Ideas to Keep Toddlers From Climbing Out of Pack 'n Plays

Once the idea of climbing occurs to a little one, you may have a challenge on your hands. Suddenly, no spot may be able to hold him as he easily scales the sides of baby gates and Pack ‘n Plays. To keep your child safe, discourage climbing escapades after putting your child in the Pack ‘n Play.

Special Toys

Once your little escape artist discovers she can vault herself over the side of the playard, you may need to get creative to encourage her to stay inside it. You could try placing her most favorite toys inside the Pack ‘n Play with her to entice her not to escape. You could also capture her interest with a new toy she hasn’t seen before.


Keep a careful eye on your little one as he’s in the Pack ‘n Play. If you see him making ready to climb over the side, give him a clear directive not to climb. For example, you might say, “No climbing out. Stay inside and play until Mommy gets you out.” After disciplining, redirect him away from climbing. You might try distracting him with an interesting toy inside the playard. The technique of redirecting can be an effective way to discipline toddlers, states Sandra J. Bailey, Ph.D. and family and human development specialist with the Montana State University Extension 1. Be prepared to repeat the redirection numerous times to teach your toddler not to climb.

Negative Reinforcement

Another option for keeping a toddler from climbing out of the playard involves negative reinforcement of the undesired behavior. Position a timeout chair near the Pack ‘n Play to use if your toddler climbs out, recommends the authors of “What to Expect the Toddler Years." If your toddler escapes, place her in the timeout chair for a one- to two-minute timeout as a consequence for the undesired behavior 2. At the end of the timeout, place her back in the Pack n’ Play and tell her she needs to stay until you get her out. Repeat the timeout as many times as necessary to help your child learn not to climb.

Playard Tents

Although it may seem attractive to purchase and install a tent over the Pack ‘n Play to prevent your child from climbing out, using these tents has a significant risk, according to the Consumer Protection Safety Commission. Many manufacturers have participated in voluntary recalls due to entanglements and entrapments of children as they attempted to climb out of the playard with the tent in place. Children can also break parts of the tent as they try to climb out. Even with improved designs, the CPSC does not recommend that parents use tents to keep children in a playard. If you cannot keep your child in the Pack ‘n Play, it may be time to stop using it.

Related Articles

  1. How to Childproof an Elliptical
  2. When to Start Using Time Outs
  3. Bumbo Tray Instructions
  4. How to Fold Down the Cosco Play Yard
  5. How to Disassemble an Eddie Bauer Baby Play Yard
  6. How to Live in a Studio With a Toddler
  7. How to Punish Children Who Hit Their Siblings
  8. Safety 1st Pack & Play Directions
  9. How to Remove Rainforest Jumperoo Seat Cushion
  10. How to Fold a Joovy Caboose
  11. High Pitch Scream in Toddlers
  12. How to Find an Air Leak in an Inflatable Toy
  13. What to Do for a 2-Year-Old With a Sprained Ankle
  14. Instructions for the Chicco Lullaby Play Yard
  15. How Much Outdoor Time Should Toddlers Have?
article divider