Once kids hit the toddler years, the rules on sleep relax a bit, because the SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) risk goes down to nil. However, as your child gets older and more mobile, new sleep safety challenges surface (think: jumping out of the crib and yanking on electrical wires).

Check Out the 5 Tips Below to Promote Safe Toddler Sleep: 

1. Lower the Mattress: Make sure the crib mattress is set to the lowest level to make it harder for your child to climb out (or fall out). Install a soft carpet in the room as well.

2. Let Your Child Pick His/Her Sleep Position: Now that the SIDS risk is over, your toddler can sleep in whichever position he/she likes (i.e. on his/her stomach, back, side, etc.). You may even notice that your kiddo completely spins around while asleep. That’s normal and something that he/she will eventually grow out of.

3. Watch Out for Choking Hazards on “Transitional Objects”: Transitional objects (such as teddy bears, blankies, and pillows) are allowed now. Just make sure they don’t have pieces that could be pulled off and swallowed. Also, make sure there’s nothing in the crib (like a thick pillow) that can be used as a step stool to help your child climb out.

4. Clear Away Mobiles, Electrical Wires, and Window-Blind Cords: Now that your toddler excels at grabbing things, the mobile definitely needs to go (if it hasn’t already). In addition, make sure there aren’t any electrical cords (e.g. from the baby monitor) or window-blind cords within reach.

5. Skip the Crib Tent: Avoid crib tents, which are designed to keep crib jumpers inside their cribs.

Why? Because they can pose a suffocation hazard.

Common Question: When Should I Move My Child to a Toddler Bed?

Believe it or not, most doctors recommend keeping toddlers in a crib for as long as possible. We’re not saying until college, but until about 3 years of age OR until they start consistently climbing out of the crib (whichever comes first). 

Why Keep Kids in a Crib For So Long?

Because once a child moves to a toddler bed, all bets are off, and he/she has the potential to roam around at night (think: visiting his/her parent’s room or heading to the kitchen in search of a midnight snack).

If You’re Thinking About Taking the Plunge, Get Wise About the Top 5 Tips for Moving Your Child to a Big Bed.