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Toddler Won't Stay in Crib

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2 yr old climbs out of crib, won't sleep

June 2011

my son, who will be 2 this month, learned to climb out of his crib last week. we put a board across the rail, but it only held him a few days. so now his bed is a futon on the floor. until now he has been a good sleeper, easily went to sleep alone in his crib, slept 11+ hrs at night, a 2-3 hr nap in the pm. now he won't nap anymore and takes a while to get to sleep at night.

i've read and received all sorts of advice about how to get him to nap now, to no avail. i barely have the energy to describe what afternoons have been like lately. suffice to say, i am beyond frustrated. i'm tired and see absolutely no end in sight. last night he finally fell asleep (with me next to him) at 9:30pm (bedtime is 8pm). he was a out of control yesterday, because he's one of those kids that is super sweet with enough sleep, but a pill when tired. (and to top it off, he fell asleep in the car at 4 pm, just when i was going to the grocery store.) i'm usually a nice parent, but lately after nap time my frustration is so high, i feel downright unfriendly towards him, which makes me feel like an awful person.

i'm really not sure how to proceed. i don't want to give up on naps, mainly because it's clear he still needs them. but also because i am self-employed and use nap time to do calls/admin for work. but naps have turned into a game for him, in which he comes out of his room 50 times, or when i've tried lying down with him, he climbs all over me, prodding, talking, opening the curtains, leaving the room, etc. i got a safety gate and installed it across the opening to his room. he climbed over it in the first 5 minutes. if i lock his door he gets really, really upset (I have tried that but after lots of crying gave up, feeling simultaneously angry at him, like a failure, and like a terrible parent).

i honestly don't know what to do. i need help but i think ''useless advice'' might send me over the edge (so, if you have been co-sleeping all your child's life, or your kid transitioned to a bed easily, please refrain from replying, unless you just want to be nice and tell me i'm not a horrible person for being so annoyed with my son.) (sorry if i sound bitchy, it's the frustration leaking...) i think i would really benefit from a PLAN. i don't need it to work instantaneously, but i need to feel that whatever i'm doing will work eventually. right now, i just don't know what i'm doing, and the fact that nothing i've tried seems to work at all is making me hopeless.

so, for those of you who have successfully negotiated a similar situation, what did you do? a good book on toddler sleep? handcuffs? drugs? need help


we have pretty easy kids, but there were similar challenges. my daughter launched herself from crib at about same age. we started using futon on the floor and she took long time going to sleep, getting up repeatedly etc. i recall we had to do some pretty intense ''ferberizing'' (letting her cry herself to sleep). i would try to get her to sleep, but after about a few minutes i got up and left. i then had to hold the door closed with one hand to keep her in the room and refrain my wife from opening it with the other...it was not pleasant, very stressful, i'm not proud. it took a long time each night. but three days later, she was sleeping thru again. as for taking long time to go to sleep and getting up, i came up with this strategy: i would lay next to her and help her get to sleep, and on each subsequent night i moved just a bit further away until i was literally at the door, lying on the floor. then finally i said to her ''i'll be in my bed'' which was just across a short hall. i had to leave door open. this took many weeks if i recall. (i cannot remember if the ''ferberizing'' episode happened at same time??) kids need a reliable routine, it helps them feel secure. the routine can be on your terms but you have to stick to it. there is no conflict between being kind and gentle and being reliable. as for the sleeping thing, i think my daughter just needed to know we would be there in the morning when she woke up and nothing was going to happen in the night, i think it was a simple anxiety maybe caused by the new freedom outside of the crib?? i dont know, but once the routine was worked out she was back to her usual self. lastly, as for naps, i would not stress about that, either they need them or they dont. both our kids gave up naps earlier than we wished. i think they both felt they were going to miss out on something and were too excited to sleep in the day. so we focused on night time routine instead. good luck! anon
Hi. We also hav a reticent bed sleeper. Left to his own, he'd stay up all day and get increasingly grouchy for hours before bedtime. The ''climbing all over'' at naptime drives me bonkers, so I just skip it... The day is tough enough. We've never fallen into a shedule, despite my efforts,but recently, I make sure we get out of the house a couple hours every morning, get lots of exercise, eat (snack or lunch), and then take a quiet stroller walk or car seat ride. I know they say you need to have the babe fall asleep in their bed, but mine just won't and I can't deal with the stress during the long day. Once he's konked out, I move him into bed and he'll snooze 1-2 hours.

