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if your child is climbing out of the crib, then it's probably time. my daughter climbed out of her crib at 6 months. she threw a leg over the side, pulled herself up and out, and then shimmied down the side. i thought i was going to have a heart attack. we put her in a playpen to sleep, and by 10 months, she figured out how to climb in and out. she's 21months now, and still sleeps in the playpen, because she knows that she has to stay in there until mommy comes to get her. we also have a baby gate in front of her door, so if the mood strikes her, she will still be in her room, safe. when she turns 2, we will put her on a mattress on the floor. she sleeps on this mountain-high pile of blankets, stuffed animals, and pillows, so i think she will be fine with the mattress, and a bed rail. that's the cheap way for us to go, because we have limited space in her room, and limited cash as well. hope this helps.
I took my daughter out at 2 years as well. We made a big deal about it, and let her pick out her own bedding out of a selection we approved. She was so excited to have picked her own bedding, decrotive pillows and all she couldn't wait to go to bed. If they have been climbing out of their crib it's really time. Toddler proof the room the best you can, and put a gate up in the door. I love having her in a toddler bed, and I can't wait to get my youngest into a toddler bed. Good luck!
I switched my son to a toddler bed at 18 months. He wasn't crawling out, but he'd managed to get out three times (all accidental on his part, because he was so mad about going to bed he jumped out in his anger), so we knew we were close. Plus, he's just so HEAVY, and I was tired of lifting him over the sides. The switch was actually really easy. He loves climbing in and out of bed, and I've got one of those side rails set up so he can't fall out. He can push it out with his feet, and he does, but mostly he's content to stay in the bed and cuddle with his bunny when it's time for a nap or for bedtime. Follow the cues from your child: if they go to bed easily and you think they''re ready, make the switch. If it doesn't work, switch back for a few more weeks before trying again. I wish I could offer more hints on how to make it successful, but I really lucked out!
When you put the gate up in his room, make sure the bar going across goes closer to the hall. Kids can climb over easier with the bar on their side.
we never bought any standard gates. once we took her out of the crib, we took it apart and made gates with the leftover pieces. the sides of the crib are much taller than any baby gate on the market. i took the front and back pieces to make a gate that blocks off the kitchen.
We took our 2 year old out a couple of months ago and he has done wonderfully! Try getting fun sheets and get them really excited for the bed before it arrives, that helped with us.
My husband and I put my son in a toddler bed at 17 months. He has done wonderful. We still have some nights where he wakes up but since he has been sick... his bed stays at the end of ours. so I ALWAYS hear if he even rolls over. He loves it. Since he can climb up and down.
I put my daughter in a toddler bed when she was 15 months old because she refused to sleep in her crib. She literally would not sleep in it. I would put her to bed and she would scream and cry for hours. We converted her crib to the toddler bed and she started sleeping just fine. She knew how to open doors and would get up in the morning, come into our room and would wake us up. We had the house fully baby proofed so we never worried about her getting into anything. My son is 15 months old and he's still going to be in his crib for a while because he needs to be contained in order to get to sleep. He's a monster and only enjoys naps, not bedtime. As soon as he settles down we'll switch him to the toddler bed, which had better happen before our next baby is born in December!