Back Saving Tips for Lifting in and out of the Crib

When starting my research for this week's topic, I came across this BRILLIANT advice from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons posted under "Preventing Back Pain: Tips for New Moms" and I quote:

  • Try to return to your normal weight within six weeks after giving birth.

Raise your hand if this did not magically happen for you.  I have both hands in the air!!!

So now that we have not accomplished that task, let's talk realistic advice on preventing and reducing back pain when lifting in and out of the crib.

**I will preface this by saying that since all the drop down cribs are on recall, there will be no mention of dropping the crib side.  Second, I am a 5'4" momma so I may be biased on the information given seeing as I fall in the "petite" category and use a stool for everything.**

The DOs of the crib lift:

  • Keep your child close to your body: Less strain on the back and arms when you hold the weight of the child close to you.
  • Keep the mattress height raised if safe for your baby's age/activity level: The less distance you have to travel with the baby, the less strain on your back.  Just make sure to lower the mattress as the baby grows and becomes more active.
  • Use a stool if you cannot reach over the crib railing.
  • BEND YOUR KNEES:  Huge mistake moms make is locking the knees and bending just at the waist to place the baby.  Major back stress, strain and then pain.
  • Feet shoulder width apart or stagger your feet: Balance your weight with feet shoulders width apart or put one foot in front of the other with feet shoulders width apart and again bend the knees.  Here is a video with proper form: watch here. (YouTube credit: St Luke's Work Smart Injury)

The DON'T s of the crib lift:

  • Lock knees and bend at the hips. All the stress falls to the back when you lift this way.
  • Reach out away from your body to lift the baby.  If you carried your groceries up a flight of stairs with your arms out in front of you, would the groceries seem heavier?  YES!  Same this goes for the baby, keep baby close and then lift from the crib.
  • Do not bend over the crib side and lift the baby over the top. Again think: Use the stool, bend the knees, bring baby to your body then lift.
  • Lift and twist.  Once you have lifted the baby use your feet to turn and move to the changing table.  Lifting and turning with the feet planted will yes yes yes cause back pain or pain in the SI joint (the "dimple" joint just off your low back at your pelvis).


Try the best you can to make changes in your lifting.  We are not perfect and this will not happen ALL the TIME.  The small changes will help make you the best momma self you can be for your little one!

Was this helpful?  What else about the crib hurts your back?  Suggest next weeks Tip of the WEEK!!  We are all ears and want your feedback....thanks in advance!

Happy Tuesday,


**If back pain persists or increases, contact your provider.**

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