Toddler Climbing Out of The Crib? Here’s What You Need to Know!

Remember when you thought scooting and crawling were the most wild and adventurous things your baby could do? Well, it seems your toddler has started climbing out of the crib…now what?!?


Does this mean it’s time to transition to a toddler bed? What if don’t know how to handle their newfound “freedom”, let alone them having all of that freedom in the middle of the night? How do I make sure their sleep space is totally safe?


Well, you’re in the right place! In this blog post, I’m going to talk about:


My toddler keeps climbing out of crib…now what???


When is it time to transition to a bed kid bed?


What about floor beds?


Before we get started, know that I have all of this information and so much more in the 2-5 Years Content Library. In fact, I have an entire guide called, “Toddler Getting Out of Bed”. Click here to check it out!


Let’s jump right into it!


My toddler keeps climbing out of crib…now what???


It’s no secret that toddlers LOVE that new sense of freedom. They have access to so many new and exciting things, and they want to soak it all up. But this excitement doesn’t just go away once bedtime hits…toddler FOMO (fear of missing out) is a REALLY real thing.



Toddler Escape Artists on Instagram | The Peaceful Sleeper

Click here to watch my youngest, Nolan, wandering the kitchen at 1:55 AM after escaping the crib on Instagram!


So, once they’re big enough and strong enough, many toddlers get all ninja on us and start trying to climb out of the crib. But don’t freak out! I’m going to go over a few tips for keeping safely keeping them in their crib as well as how to know when to consider saying goodbye to it.


If you haven’t already, download my FREE Ultimate Naps Guide. It’ll give you all the knowledge you need to help your baby (or toddler) take great naps! Download for free here 💤


If you aren’t quite at this stage yet, keep in mind that there are varying degrees of “crib climbers”. Some little ones actually never attempt it, never even think about it. Some toddlers give it a try, have a little tumble, and don’t try climbing out of the crib again. And then there are those fearless little adventurers who might leave you questioning whether or not you actually gave birth to a little monkey.


If you don’t think you and/or your little one are quite ready to jump into transitioning to a big kid bed, here are a few of my favorite tips:


Tips For Keeping Your Toddler (Safely!) Sleeping in Their Crib

  • Place the crib mattress in the lowest position possible to make the railing of the crib more difficult to reach
  • Use (or keep using) a sleep sack – this will make it more difficult and uncomfortable to hoist a leg over the crib railing
  • Place pillows around the base of the crib – in case they do make it over, and need something soft to land on should they lose their grip and have a little tumble!



Toddler Laying in Crib | The Peaceful Sleeper


When is it time to transition to a bed kid bed?


I highly recommend holding off on this transition as long as possible, or closer to when they’re three years old. One reason is that it’s easier to reason with a 2.5 year old than it is with an 18 month old once you make the transition.


I know I said to try to keep your toddler in the crib (using the tools listed above) for as long as possible. However, if you feel like there are any real dangers to your little one staying in the crib any longer, follow your mom gut and start your move to a toddler bed!


Around three years old is generally when it’s time to move from the crib to a big kid bed. Around this time, your little one has most likely (or may soon) gone through the 24 month sleep regression


Why 3 years?

  1. At this point, they are cognitively able to understand why they have to stay in their room at night. If you do find yourself in a power struggle, older toddlers are going to be easier to incentivize. 
  2. You can clearly communicate boundaries during the day and BEFORE you fully ditch the crib. 


Wondering how to make the transition to a big kid bed and how to get your little one to actually stay in their new bed? Click here to read my other blog post – it’s got everything you need to know! 



Mom and Baby in Crib | The Peaceful Sleeper


What about floor beds?


A toddler floor bed follows the Montessori method of empowering children with independence and the ability to move around freely. There are pros and cons to this, however, how much independence is too much independence for a toddler? The answer is – whatever is the best fit for your toddler…you know them best!


What about safety? There are safety risks to both cribs AND floor beds. With cribs, they run the risk of injury when climbing out. With floor beds, they have full access to their room and potentially the whole house while you are sleeping. Think curtains, electrical outlets, small choking hazards, cords, etc. 


If you haven’t already, download my FREE Ultimate Naps Guide. It’ll give you all the knowledge you need to help your baby (or toddler) take great naps! Download for free here 💤


Every toddler and family is different – what may work for one family may not with another. With this in mind, just be prepared to make the necessary preparations should you choose to keep your little one in the crib a bit longer OR move them to a big kid bed or floor bed.


I have another blog post entirely about toddler floor beds. Click here to check it out!



Toddler Climbing Out of Crib | The Peaceful Sleeper



Recap of Toddlers Climbing Out of Crib


At the end of the day, you need to choose what will work best for YOUR family, weigh the pros and cons, and understand the safety measures of any option you choose.  Whichever option you choose, we are here to help and support you through the transition!


If you need support keeping your toddler in their crib or moving them to another sleep space, we would love to work with you. Click here to hop on a call with one of our AMAZING Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultants!


Whether your little one is a newborn (0-4 Months Content Library), 4-24 months (4-24 Months Content Library), or a toddler (2-5 Years Content Library), we have the resources you need to get your family the sleep you all deserve!

Christine Lawler

Christine Lawler

MS, LMFT, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant

Hi! I’m so glad you’re here! I’m a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, practicing for over 13 years. I’ve set out to do ALL of the research and I created a method to optimize baby sleep that is tuned in, empowering and WORKS. There absolutely should be joy in motherhood, and I have learned that every baby CAN get better sleep!

Read more about my team here.

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