Preventing Crib Escape

Mouse is now 23 months old and has recently demonstrated his great prowess in being able to escape the Pack n Play (first), and now the crib. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this turn of events.

After scouring the internet for suggestions for this problem, I really only came up with two solutions people kept saying over and over. 1) A crib tent, or 2) ditching the crib and moving to a toddler bed. Both of these are problematic for us.

Aden and Anais Sleeping Bag

Our gorgeous crib has a funky shape and as such, does not fit any available crib tent. Additionally, when we are up at the cabin, Mouse has to sleep in the Pack n Play, and they don’t make a crib tent for a Pack n Play (well, they did, but it was recalled due to tragedy).

I’m very hesitant about moving to the toddler bed for a couple of reasons. One, I’m paranoid and I don’t like the idea of him having free range in a room where I cannot see him or at least be close by or at least be awake when said free ranging is taking place. It’s not that his room is a dangerous place, per se, but I worry about things like him deciding to gnaw on the power cord that goes to his music player, or exploring the glorious contents of the diaper pail, or simply pulling everything off his many shelves. The problem is also compounded by the fact that a toddler bed is not an option at the cabin due to the configuration and nature of the room in which he sleeps, so he’s still stuck in the Pack n Play up there.

We did have a brief period between when he discovered he could escape the Pack n Play but hadn’t figured out the crib yet, so I had a short time to think. I studied his escape method closely. He would hike a leg up onto the side, sort of push off with his other foot while pulling with his hands, and then just shift his weight until he rolled over the side. It finally occurred to me that if I could prevent him from hiking his leg up, he wouldn’t be able to get out. A-HA!

We went back to our trusty sleep sacks. Like many parents, we had used sleep sacks to keep him warm rather than blankets for well over a year. When he outgrew our largest size, we felt comfortable putting him down with just his blankie and warm PJ’s (plus we live in Southern California). But the sleep sack did an excellent job of containing his feet, and while he had some wiggle room to shuffle around in, there was no way he would be able to lift his leg up that high and get out.

Locking diaper pins

Our problem, for now, is solved. Well that one, anyway. We did encounter two other problems: 1) finding a sleep sack big enough for our 32-pound, well-over-33″ chunkster, and 2) preventing him from unzipping it. For problem 1, I turned to Aden and Anais Sleeping Bags. I absolutely love these muslin sleep sacks. They are light and breathable, which is so nice in the summer, and ours have held up so well. Plus they come in an XL, which is supposed to go up to 36 pounds. It fits well for now, and I do think it’s going to buy us enough time to get him successfully transferred to a toddler bed (and well-protected twin at the cabin).

The A+A sleeping bags zip at the bottom, so I solved the second problem with a locking diaper pin. I was nervous that he could undo a regular safety pin, but locking diaper pins are much more difficult for little hands to figure out. The head of the pin slides open and shut, and you have to slide it out and then unfasten the pin to get it open. Again, it’s all about buying more time.

The sleep sack solution won’t work for every child, of course, but if you’re facing the same issue, that’s what works for me!