Short mom's guide to baby cribs

Published by 
Jess Miller
Last updated: 
September 23, 2014
baby in blue blanket

Baby cribs are one particular item that are not designed with short people in mind. If you are vertically challenged then this guide, focusing on making baby cribs easier to use, may be just the thing you have been looking for.

Unfortunately for short moms and dads across America, the CSPC introduced new crib safety standards making it illegal to sell drop-side cribs in 2010. Most cribs now require you to reach up and over the crib rail in order to access your baby. As my sister who just scrapes over 5 feet tall will tell you, this is no simple task.

So as a shorter mother, what can you do to make the every day task of picking up your baby a little easier? Lets take a look at some commonly available solutions to give you some extra height.

Buying a Height Appropriate Baby Crib

Your life will be a lot simpler if you buy a baby crib that caters to shorter people. This is easier said than done.

I went crib shopping worth my sister when she was on the hunt for a baby crib that she could easily reach into. We measured and tested what felt like hundreds of cribs before finding the perfect one for her height. It actually surprised me how difficult it was to find low cribs for short moms.

Swing gate cribs, cribs with a side that swings down for easy baby access, seemed like the logical choice. If a crib swings down then of course its going to be suitable for petite people, right? Surprisingly, this assumption was incorrect. Each swing gate crib that we measured was taller than most regular cribs to begin with, so the 9" swing on the gate only gives you the illusion of a shorter baby crib.

Petite Friendly Baby Crib

Style: Five color options: Expresso/white (Pictured) Expresso, grey, white, grey/white.

  • Adjustable mattress height.
  • Convertible.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Toddler rail included.

So what was our solution? We found a short baby crib and made it shorter. The Babyletto Hudson crib shown below was absolutely perfect for modifying. The crib has a low profile (low rise), measuring in at just 34.625" but the real beauty of the crib is that the feet nubs can be removed with little effort, lowering the height to a mere 30.75" tall. Absolutely perfect for any petite mommy.

This baby crib is still going strong two years later with my sister about to use it for her second baby. I would go so far as to say that this is the best crib for short moms.

If you are crib shopping then be sure to read our detailed guide on how to choose the best baby crib for your situation.

A baby crib is a big expense and if you already have one existing then chances are that you are not going to run out and buy a new low height crib. Fortunately for you, there are other options still available, read on for more solutions for short mom's.

Use a Step Stool For a Height Boost

The next most commonly recommended solution for short mamas is to use a step stool to to give you some extra height. A step stool is an easily transportable plastic (or wood) step that gives you just enough height to comfortably interact with your baby when he is in the crib.

While I would agree that a step stool is a good idea, they are not made for leaning on at an angle. When you are leaning over the rail to lower your baby onto the mattress you will be pushing your body weight against the stool at an unusual angle. The last thing you want is the stool to fly out from underneath your while your baby is in hand.

So for this reason I recommend an aerobic fitness step. A fitness step is designed to be pushed down upon at unusual angles making it much more sturdy then your regular step stool. Another advantage is that fitness stools have an adjustable height (generally 4" or 6") allowing you choose a comfortable height that suits you.

Aerobic Step Stool

Style: As pictured

  • 4″ or 6″ height.
  • Non-slip surface.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Lightweight.
  • Portable.

Adjust the Mattress Height

The majority of modern day baby cribs will allow you to adjust the height of your baby's mattress to preset positions. The closer the mattress is to the crib rail, the easier it is going to be for a short mom to reach her baby.

Your cribs instruction manual will clearly indicate whether or you will be able to adjust the mattress height. Just be mindful that this solution is only temporary as when your baby is able to stand you will need to return the mattress to the lowest setting

Hack The Legs Off Your Crib

Teddy bear inside the crib
Image Source: Pixabay

The next method is a little more extreme than the previous ones as it involves physically lowering your whole baby crib. Please note that this will void your cribs warranty and should only be attempted if you know exactly what you are doing.

Essentially, you are going to neatly saw the legs off your baby crib, in turn making the crib easier for a short person to reach into.

The first thing you need to do is determine whether the feet on your baby crib are integral to the cribs frame. Some baby crib feet will not be removable as doing so would cause the crib to fall to pieces.

The next step is to use an electric saw and cut each leg of the baby crib down to the same height, some baby cribs have legs that can be cut right back to the base. Be sure to cut straight, you don't want a wobbly baby crib.

With the legs cut off you should find your baby crib is a much more acceptable height.

Enlist The Other Parents Help

If you are lucky to have a partner that is not so short in stature then another option is to simply place him on crib duty. Your baby will outgrow his crib before you know it and you can happily put this height testing time behind you.

Watch Your Back

Boy sitting on the floor
Image Source: Pexels

The last point I will leave you with is to pay special attention to the position that you hold yourself in when lifting and placing your baby inside your crib.

If you are of a short height then you may find yourself holding an unusual posture to pick your baby up. While this may be fine for when your baby is just born and super lightweight, your little one one is going to gain weight, and fast. The last thing you want to do is to throw your back out lifting your baby from the crib.

So, petite mamas out there who are rocking their little size, do you have any advice to help my sister and others? I would love to hear it.

Featured Image Source: Pexels

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