How to Keep Baby’s Legs From Getting Stuck in Crib (Effective Tips and Tricks)

“How to keep baby’s legs from getting stuck in crib?” is probably one of those things you’d never thought of researching until you’ve made a creature that’s constantly finding ways to hurt or kill itself.

If you’re tired of worrying and waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of wailing because your toddler’s leg is stuck in the crib, again, keep scrolling my friend.

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How to Keep Baby’s Legs From Getting Stuck in Crib

Make Sure You Have a Safe Crib 

Keeping your little one safe begins with a sturdy and reliable crib.

Check if your crib is not defective, meets current safety standards and most importantly, has no recalls.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) provides sleep guidelines and updates and other crib safety tips. 

Use a Sleep Sack

I love sleep sacks. They look fantastic, they’re the best and safest alternative to traditional blankets.

Related Article: What Should Baby Wear Under Swaddle or Sleep Sack

Plus they kept my baby warm and cozy and most importantly, it can help prevent those tiny legs from slipping through the crib slats.

Use Crib Bumpers and Crib Mesh Liners Appropriately

This might seem controversial advice and it is, because crib bumpers and crib liners can potentially lead to suffocation or entanglement IF and ONLY IF, your baby can’t turn their head away yet.

I’ve personally used a crib bumper for my toddler. Emphasize a toddler, not a baby that can’t move its head yet.

My toddler then thought she was a Wobbler toy and would just bump her head all around the crib.

I removed it once she was learning to stand up cause I know her.

She would definitely step on the crib bumper and jump her way out of the crib.

But there’s now a law that prohibits the manufacturing and selling of padded crib bumpers (and inclined sleepers).

I think it’s a matter of gauging your baby’s development and what you’re comfortable with.

If they’re old enough to turn their head away but are not in that stage yet that they would start to step on the crib or bumper and climb out of the crib, then personally, I think it’s fine to use it.

But again, we’re all different, so just do what works for your family.

Use a Crib Rail Protection

You can also protect your baby’s legs getting stuck in crib slats, by using a crib rail protection. 

These soft and padded covers wrap around the crib’s rails, ensuring that your little one’s limbs stay secure.

“Feet To Foot” Of The Crib

Another tip is to place your baby “feet to foot” at the end of the crib. 

This means positioning your baby with their feet touching the crib’s footboard. 

Weirdly, I find that babies feel more secure when they feel some sort of “footing”, they move less and it helps minimize the chances of their legs slipping through the slats.

Use a Crib Alternative

If you find that your toddler legs are stuck in the crib again despite your best efforts, you might want to consider using a travel crib or pack ‘n play as a temporary crib replacement. 

These portable cribs have mesh sides, reducing the risk of entanglement.

You can even use a floor bed if needed.

Transition to a Toddler Bed

Maybe it’s time to make that transition and just get your baby a toddler bed. Or turn their convertible crib into a toddler bed.

This can be tricky as you gotta wait until your kid can at least safely climb in and out of the toddler bed on their own.

But a few parents made it work so it might also work out for you.

Do Nothing

Babies and toddlers will eventually outgrow this stuck-in crib phase after a few weeks. Or months, depending on their personality.

They will eventually learn the boundaries of their crib.

But if you’re tired of helping your toddler get unstuck in the crib, especially if they’ve been crying in the middle of every damn night, then, by all means, try the other methods above.

Safe Sleeping Guidelines for Infants

Following sleep safety guidelines for babies can not only minimize the risk of your baby getting stuck between crib slats, but it can also reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related accidents. 

You can check out a more detailed guideline on safe sleep for babies here but in a nutshell, it involves the following:

  • Always place your baby on their back to sleep for both naps and nighttime sleep. 
  • Ensure that your baby sleeps on a firm and flat mattress designed for infants. 
  • Keep the crib free from loose bedding, pillows, blankets, soft toys, stuffed animals, and bumper pads. 
  • Use a sleep sack to provide warmth without the risk of suffocation.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and other baby experts recommend room sharing without bed sharing
  • Maintain a comfortable room temperature – don’t let your baby get too hot or too cold when sleeping.
  • Ensure that anyone caring for your child – your spouse, in-laws, other family members, or babysitter – is aware of and follows safe sleep practices.