We've had so many sleeping battles, so I'm grateful this works. Anyway, maybe give the stroller a try? Still a strolling mom


My daughter, who used to be a great sleeper, turned two a couple weeks ago and right after her birthday developed serious issues around sleep. Bedtime has long been between 8 and 9, but these days she's frequently awake till 10 or later. Worst of all, she's decided that what she wants is for Mama to sleep with her....we have never been co- sleepers, but I did share a bed with her a few weeks ago in a hotel, and now she has the idea in her head. I'm not thrilled about it, but I have had to cave in from time to time (two nights ago she and I ''slept'' next to each other on her floor from about 2:30 to 4:30 in the morning...she slept, I lay awake and fumed; all my attempts to leave resulted in her waking up and demanding I stay).

I don't know if it's psychological or physical (it's possible our kids just need less sleep than they used to now that they're 2, but something's definitely up. Here's what I've done with some success:

1) First, I'd recommend transitioning to a toddler bed. If your son can climb out of his crib, there's nothing gained by him having a crib, AND he can't climb back in. The beauty of the toddler bed is....

2) Bedtime and naptime means our daughter goes in her room, but we don't make her sleep. I leave the light on (we have a dimmer) and let her do what she wants. For my sanity I really need her in her room by 9, but if she wants to ''read'' her books or play with her puzzles for another hour, fine. She can move around her room and then get back into bed and go to sleep when she's ready. I'd say that leads to her going to sleep with no trouble about 30% of the time. Another 30% of the time, she will call for me or my husband when she gets sleepy, but we generally just need to come in, give her a drink of water, sing a song, and formalize the goodnight process.

3) Last night my daughter resisted going to bed and asked to sleep on the floor. So I set her up with some blankets and pillows and she slept on the floor. She was delighted with the novelty and went to sleep with minimal trouble. You might suggest to your son that he camp out on his floor. He might find it exciting enough that it tempts him to bed. A little tent in his room could be even better.

4) I'm now determined to try to tire my daughter out a bit more before bed by varying our evening routine some. Last night we took a trip over to a nearby mall after dinner to do some shoe-shopping, whereas we normally just hang around the house doing dishes and chatting. Introducting a new activity or concept about an hour before bedtime is my current resolution.

This is only half-tested and may not work for you at all, but who knows! Good luck, and you're not alone. Val


Quick reply ... you are not a bad parent and not alone in this struggle. You have completely described my son when he turned 2yo! And also my own frustration, even the inability to check in with work. Unfortunately, everything I tried didn't work particularly well. No kidding. I hope someone else will be able to suggest something that works for your son. But, I will share that my son is now 4.5, still not a regular napper, but a happy kid. Full of passion and strong-willed, not easy, but he's turning out OK.

My son did escalate to hurling himself out of his crib just before he turned 2yo. For his safety, we moved him into a ''big boy bed'' (which makes me laugh now that he's older and I realize how little he really was). He did seem comforted by a bed with high header and footer (got an IKEA bunk bed but just assembled the bottom bed), and we added a bed rail (from One Step Ahead) and put a blanket over the transparent netting to give it more of a closed-in feel. I ended up having our nanny come extra hours, just to have lunch with him then put him down to sleep. Seemed crazy to pay for someone else to do it, but it helped cease our power struggle and I got a bit more work in. And then he was happy to see me afterwards. Or I ran an errand and let him fall asleep in the car after a quick lunch, and he let me carry him into the house without waking up. Also tried gymnastics or soccer class in the mornings, which wore him out physically first. Ugh, I'm sure these are not recommended in the sleep books! But that's what we ended up doing.... Tired Mom Too


20-month-old won't stay in her crib

Sept 2009

Our 20-month old child used to sleep in her crib, and now puts up a fight to sleep with us instead. We are trying but not working. Please, any advice here will help. The crib is in our room. meg


Funny, my daughter started doing the exact same thing around the same age! Wonder if it's a developmental thing. She started saying ''sleep with mommy, sleep with mommy'' around this time, and gets very upset if we don't bring her into bed w/ us.

However, she's actually never been able to fall asleep in our bed, she has to fall asleep in the crib. So I usually just bring her in, she tosses around for 15-20 minutes, and then I do the usual bed routine of singing to her, and put her back in the crib. I sometimes think I should just train her, be consistent, and just put her back in the crib when she's crying in her crib. But that's really hard to do when they're crying mommy mommy, and it's the middle of the night.

