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How to Raise Crib Mattress Height?

Every parent’s dream is to have a nice crib where their baby can sleep comfortably. However, you might buy a crib whose mattress is too low. This can be dangerous to your baby, especially if they have colic, common cold, or reflux.

What can you do if you buy a crib whose mattress is too low? You can use two methods to raise the crib mattress height at home. This guide will explain both methods and what you need when raising a crib mattress.

Table of Contents

Why Raise the Crib Mattress?

Raising the crib mattress has several benefits, including reducing the risk of infant choking and reflux.

When a baby is lying flat on their back, the stomach acid may flow back up into the esophagus, causing discomfort and potentially choking. By elevating the head of the mattress, gravity can help keep the stomach acid down and alleviate any discomfort. 

Moreover, raising the crib mattress can also help with congestion by allowing the nasal passages to drain better, reducing the risk of ear infections and other respiratory problems. 

How Can I Raise The Crib Mattress Safely?

There are two main ways to do this, here is the details.

Raising a Crib Mattress Using Rolled Up Towels, Pillows, or Blankets

What You Will Need:

  • Pillow/ rolled up blankets/ rolled up towels
  • Tape measure/ Ruler
  • A marker

Here is the step-By-Step Instructions:

Step 1: Mark the Area You Want the Mattress to be

Start by removing the mattress from your crib to mark the recommended height. Use a ruler or tape measure to determine the spot where you want the mattress to be. Ensure the mattress assumes an angle of about 20-30 degrees.

Ensure you mark the bed at around 5-6 inches from the bed support to prevent it from being too steep.

Step 2: Place the Pillows or Rolled Up Blankets under the Mattress

Place the rolled-up blankets or pillows on the crib frame and ensure they reach the new height. Ensure no loose materials are sticking out to the sleeping area to prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Step 3: Place the Mattress Back on the Crib

Carefully replace the mattress and ensure its base rests firmly on the new area you have marked off. The mattress should be secure and not unstable. When placing the mattress, ensure you assume an incline of between 15-30 degrees to make your baby comfortable.

Raising a Crib Mattress Using a Plywood Board and Foam Padding

What You Will Need:

  • A power drill
  • Measuring tape
  • A piece of plywood
  • Screws
  • Sandpaper
  • A saw, preferably a jigsaw
  • Foam pad

Here is the step-by-step Instructions:

Step 1: Measure the Size of the Mattress

Start by measuring the width and length of the crib mattress using a tape measure. Record the measurements somewhere because you will need them when cutting the plywood.

If using a foam pad, check the thickness of the pad and that of your crib mattress.

Step 2: Cut the Plywood

The next step is to cut the plywood using the measurements you took in Step 1. Use a jig saw or any other powered saw to cut the plywood and foam pad neatly. The foam pad should be slightly smaller so that it can fit snugly inside the frame of your crib.

It’s advisable to leave some extra inches for the plywood when measuring. The extra inches give room for contraction and expansion.

Step 3: Sand the Corners and Edges

After cutting the plywood to your preferred size, use sandpaper to smoothen any rough corners or edges. Remember, the edges should be as smooth as possible. Doing this prevents the plywood from snagging fabrics when placed on the crib.

Use an electric sander for best results because it’s faster and easier to use.

Step 4: Drill Holes

Drill holes along the edges of the plywood using the power drill. The drilled holes should be small enough not to show through the mattress’s fabric.

If using foam pads, ensure you drill the holes evenly and that there is enough space between the holes.

Step 5: Place the Plywood in the Crib

Plywood Sheet Board Squares

After you’ve made all the adjustments to the plywood, place it inside the crib frame. Ensure it rests on the bottom of the mattress and all the drilled holes are lined up correctly. Aligning the holes makes it easier for you when attaching screws.

If you have a foam pad, ensure you place it on top of your plywood before placing it into the crib.

Step 6: Secure the Plywood to the Crib Frame

Use screws to safely secure the plywood and foam pad to the crib frame. Ensure you secure the screws tight but not too tight to damage the crib frame. You can use a screwdriver to attach each screw firmly.

Step 7: Test Fit the Crib Mattress

Once you secure the plywood and foam pad, gently place the mattress in the crib to see if it fits. You can move the mattress a bit to see if there are some gaps between the crib frame and the fabric. Make adjustments if there are some gaps until it fits snugly.

Step 8: Place a Pillow Top Topper

Mini Crib Memory Foam Mattress Topper

It’s not a must you add a pillow top topper, but you can use it if you want a higher crib mattress. This pillow is a nice addition as it provides extra support and comfort to your baby. If you’ve added a foam pad, ensure its thickness can support the pillow top and the mattress.

Step 9: Enjoy Your Newly Raised Crib Mattress

You can now place your baby on the newly raised crib mattress. Here, your baby will be comfortable and safe for months.


How do you elevate a crib mattress for a toddler?

There are a few ways to elevate a crib mattress for a toddler. One way is to use a folded towel or blankets under the mattress to create a slight incline. However, this method is not recommended as it can pose a suffocation hazard. 

A better and safer option is to use a wedge pillow specifically designed for elevating a baby’s mattress. These pillows are placed under the mattress and provide a gentle incline that can help with reflux or congestion. It is important to ensure that the pillow is the correct size for the crib and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. 

Another option is to transition to a toddler bed that has an adjustable-height mattress support, allowing you to elevate the mattress as needed.

How to elevate crib mattress for congestion?