FAQ about Toddler Keeps Getting Leg Stuck In Crib

How do I stop my baby from sticking his leg out of the crib?

You can stop your baby from sticking their leg out of the crib by using a sleep sack breathable mesh liner, or a combo of both. 
You can also use a crib bumper to prevent your toddler’s legs from getting stuck in a crib, but FYI, this has risks.
You can also try making them sleep in a travel crib, pack-n-play, or use a floor bed, instead of a regular crib.

Can a baby’s leg get stuck in crib slats?

Yes, a baby’s leg can get stuck in a crib slat. Especially if your baby moves in the crib while sleeping.
There’s a 1-in-a-million chance that they can break their leg and though that might unlikely happen, it’s better to just come up with a solution to prevent your baby’s legs from getting stuck in the crib.

What can I use instead of a crib bumper?

Instead of a crib bumper, you can use a sleep sack a crib rail protection, or a breathable mesh liner to ensure your baby’s safety.

What to do if a baby’s leg gets stuck in the crib?

If your baby’s leg gets stuck in the crib, carefully cut off their pajamas and apply baby oil or a baby-safe ointment on their legs.
Then gently start tugging at their legs, making them slide out of the crib slats.
If that doesn’t work, then be ready to destroy the crib slats.

Can a baby break a leg in crib slats?

The chances of your baby breaking their leg in the crib slats are extremely slim. To put your mind at ease, the odds of such an incident are roughly 1 in 10,000. 
When you’re diligently sticking to those safe sleep guidelines, your precious bundle is far more likely to sail through just fine. 

Are crib bumpers and liners safe?

Crib bumpers and liners are not safe for younger babies, especially those that can’t move and turn their heads independently, due to the risk of suffocation and entanglement.

Are mesh bumpers safe?

Mesh bumpers are a safer alternative to traditional crib bumpers, but it’s still essential to follow safe sleep guidelines.

What can happen if your baby’s legs get stuck in the crib?

If your baby’s legs get stuck in the crib, they could experience discomfort or at the very worst, which rarely happens, minor injuries. 
However, the goal is to prevent this from happening altogether.

Should I use sleep positioners to protect a baby’s limbs from getting entangled in the bars of the bed?

No, you shouldn’t use sleep positioners. Sleep positioners can pose a suffocation risk. 
It’s safer to follow the preventive measures mentioned above.

More Tips about 1-Year-Old Keeps Getting Leg Stuck In Crib

  • Use a baby monitor

I see this as a must-have, a newborn essential

Especially if you can’t always stay in the nursery room and you have to do something that doesn’t involve your baby attached to you the whole time.

So get a baby monitor so you can always check up on your kid if they’re stuck again or something.

Just be careful where to place the baby monitor, especially the cord. You don’t want your kid reaching for it!

  • Don’t use pillows

Especially if you have a baby that doesn’t have good control of its neck yet. 

OR if they’re starting to stand up they can step on the pillow!

That’s a huge no-no and can endanger your baby.

  • Change cribs

If you have the budget, it’ll just be easier to change cribs. There are other types to choose from – there’s travel cribs, cribs for short moms, tall cribs, etc.

How to Keep Baby’s Legs From Getting Stuck in Crib: Final Thoughts

There are a lot of studies and opinions out there on what you should or shouldn’t use for your baby, which I think you should take with a grain of salt.

You’re the only one who knows your baby best so if you think a sleep sack is enough to keep your baby’s legs from getting stuck in the crib, then use that.

But if you know it’s not enough to prevent it, then use the other methods!

You know your baby best so do what works for your family.

If you like this article, then check out my other related crib and sleeping guides, such as: