Kids are naturally curious, and yours is no different. The little one may be sleeping in the crib till dawn without throwing tantrums, but soon or later, as the curiosity grows, he or she will start finding ways to get out of the crib.
And you know what that means? In case you haven’t figured it out yet, it means that your baby is no longer safe. Once the child climbs out of the crib in your absence, you never know what they may be up to, and that could spell a disaster waiting to happen.
Responsible parenting requires that you take the necessary measures to ensure that the baby remains safe at all time, including preventing him or her from escaping their crib.
Below is a checklist of tips that will help keep the little one where he or she belongs – in the crib.
Ensure that the Crib Stays Empty
The first step to making sure the baby remains in the crib is to remove everything that they would use to support themselves out of the crib including blankets, toys and crib bumpers. Keeping the crib empty is particularly useful for young toddlers who don’t have enough muscle power to climb out by themselves.
Invest in a Sleep Sack
At times it is almost impossible to remove items such as toys inside the crib so as to keep the baby engaged in some activity when they’re not sleeping. If that’s the case, consider investing in a sleep sack. Among other benefits, the bag will make sure that the kid’s legs remain enclosed while they’re in the crib. In essence, the sack reduces the likelihood that the baby may get out of the crib to near zero.
Let the Young One Transition to a Toddler Bed
Even with the best prevention methods in place, the baby might still find a way out of the crib. If it becomes a persistent problem, then it’s time to let the child move to a toddler bed. However, ensure that the bed comes with a bumper or rail for safety.
While allowing the baby to shift to a toddler bed will significantly reduce the injury risk, it is worth noting that it will increase the likelihood that the little young one will come looking for you late at night because it’s now easier to get on and off the bed. So, be sure to let the child use a toddler bed on when you’re ready for the consequences.
Keep the Mattress at the Lowest Point Possible
The higher the mattress is in a crib, the easier it is for the baby to climb out. Ensure that the mattress stays at the very bottom of the crib to reduce the chances of escaping. However, this measure only applies to bigger babies who have enough muscle power climb out.
Address the Habit Before it Aggravates
In as much as little kids are curious, it is important to teach them the correct behavior at the tender age. Be sure to let the child know that escaping from their crib isn’t the best of behaviors and that they should stop. Encourage them to stay in the crib as well. If they can understand it, tell them the benefits of staying in the crib and most importantly the dangers that come with climbing out.
Change the Baby’s Schedule Once in a While
One of the primary reasons babies escape from their cribs is monotony. They are eager to try out environments other than the crib. Monitor the baby’s sleeping pattern and put them in the crib only when they need to take a nap.
For instance, as he or she ages, you may notice that they’re no longer taking morning naps. You should, therefore, stop putting them in the crib in the morning and adjust to their sleeping pattern.
Take it Easy
Even though it is important to let the little know that they should stop escaping from their crib, you should do it in a manner that doesn’t look like you’re overreacting. You should never let the baby know that you’re concerned about their behavior by giving them more attention because doing so will only encourage them to escape even more.
One of the best ways to address the issue is to put them back in the crib without saying a word.
The Bottom Line
When your baby sleeps in a crib, you at the very least have some peace of mind. However, when they start escaping, it’s time to get concerned. Encourage the baby to sleep in the crib as much as you can until they’re of the right age to transition to a toddler bed.
One more important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t use the crib for time out because the baby may view it as a punishment spot which means that they won’t stay in it.