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When should I lower my baby’s crib?

When should I lower my baby’s crib?

When I became a new mom people often told me, that the first year of my baby’s life would go fast. To me a year isn’t enough time to cherish EVERY sweet moment. So sure, I believed it. Though, I didn’t realize just how drastically time would fly.

I still remember giving birth to my baby boy like it was yesterday! Now he’s grown so much and meeting new milestones each day! I think back to when I was anxiously waiting for my baby to start sitting, standing and crawling. My husband and I spent several minutes, a few times a day, encouraging tummy time, baby sit ups and pull ups.

Lowering your baby’s crib comes with developmental milestones.

Society, doctors, friends and family seem to put a lot of pressure on our babies these days. They even have developmental questionnaires to complete at each doctor’s visit to be sure your baby’s meeting each milestone in a timely manner. So of course, we were doing everything we could to help our little one meet those goals.

Yes, its important for our babies to meet developmental milestones, but lately I’m cautiously hoping I don’t miss a beat. It seems like one day my baby was barely able to sit up without falling over and the next he was hovering over his crib railing. I have to catch up with time!

The crib is a safe place for baby.

The crib had always been our safe place for our baby. If I needed to switch out a load of laundry or make a cup of coffee, I would always place my little one in his crib.The mobile kept him entertained for a short period, while the railings would keep him safe from wandering.

Besides in my arms, it was the safest place for baby. Until I learned, at the very last second, he was pulling himself to stand. I spent almost every minute of everyday with my baby, yet I didn’t know he could pull himself to stand and climb. This was around 6 months of age.

It was frightening for me to see my baby standing over his crib railing. I thought of all the possibilities for him to get hurt. Most milestones are a big moment to celebrate, but this one was a learning experience. We lowered the crib to the lowest level that evening, but doing so sooner could’ve made a scary situation much safer.

What is the recommended age to lower my baby’s crib?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you start to lower your baby’s crib once they’re able to sit or stand. Then, gradually lower it to the lowest setting as your baby becomes more active.

I recommend you lower your baby’s crib BEFORE your little one is sitting and pulling to stand. It’s not uncommon for babies to demonstrate new skills suddenly and each baby develops at their own pace. So, there’s really no magic age your baby will start climbing and no way for you to determine when they will learn to sit or stand.

Better to be prepared

Lowering your baby’s crib sooner than you think they’re ready to start standing, will ensure safety for when the time comes. The thing is, we simply do not know when it will be. So it’s just best to be prepared. I also suggest lowering it to the lowest setting, the first time you lower it.

My little one had to get used to his crib, bassinet and pack n’ play being lowered. It took me about 30 minutes to lower everything and him a few days to adjust. I wouldn’t have wanted to revisit the process again if I’d only lowered it down one level and needed to lower it again later. Even at the lowest setting he’s able to see and reach over his railing when standing, so it’s actually not too far down.

Fall and injury prevention

The younger your baby is the higher the risk of a head or neck injury from a fall. It’s important to protect them while they’re small and stay very cautious as they become more active. Lower the crib before they become mobile and remove anything they could use to step on and climb. Be careful to never leave your little on a changing table or high surface for any amount of time. During play time, give your little one plenty of floor time to practice new tricks.

Encourage safe play outside of the crib.

Unfortunately, they can’t stay babies forever. I had to quickly realize that my little one was growing, whether I was ready or not. Babies are curious, little busy-bodies. They will utilize every opportunity to explore and learn new skills. We can’t keep them tucked away in a play pen or hold them forever. So the best thing to do is be prepared by finding safe ways to encourage new tricks.

Some things I’ve found very helpful are foam mats, indoor playgrounds, activity centers and baby jungles. All of these toys keep my little ones busy and inspire support developmental growth. The foam mats provide a soft surface for them to fall back on. Of course sometimes, my baby still wanders off the mat, but that’s why it’s also important to baby proof.

I will link some helpful products below that your little one can explore, as well as an article on baby proofing that I found to be very helpful!

If you found this article helpful, you may also enjoy What age should I stop breastfeeding my baby?

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