It is likely that you have already heard about the 2-stage crib mattresses and how they can adjust to your child’s needs. But have you ever wondered ‘’When should I flip a 2-stage crib mattress?’’ but were too afraid to ask, don’t worry! We will tell you everything you need to know so that you embrace this part of your child’s life with no fear!

The short answer is that you should do it when your baby is 12 months old. However, each child is unique so you should make this decision solely based on their specific needs and well-being.

Do not be afraid to talk to a pediatrician if you are unsure, as they can provide some valuable insight. Keep reading if you wish to find out more about how to make your child satisfied and happy.

What is a 2-Stage Mattress Crib Mattress

When Should I Flip a 2-Stage Crib Mattress? 1
Naturepedic 2-Stage Crib Mattress

A 2-stage crib mattress (or a dual firmness mattress) is a two-sided mattress. It has two sleep surfaces; the baby/infant side and the toddler side. The baby side is flat and firm, while the toddler side is a tad less firm and cushioned. Identifying the two sides is usually easy – it is common practice that the mattress comes with a tag which lets you know which side is the one you need.

The advantages

When you are expanding your family, it is important to think on a long-term basis. After all, children grow and their needs change very quickly, and you should aim to accommodate them as much as possible.

Breaking it down simply, the biggest advantage of a 2-stage crib mattress is, obviously, the convenience: You won’t need to go to a store to get a second mattress to address your toddler’s need of a new mattress that better fits them. you just need to flip it at the right timing.

Secondly, money. As mentioned in the previous point, you won’t need to buy your toddler a second mattress. Bearing in mind a crib mattress is not exactly cheap, you will save a lot of money.

Lastly, quality. In order to comply with tight safety and quality regulation, crib mattress producers need to assure their products offer long-lasting quality and in accordance with the stated purpose of the mattress.

Why Does the Firmeness Matter?

Infants sleep up to 14 hours in their cribs. Since this is a considerable amount of time, the mattress must be appropriate to suit their needs.

The firmness of the mattress is very important – it provides a necessary amount of resistance so that the baby’s bones and muscles can develop while it moves around. It also contributes to their safety – a mattress that has poor edge support or is too soft puts your baby at the risk of getting stuck in between the bedrails or getting injured otherwise.

That is why it is important to turn the right side up of the mattress for your baby to sleep on if you own a 2-stage crib mattress. You should let your baby sleep on a firm, flat surface without any additional hazards – like blankets – because your baby might suffocate on them. If you think that your baby needs a pillow or a blanket, talk to your doctor about it and make sure that it is safe.

Finally, by not giving your baby a firm mattress, you are putting your baby at risk of suffocation or SIDS – sudden infant death syndrome. Known also as ‘crib death’, SIDS marks all unexplained deaths of babies that are less than 12 months old.

In order to lower the risk of SIDS as much as possible, make sure to place the baby on its back to sleep, leave the crib bare (that means no stuffed animals, pillows or quilts), don’t overheat the baby, and have it sleep in a crib or a bassinet (as opposed to sleeping with you on a bed made for adults).

To not overheat your baby, consider putting it in a sleep sack or similar clothing that covers your baby sufficiently so that it doesn’t need additional covers. Don’t cover the baby’s head, and remove anything that could be a choking hazard or suffocate your little one.

So When Should I Flip my 2-Stage Crib Mattress?

In this case, ‘’flipping’’ means switching from the baby/infant side of the mattress to the toddler side. You should do it when your baby is around 1 year (12 months) old.

Depending on how far they’ve developed, their weight, size, behavior, and health, your pediatrician might advise you to do it sooner or later than the average (you can also check our post about the right crib mattress size here).

That is why it is important to talk to them for the sake of your baby. One of the reasons why the turning point is at 12 months of age is the fact that the SIDS risk decreases after that point.


Buying a 2-stage crib mattress might end up making your life easier by providing exactly what your baby needs in the first period of its life. While buying a proper mattress is important, knowing when to flip it over is important, too.

Lastly, don’t forget to pick up the signs from your child – they will show you when it’s time to say bye-bye to the infant side and say hello to the toddler side, to a new stage in their life, and new opportunities to make some good memories with your bundle of joy.