Mom Hack: Crib Escape “Artist”

At 16 months old, my little climber “pushed me” to a frantic internet search after scaling the walls of her crib! Super strong (and determined) she’d already escaped a Pack ‘n Play and now I had to worry that she’d fall out of her crib and crack her head open. I considered lining the floor with gymnastic mats to keep her safe, until I realized that would be a $400 investment!

My search yielded not a lot: some parents (as early as 18 months) recommend a toddler bed.  But with Jelly Bean’s climbing prowess, that seemed far from safe.  I found other parents, who recommended putting nets over the tops of cribs – I also had reservations there – what if she managed to choke on them (a long shot I know…but it just didn’t feel right).

Coming up virtually empty, I resorted to putting the mattress on the floor (which other did suggest).  That was “brilliant” for all of a couple of days..until Jelly Bean discovered that she could move the crib frame and crawl to her escape.  YIKES.  There might have been a temptation to somehow bolt it to the wall, but lifting her put a strain on my back anyway!

What’s a Super mom to do?

I decided to create a “gated community”.  I got a gate with the plan of buying a full sized mattress. As a  planned a “test run”, I snagged the queen-sized mattress from my guest bed.  And just like that, she had a crazy safe “princess” toddler crib. She couldn’t climb, she was a safe distance off the floor and it was super easy on my body…even when I had to put her in or take her out when she was asleep! 

At one end I put a chest of books and lined it with “her friends” (only the ones that did not make noise).  All of those stuffed animals also played into her sleeping better (see “Go To Bed Ed” video) [We need to add the link]

Imagine my surprised when it worked out better than I ever could have imagined.  Not only does it keep Jelly Bean from “needing” to be in my bed – if she’s scared or wants extra cuddles, I can join her in her bed super comfortably in a way we both get a great night’s sleep. AND when Jelly Bean isn’t in the mood for a nap, she can read a book or pick a friend for imaginary play. She can even use this bed until she’s ready for a real bed.

 Money Saving Tip:  Because the gates can be pricey, but are also items that hold up well and are super easy to sanitize, before buying one new, post on NextDoor or in a local mom group to see if anyone has one collecting dust in their garage.  I got mine from another mom who gifted it to me because they were finished with it.  Even if you buy it, you might save 50%.