Legs through cot bars: the solution

crib 1

Picture the scene; I’m downstairs having a cup of tea waiting for my son to awake from his nap when instead of the usual gurgling and chatting I hear a scream of terror. I ran upstairs to find him trapped by his leg between the bars of the cot. He had been kicking his legs in the air (like he just don’t care) when his plumb little thigh got stuck. No matter how much he pulled it would not come out. So he screamed blue murder for me. I arrived and tried to pull his leg out, but couldn’t without hurting him. In panic I rubbed moisturiser all over his leg and finally freed him. There was much hugging and kissing of relief. Despite the large bruise around his knee he seemed otherwise ok. “Whoo, he won’t do that again” I thought.

How wrong.

My son repeated this every time he went in the cot for a week. He did it when he slept over in both his nannies, and nearly scared them to death. He did it when his Dad was minding him who was minutes away from ripping the bars off the cot hulk-style before I got there in time.

Each time my son did it, he looked so incriminatingly at us, as though we were purposely leaving the tempting space between the bars for his to shove his plumb little legs.  It couldn’t go on. One of these times when we went to free him someone was accidently going to dislocate his knee in panic. We needed a solution.

First thought: throw money at the problem. Forked out €30 for air-bumpers which are normal cot bumpers but because they are mesh the child can breathe through them and they are therefore not a choking/smothering hazard. They are fine as bumpers, but my son got his leg stuck high in the cot, not low, so they didn’t solve our problem.

Next thought: Wrap cloth tightly around the entire bars. No good. I could not get the cloth tight enough to prevent his legs going though the bars as he kicked with his legs in the air. And there was nothing I could do to stop him kicking his legs in the air. He has such an aversion to grow-bags that I can only imagine that at some point in a previous life he was confined to a straight-jacket and wheeled off to the loony bin, his intrinsic hatred of being confined can have no other justification.

Solution: Cardboard tided to the cot, covered by the cloth. It’s not the most attractive solution but it works. The cardboard is robust enough to prevent his legs going through but not hard like wood to hurt him as he kicks his legs.

crib 2


  • 1 Large cardboard box
  • 1 long length of cloth. I up-cycled a double bed duvet cover by cutting it along the sides to make it twice as long
  • Material for ties – number depend on the size of your crib
  • Scissors, needle and thread

The instructions are as follows

  1. Go down to your supermarket and get one large cardboard boxes (or two small ones – they are going to be covered anyway).
  2. Open the box so it is flat
  3. Remove the mattress from the cot for the moment.
  4. Lie the box against the inside of the bars
  5. Cut two little holes either side of every second bar and tie the cardboard in place with the material ties
  6. Lay the two sides of the cot and along the base – this will be tied under the cot
  7. Replace the mattress
  8. Sew the material ties to either side of the open cloth under the cot and tie

crib 3


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