You might also want to try moving the crib to another room. Recently I slept in her room for a few days (she's 23 months now) and discovered that when she wakes up in the middle of the night, and sees me in the bed, she will get up and want me to pick her up. She doesn't do that when we don't sleep in the same room. anon


My advice is to get your child newly excited about sleeping on her own by creating something that is special and specific to her sleep space. Since the crib is in your room maybe there is a creative way for you to define her sleep space. I hired an artist to create a mural in my 2 yr old daughter's room and really talked it up as creating a special new place to sleep. Best of Luck! Anon

Considering a crib tent for 2-year-old

June 2009

I am considering getting a crib tent for my two year old daughter, and would like to hear of any positive or negative experiences with starting to use on at this age. In particular, has anyone had any injuries or safety issues with their use? If used successfully, how did you introduce it? Kimberly


We used crib tents for our twins after we walked in and found my 14 month-old son straddling the space between the dresser and the railing of his crib. The tents were a sanity and life-saver. I have to say that we gave up on the crib tents around 2 years old and just ended up taking the mattress out of the crib and putting it on the floor. We emptied everything out of the room, and after a ''hilarious'' night where I actually thought they would both lie on their respective mattresses and quietly fall asleep, we ended up putting them to bed in separate rooms until they were old enough to understand they needed to stay in their own beds.

In short, crib tents are great, but I think for a 2 year-old, the tent may be ineffective. mama


Re: the crib tent If you are considering the crib tent because of climbing out issues, you might also consider a sleepsack. We have used one for a long time, except on nights when it is really hot out, and my 3 year old has never climbed out of his crib. He loves the sleepsack also and is sad on the nights it is too warm to wear it. Lovin' the sleepsack
We used a crib tent for our daughter from the time she was 2 until she was 3.5. We just took it down a couple of weeks ago. It worked great for us--we were concerned about her jumping out of the crib, which she did a few times before we got it. She wasn't old enough to stay in her bed all night when she was 2, so this was a good solution to keep her safe. I'm ready to post our tent on BPN--please contact me if you want it. It's in pretty good shape, just a small hole in the netting. Camille
Used a crib tent for my son from about 18 months on. He loved it and would ask to be zipped in. I really appreciated the security of having him in it during naps and sleep. He stayed in his crib till way past 3 years old, and I wouldn't have been able to do that without the tent. Our only problem with it was that there was a small loop on the end of the zipper--to grab on while zipping. One day I didn't get it zipped all the way up and he reached up and pulled the loop into his crib and managed to get it wrapped around his wrist. I heard him crying and was able to untangle him quickly. So, I'd recommend snipping the loop off. It wouldn't have been a problem if I'd zipped all way way, but safer to have it off.

My niece was older when they started the tent and never liked it much. I'd recommend talking about it in an exciting way--as a camping tent, etc... if you think your son might not like it. Tent Lover


I ended up not getting one when I realized that it would make it more difficult to comfort my daughter in the middle of the night (much less on those super-exhausting periods when they can't go back to sleep and it gets easier to lie down next to them.)
We used a crib tent on my older son and are about to use it on my 2 year old daughter. We introduced it to my son by calling it ''the fort.'' When we set it up for the first time, we kept excitedly saying ''Wow! Isn't that cool? You get to sleep in a fort!'' etc etc. He picked up on our enthusiasm and we never had a problem getting him to sleep in it. He never got out (never even tried to as far as I know) and it seemed really safe. We're planning on trying the same ''fort'' technique with my daughter, but I'm not sure it will work as well...we shall see! A Fan of the Tents

Crib tent or bed for escaping 2-year-old?

May 2005

Our 2 year old is starting to show signs of being able to get out of his crib. We are considering a transition, but are worried about how it will affect his sleep. At night he goes to sleep right away, but sometimes for naps he will talk and play in his crib for a long time before falling asleep. I'm afraid that with the ability to move around in his room he will never fall asleep. Also, I have heard that sleep problems develop for many kids when they move out of their cribs when they are really young and can't be reasoned with to stay in bed. We have a good thing going with his sleep and I'm worried about messing it up! Has anyone experienced major sleep disruptions when moving from crib-bed? Has anyone used a crib tent so their kids could stay in their cribs longer? Thanks!


