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How to Keep Baby from Climbing Out of a Crib

“How on earth do we keep Baby from climbing out of a crib?” That is the question. Perhaps the million dollar question. Or, at least, the million dollar question for this season of our lives. And we have asked this for our three babies.

keep baby from climbing out of a crib

The thing about multiples is that they are really good at watching and learning. And then doing. The challenge with this is that they are all at the same cognitive level as each other.

In a typical singleton sibling relationship, the parent can reason with the older child, discipline the older child, etc. (Whether or not this child actually complies is not the point I am after here. =) But when you have several same-aged children whose attention spans are all next to nothing, it is often fruitless attempting to reason with them that such-and-such activity is not ok. Child A is no more able to reason than Child B or Child C.

So when the babies showed the first signs of climbing, we dropped them to the lowest level we could. Unfortunately, that wasn’t low enough. Two of our three are plenty tall enough (and have been for a while) to climb out. Many parents simply drop the crib mattress to the floor and gain another 4-6″. The problem is that some cribs have too much of a gap between the top of the mattress on the floor and the bottom of the crib railing. Nobody wants escapees to get stuck under a crib railing. (Oh my, can you imagine the screams that would ensue?)

The Solution

I love having all my triplet mama friends I can pester with questions (shout out: hey girls!). We’ve discussed everything from sibling rivalry at the breast to how to stagger feedings to actually get some sleep, to managing three teething babies at once, etc.

This situation was no different – what do you do when one or more begins to climb out of their crib while the rest watch and learn quickly?

One fellow triplet mama said, “You build a platform for the floor and drop the mattress onto this!” And so we did. We based our plans off of theirs.

(Enter the very handy hubby and exit the very non-handy wife.)

Step 1: Measure

We measured 47″ long x 24″ wide to fit under our cribs and to perfectly fit inside the groves underneath the current mattress platform. Based on your crib’s measurements, you can adjust the following information as needed. 

Step 2: Materials (found at your local home improvement store)

  • Lumber (2 – 1x4x8 stud for frame and 1 – 2×4 for corner pieces)*

    015

    Watching Dada work.

  • Wood screws (4 – 2″ or 3″)
  • Mider saw
  • Electric / battery powered screwdriver
  • 3/4 drill bit

These materials will enable you to build a platform for one crib.

* If we did this again, we would purchase instead 1 – 1x6x8 stud to allow for the height and remove the need for the extra corner foot pieces added to the bottom for added height.

Step 3: Cut

  • 2 (47″ slats out of the 1×4)
  • 2 (48″ to 49″ slats out of the 1×4) – You may not need this if you opt for the 1x 6 stud.
  • 8 corner blocks out of the 2 x 4 (If you opt to use the 1×6 stud, you will only need 4 corner pieces.)
    step 3

Step 4: Drill

(Skip this step if you opted for the 1×6 stud option.)

Use the 3/4 drill bit to drill halfway down the corner block as pictured here.

step 4a4b

Step 5: Assemble

  • Connect 2 corner blocks to make 4 corners with the wood screws (skip this if you opted for the 1×6 stud).
  • Use wood screws to attach the 4 corners (note: we opted for the side boards to be tucked inside the head and foot boards).
  • Attach top longer slats with wood screws.

step 5ab

Step 6: Put it together

Place the crib mattress platform onto the new floor platform.  The brackets on our cribs actually fit perfectly to hold the mattress platform in place.  If you find that your crib mattress platform slides off the floor platform easily, we would suggest attaching brackets to hold the platform more securely.

step 6

And there you have it! For less than $10/crib, you can gain more time with your munchkin happily in his crib. Apparently, it’s also so easy that even the non-handy ones can build this!

What solution did you come up with for your climber(s)?

Comments

  1. Now, that’s smart….I will be stealing this!!

  2. Excellent! Not time for us yet, but I’ll keep this handy.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    That’s pretty smart! I had never thought of that idea. My trio climbed out a few times but really seemed to enjoy their own space in their crib so it never really became an issue (I know. I count my blessings. They give me a hard time about other things.) We took them out of cribs and straight into twin beds a few months before 3. I wish they were still in cribs though! Naps have been hard! (The only reason we did it then was because we were traveling a lot this summer and they are too big for pack and plays.) other wise they would have been in cribs until 5. :) hahah!

  4. Unfortunately, Layla is part monkey and started climbing out of her crib at mine months. Had I known about this, it would have been considered. Instead, we converted her crib into its toddler bed functionality and added a large safety rail so she would not roll out. Her room is very childproofed and her door Is shut at naps and bedtime, so she is not in danger if she does get out of bed. Typically, she grabs a book and sits in bed “reading” to her baby dolls and stuffed animals.

  5. This is genius! We will definitely use this with our twins and I wish I had known about this with my singleton! Thanks for sharing your resources.

  6. Elizabeth Wind says:

    Thanks for posting! My boys are standing now in their cribs so it’s only a matter of time… yikes!

  7. Brilliant! My boys aren’t climbing out yet, though they are tall enough they could. It’s only a matter of time before they decide to try it out. They’re just really laid back kiddos, and that doesn’t bother me a bit! Might have to try this :)

  8. Hi there,
    My daughter came up with the sleep sack. Our grandson is tall and 17 months old. He has been in a sleep sack since birth. She just kept buying bigger ones. He cannot climb out of the crib.
    Blessings,
    Janis http://www.janiscox.com

    • Hi Janis! That’s a great solution, too! I have friends who use sleep sacks but I figured this might just be a bit cheaper….x3. ;) Sounds like you have an adventurous grandson – congratulations! :)

  9. We put our 2 yr old trips in sleep sacks… You can buy on amazon, or make them from old pillow cases… That way they can’t get a heel up and climb out of the crib… It works for now…

    • I didn’t realize they made them this big! Ours are now 2.5 and with potty training I’m not sure how that would go over lol! But so far, the dropped crib has sure worked!! Knock on wood, haha!

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