Updated February 2022
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Buying guide for best baby crib wedges

Editor's note: The Consumer Product Safety Commission and the FDA have warned consumers of using sleep positioners, including crib wedges, due to suffocation risks. You should conduct extensive research and consult a pediatrician before purchasing a baby crib wedge. 

With their tiny nasal passages and immature digestive systems, many babies battle with congestion and reflux throughout the early months. While this isn't usually a cause for alarm, symptoms do have a tendency to worsen when the baby is lying down flat, making it tough for little ones (and family members) to get a good night's rest. If you're looking for a way to get your tot off your shoulder and into the crib, a crib wedge could be the answer.

By providing a slight incline and keeping the upper body elevated, a baby crib wedge can help combat gastrointestinal discomfort, excessive spit-up, and respiratory issues. At first glance, most crib wedges appear to be virtually identical. However, size, height, support, and cleaning ease can vary dramatically, and finding the best fit for both your baby and your crib can be a challenge.

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In some cases, a waterproof inner lining can be both a blessing and a curse. Many cheaper models encase the foam fill in ill-fitting, crinkly materials that end up making noise with every movement. To avoid frustration, opt for a wedge with a polyester inner layer or browse online reviews to gauge the potential noise factor of your preferred waterproof crib wedge.

Key considerations


For safety reasons, a crib wedge should fit in your baby's crib without bunching or leaving gaps. The average crib wedge measures 26 inches wide, but you'll also find some measuring 27 or 27.25 inches wide. For a fit that's safe and snug, choose a crib wedge that's the same width as your crib mattress, or measure the inner width of your crib before you commit to a particular model.


Elevation is precisely what makes a crib wedge so effective at reducing symptoms reflux and respiratory discomfort. However, not all crib wedges are created equal, and some can leave a lot to be desired in terms of incline. While most medical professionals recommend a crib wedge with a 12° incline, parents of babies who suffer with severe reflux often find that a little extra elevation works wonders. If you've already tried a 12° incline wedge with little to no success, a model with a 13° to 14° incline is worth considering.


All baby crib wedges consist of foam with a fabric cover, but quality and firmness can vary.

Foam inner: Cheap crib wedges constructed of low- or medium-density foam may be designed with the proper incline level and width but are likely to become compressed rather quickly and won't provide adequate support for your baby. As a rule of thumb, a firm sleeping surface delivers the best support and is safest for infants. Quality, high-density foam tends to offer superior firmness and is less prone to losing its shape over time.

Fabric cover: Cotton, bamboo, polyester, and polycotton blends are the most common crib wedge cover materials. Pure cotton is soft and naturally hypoallergenic, but it is also highly absorbent and holds onto moisture, which can be a problem if the crib wedge is placed directly under a crib sheet and your baby tends to perspire or drool when sleeping. Bamboo and polyester, on the other hand, are both hypoallergenic with moisture-wicking abilities to help pull wetness away from the skin.

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While you might adore your memory foam pillow, it's best to skip this type of foam when choosing something for your baby. The same contouring effect that makes memory foam so pleasing for us can pose a suffocation hazard for infants.


Removable cover

As tiny as they are, babies can certainly generate some massive messes, and even more so when you're dealing with digestive issues like reflux. All crib wedges come with covers, but not all are removable. If you plan to place your crib wedge directly under a crib sheet, a removable cover is a feature you definitely want. A cover that can simply be zipped off and tossed in the washing machine will make it that much easier to keep your crib wedge hygienic.

Water resistance

A crib wedge with a water-resistant cover will help keep moisture from seeping through into the foam. Some wedges rely on naturally water-resistant fabrics like polyester, while others have an additional waterproof layer sewn over the foam fill. Either way, some level of water resistance can help prevent mold and mildew from taking hold should your crib wedge become soiled.

Foldable design

Some crib wedges fold in half for storage and travel. Folding crib wedges can either consist of a single piece of foam that's scored down the middle or two entirely separate pieces. Most come with a special removable cover that zips down the center for folding.

Nonskid base

Active babies may wriggle around enough to cause a crib wedge to shift, which can result in sheet corners becoming untucked. Because loose bedding can be a suffocation hazard, it's wise to look for a crib wedge with a grippy, nonskid base.

