Updated February 2022
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Buying guide for best baby crib wedges

When your baby is sick, rest is often the thing both you and baby need most. Unfortunately, some babies have difficulties that are made worse by lying down. But the good news is that baby wedges can help ease suffering in many of these situations.

Baby wedges are firm foam pieces used to keep babies on an incline while they sleep. Experts recommend all babies sleep flat on their backs to minimize the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, but there are a handful of situations in which pediatricians recommend babies sleep at a slight incline.

Generally, parents place these wedges below the crib mattress to create an incline for sleeping. Some parents place the wedge on top of the mattress under the crib sheet. This is slightly more risky, and may put the baby at a higher risk for suffocation if the wedge moves unexpectedly. The majority of experts agree it’s safest to put as few objects on the surface of the crib as necessary. Most importantly, though, your baby should not lie directly on the wedge.

Which wedge will give your baby the most relief? Keep reading to learn more. When you’re done, check our recommendations on the best baby wedges on the market.

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Unlike other baby items, wedges aren’t meant to look cute. Wedges with attractive — yet slippery — satin patches are more likely to slide.

Key considerations

Nasal congestion or reflux

Your baby’s pediatrician may recommend using a baby wedge for a handful of diagnoses, but the most common problems are nasal congestion and reflux.

  • Nasal congestion: When baby gets a cold, elevating his head while he sleeps can help him breathe more easily. Resting on an incline can help open nasal passages and promote mucus flow. It’s similar to an adult with a stuffy nose using an extra pillow at night. Additionally, some doctors recommend using a wedge when baby is suffering from ear pain, which often accompanies nasal congestion. Most baby wedges offer an incline angle of 12 to 14 degrees, which should work well for congestion problems.

  • Reflux: Reflux is relatively common in young babies, because the muscles that keep stomach contents where they belong are weak at birth. Most babies spit up or exhibit other periodic signs of reflux. In some infants, though, it becomes a real problem. It’s often most evident at night, when babies are lying down, and their stomach contents — including acid — creep back up into their esophagus. In cases where babies have difficulty sleeping, doctors often suggest they sleep with their heads propped up slightly using a wedge. Lying on a slight incline can work with gravity to help keep stomach contents out of the esophagus.
    Doctors usually recommend an incline angle of between 12 and 30 degrees for reflux. The majority of baby wedges offer an incline of 12 to 14 degrees, and it may be best to try this option first before searching for something more radical and expensive.


It’s important to make sure the wedge you choose goes all the way across the crib and fits snugly. A wedge that’s too short won’t elevate the entire width of the mattress and will leave a gap in which your baby could get stuck. A lightweight wedge that’s easily dislodged can cause similar concerns.

Memory foam vs. high-density foam

The baby wedge you choose must be made of quality materials that won’t collapse or disintegrate under pressure. In general, wedges made from memory foam will not hold up as well over time as wedges made from high-density foam. Memory foam is a fine choice if you plan to use it for occasional bouts of nasal congestion. But if your baby needs the wedge for most naps and nights for several months in a row, high-density foam is your best bet.

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Did you know?
At least half of babies three months and younger experience reflux to some degree. Reflux is one of the major causes of the condition commonly known as colic.

Protective coverings

Protective coverings

Most new parents quickly learn this rule of thumb: if it’s going in the crib, it needs to be washable. Washing the entire wedge would likely destroy it, but a removable, washable cover will get the same job done, as long as the wedge itself is protected with a waterproof lining. Look for models that have both a waterproof internal lining and a washable, removable cover to maximize protection.

Non-skid material

Keeping the wedge in place in the crib is one of the biggest concerns. A wedge that slides on the crib’s hard, smooth bottom may not keep your baby inclined. If you use it under a crib sheet instead of a mattress, it can slip and become a suffocation risk for your baby. Look for wedges with non-skid material on the base or bottom of the cover to keep them firmly in place for effectiveness and safety.


