At What Age Does a Crib Become a Cage?

Tonight as I was kissing my little Magooly man-child through the bars of his wooden prison I wondered, “At what point must he be liberated, free to (heaven have mercy!) roam the estate at night while we’re sleeping?”

I don’t think the time is now, but the fact that I’m asking the question makes me think the time is soon… and I fear for all our lives.

This entry was posted in kid stuff, parenting. Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to At What Age Does a Crib Become a Cage?

  1. Heffalump says:

    Ah, but how sweet will it be when you wake up in the morning with his sweet little face right up in your tired and sleepy face? Those are the great moments.

  2. Lacey says:

    We just uncaged my 2 year old. She could climb in with the gate down so we figured it was time so she didn’t fall and hit her head while climbing out.
    I always hate uncaging them. My freedom becomes a little more limited and I have to make sure the house is kid proof for the mornings they wake up without waking me first, which my older daughter would often do. I’d find her on the couch watching Sesame street and I’d have no idea how long she’d been awake.

  3. OMSH says:

    Mine all moved to their “twin” bed at 18 months, but only because they were monkeys and could swing out of their cribs anyway. I’d rather them not break their necks swinging over the side of a crib.

    The transition was always easier than I thought though.

    And? Since when did you become a SEATTLE mom?

  4. Azucar says:

    We moved to a twin a few months short of three. He could easily get in and out of his crib for a solid year before the move. They LIKE having a more enclosed space. Plus, I don’t think most children are developmentally capable of not falling out of bed. It takes a certain level of brain development to be able to fall asleep and keep a self-GPS of your bed.

    Although I did question our choices when El Guille looked at his crib slats and said, “Look! An eleven! Another eleven! Lots of elevens!”

  5. slawebb says:

    I uncaged our first just shy of 3. No problem until… we moved & the door was easier to open. Then she was coming out ALL THE TIME. I couldn’t keep her in her room at night. There we lots of tears from a sleep deprived & pregnant me. I tried those door **** lock things, she figured it out in 3 tries. I put 2 gates up, one on top of the other, and went to the living room. Then I heard a pad, pad, pad down the hall. She climbed up AND down both of them. Talking about determined. We are looking at moving our almost 2 yo now. DH says don’t rush it, but she keeps climbing on Big Sister’s bed and big sister doesn’t like it. The best suggestion i heard was to put a slatted gate (not those cheap criss cross gates like I have) up in the door way. Then when they get up and open the door they see that they can’t go anywhere. They learn quickly that they can’t get out so they stop. At least in theory. My problem is that my daughters share a room so that’s a different problem. How do I get 2yo not to bother 5 yo when they are supposed to be sleeping? Huh, I’m stumped. Which is part of the reason she’s still in her crib.

  6. Veronica says:

    We have had many travails trying to keep our two oldest in the big girl beds at night. My best to you.

  7. Amanda Regan says:

    I dread the thought of when my son is old enough to want to spend hours of his life standing in a crowd of other kids outside the shop or on a particular bench in a park.
    I don’t think I will ever be ready for that & I don’t want him to do that I guess to me he will always be “my baby” & I don’t want him to be or be influenced by the hordes of teens standing around & doing nothing outside a shop.
    I’m scared of them & I’m scared of my son joining their ranks & here I admit it

  8. Karen says:

    I transitioned my three kids at different ages. My first could crawl out of the crib at 18 months, so in a toddler bed she went. My son stayed in the crib until he was 2-1/2, happily. He resisted the twin bed because it was so large, but he took to the toddler bed quickly and then moved to a twin later. Our last was in a twin bunk bed after the first 18 months because she shares a room with her brother who was already in a twin. It wasn’t that difficult to transition…the hardest part is keeping them in the bed. But with proper training, within a few weeks, they all stayed in their beds. I wouldn’t rush anything – if Magoo is happy, enjoy it. 🙂 I think ANY change for a baby/toddler is difficult and they will push the boundaries to see where they are and if you are serious about your decisions. Best of luck! You can do it.

  9. allysha says:

    I say as long as they can sleep comfortably and aren’t trying to do a head dive out of it, the crib is the way to go, as long as possible…

  10. Eric's Mom says:

    My son just turned 3 and he loves his crib. I have suggested we buy him a big boy bed. He said No, he likes his own bed. He does not try to crawl out of the crib, so I say Okay have “Your Own Bed”.

  11. Awesome Mom says:

    Don’t do it until he can climb out. We waited forever to switch Evan. We ended up forgetting our playpen for a visit to the inlaws. They had one for Harry but Evan had to try out the bed. I lay with him until he went to sleep. He went back to a crib but after another visit to the inlaws where he went right to bed on the bed I decided that he was ready for a bed of his own at home. Harry is going to be in the crib as long as I can keep him there. He is too wild to be loose.

  12. chilihead says:

    The Great and Powerful Oz says the age is 21. Jambi agrees.

  13. Kim says:

    I didn’t really uncage mine. I just made the cage bigger. I put a child gate at the open bedroom door, so they could stand there and made loud noises to get our attention from the end of the hallway. One child was just past 2, the other almost 3, and my youngest will probably be closer to 3 or 30, haven’t decided yet. I guess it will depend on when we plan to add a 4th monkey to the zoo.

  14. Shalee says:

    I would fear more for your uninterrupted night’s sleep than your lives. However, I could see how those could be interchanged…

    I say never. Keep them caged forever… or until he learns to crawl out of it and the dangers of his hurting from the fall far exceeds your need for a full night’s slumber.