"If you need a little added peace of mind that the crib wedge you're interested in is free of harmful chemicals, do some research or reach out to the manufacturer to find out if the product is constructed of CPSC-approved materials. "


Whether your little one struggles with reflux, congestion, or both, these accessories can help make life a bit more manageable.

Anti-colic bottles: A good anti-colic bottle can help reduce the amount of air your baby swallows during a feed. This can help minimize gastrointestinal discomfort and may reduce spit-up volume and frequency as well.

Burp cloths: Having a stack of burp cloths on hand at all times will help keep your clothes clean and dry after feeds and assist with quick cleanups in between.

Bibs: Although parents often seem to end up wearing most of their babies' meals, there's always a chance that some will end up on your little one, too. Using bibs during and after feeds can help lighten your laundry load.

Nursing pillow: Parents are often advised to keep babies upright following a feed. Burping your baby and propping her up on a C-shaped nursing pillow can be helpful for when your arms grow tired.

Nasal aspirator: If congestion is a problem for your baby, applying a couple drops of saline to each nostril and using a nasal aspirator to suction out the softened mucus will help clear your little one's nose.

Humidifier: Placing a humidifier in your nursery will help moisten the air and ease respiratory issues. When it comes to congestion, warm-mist humidifiers tend to work best.

Baby crib wedge prices

Inexpensive: Baby crib wedges priced under $20 can work in a pinch but are typically made of low-quality foam that can quickly become compressed. Wedges in this price range are also usually no-frills models that don't offer any additional features.

Mid-range: For between $20 and $30 you can find crib wedges that are both supportive and convenient, with a number of nifty features including a removable cover and nonskid base.

Expensive: Whether you desire extra elevation, a premium organic cotton cover, or unique features, the $30 to $60 price bracket generally delivers the most sought-after designs.

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Did you know?
Most standard crib mattresses measure 27.25 inches, making this the safest, most secure width for a crib wedge.


  • Consult a pediatrician. It's always best to consult with a medical professional before treating symptoms of reflux or congestion at home.
  • Put your baby down to sleep on his back. While many parents are advised by well-meaning relatives and friends to put fussy babies to sleep on their stomachs or sides, these positions have been shown to increase the risk of SIDS. Babies should always be put to sleep on their backs in a crib that's clear of blankets, toys, and loose fabric.
  • Pay extra attention to width. A crib wedge that's too narrow will leave gaps between the crib rails and the wedge. Remember, if your baby rolls or wriggles to one side, a limb or even the head may get lodged in a gap.
  • Consider using a waterproof crib sheet. Using a waterproof crib sheet is an easy and effective way to protect your crib wedge from moisture.
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Pure cotton is a safe, hypoallergenic choice for a baby crib wedge cover. However, to prevent shrinking, it's important to remember to wash the cover on the gentle cycle with cold water before hanging it out to air-dry.


Q. Are crib wedges supposed to fit under the crib mattress or the sheet?A. A crib wedge can be placed either on top of the mattress beneath a crib sheet or under the mattress itself. Sometimes it can take a bit of experimentation to find your baby’s personal sweet spot. However, there is one major benefit of placing a crib wedge under the mattress, and that is quite simply that your crib wedge will have an added layer of protection from moisture and mess.

Q. What can I do if my baby keeps sliding down the crib wedge?
The "slow slide" is a common problem with crib wedges of all incline levels. The easiest fix for this issue is to roll a towel length-wise, create a U shape, place it at the base of the wedge, and cover both the wedge and the towel with the crib sheet. When executed correctly, the base of the U should cradle your baby's bottom with the legs hanging over the U.

Q. My crib wedge has a chemical smell. Is this normal?
This is a frequent complaint concerning just about all foam products and is caused by off-gassing, a natural process in which foam slowly releases compounds used in the manufacturing process. But while some level of off-gassing is normal, even in the case of baby products, it's still best to check for yourself that your baby's crib wedge is free of harmful additives like BPA, phthalates, formaldehyde, lead and PBDEs.

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