If you will frequently use your baby wedge away from home, look for ones that are made of two pieces or fold in half for portability. Styles like this should come with a bag for storage. If you buy one of these wedges, make sure it’s as stable and supportive at the joint as it is across the rest of the wedge, since that’s where most of the pressure will go. Watch out for uncomfortable center seams where the two pieces come together if you plan to use it under the crib sheet, and make sure the center joint won’t sag or separate under the weight of your baby.

Baby wedge prices

Inexpensive: For $20 to $25, you’ll find wedges made of memory foam lined with a waterproof cover. Wedges in this price range may or may not have a removable cover or non-slip lining. They will perform well for occasional nasal congestion problems, but may not hold up to long-term use for reflux problems.

Mid-range: In the $25 to $30 range, baby wedges should feature a waterproof lining and be constructed of durable high-density foam. They should have a non-skid lining to keep them in place, and some will come with a removable cover.

Expensive: The highest-quality baby wedges usually cost $35 or more. These are made of quality high-density foam that can hold up to frequent use needed for babies with reflux problems. They should have waterproof lining and a removable, washable cover made of natural or organic material. They should have non-skid lining on the wedge or the cover and easily support the weight of the crib mattress.


  • Keeping your baby upright for 20 to 30 minutes after feeding may significantly decrease reflux symptoms.

  • Saline drops can also help relieve nasal congestion if your baby has a cold. If you go this route, make sure you use saline drops and not saline nose spray. The propelling mechanism of most sprays is too forceful for little nasal passages.

  • Swaddling your baby may help keep her in place on the wedge.

  • Only non-toxic materials should be used to make both the wedge and any coverings.

  • Wedges should not have raised sides or positioning bolsters that could block airways and pose a suffocation risk if either the baby or the wedge slide.

  • Always look for a wedge that spans the width of the sleeping surface and stays firmly in place to avoid safety risks.

  • Antibacterial and antimicrobial treatments on the inner lining may help your wedge last longer.

Other products we considered

If you’re looking for a wedge that will fit in a bassinet, the LilliJoy Premium Bassinet Wedge gives you options. This roundtop 12-degree wedge comes with an adapter that makes it adjustable to fit different sizes of bassinets, including some irregularly sized large models. Its breathable cotton cover unzips easily for washing.

Babies who don’t transition well from car seat or swing to crib may meet success with the SwaddleMe Good Vibes Vibrating Crib Wedge. With a 10-degree incline, this wedge gives you three vibration speeds that can be set for 15-, 30-, or 45-minute auto-shutoff. A handle keeps the wedge attached to the slats at the top of the crib, so it stays in place. This means it doesn’t work as well in cribs with solid head and footboards, and it goes through a lot of batteries.

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Babies should never lie directly on a wedge. It should be placed either under the mattress or under the crib sheet.


Q. Where should I place my baby on the wedge?
If you don’t place your baby properly, chances are good he won’t stay in place. Lie your baby down so that his lower back is touching the base of the incline. His shoulders and head should rest higher up on the inclined surface. Make sure your baby’s bottom is lying flat on the crib sheet, rather than on the incline, so that he’s less likely to slide off.

Q. How are wedges with rounded tops different from those with straight tops?
Wedges with rounded tops are intended to fit in a bassinet. The rounded edge allows the wedge to fit snugly at the curved head of the bassinet to create a safe sleep environment for baby. Never use this style in a crib, as it can create unsafe gaps.

Q. How long will my baby suffer from reflux?
There are no guarantees, but most babies start to outgrow their reflux problems between six and nine months of age. By this age, babies are spending more of their days upright, so there’s less time spent lying down, which exacerbates reflux. Additionally, many babies first try solid food at around six months of age, and solid food gradually replaces liquid nutrition. This means that babies spend less time lulling themselves to sleep while sucking, so you’re not lying them down as often with a full stomach. Finally, the sphincter muscles that keep stomach contents in the stomach continue to strengthen during the first year of life. Less than 10 percent of babies suffer from reflux by the time they reach their first birthday.

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