First of all, I advise keeping your baby in a crib as Long as Possible. It is nice to have them contained and you don't have to worry about them waking and wandering the house. My 2.5 yr-old has been able to climb out of his crib for a while now. I think his older sister showed him some tips to climb out. She's very helpful like that. At first I just told him very firmly not to climb out of his bed when I put him down. He's pretty obedient when he knows I'm serious. It worked pretty well for a month or two although he got out a few times when his sister got to him first. He didn't seem to hurt himself (luckily he's pretty cautious about getting hurt). But it was definitely time to make the transition.
|my little guy posing in his big boy bed|
Another thing to consider is adjusting your older child to as many necessary new changes before a new baby arrives. I figured it was good to move my little guy into his big boy bed before the new baby arrived to kick him out of HIS crib. He made the change pretty well. Sometimes he comes out of bed, but you have to consistently train them that they just have to go to bed (and stay in). Make this change when you feel you have the energy and stamina to be consistent with this. You just have to walk them back to their room and tuck them in and firmly tell them. "It's bedtime, you have to go to bed now." I think it's good to include some "I love you, Good night, You're such a big kid!, and Look how cozy you are in your big bed!" phrases. If you keep up with this over a couple weeks they start to get the idea and don't get out unless they have a real need. (My oldest was harder to train... she was on a real power trip for awhile. We turned her door knob around and locked her in her room for a week or two when she insisted on not giving up, eventually we rewarded her by not locking her door when she was good about staying in bed and would reason with us.. some find this controversial but you're the parent and sometimes you do what you gotta do).
We got this part down, but then I'd hear these loud thumps sometimes followed by wimpers. I'd go in his room and check on him. I found that he'd fall out of bed (onto soft carpet) but then he'd get cold. One time I came in to find him missing... but he had actually crawled under his bed looking for a place to curl up. One night he fell out three times... I figured he'd eventually grow out of it but we were both losing too much sleep. I tried putting a quilt on the floor to soften the fall but he'd still get cold at night and sometimes just wanted to sleep on the little floor bed. I got rid of that early on. After the three-thump night this was my stroke of genius solution that next morning.
STEP 1: Remove fitted sheet, roll up a blanket and set it on the "dangerous" edge of the bed.
STEP 2: Cover with the fitted sheet.
This was much cheaper and easier than going out to buy those fancy bed rails that they sell. Since the first night I installed it, it's stayed in place (it's a fleece blanket) and he has not fallen out of his bed! I am so happy about this. I'm sure many of you mom's could use this same method to keep your kiddos from falling out of bed.
Now let me say, I don't think this is a solution for every situation. If you are dealing with bunk beds, taller beds with hard floors, or you are afraid your child may be injured falling out of bed.... then go purchase an under the mattress bed rail.
Like one of these:
Let me know if this was helpful to you. If you have the same issue it doesn't help to give it a try.