“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.
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?)
How to Keep a Baby from Climbing out of a Crib – 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)*
- Wood screws (4 – 2″ or 3″)
- Miter saw (I used this one)
- Electric / battery powered screwdriver (this bad boy is what I used)
- 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 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 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 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.
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!
UPDATE ****Enter the non-handy wife.**** Hi, it’s me again! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked if this is safe (or told emphatically it is unsafe!). I’ve also heard the suggestions of using crib tents or sleep sacks or…for goodness’ sake, just move them to toddler beds! Well, for starters, there was no gap between the railing and the mattress and this post actually helps protect against that issue since dropping the mattress all the way to the floor typically does create a gap! As for the crib tents, those have been recalled for a few years now, in the US. And sleep sacks? Those could have cost more money x 3 (or more!) and created more laundry for this mama. This solution was one and done! Finally, many babies learn to climb out of their cribs well before their first birthday which means toddler beds may not be a good solution. It also wasn’t a good solution for us since we had triplets sharing one room. We just weren’t interested in adding another battle (Stay in your bed! Stay in your room! Etc.) to what we were dealing with. Our kiddos were in their cribs for a total of 39 months with not a single issue of climbing out – mainly due to this solution!
Oh, and for those worried that cribs keep kids from exploring (and feel toddler beds provide the opportunity to do so) …don’t worry…they explore all day long.
What solution did you come up with for your climber(s)?
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