Oh No! It’s that time again! He has learned to escape!

Oh No!  It's that time again!  He has learned to escape!

OMG!  It’s that time again!  We’ve been here twice before and we knew it was coming but…so soon?  Yep, guess who has learned to escape a little too early for mama’s liking!  That’s right, my 22 month old learned to climb out of his crib this past weekend.  And if you know anything about toddler escape artists, as soon as they do it once, they do it everytime.  And each time is a little quicker!  What does this mean?  It means a mischievous toddler escapes his crib by climbing the rail, throwing himself to the ground and then wandering around the house at all hours of the night.   Bedtime is harder.  Naptime?  Well, nearly impossible to get him to settle when he knows he can just jump the rail.  Good thing mama is a step ahead and had the crib tent on standby!  Yep, I said it.  A crib tent!  I love myself a crib tent in this situation!  You see, I’ve been around this block before and I know what is best for us!  I thought this was a perfect time to share my email response with a friend about the crib tent!

A couple years back a friend emailed me about my crib tent experience with my firstborn.  She remembered hearing stories from me about my daughter climbing out of her crib at 17 months.  She was then in that same desperate place and was trying to decide what to do with a young toddler who refused to say in his crib for naps  or bedtime.

Years ago I knew about the crib tent and yet still I figured I could get my daughter to stay in her crib, no problem.  Wrong!  We had 5 long days and nights of no sleep because she decided getting out of her crib meant she would no longer have to sleep.  I would sleep on her floor and literally put her back in the crib about 25 times each night.  She would be out of her crib so fast that she would be behind me before I even got out the bedroom door.  When I thought I could handle the situation, I was wrong.  Since I’m sure that my friend and I are not the only ones that have had this situation, I thought I would share my response to how much I like the crib tent.

Dear Christin,

I feel your pain.  There is no option other than the crib tent when a naughty toddler learns to escape their crib.  I’m not kidding.  At least for us.  We tried.  5 long days of trying.  Okay, maybe there are other options…better parenting skills…etc…but none of which I had or knew about.  At first, we thought we could outlast Savannah and just keep putting her back in her crib.  Well, as the days went on…everyone was getting less and less sleep…and it was getting uglier and uglier.  We spent nights sleeping on the floor at her crib and just kept pushing her back in the crib.  It was crazy.  Plus, it was dangerous because she would scale the side of the crib and throw herself over.  I figured it would just take one time to get a leg or piece of clothing caught and we would have a very serious injury.  I still thought that I could triumph over an 17 month old and “teach” her to stay in the crib.  Yeah…that doesn’t happen.  So, I looked for every option available.  I was ready to sew her clothes to the crib mattress with her in them. LOL.  Okay, maybe not that extreme.  So, I found the crib tent and when I saw that it was an outrageous $75…I thought…no way!  I can do without it.  Well, after 4 days and losing my mind…I changed my mind.

So, I ordered the crib tent online (it was a bit cheaper).  Well, it was going to take like 5-7 days to arrive…and I already went 4 days by this time with hardly any sleep. I couldn’t wait!  I literally went out to Babies R Us the next day and was willing to pay whatever the cost.  Yeah, it was like $75 but at this point I didn’t care.  I cancelled the online order and took the crib tent home from the store.  Like a kid on Christmas (I’m not kidding here) I ran upstairs with my new “gift” immediately and giggled in a delusional-tired state the entire time I was assembling it on her crib.  My husband felt a little bad about it but I was desperate and yet excited at the idea that I just might get some sleep and keep Savannah from harm’s way. 

So, that night we tried out the crib tent for the first time.  At first Savannah was intrigued but that changed to horror when she saw us “zipping her in”.  This part did break my heart because she screamed and put her face against the tent and said “uppie” like she was in a torture chamber.  I knew this was the best thing for us all.  So, she did cry for a bit that night — maybe 10 minutes or so.  But then went to sleep.  That was the best night of sleep I had gotten in over a week.  Yes, she woke up a couple times and whimpered but then went back to sleep.  By the second and third night, we were back on track.  We had our bedtime and naptimes on a schedule again and she was safe from hurting herself from either throwing herself out of the crib or wandering the house at 3am.  God bless the crib tent!  She quickly adapted to the routine of zipping her in and most of the time didn’t protest.  After a few months, she actually asked us to zip her in.  By then, she liked it and treated it like a fort.

