When to Lower Crib Mattress- A Practical Rookie Guide

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The minute you welcome your sweet little baby home, you can already expect several changes. With these changes comes a lot of uncertainty and questions, such as when to lower crib mattress? The good news is, you’re not the only one that’s been faced with that dilemma. 

Mothers around the world often have safety concerns relating to baby cribs and mattress height. So, there are various resources you can turn to for guidance, such as this article. Safety is an important consideration when it comes to your baby’s crib and mattress height and knowing how and when to lower crib mattress is important. 

Let’s unpack!

Why Does the Crib Height Adjust?

When it comes to your baby’s crib, there’s no one-size-fits-all make, which means that the one you eventually decide on must adapt to you and your needs. For starters, the crib height can be adjusted for your convenience, so you don’t startle the baby when you’re putting them down on the mattress. 

Adjusting the crib height essentially raises and lowers the crib mattress, either bringing it closer or further from you. The right height to set the mattress will depend on your height.

Why Lower the Crib Mattress?

The main reason to lower the crib mattress and mattress height is for your baby’s safety. A lower crib mattress reduces the chances of your baby pulling themselves over a short railing and falling flat on the floor. Regardless of how your baby’s crib is designed, you should always be mindful of when to lower crib mattress in line with their growth.

In the early months after your baby coming home, you likely had your crib mattress raised. This is because it’s easier to put a sleepy baby into the taller crib.

When To Lower Crib Mattress For My Baby?

The best time to lower your baby’s crib is when they show signs of being able to move into a sitting position on the mattress without any assistance. This typically happens anytime between five and eight months of age, which is when you need to start being extra cautious and lower your baby’s crib.  

That being said, it’s recommended and advised that you lower your baby’s crib fully before they learn to stand unsupported. If you don’t lower your baby’s crib before then, you risk them getting into a standing position or holding onto the rail and potentially toppling over the crib if the mattress is still quite high.

The lower your baby’s crib and crib mattress, the lower the chances of this happening.

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How to Adjust the Crib Mattress

To adjust the crib mattress and mattress height, it’s always best to first go over the manufacturer’s guidelines and manual. This is because your baby’s crib may differ in its design, meaning that the steps to adjust the mattress of another crib may not be the same.

However, the steps to adjust the crib mattress are generally as follows:

Determine the new mattress height – it’s important to start off by knowing how much lower down you need the mattress to be. By deciding on the mattress height from the beginning, you avoid having to do so after disassembling the baby’s crib and when you have all the screws in your hands.

Remove the bedding – the next step in lowering your baby’s crib is removing the sheets and mattress protector. 

Make the necessary adjustments – to adjust your baby’s crib, you need to undo the screws/bolts and lower the mattress to the height you initially decided on. This is why it’s easier to decide on the mattress height beforehand, so that at this point, it becomes a case of merely adjusting the mattress accordingly. 

Screw the bolts back – once you’re satisfied with the new mattress height, you can screw the bolts back and secure the crib and its mattress in the new position.

Place the bedding and mattress back in the crib – you can now put the sheets and the mattress protector back in place.

Check crib sturdiness by firmly pressing on the mattress – before you even allow your baby back into the crib after adjusting the mattress height, it’s important to check the sturdiness to ensure that it won’t topple over. You need to confirm that everything is secure and safe after you lower the mattress.

Safety Tips

When raising a baby, safety is always a major concern – even when it comes to something as seemingly insignificant as adjusting the mattress height on your baby’s crib. To ensure that you stay on the right track, you should keep up-to-date with what the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) suggests on best practices. 

According to the AAP, an estimated 3,500 infants die from sleep-related infant deaths each year in the United States. This is undoubtedly a cause for concern. Some of the safety tips to reduce this risk include:

  • Parents should sleep in the same room as the baby for at least the first six months. However, it’s not recommended to share a bed with the baby during this period.
  • Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months reduces the risk of sleep-related infant death.
  • Swaddling is not recommended for babies that are starting to roll. This is typically around three to four months.
  • The use of a pacifier to put the baby to sleep is advised. 

More Baby Crib Answers

Parenting is a never-ending journey of discovery, especially with newborns. From crib mattress concerns to uncertainty on toddler beds, you’re bound to spend most of your time looking for answers. If that sounds like you, have a look at more baby crib and crib mattress answers below.

When Should My Baby Transition to a Toddler Bed?

Your baby should transition to a toddler bed when you notice that they can climb out of the crib on their own even if the mattress height has been fully lowered! For safety reasons, this is the biggest indicator of the need to ditch the crib and move to a new home – a toddler bed.

Another reason that may cause you to move your baby into a toddler bed is if they no longer fit into the crib. If they can reach the sides of the crib and it becomes uncomfortable, make the switch. 

A toddler bed is also convenient for your baby if you’re potty training. They need to be able to leave the bed when they need to, so a crib with a lowered mattress may hinder them.

In terms of age, most babies make the move between 18 months and 3 years.

Is It Safe to Lower the Crib Mattress All the Way to the Floor?

It can be safe to lower the crib mattress all the way to the floor if it’s been manufactured in a way that permits. Should this be the case, you must avoid a gap between the mattress and the bottom of the side railing when you lower the mattress, otherwise you risk your baby’s limbs getting stuck in between!

More on cribs:
14 Solid Back Crib Options For a Gorgeous Nursery
10 Best Cribs For Short Moms
How Many Crib Sheets Do I Need?

When to lower crib mattress
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