The crib is presumably one of the safest places for your baby. Most parents are never worried whenever they put their babies in there even if they are not sleeping. Much of this confidence and peace of mind comes from the fact that cribs have rails which are strong enough and well designed to keep the baby out of harm.
On the flipside, babies have a certain level of curiosity that crib rails cannot handle. For this reason, it is uncommon to find the little ones trying to escape from the crib. These escapes are not like jailbreaks because they are innocent and done with the best intentions.
Most of such climbs out of the crib end up as dangerous ventures. Therefore, it helps to know what you can do as a parent to mitigate them and keep your baby in the crib as long as you want them there.
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Get a Sleep Sack
These are a good option especially for babies who reach important milestones such as standing, crawling, and walking early enough. Babies start flinging themselves from cribs as from 8 to 9 months.
With a sleep sack, you can enclose your baby’s feet and legs so that they can move comfortably in the crib but limit them from climbing out. Even for natural born climbers, a sleep sack discourages them from sneaking out of the crib by limiting movement.
Lower the Mattress
The way through which babies climb out of the crib is by stepping on the mattress and using that position to get enough leverage to push themselves over the rails of the crib. If you haven’t changed the mattress or its position since they were a newborn, consider lowering it.
When it is at its lowest level, the mattress stops being a significant support system for them to hoist themselves out of the crib. It may seem obvious but is an effective strategy.
Alter the Sleep Schedule
According to professionals and practitioners in baby care and parenting, babies’ routines keep on changing. Knowing this gives you an opportunity for you to change their schedules as well to sync with their day-to-day activities.
Take an instance of babies who take a morning nap. If you find that with time, the tendency is to escape during the nap time, chances are the nap is losing its value and the babies are not as tired to sleep. Consider dropping one of the naps and adjusting their sleep schedule.
Don’t Give Them Attention
Sleep consultants have cautioned parents against reacting whenever their babies make successful or attempted escapes. Doing this gives them the adrenaline to do even more because in their wisdom the attention serves to cheer them on.
Instead of cuddling them or falling into the temptation of reading them a story, simply take them and place them back in the crib speechless.
Move Furniture Away
Furniture such as toy chests and dresserseasily find their way into the bedroom because of the unique role they play in the kid’s life.
Your best baby dresser may be high enough to give your baby a comfortable pad at the top. However, if this is close enough to the crib, it can help in the escape. Moving such furniture and others away from the crib can help stop this habit.
Empty the Crib
During the early months, it is understandable when parents throw in toys, extra blankets, and even crib bumpers to make their babies stay in the crib enjoyable and sufficiently pacified. However, as they advance in age, these same tools could be aiding their escape.
The cot bumpers and toys serve the role of levers that give them the advantage when struggling to get out of the crib. Removing them eliminates this aspect without making their life uncomfortable.
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Rotate the Crib
Depending on the crib design, you may find the back of your crib being higher than the front. If this is the case, turn the crib around so that the lower side faces the wall. If you can, push the crib into a corner so that only two sides remain in case of any attempted escape.
Don’t Use the Crib as a Punishment
Using the crib as a time-out place or a punishment, creates a negative connotation. This affects bedtime and makes it more routine and difficult for the baby. Since they associate life in the crib with punishment, they will make as many attempts as possible to climb out of it so as to be free.
Even as you put these preventive measures in place, kids may still escape at one point or the other. Therefore, incorporate behavioral deterrents together with the physical barriers as you minimize possible dangers around the crib.