You might want to lift the mattress of your baby crib for many reasons. It is either to protect your baby from falling over or to make it easier for you to work with the crib. In either case, safety is always important. Here is a safe guide on how to make crib mattress higher!
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Is it safe to elevate a crib mattress?
It is safe to raise the height of your crib mattress as long as the distance between the mattress and the top rail is at least 26 inches. This is counted from the top of the mattress, not included its thickness which varies around 5-6 inches depending on different brands.
So why 26 inches? The reason being is safety.
Infants under 5 months of age can’t stand up just yet, so you wouldn’t have to worry much about injuries inside the crib.
But once he can, especially when he can cling on to the rail and potentially pull himself up, the mattress must be lowered to prevent the baby from falling over.
83.2% of infant injuries are related to cribs, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Therefore, it is highly advised for moms to only elevate the crib mattress to a certain level where their babies can’t pull up and climb out, to avoid unwanted accidents.
How to make crib mattress higher?
If your crib features adjustable crib heights, just alter its height under different stages of your baby’s development before switching to a toddler bed.
However, if your crib doesn’t have this feature, don’t worry, there are other ways on how to raise the crib mattress.
#1 Put blanket/towel/pillow under the mattress
You can roll or fold up a blanket, big towel or lay a couple of pillows under the mattress to make it higher. It is pretty easy to do and will save you some money.
Start by removing the mattress and marking how many inches you want to raise it, using either measuring tape or a ruler. This step will help you know how much blanket/ pillow/ towel to put in.
Always remember the safety height level of the crib mattress mentioned above. You also don’t want to raise the mattress anywhere higher than 30 degrees, which would be too steep for your baby to sleep on.
Place your rolled blankets or pillows in. You want to create a stable, even base for the mattress to sit on. No loose blanket must be coming out of the mattress, which will be suffocation hazards for any newborn.
When placing your mattress on, make sure it’s leveled and not wobbly. You don’t want it to be saggy or sinking in the middle or else it will be uncomfortable for your baby to sleep on.
#2 Use a crib wedge
In case you don’t mind spending an extra amount of money compared to dealing with many risks using your blankets or pillows, getting a crib wedge is a good option.
A crib wedge is a product designed to raise the height of the mattress at a certain angle, usually under 30 degrees.
Since it is made to function as a crib height extender, the crib wedge can raise the mattress higher while keeping it secured. It also comes in many sizes to fit the crib nicely, avoiding material sticking out.
#3 Use bed riser
Another option is to use hard objects like books or blocks to raise the crib mattress.
Although it may seem harder and trickier to make the mattress stable this way, many parents have said to be in favor of this method.
So if you don’t want to buy anything like a crib wedge or use blankets, towel, pillow, this may suit you.
When should you raise the crib mattress?
How high or low should you set the crib mattress depends on the age of your baby. Here is the guideline to know when you should change your crib mattress height, for most typical standard mattress height-adjustable cribs:
- The highest setting is for newborn infants under the age of 5 months who haven’t been able to stand or crawl yet.
- The middle setting is the second-lowest after the highest and is appropriate for babies that are at least 5 months old (about 6-8 months) and can sit up, roll or crawl over.
There may be more than one middle level in several cribs, which allows you to freely adjust based on your baby’s situation. Still, we highly advise you to lower the crib mattress to the lowest setting as soon as the baby can stand up.
- The lowest level is for when your baby has reached 8 months old or has developed the ability to stand, climb, or pull himself on the rail. This is the safest setting to keep him from falling over.
Once your mattress has reached its maximum height and your kid is 3 years old, usually around 35 inches tall, it is the right time for a toddler crib-to-bed transition.
Besides, if you feel a burden on your back every time picking up your loved one because the crib mattress is too low, especially for the case of short parents, raising the height of the mattress can help. Just bear in mind all the safety factors for your baby.
How high should crib mattress be for newborns?
As we have mentioned above, young babies under 5 months of age cannot sit up yet.
Since it is unlikely that they can climb out of the crib during this period, it is safe to set the crib mattress at the highest setting, according to AAP.
Can I stack two crib mattresses to make it higher?
Although using a second mattress can raise the height of your baby’s bed, unfortunately, you should not. The reason is a mattress is meant to be used on its own.
Putting another mattress under may make it too high for the baby to sleep on and thus dangerous, especially for babies older than 5 months.
We hope this post has been useful to you. Feel free to share with us your experience or other tips of your own on how to make baby mattress higher! Happy parenting!