Crib Hacks for Short Moms When Crib Mattress is Too Low

Crib hacks for short moms. At some point, you'll need to put the mattress low-- really low. And if you're a short parent, you'll have difficult putting a sleeping baby to sleep. What do you do? What are your options? Here are some tips on how to make it easier for you.

I’m 4’11”.

And if you’re reading this, you know what it feels like when you have a baby and you have to put him in a crib to sleep.

Oh, the pain! The frustration! The anger!

How in the world can you put a sleeping baby to bed when you’ve already bent all the way down and the mattress feels like it’s lightyears away?

First, you worry you’re going to wake your baby whom you’ve been nursing and rocking him to sleep for ages…

Then you try to bend and oh! Your ribs hurt.

You do your best tiptoe your Phys. Ed teacher would have given you straight A’s.

And yet what happens?

All of that is nothing compared to the baby crib that you’re now wrestling with.

If it makes you feel any better, you’re not alone, petite mom!

This is only one of many moms caught on webcam who’ve fallen into the rabbit hole, that is a crib not made for short petite moms.

It’s hilarious when you watch the video. But it isn’t when you struggle with it every single day.

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So, I assume this

Since you’re here, I assume you’ve already bought a crib and now you’re wrestling with the problem and frantically searching for crib hacks for short moms.

That’s what this article is all about.

All the many things we short moms have ingeniously invented out of necessity.

Oh, the struggle.

But if you don’t have a crib yet…

Well, first of all, well done you for thinking about it beforehand.

I was stupid when I bought mine and didn’t even think about it.

Secondly, stop reading this article and go see our list of cribs for short moms. I’ve done the research. I’ve made a list of all of the shortest baby cribs you can buy.

Thank you very much.

And now, here are the crib hacks for short moms

There are a few different crib hacks for short moms below. I hope this gives you ideas on what to do and how you can make it better for you as a petite mom.

Some of them are just practical tips on how to make it easier for your back and your baby. But there’s also ideas for the desperate mom who doesn’t want to deal with this problem at all.

Bend all the way down – and hurt your back!

Sometimes, you gotta’ work with what you got.

And if you already have a crib, and you don’t want to buy a new one, this is what you’ll have to do. Thing is, you won’t have to do this during the first few months. This happens only when you have to lower down the crib to the lowest crib setting because your baby can already prop himself up. And you don’t want her getting out or falling out.

See that video above? That. Is what you’ll have to do. So be very careful so you don’t fall in the bed, too.

The Reality:

Depending on how tall you are and how deep the crib is, you’ll have to choose between two things:

  1. You may have to drop your baby a little bit as you lower him down.
  2. You bend as far as possible and either hurt your back or your ribs on the crib bars

Oh yes, honey, this struggle is real!

How to make this easier (ish)

Note: It’s much better to have your baby swaddled as you drop her on to the mattress. However, my guess is that if your baby can already prop herself up on the crib, she’s probably not being swaddled anymore.

  1. As you prepare to put her in, hold your breath. This gets you ready for the whole ordeal plus hopefully, you don’t jerk too much that your baby wakes up as you lower her down.
  2. You have to protect your back. So tuck your stomach in. This is important. Your abdominal and back muscles are connected. So when you tighten it as you bend, you’re also helping the back muscles get ready for the “stress” it’s about to do.
  3. Stand on tiptoes and gently lower your baby into the mattress. It is at this point when you’ll feel those crib bars digging into your ribs. Not a great feeling at all.
  4. Practice this Gentle Drop Technique –  You’ve got a sleeping baby. You’ve just spent the past 30 minutes putting him to sleep and the last thing you want to do is to wake her up just as you put her down. Here’s how to do this;
    1. As your arms come nearer to the crib, let your baby’s feet touch the mattress first.
    2. Then slowly let the rest of her body touch the mattress. So from her feet to legs, bottom, upper body and head.
    3. This may need a little practice but once you get the hang of it, you’ll see it’s better than just dropping him 1-3 inches as that may wake him up.

