January 7, 2022 8:14:31 pm
By Dr Krishna Prasad J R
Once your toddler turns 1, your home will become a field of adventures! Sometimes, you may find your toddler opening drawers, picking up what comes into their hands, moving up and down the sofa and even climbing out of their crib. When this happens, parents start worrying about whether they should make their babies sleep with them to prevent injuries or monitor them day and night.
Before making any major changes like buying a big toddler bed for your 15-18-month-old baby, think about how you can handle this situation. Your kid might be crossing jailbreak, but you can easily outsmart them!
Here are a few ways you can follow to prevent your kid from climbing out of the crib:
Lower the mattress
It is best to lower the crib mattress to the lowest point possible or near the ground until your baby learns to stand. Your toddler won’t be able to hoist themselves over the crib rails as lowering the mattress will prevent them from climbing down. Make sure there is no furniture near the crib, as your kid might use it as a support to climb down. This can help at least for a while or so.
Use sleep sacks
Some kids might start climbing out of their cribs as early as within 8-9 months. To prevent these natural climbers from getting injured, you can use a sleep sack (loose wearable blankets). Your baby will still be able to move their feet and arms but won’t be too comfortable to stand and climb out of the crib.
Set a good bedtime routine
If your toddler gets restless in the middle of the night, it might be a sign that they are sleeping too early and need a change in their bedtime routine. See when your toddler sleeps after you put them in a crib. It might also be too late for your toddler to sleep, which makes them cranky and exhausted. Due to this, it becomes difficult for them to fall asleep quickly. You need to work according to their biological clock and find the best time to make them sleep.
Put your baby in a crib only for sleep
Stop using the crib for playtime or punishment for your baby if you are doing so. If your child is not sleeping in a crib, it might give them the wrong idea about its use, and they would want to get out of it during the night as well. Make sure you put them in their crib only for sleep.
Also, when your toddler is upset or cranky, take them out of the crib until they go back to being normal. Using the crib only for sleep will give them a positive understanding about their designated area to sleep, which is not used to play.
Remove items like toys
If toys and pillows are lying inside the crib, you should remove them, especially during the first year. These items can boost them to try climbing out of the crib. At the same time, they can also be hazardous for the baby as they can cause sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Therefore, make sure the crib is not cluttered with items.
Is your kid ready for a bed?
If your toddler has turned 2, it is the right time to get a bed as they will surely outgrow their crib. It might be a little tricky to get a toddler bed if your kid is less than 18 months old. If you have used all methods to prevent your kid from climbing out of the crib, keep getting a bed as the last resort. Do not switch to a bed abruptly if you see your toddler climbing out of the bed. It can be scary and frightening at first, but you need to try some methods before getting a toddler bed.
(The author is Consultant Pediatrician, Motherhood Hospital, Bangalore)
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