during the winter.

So if he is sleeping well, do not rush it. But if he starts trying to get out. Just take the ides off. Even if he roll out, it is low enough he will not hurt himself, but may be startled.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Missoula on

I transferred my DD when she was closer to 19 months. She was climbing out and getting her legs stuck in the slats, so I decided it was time.

She was a VERY active sleeper... She fell off the bed almost every night for the first week, (Her bed didn't have a rail on one of the sides... so I put down a folded, thick blanket for her to land on.) She would cry for me, and I would pick her up, cuddle her, and put her back to bed. After that first week she stopped falling off.

She actually stayed in bed REALLY well! She never climbed out on her own for the first few months... then she discovered that she could climb out. I had a couple of weeks of walking her back to bed and completely ignoring her 'stay up longer' antics. Once she realized she wasn't going to be allowed to stay up, she started staying in her own bed.

As far as the safety goes... I feel like once they start climbing, even if not out of the crib yet, a toddler bed is safer. It's what, 1 1/2 feet off the ground? (as opposed to the 4 feet of a crib's railing.) They are MADE for toddlers, and it's pretty much expected they will fall out. Not to mention the slat thing. My poor DD's legs were majorly bruised when she tried to climb out, failed, and got stuck.
When you decide to make the switch, just make sure that the room is baby proofed... (You know, outlet covers, chords out of reach, no furniture that can be climbed high on or light enough to be pulled over...) As long as the room itself is safe, you don't have much to worry about. :)

~Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that cribs are dangerous... not at all... just that toddler beds aren't any more dangerous. My own DD needed switched early, but that was just our own personal experience. Every kid is different, and will be ready at their own age. :)

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answers from Los Angeles on

As long as he's not climbing out don't worry about moving him. Once you do you can start him out with his mattress on the floor until he learns the imaginary boundaries, which happens at about age 3, and then put the mattress on the frame.

And to be honest, my guy turned 3 in April and I still find him with an arm or leg over the side sometimes, he's never fallen out, (there's a guard rail at the top half) and he's a thrasher ; )

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answers from Atlanta on

We moved my son to a toddler bed when he was two and a half because he was potty-training. We knew he was ready. He follows directions well and had a very advanced comprehension, so we never had trouble with him getting out of bed in the middle of the night or anything like that.

My daughter is about to turn two, and I'll be very surprised if she is ready at two and a half. She has climbed out of her crib twice, so now we put her in sleep-sacks so that she can't get one leg over the rail, and that solved that problem, thank goodness. She's just more impulsive, a bit less obedient, and more likely to get into trouble if she has run of the house! As long as she doesn't figure out how to climb out with a sleep-sack on, I imagine she'll be in her crib for quite a while yet!

My pediatrician said three is about the recommended time to move a child, but stressed that this is just a very general suggestion, not a deadline. As long as your child isn't climbing out and isn't over the weight-limit, there is no need to rush things!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

The b set advice I've heard is "Crib til 3, unless they're climbing out."
When my son turned 2, we started getting all of the "Does he have a big boy bed" questions and we moved him out of his crib (where he was quite happy and sleeping like a dream) to a toddler bed and it was a nightmare!
I think at 3, they can better understand the concept of going "to bed" and "staying in bed" than they can at 2.
Bottom line: If it ain't broke, don't fix it! Right?

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answers from Denver on

My philosophy is to NEVER take a baby out of a crib unless they are too big or climbing out! None of mine ever climbed out, so for us, they were moved out around age 3.
I'm pregnant now and due soon, but our 2 yo is still in the crib. So, this new one will not get that crib yet! A newborn can sleep in a bassinet, but I am not about to mess with my good-sleeping toddler! LOL!

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answers from Anniston on

i put my daughter in a toddler bed right before she turned two. I had to though because one night she decided to climb out of her crib and she got her ankle caught and was hanging there screaming! it was terrifying! luckily her ankle was perfectly fine, and she did great in a toddler bed. They have the side on them and footboard so i never worried about her falling out of bed, plus they arent high off the ground at all. My son started trying to climb out of his at 2 so i went ahead and put him in one also, he has always gone to bed by his self never wanted to be held or rocked so it was very easy to put him in a toddler bed. As long as your son isnt trying to climb out of his crib then i would leave him in it. i think most people do it around 3

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answers from San Francisco on

All three of mine started with a twin mattress on the floor (no box springs) at around 18 months.
Easy, easy and no worries about falling out of bed. Plus they got used to sleeping in a "real' bed early on :)

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answers from Minneapolis on

My kids (all 3 of them) transitioned around their 3rd birthdays. We had two cribs set up for a few years rather than move one out for the new babies...
(my 3 kids were born between 2005 and 2008).

