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My toddler son just had his first crib breakout today.

He's 16 months old, and doesn't go to sleep on his own yet. If we were to convert his crib into a bed, or get him a toddler bed, he would probably roll out of it and romp around in his room all night, probably falling asleep on the floor (Or worse yet - getting himself into trouble while we're asleep). With a few more months, he'd learn how to go to bed on his own and it wouldn't be as much of a problem. But right now, it is a problem.

I'd like to lower the mattress just a little bit more so that he can't get out, but the mattress's adjustable bolts for lowering it are already set at the lowest level they can be.

Is there any way to lower the mattress just a little bit more? I'd rather not put it on the floor as there's a danger it could slide out or that his limbs could get trapped on the edges. And I don't like the idea of crib canopies, which could fall into his crib at night and be even more of a hazard.

Included is a picture of a crib that is not the same, but is virtually identical in construction. I would remove the changing pad attachment, but there doesn't seem to be any arrangement of bolts that would leave it in a stable condition.Crib with an attached changing pad

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    When my ex was a baby, he would climb out of his crib and fall asleep crying at the base of his bedroom door. His mother told me she didn't like that, so she put him to bed by turning his crib upside down and caging him in. You might understand why I much prefer your humorous portrayal of your son having fun all night. :) It made me laugh. This might be better asked on DIY.SE? Bunch of handyfolk over there. (I personally take no offense at cross posting, but I know SE does not like it at all.) Jan 21, 2023 at 3:24
  • I agree, with a picture of the crib you will get answers at DIY.SE fast. For my understanding: is the outside border of the crib high enough to (in theory) lower the mattress some more? A picture would also be good, or a link to the description at an online shop? The one could see how mattress and outside are connected, and what options there are. (Had 3 cribs and each was differently connected) Jan 21, 2023 at 8:22
  • Since the crib itself is assembled with bolts that are screwed in with an allen wrench, and the wood isn't sturdy or thick enough to take much modification, I'm really not interested in performing a DIY project that could end in the crib falling apart - but I do appreciate the input @anongoodnurse If you still want to look, I've attached a picture of one that is virtually identical from Amazon.
    – Zibbobz
    Jan 21, 2023 at 21:03
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    If the crib really is virtually identical to the picture, try turning it around with the higher end facing the room.
    – AsheraH
    Jan 22, 2023 at 19:32
  • @AsheraH Unfortunately, that would leave the back side of the changing pad attachment exposed - which has a big open space that would be dangerous for him to climb into.
    – Zibbobz
    Jan 23, 2023 at 16:32

2 Answers 2

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If your crib mattress is currently 6" thick, you may be able to safely use a mattress that's as little as 3.5" thick, but you would need to check the crib instructions to see if this would work. There are regular sized crib mattresses that are less than 6"thick online.

If a thinner mattress works, this would lower the mattress surface which might be enough to stop your son from climbing out.

I also saw a suggestion of using a sleep sack for your son, which may make it too hard for your son to climb out of his crib, even without lowering the mattress surface.

However, there is real risk of injury when a child climbs out if a crib, so while your concerns about transitioning to a toddler bed are valid, it may end up being the safest option.

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I'm firmly of the opinion that its better to ditch the crib as soon as they start being able to climb out. Baby proof the room entirely. Screw to the wall, or use straps, all the big furniture. Remove anything too 'fun' and maybe put a baby gate over the bedroom door to prevent escapes. Then get a toddler bed. Pluses include them being able to be independent at climbing into bed at bedtime and you not having to bend over a cot side to pick them up/put them down, and its nicer to sit next to them and read their bedtime story. There will be some issue with getting them to sleep the first couple of nights as it is new and exciting. But ultimately its a step that has to happen at some point.

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  • My concern with the toddler bed is that he wouldn't be able to climb into it at night. The only reason he's able to climb out is because he can leverage the weight of his head and throw his foot over the edge, then slide his body off the rail and onto the floor. He can't do the same thing when he has to pull the whole weight of his body up.
    – Zibbobz
    Jan 23, 2023 at 16:34
  • @Zibbobz so a big cushion to give a step up to the bed…
    – Solar Mike
    Jan 24, 2023 at 7:49
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    @Zibbobz, a toddler bed should be so low to the ground that they can climb in independently, and so you don't have to worry if they roll out. If you go straight for a bigger bed that is too high, a step stool like for washing hands at the sink would be a help. Bed guards/rails (to stop them rolling out) need to be carefully obtained to ensure they aren't dangerous to kiddo.
    – R Davies
    Jan 24, 2023 at 8:47

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