If your child is under 3 years old and has been climbing out of the crib, it does not mean that he or she is ready for a toddler bed. In fact, I advise keeping your child in a crib until the age of 3. At that age, they are much more likely to understand consequence and communicate better which will make bedtime “escapes or “visits” easier to avoid. It is also a safer age for your child to be able to be “free” at night.
So instead of running out to buy a toddler bed and get it all set up and do away with the crib, I would suggest trying the following:
Make sure your crib mattress is on its lowest setting (closest to the floor)
Create a soft landing zone
Place a mattress on the floor by the crib and pile pillows at the ends on the floor. If your little one decides to jump, at least they will land softly. Trust me, they will get bored pretty quick and jumping out will become a thing of the past.
Don’t make jumping out worth his while
If your child jumps out of his crib and you react by giving him lots of attention or letting him get in bed with you, he’ll keep doing it. Instead, stay calm and neutral, firmly tell him not to climb out, and put him right back in his crib. Make the interaction boring and “business-like”. He’ll get the idea pretty quickly.
Bumper pads and stuffed animals along with large blankets can be stepping stones children may use to get out of the crib. Clear out the crib. I suggest a crib sheet, you child sleeps in a sleep sac and has one small, soft snuggly buddy in the crib.
Keep close watch
You can stand outside the door, where you can see your toddler but they cannot see you, and stand by on the lookout. If/when he tries to escape, immediately tell him not to. Be consistent. He may try and get your attention by trying over and over, but will get bored. Stick to your guns!
Again, it is safe and easier to have your child in the crib until the age of 3. Jumping doesn’t last forever- especially if it is handled properly.