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answers from Dallas on

The last night my daughter spent in a crib was the night before she left the orphanage at 2 yrs old. After that, the hotel had a pack and play that she would try desperately to escape, and she would not be contained in the crib at home either. (I really wanted her to be in a crib for awhile so that she couldn't wander the house at night.) Fortunately, I'd set up a crib and a twin bed in her room. I bought a padded bedrail for one side to keep her from rolling off, and the other side is against the wall. The bedrail was great for keeping her from rolling off, and she learned pretty quickly to sleep within the confines of the bed. I converted her crib into a daybed; she has never actually slept in it even to nap. She often sleeps with me and does not roll off my bed.

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answers from Dallas on

Both of my kids were in toddler beds at the age of 1 - each chose to do it. I placed the toddler bed in their room with their crib. They chose the toddler bed. I was lucky though, neither of my kids had an issue with going to bed and staying there.

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answers from Indianapolis on

I suppose I don't understand the 'fear' associated with cribs. So what if they fall off a 'big kid' bed? Throw a mattress on the floor. I've never used a crib. My 19 month old has slept on a mattress on the floor since before 1. We're switching her to a toddler bed soon.

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answers from Louisville on

i did it the day i walked in and my girls were on the floor looking at me instead of the crib lol. if hes happy let it go i have a friend who has a 3 year old in a crib but my daughter was out at 7 months (shes a climber). do what feels right


answers from Minneapolis on

My daughter was 22 months old and fell out of her crib. She was not a climber and liked her crib, but we think she was leaning to reach something off the nearby tall dresser and tipped too far. (she did a similar thing several months before but that time was with her arm in the bars and ended up fracturing her forearm).

We put her back in the crib, figured out how to breathe again for ourselves (it was scary!!), and went back to sleep, only to have her do it again a while later that night!

We had a toddler bed set up (someone gave it to us and all of her dolly's and stuffy babies slept there!), so we put her into that, with the mattress from the crib on the floor next to it (hubby thought i was silly but I was a worried Momma) for the rest of the night. We had a gate at the top of the steps right outside her door, and found an old pressure type gate to put up (restricting access to the living room) so the only place she could go was the hallway to our room.

She slept fine. Loved it actually! Never fell out or got up. We woke up to "Momma....Dadda....I'm 'WAKE now with the Mr Sun". And she stayed sitting up in her bed with her little Beanie Babies she slept with until we went in there.

That was her pattern for the next year until she potty trained. She never got up out of the bed except for the 2 or 3 times during that year that she was sick. It was fantastic! After potty training she still rarely got up. Shes got a good holding tank!

We removed the living room gate after a few weeks and just kept the stairs gate always up. I worried about her sleep walking and falling down the steps. My kid just loves to sleep, loves her own bed and always has. Now she is a teenager....I am lucky if she EVER comes out of her bedroom! LOL

Do what works for you, there is no magic number!


answers from Santa Fe on

We switched our daughter to a twin bed when she was two. Yes, she thrashes around too. I got a side rail for on the bed and the side near the wall we line with all her larger stuffed animals. At the top of the side rail we have an extra pillow and her pillow pet to block the space. She is 2 and 8 months now and has always been fine in her twin bed. She's pretty blocked in there.



answers from Oklahoma City on

He's too old for a toddle bed now. You'll just need to switch him to a regular bed when you decide to move him.

Toddler beds are for toddlers. That is ages 12 months up to 24 months. Toddler beds are made for the smaller kids and do not hold up well to the weight, the length, the movement, etc...he may be uncomfortable on that mattress too. It may be for babies and he is too heavy for it. Baby bed mattresses are not for bigger kids. They are not strong enough and he could be feeling the insides and it's not comfortable anymore.

I think you might want to just out the twin or larger mattress on the floor and let him get used to it.

The younger you switch them the less problems you have with them getting up and wandering. They just think the bed is for sleeping and they don't really "get" that it is a freedom thing.



answers from Lexington on

I switch my daughter to a twin bed at 18 months. I did it in steps though, at first I just placed the mattres on the flooragainst the wall in case she fell off of the bed at night and when I felt safe I finally put the frame together. She is 6 now and has only fallen out of the bed once. I did place a baby gate across the bedroom door at night when I removed the crib so that if she woke up early she was contained.



answers from Johnson City on

I switched my two to a toddler bed around 2 (switched my son because my daughter was on the way and I needed the crib for her and switched her around the same age because she was ready for a toddler bed). In both cases, we had them take their naps in the bed for a week or two before they started sleeping in it at night. We put the bed in the corner and put on a side rail and didn't really have issues with either falling out. Once or twice, they thrashed around enough to kick off the rail and fall out anyway, but both are such sound sleepers that the short fall didn't wake them up. We switched them to regular twin beds around 3 and used the rail on the twin bed for probably close to a year just to make sure, but not even sure they needed it since the twin bed gives them more "wiggle room."



answers from New York on

we bought a crib tent. It zips closed from the outside. we hope to keep him in the crib for as long as possible. frankly, I will sleep better knowing my little houdini is contained.

Good luck to you and yours,
F. B.

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