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My 6 month old daughter has started to pull herself up to a kneeling or standing position. It's like someone flipped a switch-- she went from not climbing on anything to climbing on everything, all the time. Which is great! The problem is when we go to put her to bed.

My husband and I are pretty hands-off during her bedtime. We put her to bed, say goodnight, and leave. She usually fusses for about 5 minutes, but goes to sleep. But now she pulls herself up on the crib walls and cries because she gets stuck there. Unless I help her down, she'll mostly only get down by falling over. I'm afraid that she could hurt herself, and it's taking her much longer to get to sleep.

Would bumpers for the crib be safe? What should I do?

(Note: I have lowered the mattress on her crib, so she's not in danger of falling out, just falling and bumping her head on the crib bars.)

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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

1) As far as taking longer to get to sleep and getting frustrated from not being able to get down, I'd suggest less interference. She will learn to get down soon, but if you always get there to set her down, she might start doing this just to grab your attention.


2) Please be aware that bumpers might possibly make things worse, as she might learn to use them as step/stool to climb higher and thus again be at risk of falling out.


3) If you are worried that she'll bump her head against the same crib side she's standing at, that's not very likely (physically hard to fall that way for her).

If you're worried that she will fall and bump her head against the back side of the crib (assuming she stands near front side), a one possible solution I can propose is to put something that grabs her attention/interest on the right/left side of the crib - that way when/if she falls, she will fall lengthwise and not risk bumping into opposite wall.

 +==== hit ===================+
 |      ^                     |
 |      |                     |
TOY ---    ---> no hit        |
 |                            |
 |      |                     |
 +=====(O)====== =============+

In case the last paragraph was confusing, I tried to show diagram above.

(O) is where I suspect your baby is standing now (front wall). You are worried she will fall back and her head will reach the opposite (back) wall. I propose to put a toy or something on left wall, so she stands there instead, and if she falls, her head is mid-crib and not hitting opposite wall.

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I appreciate the warning about bumpers. I hadn't thought of her being able to climb them, I was only thinking about her getting stuck in them. Also, your diagram is pretty fantastic, and makes perfect sense. –  Sarato Sep 17 '11 at 4:03
    
I hadn't thought of possibility of climbing them either. But my kids, sadly, did :) We took the bumpers away from the crib pretty early on to reduce the risk of climbing/falling out –  DVK Sep 17 '11 at 4:22
    
I often find, it isn't a toy they are looking at while climbing, but the door to the room where they are hoping you will promptly come in. I'd suggest arranging the crib so the door is opposite the part of the crib where the "toy" is in this diagram. Good idea for helping to avoid a few bumps though. –  balanced mama Dec 3 '12 at 0:07
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I gather from the question that there is no risk of serious injury.

This is a situation where you need to let her figure it out herself. Kids fall all the time. If she falls, she falls. A little knock on the noggin isn't going to do any serious damage. After a few falls, she will either stop doing what causes her to fall, or do it better so that she doesn't fall.

If there is risk of serious injury, perhaps from the crib bars being too wide or having some sharp edges, you need a safer crib.

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Crib bars are also fairly flexible and not likely to do a lot of damage from a bump either. –  balanced mama Dec 3 '12 at 0:05
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