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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.

How to Keep a Baby from Climbing...Out of a Crib! #baby #crib #triplets

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)*

    How to Keep a Baby from Climbing...Out of a Crib! #baby #crib #triplets

    Watching Dada work.

  • 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.)
    How to Keep a Baby from Climbing...Out of a Crib! #baby #crib #triplets

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.

How to Keep a Baby from Climbing...Out of a Crib! #baby #crib #triplets

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.

How to Keep a Baby from Climbing...Out of a Crib! #baby #crib #triplets

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.

How to Keep a Baby from Climbing...Out of a Crib! #baby #crib #triplets

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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How to Keep a Baby from Climbing...Out of a Crib! #baby #crib #triplets


  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.

    • 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!

  10. I transitioned my kids to a toddler bed about this time (made potty training easier too so they could get up) so I never had an issue, but I know some people that just turned the crib around. A lot of the newer cribs have one side taller.

  11. Christine says:

    I used Vaseline. Lightly rubbed up and down the bars of the crib and along the top. It doesn’t need much. Just enough to give those little feet, toes and knees the slip.

  12. I wish I had heard this trick a year and a half ago…my daughter climbed out ONCE and broke her arm! :( Saving this for Baby #2!

  13. My youngest son started “escaping” at nine months. I immediately just put the mattress on the floor and took the crib down. Containing that one was next to impossible. Luckily he loved to sleep and loved his nap time.

  14. tina moore says:

    My mother sewed a mosquito net with velcro tabs to close the escape route. It may have also had a zipper.

  15. My oldest son started walking, running and climbing at 8 months. After trying every trick we could dream of short of a lid on top we gave up. He could shinny up the crib bars and heave himself over, the only logical solution was to teach him how to climb down the other side safely.

  16. We did the same thing… Then he learned to climb out if that. After a few more failed solutions, I started sewing the feet if his jammie’s together… You gotta do what you gotta do.

  17. We dropped the mattress to the floor, putting a very thick quilt on the floor to make the gap too small for our little guy to squeeze through. We ended up getting a PeaPod Plus to use when we travel (using bread ties to keep the zippers together) so he wouldn’t escape. Since he’s almost three, we went ahead and sold the crib and use the PeaPod Plus exclusively for his bed now since we’ll be transitioning him soon to a big bed.

  18. We used the sleeping sack that they use in Europe for babies. Fits like a jumper over a t-shirt, and is a sleeping bag on the bottom. They couldn’t kick the covers off, and as a bonus, we found out that they couldn’t climb out of bed since their legs couldn’t separate enough to get one up and hang on. We used a light one for summer and a warm one for winter, and it stopped all climbers!

  19. michelle caldwell says:

    Ok, so if they fall asleep in your arms how are you to get them into this???? My arms are not THAT long!

  20. oh my, that scares me!

  21. Well, my 22 month old twin has his mattress on the floor and he can still get out and back in if he wants. It has been a nightmare! I forgot about the sleep sac idea! I think I’m going to get one now!!! He is completely messing with nap/bedtime and his brother.

  22. Emilie Sellers says:

    Of my 3 children, NOT ONE has EVER climbed out of the crib. I guess I got lucky! LOL

  23. Ok. I have twins. And I’m pretty sure we have the exact same crib!! Pbk?? My husband actually just screwed directly into the legs making it lower and dropping the bottom as low as it would go. Worked with a 2010 model and the newer 2012 one. But my monkey boy could just do a PULL UP and pull himself directly out of the crib :( I needed a lid lol. I made a big kid sleep sack out of an old adult shirt. It worked for a bit bc he couldn’t swing his leg over the edge. But once again after awhile he still got out. I gave up and just converted the cribs to the day bed. Now my newest obstacle is that he takes his dirty diaper off and smears you know what everywhere. While the other twin laughs and helps him. I’m so sad.

  24. Our twins also climbed out, we made plexy glass lids for on top, worked great, until one of them kicked the bars out of his crib & that was the end of that lol!! The only problem with this idea is mine would still be able to climb out, we had to put gates on top of gates to keep them in a room, they were spiderman’s!!

    • Plexy glass! I haven’t heard that one before! Interesting! Too bad you have spidermen! :) In all seriousness, if one has persistent acrobats, it may be wisest to remove the “thrill of the climb” altogether. Sounds like y’all got to switch to toddler beds. :)

  25. My two year old still happily sleeps in a sleep sac. I am convinced that has kept him from being able to climb ;)

  26. Sad to say, I was not creative. I bought a tent. It restored my one year old to his happy self again. He couldn’t get out, knew he couldn’t get out and for some reason, that gave him contentment. We took him out whenever he was ready to get up and never put him in the crib for anything other than sleep. The tent saved us from worry as he could flip every dead bolt in the house and even learned to flip the hotel locks we put on the main doors way up high with a broom handle. He was the 4th, there was no reasoning with him as he was only 12 months or so and he was giddy with freedom without the tent. After a fall on his head and a trip to the ER, we got the mesh tent whose purpose is to keep cats out. Call it cruel, but, he stayed happlily in the crib till 3 and always asked to be zipped in.

