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How to Raise a Crib's Mattress

By Louise Harding ; Updated April 18, 2017
Adjust the crib mattress as your baby grows.

Raising children can sometimes be a bewildering experience and it begins the moment you bring your infant home. Appliances, chairs, seats of all kinds and cribs all present their own complications and come with instruction books that often leave something to be desired. If you’ve lost your manual for your crib and need to raise the mattress, it’s comforting to know that most crib hardware is standard, and the process of adjusting the mattress is not difficult.

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Remove the crib mattress.

Raising and lowering a crib mattress is an easy process.

Start at the headboard, and grasp the right mattress support hanger to lift it out of the hook. (See References below for the US Consumer Product Safety Commission diagram.) The mattress support hanger is a steel L-shaped hook that rests on or through a hook. A standard crib has three or four hooks mounted on a metal or plastic hook plate attached to the inside corners of the crib on the head and footboards. Some cribs have a double clasp that locks the hanger in place. Depress this clasp while simultaneously lifting the hanger from the hook. Be careful not to drop or lose the hangers.

Move to the left mattress support hanger, and lift the hanger from the hook. Ask someone to help you hold up the steel mattress support frame if necessary. If no helper is available, gently allow the steel frame to rest on the floor inside and beneath the crib. The support hangers on the footboard will swivel slightly to allow the frame to angle toward the floor.

Mattress support hooks are either metal or plastic.

Repeat steps 1 and 2 for the right and left mattress support hangers resting on the mattress support hooks installed on the crib foot board.

Select the mattress support hook height desired. Place newborns and non-sitting babies on mattresses positioned on the highest mattress support hooks. Once a baby is sitting up, adjust the mattress lower so that the baby is lower than the crib railing. When the baby can pull up on the railing, move the mattress to the lowest mattress support hooks. According to Healthy Children, a child taller than 35 inches should no longer sleep in a crib.

Start at the headboard, with the right mattress support hanger, and insert the hanger onto the hook or through the hook, depending on the hardware installed on the crib. It may be necessary to firmly push the hanger down into the hook using your upper body strength. Use caution when placing support hangers onto plastic support hooks as sometimes too much pressure can result in the plastic cracking. Never use a support hook plate that has damaged plastic. Contact the customer service department for your brand and model of crib to acquire a replacement support hook plate. Repeat for the support hanger on the left support hook.

Lower the mattress when your baby is sitting or standing alone.

Repeat insertion of mattress support hangers on the mattress support hooks installed on the crib foot board.

Things You Will Need

  • 4 mattress support hangers
  • Mattress support hooks (previously installed on inside crib corners)
  • Steel mattress support frame
  • Helper (optional)


Babies or toddlers taller than 35 inches should no longer sleep in a crib.

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About the Author

Louise Harding holds a B.A. in English language arts and is a licensed teacher. Harding is a professional fiction writer. She is mother to four children, two adopted internationally, and has had small businesses involving sewing and crafting for children and the home. Harding's frugal domestic skills help readers save money around the home.

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