The Escape Artist – Transitioning a Toddler from Crib to Bed

I was all set to write a heartfelt post this week about how bittersweet it is that Jonah is now fully in his big boy bed (twin mattress on the floor), at bedtime and naptime. He has been going to bed at night like a little dream toddler. We read Goodnight, Gorilla, sing our songs, tuck him in with his stuffed puppy, and leave and he goes to sleep. We’ll gloss over the 3:30am wake up times for now.

Yes, my youngest and final child has outgrown his crib. And this morning he showed us just how dangerous he can get.

We’ve taken measures to ensure Jonah can’t get out of his room at night. He’s only 2.5, an age when many kids are still in cribs, and we have no gate at the top of our stairs. A wild little boy roaming free anytime he wants is a scary thought.

This morning I heard Jonah asking to get out of his room, but it was dark and I was tired and he quickly grew quiet so I assumed he’d either fallen back asleep or was entertaining himself with toys.

Then a short while later I heard him cough. Only except for sounding muffled, like he was behind a closed door, it was clear and seemed to come from downstairs.

I shook Zachary awake. “I think Jonah is downstairs!”

We dashed down the stairs. The gate there was closed, but Jonah sat at our kitchen table, happily munching on a full apple.

Our 2.5 year old Jonah managed to escape his room, get downstairs, push a chair to the counter, retrieve an apple from the clamshell Costco enclosure, push his chair back to the table, and start eating.

I, of course, had a mini heart attack thinking of all the things that could have gone wrong in this scenario. He could have walked outside, he could have fallen down the stairs, he could have fallen in the toilet. He might have grabbed a knife off the counter instead of an apple. Could have silently choked on a chunk of raw apple.

Thankfully none of those things happened and he’s been terrorizing Grant all afternoon like normal, but there will be some serious lock downs to come to prevent this from happening again.

Have you had a little one escape his or her room like this before? Or one who went even farther?



  1. Oh, no! So glad he didn’t find trouble. My daughter’s bedroom had a very sticky door, so she couldn’t open it herself, thankfully. It’s much less sticky now, however, and I’m worried once we move little sister in with her I’ll have to figure something else out. I do keep a monitor in the room so I can easily hear what’s going on.

    • We haven’t put childproof locks on his dresser yet, which means nothing to put the monitor on right now! Maybe I will plug it in right outside his door so I can hear something? His door is literally three feet away from ours, though, I can’t believe he was so quiet!

  2. Oh my goodness! I can’t imagine you kept your heart in your chest at that discovery! I have a feeling my cheeky monkey of a daughter will be just like this!

  3. One of my kids we nicknamed “Monkey”. One day when I was in the kitchen doing dishes, I looked out the window. I saw my monkey–then only 16 months old–crawling on the top rungs of our swing set! I about had a heart attack. I ran as fast as I could to rescue her, but she just looked at me calmly and climbed back down by herself. From then on I had the alarm system on our doors activated to beep whenever a door opened. Of course by then she could climb out of her crib in a split second, so her room became the crib, with a tall safety gate in front of her bedroom door. I can’t recall why she couldn’t climb that! I will be praying for your little Jonah’s safety.


  1. […] are weird, delightful creatures. As I’ve written about (too much, perhaps), we recently transitioned Jonah (two and a half) to a big boy bed because […]

  2. […] 6 am, as is his norm. But instead of relaxing I felt uneasy. Why hadn’t he yelled for us yet? Did he escape downstairs without us hearing? Is he getting sick and is too tired to and weak to get out of bed? I determined that, yes, he was […]

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