How to Elevate a Crib Mattress

Have a baby that doesn't feel well? Whether it's due to an ear infection, reflux or other conditions, some pediatricians instruct parents to elevate their baby's head when he is sleeping to help alleviate pain or symptoms. This can be accomplished by simply elevating the head of your baby's crib mattress. (Always check in with your own pediatrician to see if this is the best choice for your child.)

Remove the mattress from your baby's crib.

Measure six inches up from the platform that holds the crib mattress in place, at the head of the crib. Mark the spot on each side. This height will incline your baby's mattress approximately 30 degrees, which is the proper elevation recommended by Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center 4.

Place one pillow at the head of the crib, then put the mattress back in on top of it. Ensure that the mattress is not tilting on one side or the other.

Look at the marks that you placed on each side of the crib to see if the mattress is elevated to the right position. If it is not elevated enough, remove it and place a second pillow on top of the first one.

Put the mattress back into the crib and check to see that it is in the correct position.

Check the sides of the mattress to make sure that there are no gaps that would allow your baby to slip through, advises Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center 4.


There are retail products for sale designed for this use. These wedges can be purchased at any baby store and are put under the baby mattress just as you would the pillows described. Also, you could use rolled up blankets in place of the pillows under the mattress if you prefer.


Never elevate your baby with a pillow or blankets on top of the mattress, as this can cause suffocation.

Never leave pillows, comforters and other soft, porous materials inside of a crib, warns the American Academy of Pediatric's website,

Always place babies on their backs to sleep, to reduce the chances of sudden infant death syndrome.