The Ultimate Guide: When to Flip Baby Mattress?

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Discover the importance of flipping and rotating your baby’s mattress to ensure longevity and an even sleeping surface for your little one. 

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When To Flip Baby Mattress?

Aside from everyone asking you about the experiences of being parents for the first time—one of the most common questions you’ll face is: When should you flip your baby’s mattress?

This is crucial as regularly flipping the mattress ensures your baby’s safety and comfort. And most importantly, flipping the mattress will be essential to promote peaceful and restful sleep for your little one.

In this guide, we will discuss valuable tips and information to help you determine the ideal time to flip your baby’s mattress.

What Is a Baby Mattress?

What Is a Baby Mattress

Unlike mattresses for teenagers and adults, mattresses for infants and young children are soft and lightweight. Baby mattresses are firm yet comfortable and designed to provide optimal support and cushioning for the baby’s delicate body.

Typically, baby mattresses are made from foam or latex, or sometimes springcoils. Different materials provide different levels of comfort and support, so choose the most suitable one for your baby. Additionally, most mattresses have a waterproof layer to help protect against any spills and increase longevity.

When To Flip Your Baby’s Mattress

First, you need to ensure your baby stays on the firmer side of the crib mattress. We don’t recommend changing their sleeping position as they may be startled to wake up in a different position. Likewise, don’t leave the baby on the softer side, as this could increase the risk of suffocation, especially when they’re just a few weeks old.

However, as the baby grows into a toddler, you need to flip the crib mattress. When the baby is 12 months or over, sleeping on the softer, toddler side of the crib mattress is considered safe.

It’s also important to check your mattress regularly for signs of wear and tear, such as sagging or dips in the surface. If you find any changes, swap over the mattress.

Clean and air out the mattress now and then. Vacuum the mattress every two weeks and air out the mattress in a well-ventilated area regularly. This will keep the mattress clean and fresh.

How Can I Tell Which Side the Baby’s Mattress Is?

If you’re familiar with baby mattresses, particularly a 2-stage crib mattress, you’ll notice that it has sides labeled “firm.” or “soft”. If the mattress doesn’t have tags indicating which side is which, you can feel the soft and firm sides by applying pressure. The firmer side will bounce back instantly after applying pressure, while the softer side will take some time to regain its shape.

Remember that the firm side of the mattress is for infants and young babies, while toddlers can use the softer side.

It’s advised to replace your baby’s crib mattress every 2-3 years to maintain a healthy and safe sleeping area for your baby or toddler.

Benefits of Flipping Your Baby’s Mattress

Benefits of Flipping Your Baby's Mattress

There are many benefits associated with regularly flipping your baby’s mattress.

Optimal Support

Flipping your baby’s mattress ensures proper support for your newborn and infant. Flipping the mattress will protect your baby against pain and discomfort caused by sleeping in the same position for a long time.

Prevents Sagging and Dips

Flipping the mattress prevents sagging and dips in the surface, which can compromise the comfort and support of your baby. Sometimes, it can be dangerous for infants as they can suffocate if their head sinks too far into the mattress.

Extend its Lifespan

It’s not always possible to buy a baby mattress whenever it is worn out or sagging. Flipping the mattress regularly will make it last longer as it prevents excessive wear and tear on a single side of the mattress.


To prevent your baby’s mattress from excessive sagging, it’s necessary to flip the mattress periodically. This is particularly important if it’s a foam mattress, as they are prone to sagging more than other mattresses. The recommended frequency for flipping is generally every three months.

Types of Baby Mattresses

Types of Baby Mattresses

It is important to select the right type of mattress for your baby. There are several types of mattresses available in the market, each with their own specific features and benefits:

Foam Mattress

This type of mattress is lightweight and more comfortable due to its soft foam layers. However, foam mattresses are less durable than other mattresses, so they should be flipped often to prevent sagging.

Innerspring Mattress

These mattresses are supportive and durable, making them great for babies who need more support. They also last longer than foam mattresses, but not everyone will like the comfort they provide.

Hybrid Mattress

These mattresses combine both foam and innerspring. They are usually more expensive than other mattress types but offer better support and comfort.

Air Mattress

Air mattresses are typically expensive but provide excellent cushioning and support. This makes them highly suitable for infants needing extra comfort due to their delicate frame. They are also excellent for traveling because they are portable, lightweight, and inflate or deflate quickly. Additionally, they also last longer than foam or hybrid mattresses.

If you’re looking for the air mattresses for toddlers, check out our top 7 picks.

