When to lower crib for your baby is a very important decision that can prevent discomfort, causalities, and the possibility of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). But despite its importance, not many mothers and caregivers are aware that the crib needs to be adjusted from time to time.
There is a one hundred percent chance that if you walk to a random person to ask when to lower the crib for your baby, they will be dumbfounded.
This is fine; there is no issue if a random person does not know the technicalities and reasons behind adjusting the crib mattress. But every nursing mother, mother-to-be, or caregiver should know everything about when to lower crib for your baby.
Although you have no excuse not to know when to lower crib for your baby, we forgive you.
Below, we have carefully answered all the possible questions that could arise from everything you need to know about lowering or elevating the crib for your baby – and why you should do it.
Why Should You Lower Crib for Your Baby?
This has got to be the first question in your mind – and rightly so. Before we go into the details of how you should lower crib for your baby, let us answer the fundamental question of why should you take this practice more seriously than you already are.
To answer this question in one simple phrase – cribs can be very dangerous and are by far the highest cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
As ironic as it may sound, cribs are one of the most dangerous items in your baby’s nursery. Sometimes, mothers are careful to clear little parts that can be swallowed or plastic bags that increase the chances of choking, but we ignore the elephant in the room.
Mothers and caregivers must always monitor the sleeping patterns and positions of their babies. When to lower and elevate the crib is as important as clearing the crib of items that can cause choking or suffocation.
When to Lower Crib for Your Baby?
We will offer answers to these questions in the plainest terms. As a mother or caregiver, you should lower your crib immediately you notice that your baby is capable of pulling his/herself into a standing position.
Once a baby can pull themselves up into a semi-standing or standing position, the crib should be lowered to reduce the possibility of the baby tripping over.
A baby can see something that interests them or when they wake up at night, they may attempt to climb out of the mattress on their own. Of cause, they are too young to exhibit a sense of judgment as far as the height is concerned, and in a situation where no one is around, the casualties can be adverse.
Why Raise the Crib Mattress in the First Place?
You are not the only one asking this question, everyone who agrees that a high crib can be hazardous asks the exact same question. Well, it is your lucky day – we have the correct answer for you.
The reasons why a baby’s crib is raised in the first place can be both irrationally and scientifically backed. According to experts, the major reasons why the crib mattress is raised are:
1. To Prevent the Baby from Access
For newborns, the crib has to be elevated and rails installed so as to prevent the baby from easy access by older babies and pets in the home or nursery.
Older babies and pets can disturb the newborn’s sleep which is not good for the growing child.
2. To protect the Baby
As a newborn, raising the crib and installing high rails around it helps to protect the baby. The elevated crib protects the baby.
Babies and pets in the home can harm the newborn – knowingly or unknowingly.
3. There is a Regulation Crib Elevation
According to experts, there is a regulation to this effect. There is a regulation that has set a minimum standard for the distance between a mattress and the top of the crib rails at 26 inches.
The regulation also states that the mattress must be about 6 inches thick. The reason for the regulation is to make the crib escape-resistant for newborns.
When to Choose Crib Mattress Height?
When to choose crib mattress height depends on a variety of guidelines. Most of the guidelines were set by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
We will reference their set guidelines and reasons as the basis for our submission in explaining when to choose crib mattress height.
One universal rule you should have in mind however when considering when to choose crib mattress height, is that you should start the crib at the highest and reduce it as the child grows older.
The levels to consider when choosing crib mattress height.
1. The Highest Level
You should set the baby’s crib mattress to the highest level when the baby is under 5 months of age. When a baby is between 0-5 months, the baby is safest in a crib that has been set at the highest.
Within this period, your baby is mostly immobile and not capable of lifting his/herself to a standing or climbing position, so the height is safe.
Also, from experience, mothers and caregivers will notice that it is easier to place a baby in a crib that has been set at this highest. This is because they are able to carefully support the baby’s neck as they place her in the crib, unlike when you place a baby in a low crib.
2. The Middle Level
It is difficult to put an age frame to the time to reduce your crib to a middle level. This is because all are different and adapt distinctively.
However, it is best to monitor your baby when they are around 6-8 months because this is the period when they become very active with their legs and arms.
Once they are able to move around on their own, they will want to use everything in their path as a support to enable them climb or stand.
In essence, once you notice that your baby is able to place their palms and knees firmly on the ground to raise themselves, they are capable of rolling over. So, you should know that it is a sign to lower crib for your baby.
3. The Lowest Level
If you are considering lowering your crib to this level, then it means your baby is growing. Congratulations.
You should immediately lower crib to the lowest level once you notice that your baby is strong enough to kneel, stand and crawl on their own.
It is very risky to leave the crib at the highest or middle levels if your baby can stand on their own, because they are capable or rolling over or attempting to climb out of the crib.
You should monitor your baby’s development when they are about 8-12 months of age.
How to Lower Crib Mattress?
We can go on and on about the importance of lowering a crib mattress, but everything in this article will be a complete waste if we do not discuss how you can lower the crib mattress.
To lower a crib mattress, the first thing you have to consider is the height you want to adjust the crib mattress.
Then it is advisable to always take out the mattress and all the beddings before you try to make the adjustments.
You must understand that when lowering your crib mattress, it is the crib itself you will need to adjust.
So, you should get assistance if you are not good with tools. Yes, tools! So, you should have a toolbox close by. You will need to confirm if your crib has screws that you will need to unscrew before you make the adjustments.
Once you have adjusted the under layer of the mattress, install the screws and confirm that the crib is strong enough and the screws are tight. When confirmed, you can return the baby mattress.
When Should I Lower the Crib Mattress?
Mothers and caregivers understand that the crib is a haven for the baby. It should be the safest place for the baby and as mothers, knowing when to lower the crib mattress is one of the essential ways of ensuring the baby’s safety.
The two factors to consider in determining when to lower a crib mattress are age and height.
Some babies have the tendency to outgrow their age; in such cases, you do not have to wait for a certain age before lowering the crib mattress. You should lower the mattress once you notice that they are getting taller than the height of the crib when in a standing position.
Also, regardless of the baby’s growth phase, you should consider lowering the crib mattress when the baby is between 6-8 months old.
Why Lower the Crib Mattress Height?
The need to lower the crib mattress height is inevitable as it ensures the safety of babies as they grow older.
Within the first 12 months of a baby’s life, the crib mattress should be adjusted a minimum of three times.
This is done to ensure the safety of the baby by preventing him/her from rolling over from the high crib as they grow older and are able to pull themselves up.
Crib Mattress Safety Tips for Adjusting Crib Mattress
When there is a need to adjust the crib mattress, mothers and caregivers should consider seeking the assistance of someone conversant with tools.
But in a situation where you want to do the adjustment yourself, you should consider the following safety tips.
- Make sure the baby is not in the area where the crib adjustment is taking place
- Ensure that you are experienced in tools management
- Remove all beddings and accessories before carrying out the adjustment
- Ensure that no screws, bolts, or other items are left in, or around the baby’s crib after the adjustment
- Put away the tools after you have concluded with the adjustment
- Ensure that all screws are tightened after the adjustment is made
- Confirm that the adjusted crib is firm and property set