We put our second in a bed at about 2 years (maybe even a bit earlier). And yes, there was a session of getting out. Drove me absolutely nuts... I would sit on the bed, on the floor, on a chair near the door. I would calmly and firmly (''you are not getting any reaction with this'') and sometimes not so calmly (''there are rules!! mommy has things to do!!!'') put her back. I tried story tapes, closed doors, singing, long monotone stories, absolute quiet, etc.... and then, suddenly, it stopped. Probably lasted for about two weeks... So figure out the best routine for you and take lots of deep breaths... and I hope it goes a LOT better for you than it did for us! Happy When They're Asleep
I didn't see much response so I'll tell you our long ago situation. Our son escaped his crib starting at just under 12 mos (he walked at 9 1/2 mos). He would get so upset he was somehow able to fling himself over the rail. It went from one time to every nite in a matter of weeks. We were frantic and scared he would hurt himself. We looked at tents and netting but I was fearful he would get caught up and hurt himself. Finally one nite I took the matress out and put it on the floor. We did our bed time routine and then ran out the door and closed it. He ran around in a tantrum for a few nites until he fell asleep, then we would go in and put him on the mattress. Finally we took the side off the crib, put the matress back and put up one of the slide in railings you usually put on a bed when the kids first start sleeping in a ''big boy bed''. Once he was able to get out, he didn't. He basically stayed in bed. We think it was the idea of being caged in. We moved him to a regular bed at 2 1/2. (Now he's a teenager and I'd love if he got out of bed!) been there
We were concerned about our 16 mo old daughter being able to get over the top of the crib - she was just about there. We found a great crib tent that prevents her from getting out. And it means that once we put her to bed, we can just have the baby monitor on and be sure that she's not pulling the silent escape artist routine. At first I thought that the sound of the zipper would wake her up, but for some reason it doesn't. Long story short, once she's put to bed we can relax and have a bit of an evening together. Worth every cent. http://baby-safety-products.babycatalog.com/baby-safety-nursery/cozy-crib-tent-II-000214

Good luck! Jeff


22-month-old climbing out of crib

May 2004

Our 22 mos old son was going to sleep on his own and sleeping through the night in his crib until he figured out how to climb out of it! It's been total chaos ever since. Since we weren't prepared for this to happen, we temporarily let him sleep in our bed (of course feeling it was unsafe to leave him in his crib anymore) until we got him his own ''big boy bed''.He managed to get sick for 5 days twice during this timeframe as well which prolonged his sleeping in our bed. Now he will not willingly go to sleep in his own bed anymore and if we transfer him after he falls asleep, he'll wander out in the middle of the night, and again, won't go back to sleep in his own bed. We have tried the ''Back in the box''technique by Dr.Weissbluth who suggests putting them back in bed silently as many times as it takes until they stay in bed. The first night this went on for 3 hours from 2AM-5AM and by the end of it he was laughing.A game, of course.Needless to say, I was exhausted, had to work the next day. My husband did the same the next night, and I hate to say it, but I bailed on the third night because I was too tired to follow through. We got the ''big boy bed'' with the truck sheets and made the big deal about that. Didn't work. Our plan now is to buy a gate and put it on his door and basically let him cry it out at the gate on his doorway (in place of crying in his crib), but am somewhat hesitant that it will be a very abrupt switch. But maybe that is what it takes? We would welcome any advice (except for letting him continue to sleep with us because that doesn't work either. He kicks, so my husband now sleeps on the pull-out couch... yes, it's gotten that bad!) Gate vs no gate?, other techniques? losing sleep