Now, I still disagree with the price of the crib tent.  The price is way too high because it will start to fall apart…seams will start to rip and little finger might pull enough to make a few holes in it.  But the truth of the matter is I would have spent $1000 that day for a solution to our problem.  Knowing what I know now, the crib tent is worth more than 3x its price.  We even bought an additional tent that is made exclusively for play yards for our out of town trips (grandma’s, vacations…etc).  We paid another $70 for that tent as well.  But we wouldn’t change a thing.  We used the crib tent for a good 8 months and then put it away knowing that we would need it again for our son when the time comes.  Hope this story helps!  Good Luck!




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  1. I gave a friend this same solution. She didn’t do it because she felt like it was a jail for her boy, but she has had never ending sleep issues and escape issues for her son. I also recommend putting a toddler gate up at the baby’s room door to prevent house excursions for tots who are out of the crib. I think the BEST one I have fornd (and I have really done the research) is the Dream Baby extra tall swing gate. Self closing, easy to open, taller than just about all and nice looking.

  2. For those that experience rips on the inside seams, loosen the velcro straps that go around the sides of the crib! I found that when the velcro was on too tight, it would tear the seams (the side seams down by the mattress). Luckily, I can sew and fixes the seams that ripped with a better quality thread but once I loosened the velcro, never got another rip!!

  3. Thanks for sharing! My 23 mo old has just started throwing her leg over the side of her crib. She hasn’t figured out how to get over the rail yet, and since we have a 2 story home, I’m not ready to move her to a toddler bed for fear of her falling down the steps at night. Good to know I have options when the time comes!

  4. I LOVE MY CRIB TENT! Seriously worth the money. Even though mine hasn’t help up well, it has split open down the sides on the inside of the crib. But it still does it’s job at keeping my little rascal in. Love the tent!

  5. I’m surprised my daughter, who climbs everything in sight, has not learned how to climb out of her crib yet! Now I know what to do if she does figure it out. I wish there was a place you could buy used ones though…$70 is outrageous!

  6. Which one did you get for your play yard? We have a 2006 Graco play yard and my toddler was climbing out last summer. We are going to the beach in a few weeks and I am wondering if this will work to keep him in this summer. He is 29 months now and still in his crib at home (with only a few times climbing out, thank God it hasn’t become a regular thing yet). I did a quick search and saw their had been a recall on a play yard tent last summer, so I was just seeing if you had any recommendations on one to get. Thank you!

  7. Love it! I have the same crib tent for my 2.5 year old and it’s the best thing ever! I didn’t know about the tent with our first born twins and that was pure torture! They’d jump out, get naked, trash the room, empty all of the drawers, etc. We had to strip their room of everything AND lock the closet. Our next baby threw herself out of her crib at 14 months (yes, you read that right!) and we had to find a solution. We paid the $80 and it was the best thing EVER with her. She once again slept like a baby every night. With our 4th, I saved it and when he was about 1.5 I took it out and put it on when I saw he was trying to kick his leg over the side. He never had a chance to escape! 🙂 He is now 2.5 and I am struggling with the idea of moving him to a big boy bed because I’m afraid he won’t sleep in it like he does now. He LOVES his tent and sleeps like a baby in it every night and takes a 2.5 hour nap! I swear this was one of our best purchases for our kids! It has lasted 2 toddlers and other than a little fraying at the railing, it is in perfect shape. It’s safe and secure and I swear my kids are awesome sleepers now because they always had that safe little spot to catch some zzzz’s! Totally worth every penny in my opinion. Thanks for sharing! 🙂


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