When to Adjust the Crib

If you are like most parents, your baby will spend a lot of her time in her crib. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that you have a newer model crib, one that is up to snuff with the latest safety requirements. In most cases, this will be a height adjustable crib. While individual models vary, most common designs offer three adjustable heights.

When baby first arrives home, you should already have the crib put together and set up wherever you plan to have baby sleep. The springs should be set at the highest setting. Having the mattress up higher makes sense with a newborn baby because it will make it easier to reach him. He will be spending much of his first few months lying down, and the railing won’t need to be terribly high to protect him.

Eventually, however, somewhere between three and five months old, baby will begin to roll over and start moving around. He’s quickly becoming mobile. This is the time when you should lower the crib down to the middle setting. Once baby starts rolling around, it is only a matter of time before he is able to sit up, and the higher setting could present a falling danger for your baby. You needn’t worry about lowering the crib all of the way yet, but you want the top rail to be high enough that baby is not going to accidentally flop himself out of the crib.

You need to lower the crib to the bottom setting when your baby starts to try standing up on her own. When she is able to use chairs or other objects to help her get to her feet without your help, she is also able to stand up in the crib. Therefore, you want the crib sides to be high enough that when she stands against them, she won’t tip over and out of the crib.

Of course, sooner or later, even the lowest setting isn’t going to keep your baby in the crib. What age you should move your baby varies depending on the child, but in general when he starts making any headway at all in trying to climb out of the crib, it’s time to look at other options. Some parents use safety netting which will keep a baby in the crib a little while longer, but most simply bite the bullet and get baby his first “big boy” or “big girl” bed.