Hi: We are just going through this same stage with our 27 month old son. Prior to his newly developed climbing skills, he slept through the night in his crib. Here is our story: He started climbing out of crib in the middle of the night and coming to our room, for the sake of ease we let him stay in our bed. After 2- 3 nights of this we transitioned to big boy bed...
This is what seems to be working for us (so far):
1) Big Boy bed is double bed
2) One of us lays down with him to read stories and sing songs, when he is drowsy we leave the room.
3)First few nights he cried out for us in the middle of the night, one of us went to his bed and laid next to him for 10-15 mins. This happened 2 or 3 nights.
4)For the past couple of weeks he has been sleeping through the night again!!! We still haven't cracked the code on getting our old routine of napping back....he continues to leave the room...I may have to turn to the ''gate and cry'' method for this. Good Luck.
Mom of Boy in the Big Bed
We found that having the toddler bed right next to our bed is helpful. We have just night weaned (our son is 2) him and this has discouraged at least one of the nightly wakings. Most of the time he stays in his bed but sometimes he gets into bed with us. But it has taken a lot of pressure off to have the bed to ourselves most of the time. Eventually we'll move him into his room next door but for now we are taking ''baby-steps''. I do have friends who use the babygate method for their toddler and it seems to work for them. juliette
Our son also began climbing out of his crib when we tried the CIO method. Desperate for sleep, we brought him into our bed....which at first was a mistake. We were all waking each other up several times during the night. So eventually I got smart. We now sleep in the baby's room with our queen mattress and an extra long twin side by side on the floor. So now we all sleep together but have space. It's great because I do not have to worry about him falling out of bed because it is on the floor. If he needs comfort he is only an arm reach away. And we all have room to move in our sleep without disturbing each other. Plus we hope that when we are ready to have our room back it will be an easier transition for him because we will be moving out of HIS room; NOT he moving out of our room. Oh and the cool thing is now our room is Hollywood size dressing room where all the family dressers are kept as well as dirty laundry. So it is like having an enormous size walk in closet. :)
The Happy Family Bed

17-month-old refuses to sleep in crib

My 17 mo.old son has recently refused to sleep in his crib. It all began a few months ago. He had been sleeping through the night until Feb. Since then he has been waking earlier (4 am, 2 am, 11 pm) and we've been bringing him into bed with us. Getting him to sleep for the night hadn't been a problem until 2 weeks ago. Now the minute we try to put him in his crib he tenses up and begins to wail. We are survivors of the Ferber technique and have tried that too. His cries are just too heartbreaking to ignore. To add to this, I just found out I am pregnant. Does anyone have any advice/ suggestions on how to help us get our son to like his crib again? Could this be separation anxiety? Is this just a phase? Because he refuses his crib he ends up staying up much too late, sleeping late in the am and has only one nap a day (1 hr). Any help would be much appreciated!
To the mother whose son refused to sleep in his crib... My daughter suddenly decided one day that she didn't want to sleep in her crib. I think she was about 14 months old. One evening I looked up and she was standing in her doorway (God knows how she had gotten out of the crib and opened her door but there was a telltale bruise from some kind of crib-dive). After that, it was impossible to get her to stay in the crib. It was a few weeks later that she refused to drink out of a bottle and then a few weeks later refused to sit in a high chair. My response: Let it happen. She's growing up. We immediately got her her own twin bed (with a gate on the side) that she's been in ever since. We announced that she could have her choice, the crib or the bed (never our bed, except for morning snuggling). At first she alternated but stuck to the bed eventually. I think she liked the fact that she had a choice in the matter. Sounds to me like he's growing up. Let him reject the baby stuff. It's good for him.
We have a 16 month old daughter. My wife nursed her for a year, and we practiced family bed during that time. She would go to sleep in her crib, but refused to go back after a nighttime feeding. We finally found a solution that works for us. We took a mattress, and put it on the floor of her room. We found some pretty sheets and a cute comforter, and set out to develop a night-time ritual. First, we weened her of night feedings by having her sleep with me alone. It wasn't fun, but it only took 5 nights. Then I slept with her in her new bed for five nights. Each night we practiced a bedtime ritual of playing naked (her), putting on pj's, then reading books. The best part is being able to read to her in bed. She immediately took ownership of the space, and felt relaxed and would go to sleep after reading. Then we continued the ritual, and left her alone to fall asleep. We were prepared to apply the Ferber method, but didn't need to. The first night she cried for 6 minutes, the second for 2 minutes, the third for about 20 seconds, and now she pushes us out of bed so she can go to sleep. We leave her door open, and put up a swinging gate so she can't roam through the house. She awakens for time to time, but for the most part, sleep 10-1/2 hrs. a night. She has adopted her pillow as her security blanket. It's a dream! Good luck.
Our son, who is 13 months, also refused to sleep in his crib when he was a newborn. He would sleep swaddled in his bouncy seat or in his carseat. He began sleeping in his crib at about 4 months. He has slept through the night in his crib since about 5 months. Based upon our experience, I don't think you should be concerned that at 9 weeks he hasn't taken to his crib. We too were worried that he never would sleep in his crib. But, it just took a few months for him to get used to being outside the uterus.