Some Tips:

  • If you’re comfortable with wearing heels, you can always add a bit of height with that. Use a platform or wedge hills for better stability.
  • If the crib bar hurts your back too much, put a quilt or pillow on it to make it softer. Make sure you take it out of the crib when you’re done.
  • If you’re not sure about doing the gentle drop technique, practice with a doll first!

Making the step stool safe or How not to fall into the crib

If you’re a short mom, the step tool will be your next best friend.

This is probably the first thing that comes to mind that you should use when putting your baby into the crib.

There’s only one problem.

It’s not exactly the safest one to use.

Just ask that mom (grandma?) who fell into the crib with the baby.

But if you must use it, make sure it’s safe for both you and your child. Here are some things you can do for a stool that’s more stable.

  1. These Sturdy Stools. One thing that a lot of parents recommend using is these non-slip aerobic steps accessory like this one. You can usually adjust the height of these step platforms. You can add 3 to 8 inches to your height. So not bad at all! You can get it for less than $30
  2. If you want something wider, higher and more durable, check out these folding step stools that have a weight capacity of 500 lbs.
  3. Whenever you use a stool, remember that you’ll need to make the first big step to get on to the stool. So this, you’ll also need to practice so that you’re stable when carrying your baby.
  4. Scared you’ll fall in? One trick that you can do is to put your legs between the rails of the crib as you bend over and lower your baby. This gives you a bit more stability.

Want to make your own step stool instead? Here’s a quick video from I like to Make stuff to give you an idea on how to make one.

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Hack the Crib

How about if you really don’t want to use a stool or tiptoeing every night is just a bit too much?

Then here’s something you can do. Hack the crib.

Now safety warning first. When you do this, you are “messing” with the structural integrity of the crib so make sure that the person who does this is a pro.

The Desperate Mom

You’ve tried bending over.

But you’re now saying, “Never again!”

Using a stool just scares you.

And hacking the crib?

Out of the question.

Then, you’ll have to find other ways to get your baby to sleep, right?

Here are some other things you can do if that’s the case.

Give in and go back to co-sleeping (or co-sleep!)

There’s no shame in that, Mamá! We all gotta sleep you know and if you’re not getting any or you’re just getting frustrated by the whole struggle, then co-sleep away!

Montessori Style bed comes to the rescue

What is a Montessori style bed? You ask.

It’s a mattress on the floor. A cribless nursery.

This may seem strange at first but a lot of parents do it with a lot of success.

This works best for babies who already sleep through the night although some parents start with a cribless nursery from the very start.

Here are two videos to help you decide whether Montessori beds are right for you.

This first video is by Daily Meadow and she talks about why they changed to a floor bed in the nursery.

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If you want to watch a baby self soothe and sleep on a floor bed for the night, you’ll love the second video. It’s what happens during a baby’s first night — from all the wakings (and the time she falls off the bed and goes back to sleep) to waking up in the morning. Good to watch so you know what to expect.

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If you worry about your baby falling off the bed, you can put a pool noodle under the sheet at the edge of the bed to stop him from falling off. You can also add a soft rug or very thin mattress topper on the floor.

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2 thoughts on “Crib Hacks for Short Moms When Crib Mattress is Too Low”

  1. Hey 🙂 I’m pregnant with my first and just bought a crib…. as soon as I put it together I thought “Oh crap this thing is tall!” I’m 4 ft 9 in and even with the mattress on the highest setting I would still have to do the “drop technique”.

    Then I realized that the legs themselves are like 10 inches tall. So I cut 4 inches off the bottom of each leg.


    • Hi Amy!
      Good to know you’ve got it sorted! I’ve never had to cut mine but I read somewhere that you need to be careful when cutting the legs as it affects the structural design of the crib. At any rate, I’ve heard of other parents who’ve done this with no problems, whatsoever. Just putting it out there.

      On a different note, congratulations on your first! It’s gonna be a fun ride — sometimes challenging but very fun. Enjoy it. 🙂

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