How to Know When to Lower Crib Height

A baby’s crib is a vital part of their infant development. A typical height for a baby crib is 27-29 inches tall. There are some instances in which lowering the crib may be necessary. How do you know when to lower the crib mattress?

Babies grow fast, and it’s hard to know when they’re ready for a lower crib. When it comes to a baby’s sleep, the safest option is always the best option. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that the baby’s crib be lowered to the lowest level once the baby can pull up to a standing position.

Signs your baby needs their crib lowered
  • Your baby can sit up unassisted
  • Your baby can pull themselves up to standing
  • They can stand on their tiptoes to look over the crib’s edge.
  • They start climbing out of the crib.

When your baby first starts using a crib, it’s essential to ensure that the crib is set at the highest setting. This makes it easier to get your baby in and out of the crib when they are young. However, once your baby becomes mobile and can sit and stand up on their own, it’s time to lower the crib. This will help prevent your baby from hurting themselves if they try to climb out of the crib.

baby climbing out of crib

I knew it was time to lower my baby’s crib mattress height when she started to climb out of the crib. She was getting good at it, and I didn’t want her to fall and hurt herself. So I lowered the mattress height, and she could no longer climb out. Problem solved!

Why Lower the Crib Mattress Height?

The main reason to lower the crib mattress height is for the baby’s safety. Once your baby starts to sit up on their own, they have a higher risk of crib-related accidents. If the crib is too high, your baby could easily get their legs over the crib rail and fall and hurt themselves. By lowering the mattress height, you can help to prevent these accidents from happening.

How to Lower the Crib Mattress Height

There are a few different ways to lower a baby’s crib mattress. The most common way is to remove one of the mattress support boards. These are usually located at the head or foot of the crib.

Another way to lower the mattress setting is to adjust the settings on a convertible crib. These cribs have adjustable heights, so you can change the desired location as your baby grows.

Finally, there is a specific crib that comes with a lowering kit. This is a set of hardware that allows you to lower the crib without removing any of the support boards.

If you’re not sure how to lower your specific type of crib, check the manufacturer’s instructions.

When to Lower the Baby’s Crib

The best time for lowering your baby’s crib is before your baby starts sitting up on its own. This will help prevent them from falling out of the crib and getting injured.

baby putting legs over side of crib

If you wait until after your baby can sit up, they may already be at risk for bassinet injuries. So it’s better to be safe and have a lowered mattress before they start sitting up.

How to know if your baby is ready to sit up

There are a few things you can look for to see if your baby is getting close to sitting up on their own. First, see if they’re able to hold their head up well. This is a good indicator that they’re getting the muscles necessary for sitting up.

Second, look for signs that they’re trying to roll over. Once they can roll over, they may start to prop themselves up on their elbows or try to push themselves up to sit with their hands.

Once they can sit up independently, they will start to pull themselves up to stand using the crib sides. This can lead to them falling out and possibly injuring themselves.

baby sitting up in crib

If you notice that your baby is showing any of these signs, it’s time to lower the crib to the middle setting. Babies become mobile quickly once the swaddle stage is over, so be sure to take action as soon as possible.

Baby Sleep Safety Guidelines

When it comes to baby sleep safety, there are a few things parents need to keep in mind. First of all, always put your child to sleep on their back. This significantly reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Secondly, make sure the crib is free of pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals. These can pose a suffocation risk. Thirdly, beware of children falling out of bed.

If your child shows signs of rolling over or sitting up on their own, consider the height of the crib side rail, you may need to adjust the height to prevent them from falling out. Lastly, don’t forget to inspect the crib for loose screws or other hazards regularly. By following these simple guidelines, you can help ensure a safe and peaceful night’s sleep for your little one.

Now that you know when to lower your baby’s crib, it’s time to get started! Reducing your baby’s mattress height is a simple process that can help keep your baby safe. So don’t wait; adjust today.

Crib Height Recommendations

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that the top of the crib mattress be at least 26 inches from the floor during the newborn stage. However, some parents prefer to lower the mattress to around 20-22 inches. This is especially common for taller babies or those close to sitting up on their own. No matter what height you choose, make sure it’s high enough that your baby can’t easily climb out of the crib.

Highest crib setting 

The crib should be set to the highest setting when your baby is a newborn. This will make it easier for you to take your baby in and out of the crib.

As your baby grows and becomes more mobile, you’ll need to lower the mattress to prevent them from climbing out of the crib.

Middle Setting  

Most babies will need the crib mattress to be lowered to the middle setting at some point. This usually happens when they’re around 6-9 months old and start sitting up independently.