Organic Cotton and Wool Mattress

These mattresses are made from natural materials, making them a great option for parents who prefer eco-friendly mattresses for their kids. However, they tend to be more expensive, but on the plus side, these mattresses provide excellent support and breathability. If you’re living in hot and humid climates, this is the mattress you need to buy for your baby.

Waterproof Barrier Covers

These covers are essential for any mattress, as they provide extra protection from spills. They also keep the mattress clean.

Combination Mattresses

Combination Mattresses

Combination mattresses are designed to be flipped and rotated. These mattresses provide different firmness levels depending on which side is up. This makes them great for babies who may need different comfort levels or support as they grow older.

Safety Considerations for Flipping Your Baby’s Mattress

Your little ones are precious. To ensure they stay safe, there are a few safety considerations to remember while flipping their mattress.

Ensure that the mattress is completely dry

Always ensure the mattress is completely dry before moving or flipping it, as moisture can damage the material and be a breeding ground for bacteria and dust mites. Additionally, follow the manufacturer’s instructions when flipping or rotating your baby’s mattress.

Suffocation Risk

When flipping a mattress, ensure that there are no gaps or pockets between the mattress and the crib frame. These spaces can pose a suffocation risk for infants.

Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Risk

Flipping your baby’s mattress may also reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Regular flipping and rotation of mattresses help promote air circulation, which can prevent overheating. Additionally, flipping a mattress can help maintain an even sleeping surface for babies, which is crucial in reducing SIDS risks.

Toxic Chemicals in Certain Materials

Some mattresses may contain toxic chemicals such as flame retardants and other dangerous substances, which can endanger your baby’s health and well-being. Always choose a mattress made from organic or natural materials with no hazardous chemicals.

Soft Bedding and Excessive Cushioning

Excessively soft bedding, such as thick blankets and pillows, can be dangerous for babies as it increases the risk of suffocation.  Avoid using soft bedding or excess padding when your baby sleeps to prevent this.

Firm Infants Need More Supportive Cribs/Mattresses

Some infants and babies need more support when sleeping than others. If your baby is one of them, you must get a crib or mattress offering extra support. This means opting for a firmer mattress or an adjustable bed frame that can be adjusted as the child grows. You may also want to add extra padding at the head and foot of the mattress to ensure your baby is comfortable and secure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why flip a baby mattress

Why flip a baby mattress?

Flipping and rotating your baby’s mattress keeps the mattress’s sleeping surface even. Moreover, regular flipping can help promote air circulation and reduce overheating.

Do I need a 2-stage crib mattress?

There is no definitive answer, as it depends on your baby’s needs. Some infants may need a firmer mattress when they are younger and require softer support as they grow older. In these cases, a 2 stage crib mattress can be beneficial. However, if you have an infant with no issues with a firmer mattress, a 2-stage crib mattress may not be necessary.

How often should I flip my baby’s mattress?

Flipping or rotating your baby’s mattress at least every two weeks is generally recommended, as this will help maintain even wear and air circulation.

When can toddlers have a softer mattress?

It is generally recommended that toddlers transition to a softer mattress when they are between 18 and 24 months old.

Why can’t you use a second-hand mattress for a baby?

Used mattresses aren’t safe for babies as they may contain dust, mold, dust mites, or other allergens. Additionally, some used mattresses may be covered in chemicals such as flame retardants that can pose a health risk to infants.

How many times can you flip the mattress?

Most mattresses must be flipped and rotated twice yearly to maintain even wear. However, some mattresses may be required to be flipped more frequently depending on the material and type of mattress.


Flipping and rotating your baby’s mattress can help extend its longevity and provide an even sleeping surface for your little ones. It may also reduce the risks of suffocation and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Always provide infants and toddlers with mattresses and bedding made from organic or natural materials. Additionally, ensure the mattress is dry before moving it and follow any instructions provided by the manufacturer. Flipping your baby’s mattress may seem like a tedious task, but it’s a must to provide them with a safe and comfortable sleeping environment.

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Jennifer R. Heller

She is a writer at Sleeping Park, the leading source for sleeping products and information. She has spent her time researching sleeping health topics, testing out new sleeping merchandise, and interviewing experts in the field to create informative articles on all things related to sleep. She also writes about her findings in blogs published with every piece she writes on the site. Jennifer also has an economics degree and enjoys using her knowledge of supply and demand to help customers find their perfect mattress match. Jennifer likes to read or travel overseas when she's not at work or hanging out with her family.

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