19-month-old is vaulting out of crib

February 2002

Our 19-month old son usually goes right down to sleep in his crib or cries for just a few minutes. A month ago, during a late night "I want to get out and play" tantrum, he vaulted out of his crib and landed on his back on the floor. His agility surprised and scared him even more than us, so he did not do it again until a few days ago, in an attempt to avoid his regular afternoon nap. We are concerned that he will hurt himself if he makes a habit out of scaling (and then falling from) the crib's side bars. We have thought about buying a crib guard (a "roof" for the crib), but are not sure how he will react to the increase in confinement. Any other thoughts on reducing his desire to escape, or actually stymieing the attempts? benjamin


I remember my daughter doing this at about the same age, except she did it twice within a few minutes. She never spent the night in that crib again. Either you lock them up with the crib "roof" or let them go, is what it boils down to. We moved her into a portacrib that had higher sides for a month (and it is low to the ground!), then into her own bed. I remember my mother telling me that her parents fixed a screen door to the top of her brother's crib. anonymous
I started crawling out of my crib when I was 18 months old, at which time my parents moved me to a bed. One side was against the wall, and they may have put some padding on the floor at first in case I fell out, but as my mother pointed out, once I had learned to get out of the crib, the crib became much less safe than a bed. Aesthetically, I find the idea of completely "caging" a kid in with bars on the top of the crib rather unappealing. Dianna
You may want to try having him sleep in a "sleeping bag" made for babies. There's a company in SF that you can buy from online called Little Big Foot. (They also sell them for a little less $ in One Step Ahead catalogs - probably online as well.) It is basically a long bag with arm holes that keeps the baby warm as well as disabling them from climbing out of the crib. Our son sleeps in one and can stand up but cannot climb because he can't get his legs that far apart. Good Luck & Safe Sleeping! A. May
Well this isn't the advice you were asking for, but I would move him out of the crib into the bed. We had to move our son when he was about 14 mos. old because he started scaling the crib rails. We just felt the risk of injury from a fall was not worth the worry keeping him in the crib would involve if he continued to climb out. Instead of moving him into a twin bed, as we would have done if he was older, we bought a toddler bed. It was pretty cheap (under $100) and had rails on both sides about 2/3 of the length of the bed so he wouldn't roll out, but it was only about 2 ft off the ground so when he climbed out he couldn't hurt himself. We kept him in that until he was quite good at climing into our bed on his own, and then he was moved to the twin bed. anonymous
Maybe your son is ready for a bed. Our 2 year old climbed out of her crib the day after we brought her baby brother home from the hospital. That night the crib mattress went on the floor, and the crib is being readied for her baby brother - we are currently shopping for a bed for our daughter. If you want to keep him in his room, you could put a gate on the door. Anonymous
my daughter started vaulting out of the crib at this age too. unfortunately in our case the hard landing did not scare her nor deter her from trying it again and again. the desire to vault out the crib came hand in hand with her personality so we knew if we tried to "cage" her in that the night time process would get ugly (and she is part Houdini). so we switched her crib (it was one of those Crib4Life models) to a toddler bed. it was somewhat of an uphill battle to keep her in her bed (now at six she still crawls into bed with me at some point during the night) but at least i didn't lay around at night listening for the big THUD. fortunately my second child never did this. carrie s.
The general rule is: if your toddler is vaulting out of the crib, you need to move him/her to a low bed. Once a toddler knows they can get out of the crib, they will continue to do so, and it's unsafe to keep them there. anonymous
Our son needed the Crib Tent from Tots in Mind for several years. It attaches with velcro, and has a zipper to allow quick in-and-out. It also collapses so you can take it on trips. The zipper slide gets tucked into a pocket where the child SUPPOSEDLY can't get to it. We had to safety pin the zipper into its pocket because our son figured out a way to wiggle it free. For us, the main issue wasn't that he was having a tantrum about being put down, but rather that we were concerned he'd climb out in the middle of the night and get into something dangerous. Good luck. Zach
When our son was a toddler he did the same thing: started climbing out of the crib. I agree that it is not safe. We started leaving the side down so he could just get out. Other parents we knew had the same approach. They are too old to be contained in a crib and can be moved to a regular child bed or left in the crib with the side down so they can climb out safely. My son and now my granddaughter, both just come into my bedroom if they get up at night or early in the morning. Liz
When our 20-month old did the same, we bought a futon mattress and put it on the floor. As for the crib "roof," our neice loved hers, but not for long.p
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