Not long ago, I wrote about Pumpkin discovering she could climb out of her crib. The second time she did it that night must have been a rougher landing than the first - based on the loud "bump!" we heard downstairs, the "Owie. Leg." she pointed to for the next few days and the fact that she hasn't done it since then.
However, knowing that she realizes it's possible, we've been trying to come up with a solution. That fateful night, we just put down the side of her crib and put a mattress on the floor beside it. Fine for the moment, but rather in the way and reduced our guest capacity by one. After a few days without climbing, we put the mattress back and substituted in several large folded blankets for a soft landing pad just in case. Also ok, but not ideal.
Here is a picture of our current (and probably long-term) solution. We took the sliding side off Pumpkin's crib since there is a metal bar there to keep it sturdy under the mattress frame. Then we bought a bedrail at a kids'/toy store. It's meant to be used with a larger bed, but it leaves just enough room at the end for her to get in and out on her own. Since there's NO storage in our Irish house, we wrapped the now-surplus crib side in an extra sheet and stood it up between the crib and the wall.
You'll notice that we still have a minibed on the floor there of blankets and a pillow. For the first while, she had only figured out how to get out of her bed through the little space, and so would occasionally take her nap on the minibed. For quite a few days now, she's stayed in her crib to sleep... or crawled back in after she was done playing in her room and THEN laid her little head down to sleep. So, I think I'll put that bedding away within the week.
This all works pretty well for us so far. We didn't really want to get a toddler bed since we've got no storage for (a) the crib itself and (b) all the stuff we've got stored under the crib. I didn't want to move her to a big bed because there's just too much room for her to fall out, and then we still have to find a place for the crib. (Also, it reduces our guest capacity by one. Now, we could always work around that when we've got four people visiting us, but I wouldn't want to put a guest on a sleeping bag/airmattress or to try to make her change her sleeping routine/place when her schedule would be all screwed up anyway.)
While her room was pretty well childproofed already, I am going to have to find a better place for a few thing... like her hair clips that she likes to play with when she's supposed to be napping. Also, if SHE doesn't think she's tired enough for a nap, she's more likely to just play in her room instead of actually napping, but I can deal with that. It's still a break and quiet time for each of us, and if she's tired, she does nap. (or we try again later.)
I do get the giggles though when she's ready to get up. She goes right up to the door (which sticks not-quite-closed... ideal because she can't open it, but I can hear her and sort of peek in a tiny bit) and puts her little face up to the gap and gets those little lips as close as she can to outside the room and THEN starts saying "Maaaaammmeee. Wake up! Maaammy! Nap. Done. Get up. Mommy. Downstairs!"
3 weeks ago