  15. Jennifer says:

    Cage? Nah, try putting a crib tent on it – that makes it a cage! (We had to after son climbed out and got stuck, first ER visit, boys are such fun! 🙂 ) We’ve since moved him to a toddler bed (we moved the girls straight to twin beds). He’s staying pretty well in his room with a babyproof thing on the doorknob. Another option is to turn the doorknob around with the lock on the outside and lock him in (I’m not sure how I feel about this but my friend did it). I agree with the other commenters, keep him in there as along as possible.

  16. Melissa says:

    As soon as my kids could climb out, or we needed the crib for the next child, they got their own beds. Good luck with that…

  17. Kathy says:

    Don’t do it! Keep him caged unless he’s about to break his arms and legs trying to jump out! We forced my oldest out after his third birthday mostly so he could get up and go to the bathroom when he needed to. It was an easy transition for us since he was old enough to understand “the rules”. Good luck whatever you decide!

  18. Andrea says:

    Keep him in as long as possible.
    Both my kids were climbing out by 17 months. Sad sad times.

  19. Lei says:

    It may not go as badly as you think… one of mine totally shocked us by staying in bed, all night long, from night 1.

  20. Alison says:

    My husband wanted to move my daughter out at 2–I said, “Why? I’m keeping her in as long as possible!” (She never climbed out.) We moved her into a “big girl bed” several months before her baby brother was born (she was 3), and she stayed in just fine. She still wakes me up when she needs to go to the bathroom, though!

  21. Kimberly says:

    Emma didn’t figure out she could get out of her toddler bed for two whole months! It was hilarious. She’s not the brightest, but she’s cute, so it’s all good.

    We put a lock on the outside of her door. We lock it when we put her down, then unlock the door before we go to bed. She quickly learned that getting out of bed availed her nothing.

  22. Are you joking me?

    Cara’s staying in her crib until she goes to college!

  23. Carmen says:

    Never…… It is almost time for my own daughter to be let out but I just can’t do it yet – at least not until her nap time isn’t the most important time of the day to me!

  24. Thea says:

    Oh my gosh, I’m with you. We are facing this decision right now, too. We figure by the end of the year our oldest won’t fit in the toddler bed anymore so we might as well move our youngest out of the crib into the toddler bed because insanity is good in a home, right?

    Please say yes.

  25. heather says:

    my son was a little past 2 when we let him out and it took a month to transition him to staying in bed.

    My daughter however, was let out just shy of her 2nd birthday and took NO time to transition.

  26. Bonnie says:

    Our little man’s name is Ben, and to make ourselves feel a little better, we laughingly called it the Ben-itentiary. It worked! Cheers!

  27. Estee says:

    I have never posted a comment, but I always read your blog. I thought of you (in a not creepy way at all, I promise, LOL) as I carefully uncaged my 2 year old today for his first ever nap in his new “big boy bed.” After three escapes, he finally fell asleep. Tonight when I asked him where he wanted to sleep he said, very firmly, “In my crib.” Apparently he likes being caged! 🙂 Good luck to you!!

  28. Carrie says:

    My rule was an easy one: when they start climbing out. Lucky for me, all 3 of my kids were half orangutang, so this happened early with all of them.

    Most likely, the transition will be easier than you expected though!

  29. grammyelin says:

    It doesn’t seem like that long ago when I was making these decisions for you and your brother and sisters. Do you remember the picture of Ace sleeping very soundly and comfortably UNDER his 1st big boy bed?

  30. we never did.
    Both kids used to just yell for us.
    Now at 3 and 5, they just come in our room.
    they don’t do anything else at night.

    the baby gates are at the kitchen and were at the stairs when they were wee…but that is it.

  31. mauniejames says:

    when mine was 18 months he was like a magician…we actually had to put a hook and eye lock on the bedroom door(his older brother could open it) I got up one morning to find him with cereal poured diredtly on the rug with milk on top of that and every burner of the stove turned on…we have no good old days

  32. Genevieve says:

    At age 3.5 we still don’t dare for midnight random roaming — my goodness my toddler would be into heaps of things that could hurt him while we snoozed! (He’s a curious sort) His room is gated. My room is gated to keep the dogs in so they won’t bug him and bark at his door too ;).

  33. Keep them caged as long as possible, I say. My oldest has just turned 14 and we might remove the bars when he gets a little older if he behaves himself…

  34. Melissa says:

    My sister-in-law (who I love) moves her kids out of the crib when they are 9 months old. Crazy! She says things like “it only took about 9 months to get him to stay in the bed…” and “he rolled off the bed almost everynight for awhile.” Anyway, we move our kids out of the crib only if they can crawl out or another baby is on the way. My 22 month old will stay for at least six more months!

  35. Alyson says:

    My ds is almost 3 and I don’t see him leaving the cage any time soon. When he was about 15 or so months he figured out how to climb out and we got a crib tent. He loved that thing, but I had to take it off about a month ago because he played with the zipper too much and broke it & it was a hazard (he could have gotten it wrapped around his neck). He still occasionally mentions that he wants his tent back on his bed. I think he likes the closed in space. Oh, and I guess he forgot that he used to climb out, because he hasn’t tried to since we took the tent off.

  36. sarah says:

    My toddler was so sad when we transitioned her to a regular bed (although she kept climbing out of a crib. As a compromise, I put a little half railing up that she can easily climb over to get into her crib and still gives her that snuggly nest feel of being in a crib. Every now and then I take the rail down but she insists I keep it up!

Comments are closed.