Lowest Setting 

The lowest setting is typically used for toddlers or babies that can pull themselves up to stand. It is for babies who are close to outgrowing their cribs. Once your child is 36 inches tall or can easily climb out of the crib, it’s time to move them to a toddler bed.

When to Move Your Baby to a Toddler Bed

There isn’t a set age when you need to move your child to a toddler bed. It all depends on your child and when they’re ready. However, most children transition between 18 months and three years old.

If your child is close to outgrowing their crib, even at the lowest crib setting, it’s probably time to start thinking about moving them to a small bed.

Why Raise the Crib Mattress?

There are a few reasons you might need to raise the crib mattress.

One reason to raise the mattress is if your baby is sick or has reflux. Raising the head of the crib using sleep positioners can help reduce vomiting and spitting up.

Another reason maybe if it is hard to get the baby out of the crib. You may have a hurt back or have a hard time bending over due to pregnancy. Raising the mattress temporarily may be necessary so you can easily access your baby.

How to Raise the Crib Mattress

Raising the crib mattress is a simple process that can be done in just a few minutes. First, decide the height you want to move the crib too. Loosen the screws that keep the crib in place and make the adjustment, then tighten the screws again.

Safety for Adjusting Crib Mattresses

When adjusting your baby’s crib mattress, following basic safety guidelines is essential. Read your crib’s instruction manual to adjust the crib properly.

First, make sure the baby’s bed is empty of any pillows, loose blankets, and the mattress. You want everything out of the crib so that you can easily adjust the height.

Once the crib is at the height you want, ensure you tighten the screws enough so they don’t accidentally come undone once your baby is back in the crib. Put the mattress back in the crib along with anything else they need that doesn’t pose a suffocation hazard.

FAQs for Crib Height

1. Should I transition my baby from a crib to a toddler bed?

Here are a few signs that your child may be ready:

  • Your child can climb out of their crib, even at the lowest mattress setting.
  • They sleep through the night.
  • You are trying to potty train at night and want your child able to use the bathroom at night if they need to. 
  • Your child is asking to sleep in a “big kid bed.”

2. How do I know what height to lower the crib mattress to?

The best way to know what height to lower the crib mattress is to consult your child’s pediatrician or refer to your crib’s manufacturer’s instructions. They can give you specific guidance based on your child’s age and development.

You need to consider lowering your baby’s crib to the middle setting when your baby’s age is around 6-9 months old and start sitting up on their own.The lowest setting is typically used for toddlers or babies that can pull to a standing position and for babies close to outgrowing their cribs. Once your child is 36 inches tall or can easily climb out of the crib, it’s time to move them to a toddler bed.

3. What items can and should go inside the crib with my baby?

When your baby is younger, there should be nothing inside the crib. Instead of a blanket, your baby can sleep in a sleep sack or swaddle blanket to keep warm. Once they start rolling over, you want to have them in a sleep sack that allows their arms to be free. 

Pillows, stuffed animals, and heavy blankets can pose a suffocation hazard, and you should keep the baby’s crib clear of them. Older babies can have light blankets once they are a year old.

4. Is it safe to lower the crib’s mattress to the floor?

Yes, some cribs allow you to lower the mattress to the floor. This is recommended for toddlers that keep climbing out of their crib but are not yet ready to transition to a bed.

Check your crib’s instruction manual to see if your crib can safely have the mattress lowered to the floor.

5. How do you know when a baby has outgrown the crib?

If your baby can climb out of their crib even at the lowest crib setting, your baby has outgrown their crib. Additionally, if your baby’s height exceeds 36 inches, it may be time for them to transition to a toddler bed. You should also talk with your pediatrician about when you should start transitioning.

Conclusion

While there is no definitive answer as to when to lower the crib, safety is an important consideration. According to the National Sleep Foundation, cribs should be lowered when the baby can sit up unassisted, push up on all fours, or pull up to a standing position.

Additionally, you should lower the crib if the baby can climb out of the crib. While these guidelines are based on crib safety, it is ultimately up to the parents to decide when to lower the crib. If you have any concerns, it is always best to consult with your pediatrician. There is no such thing as being too cautious when it comes to ensuring a safe and healthy sleep environment for your baby.

A child’s safety is always the top priority for parents. So, usually, when a child starts showing signs of pulling up or standing in their crib, it’s time to start thinking about lowering the crib. This will help prevent any accidents from happening. Of course, every child is different, so it’s essential to watch your child and see what works best for them. Ultimately, you want to create a safe and comfortable environment for your child to sleep in. Lowering the crib is just one way you can do that.

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