Escape Proof: Safe Ways to Stop Baby Climbing Out Of The Crib

Baby climbing out of the crib and not sleeping well? Stop the worry and use these proven tips to keep baby in bed.


There’s nothing like mama having some alone time only to hear a thud… and a cry.

Or even more worrisome… to find your little one asleep (or awake!) in random parts of their room or the house since they’ve pulled an escape act.

So first things first, little ones don’t need to be able to escape their crib for safety reasons. If you don’t care if they sleep in a crib or not (refer to my last point in this post), that’s one thing.

But if you’ve put them in their crib and then – suddenly – they’re not there… this is terrifying. And totally an unsafe situation.

But never fear, there’s hope and I’ll show you what to do.

Before I get into all the ways to make sure your little one doesn’t escape the crib, let’s talk about sleep-related reasons they could be trying to do this.

If these are all set and addressed, then you can move into how to prevent climbing out.

  • They’re under tired. AKA they are spending too much time in the crib. If they’re at a point where they need to drop a nap, move bedtime back, etc. then that’ll prevent that bored time in the crib.
  • They’re overtired thus unable to sleep well. If baby is overtired and fussy and standing up to cry about it, then trying to escape, this isn’t a sign they don’t need sleep. Clearly, it’s a sign they need more sleep. See my posts on age appropriate daily routines to prevent overtiredness.
  • Difficulty transitioning through sleep cycles. Sometimes little ones will take short naps, wake up crying because they’re still tired, and try to escape to come find you. You can help alleviate this by teaching your little one to sleep independently.

Solutions to stop baby from climbing out of the crib

Now that we’ve figured out some sleep related reasons little ones will climb out of the crib, let’s dive into how to keep them there.

Remember, if you are fine with baby going to a bed (I recommend waiting as long as possible for this, FYI) then my last point addresses that.

Nap Times Cheat Sheet

Learn how to space naps, how many a day per age, best times, etc. and get your nap game ON!

Sleep sack (and pro tip!)

One successful way to keep your little one from climbing out is to put them in a sleep sack that will prevent one leg from kicking all the way over the side of the crib. If the sack is snug enough (not too snug, but snug enough) to keep their legs mostly together, they can’t maneuver to get out.

Does your little escape artist takes off their sleep sack in an effort to be able to take their diaper off and wipe poop places, for example? Or climb out then put their sleep sack on backwards with the zip on the back so they can’t access it.

Some mamas put a tiny mattress or pillows down on the floor in the event baby does fall out, FYI.

⭐ If your little one can stand up and the crib rails hit at their belly button or lower, the bed is too high and they can simply lean over and fall out. That won’t do.

If that’s you, onto my next point.

Take off crib base so crib mattress is lowered and baby can’t climb out

crib mattress lowered so baby can't climb out and over

This picture explains it all. Some mothers have to take the base off the crib, and put the mattress down on the floor. This makes it nearly impossible for your little one to climb out. As a certified baby and toddler sleep consultant with a lot of colleagues, we love this strategy.

Some even put 2 crib mattresses together to get a bit more height, but so that your baby or toddler can’t climb over the side.

This setup + a sleep sack that can’t be removed is nearly foolproof.

Get a safe crib cover (dome)

I’d recommend the above options first, but many have used a safe mesh crib cover. They are obviously see through and breathable.

  • Option 1
  • Option 2
  • Option 3
  • Option 4
  • More options
28 things to try if baby won't sleep, baby in crib

28 Things To Do If Baby Won’t Sleep CHECKLIST

Here’s a handy dandy list of 28 things to try so baby will stop fighting sleep and sleep longer and later.

Gate the bedroom door for safety

Some moms who are not wanting to move the crib around, take off the base, or get a baby tent can consider putting a safety gate on the bedroom door. This will prevent baby from getting out of the room if they do get out of the crib.

This will, however, also require making sure nothing in the room is at all dangerous for baby if they wake up in the night and start playing. It’s super important little ones cannot just go to random parts of the house at all hours of the day simply because they didn’t want to sleep.

For moms with toddlers already in their beds who like to pull sneaky acts? double gate

This is NOT some type of punishment or baby incarceration.

If you have a child who will wake up at random hours and escape, it’s a safety issue. If they do it while you are asleep and not supervising them, safety issue. When little ones can simply waltz into the kitchen or, shudder, out a door, then this is a safety issue.

Get rid of the guilt and double gate the door.

Let baby sleep on the floor

If you have done all the above and they haven’t worked, or you don’t want to do all of the above? Then it may be time to transition your little one from a crib to a bed.

You may want to differentiate between a toddler bed and a plain ole twin bed too.

A bed will solve the climbing out of the crib issue. It won’t solve the issue of them trying to leave their room, so that’ll also require dealing with, but you can get there, mama.

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