Elevating a crib mattress can be a helpful solution for a congested baby. The easiest way to elevate the mattress is by placing a pillow or folded towel under the head of the mattress, or by using a wedge pillow specifically designed for this purpose. It is important to ensure that the elevation is not too steep and the baby cannot roll towards the foot of the crib.

Additionally, using a cool mist humidifier in the baby’s room can also help alleviate congestion by adding moisture to the air. It is important to always follow safe sleep guidelines and consult with a pediatrician for any concerns about a baby’s health or sleeping habits.

When to lower crib mattress?

You should lower the crib mattress when your baby can sit up or pull themselves up, usually between 5 and 8 months of age. This will prevent your baby from falling over the crib rail and getting injured.

You can also lower the crib mattress to the lowest setting when your baby can stand up or pull themselves up to standing, which typically happens around 9 to 12 months of age.

What is the recommended crib mattress height for newborns?

The recommended crib mattress height for newborns is the highest level available in the crib. This is because newborns are not able to roll over or sit up yet, and having the mattress higher up makes it easier for parents to lift them in and out without straining their backs.

Once the baby becomes more mobile and can sit up or roll over, the mattress should be lowered to the middle or lowest level to prevent falls. It is important to always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and ensure a snug fit between the crib and mattress to avoid any gaps where the baby could get trapped.

How often should I adjust the crib mattress height?

Adjusting the crib mattress height depends on the age and development of the baby. For newborns and young infants, the mattress should be placed on the highest setting to ensure they cannot climb out of the crib or reach any hazardous objects.

As the baby grows and begins to sit up or pull themselves up, it’s important to lower the mattress to prevent them from falling out and injuring themselves. It’s recommended to lower the mattress height when the baby can sit up unaided or when their head is within 3 inches of the top of the crib sides.

Parents should regularly check the mattress height and make adjustments as needed to ensure the baby’s safety.

Can I raise the crib mattress height as my baby grows?

Yes, you can raise the mattress height of a crib as your baby grows. Most cribs have multiple mattress height settings, allowing the mattress to be raised or lowered depending on the age and size of the baby.

It is important to always ensure that the mattress is set at the appropriate height to prevent any accidents or injuries, such as falls or climbing out of the crib. As a general rule, the height of the mattress should be at its highest setting for infants and then gradually lowered as the baby grows and becomes more mobile.

It’s essential to consult the manufacturer’s instructions or a qualified expert to ensure that you can adjust the mattress height safely.

What safety precautions should I take when adjusting the crib mattress height?

When adjusting the crib mattress height, there are a few safety precautions to keep in mind to ensure the safety of your child.

First, always make sure that the crib is on a flat, stable surface. Then, check that the locking mechanisms are secure and the crib slats are in good condition and spaced no wider than 2 3/8 inches apart. When adjusting the height, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and double-check that each corner is securely latched in place.

It’s also important to measure the height of the crib rail to ensure your child can’t climb out once the mattress is lowered. 

Finally, inspect the crib regularly to ensure it’s in good condition and doesn’t pose any safety risks, such as broken slats or rails.

Are there alternative methods to raise the crib mattress height?

Yes, there are alternative methods to raise the crib mattress height. 

One option is to use crib wedges or risers, which are specifically designed to raise the mattress height safely. Another option is to place a solid object, such as a board or brick, under the legs of the crib to elevate it. 

However, it is important to ensure that the crib remains stable and secure after being raised, and that there are no gaps between the mattress and the sides of the crib that could pose a safety risk to infants. It is also recommended to consult with a pediatrician or professional before altering the height of a crib mattress.

Can I use additional mattress supports to raise the crib mattress height?

It is not recommended to use additional mattress supports to raise the height of a crib mattress. The height of the crib mattress is important for the safety of the baby. If the mattress is too high, the baby may be able to climb out of the crib, which can result in injury.

Additionally, using additional supports may not be stable and could cause the mattress to shift, leading to an unsafe sleeping environment for the baby. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the crib and use the proper height settings for the mattress. 

If you have concerns about the height of the mattress, it is best to contact the manufacturer or a professional for guidance.

Is it safe to use crib bumpers with a raised mattress height?

Using crib bumpers with a raised mattress height is not recommended as it can pose a safety risk for the baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that crib bumpers should not be used at all due to the risk of suffocation, strangulation, or entrapment.

If the mattress is raised, the baby may be able to climb up and get caught between the bumper and the crib railings, which can lead to injuries. Instead of using crib bumpers, parents can choose breathable mesh crib liners or ensure that the crib mattress fits tightly against the sides of the crib to prevent their baby’s limbs from getting caught.

It’s important to prioritize safety over aesthetics or convenience when it comes to the baby’s sleeping environment.

Can I use a crib wedge to raise the mattress height?

No, it is not safe to use a crib wedge to raise the height of a mattress. Crib wedges are designed to elevate a baby’s head and torso to help with reflux or breathing issues, but they are not meant to be used to adjust the height of a mattress.

If the height of a mattress needs to be adjusted for safety reasons, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use their recommended methods. Using a crib wedge in this way could cause the mattress to become unstable and put your baby at risk of falling or injury.


You can only raise the crib mattress if your baby is less than eight months old. When your baby learns to stand up, you should lower the crib mattress to prevent accidents. 

It’s advisable to always talk to your doctor if you want to try elevated sleeping to be on the safer side.

Author: Jessica

Jessica is a lover of both life and gardening. She loves to share his passion for both on social media. He often posts about his latest gardening projects, as well as tips and tricks for others who might be interested in starting their own gardens. She also frequently posts about the different aspects of his life that he enjoys, from spending time with friends and family to exploring new places.

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