  27. We actually have an Angel Care baby monitor and it would always scare my son if it went off because it was so loud. The first time he climbed out of the crib it went off and he scrambled to try and get back in. He only ever tried one more time! He had it on his crib and the convertible toddler bed until age 2.5 when we moved him to his big bed when the new baby was coming. Worked great to keep him in bed.

  28. Isabelle Jean says:

    My sons left the crib at 12 months old because they weren’t sleeping very well in it. We put a 39” mattress on the floor with a toddler gate on the side. They were able to get up alone by the side with no gate but we put a safety gate in the door of the room. So, in that way, the babies were safe and able to develop their autonomy because i think that’s the main reason they climb the crib. However, your idea is awesome if you want to keep them in crib longer…:)

  29. I tried dropping the mattress down on our babies crib and he still climbed right out. So we converted to a toddler bed, but he slept in a pack N play (which he could not climb out of) for 6 months before he would sleep in the toddler bed.

  30. Emily Smith says:

    Sleep Sack! Cant climb out with one of those!! They have sizes up to 2T-3T. My son started climbing out at 18 months and tried and tried everything until the sleep sack and that has worked wonderfully for us!!

    • Emily I’m so glad that worked for you!! Mine never tried to climb out so once we did this, we didn’t have to worry about it anymore. We probably spent less on materials than we would have for all the sleep sacks we’d have needed for three kids for the next 18+ months, haha! :)

  31. atxmom1985 says:

    We kept our LO in a sleep sack and it helped tremendously. We loved the zipadee zip and she slept super great in it. I have heard of dropping the mattress to the floor and that looks like a good idea!

  32. Just so you know, I read this a while ago. I remembered it today when one of my twins at 18 months mastered in two times getting out of crib safely during nape time. Happily showed me how she did it when I asked her. Hardware store here we come. :)
    Thank you. I now need to wait for the toddler rail to come in for the 3/1crib to become a toddler bed. This will save save us. :)

  33. I did this with my 22 month old. It hasn’t worked, even when combined with a sleep sack…and he can open and unlock doors and climb over baby gates. He is strong enough to pull himself up and over the rail without using his legs. This morning he was running around the house at 5am. What is a mother to do? He can unlock and then open all the outside doors. I am thinking of putting a rail on top too to contain him…but I am afraid it will just increase his fall height! I may just rename him Houdini!

    • So familiar with you problems with a son who is into escaping any standard method of keeping him inside and safe. I had to place simple slide and barrel locks up on the very top of my door with extra long screws into the door frame. This last part was so that if Dad came home and forgot to knock before entering he wouldn’t push and thus pull out the short screws from the frame. We had earlier placed one down above the door lock. Yeah, this lasted about a week before my munchkin figured it out. So up high and out of reach for him. Can get frustrating having a child who is so bright AND physically capable. Hang in there. My son is grown and along the way he lettered in Rock Climbing…he is a great kiddo.

  34. My son started climbing out of his crib at 1 year. I finally just gave up and took out his crib leaving the crib mattress on the floor. I also had to remove the dresser or anything that he could climb up and onto as well! Placed a baby gate across his door way and left his door open. This worked until he was around 20 months. He then figured out how to climb out over the gate using pressure from the opposite sides of the door. He climbed everything, including topping our refrigerator in about 1 min!!! Needless to say my son has grown and in High School he earned a letter in…Rock Climbing. LOL He still LOVES to climb.

  35. As a mom of twins, I’m so thankful that I stumbled upon this post!! My girls aren’t climbing out yet, but we’ve witnessed an attempt. For the people who think sleep sacks prevent…well my firstborn climbed out at 19 months wearing a sleep sack! I’ll definitely be talking to my hubby about building these. Blessings!

  36. One of our triplets could get out of anything…We tried sleep sacks, I stitched the sleep sacks narrower so that legs couldn’t get far enough apart…nothing. We ended up going with the crib tents. My MIL ended up finding 3 of them at yard sales and consignment shops…they’re the only thing that worked {and if installed properly are completely safe}. My triplets are almost 3.5, still in cribs, and still stay in their beds. People who don’t have multiples do not understand the logistics of letting 3 little people roam a room at free will.

  37. The Zipadee-Zip truly worked in helping my LO stay in her crib longer. It prolonged her from climbing out and she sleeps so great in it. I would definitely recommend it! We started using it very early, after she needed to transition out of the swaddle. Hoping this helps!

  38. Are these the pbk kendall crib? Hoping so!! I want to do this with ours .

  39. Trish Chavez says:

    Loved these instructions and love to see how you do it all! thought I would mention another solution: The Sleeping Baby Flying Squirrel PJ. The Flying Squirrel PJ  fit is designed to be baggy…kind of like MC Hammer Pants! The roominess and coziness of the Flying Squirrel PJ makes it a perfect alternative to loose blankets that can easily be kicked off in the crib or toddler bed! Convenient, fun, and affordable! Check it out! :)

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