This crib is made for less bending over, more ventilation

The IKEA crib that was used when my son was an infant (1999) was stored away after he’d outgrown it. Some of those crib parts were unfortunately misplaced during a move.

Anyway, the mother of my second child has a back problem, and she asked me to make a crib which would require that she bend over less often.

AND she wanted the crib to be very well ventilated.

So, the Trampoline Crib was invented in March 2021 before the birth of our daughter.

IKEA trampoline crib

The PLUS was to make it an IKEA hack using some parts from my son’s IKEA crib from 1999. (Yes, my son and daughter were born 22 years apart.)

IKEA items used:  
  • The vertical bars are from the very same IKEA crib I’d assembled for my first born in 1999. (It had been dis-assembled and stored away, but the other crib parts had been misplaced over the intervening years.)
  • Wood slats for The Trampoline Crib are from an IKEA storage unit/bookcase. (I believe the HEJNE.)
  • Four HILVER legs are from an IKEA desk. (I got these parts from a neighbor when they moved away)
materials
Other materials:  
  • Mesh — the trampoline is simply the mesh netting that is often used to keep children from falling between bannister rails on staircases. When pulled taut and stapled to a frame made of IKEA wood, this mesh forms a very comfortable “hammock” or “trampoline” beneath our infant; it is also 100% breathable/ well-ventilated material.  This mesh was also used to line the interior walls of her crib, so the baby’s feet/hands do not get stuck in the gaps between the horizontal slats of 3 walls. It is not expensive material.
  • The fasteners are simply wood screws and simple nuts-and-bolts available at any hardware store.  I used a few brass corner brackets, where it wasn’t easy to pilot-drill and then drive-in a wood screw.
  • A sheet of sturdy 3/4″ plywood forms the base; the mesh is pulled taut on a frame so it is suspended about 2″ above the plywood base; as the infant gets larger, the mesh will start to sag from the increasing weight. Eventually it may sag down so her butt will touch the surface of the plywood base; if so, the thickness of the mesh can be doubled to make the trampoline “stiffer.”

Instructions for the Trampoline Crib:

Step 1:

First, one must locate the various IKEA parts listed above. There are places online to find pre-owned IKEA furniture; I often pick-up at low cost items that are no longer wanted on FB Market for example. Often, folks are moving out of town, and will sell at a very reasonable price because they intend to purchase and assemble all-new IKEA furniture for their next home.

Step 2:

Measure the height of the three walls to be whatever you desire.

This may require  some “trial and error”. We chose 16″ as that was comfortable for our arms to reach down and lift/lower our infant from/to the hammock mesh. 

The length of each of the three walls simply corresponds with the dimensions of our plywood base.

For our bedroom, the best shape was 24″ wide by 36″ long. 

(If you need exact measurements, I will send them, but the point is that it was built for a rather small bedroom.) 

With basic tools like a hand saw and power drill the bookcase walls were re-formed into 3 of the 4 walls of The Trampoline Crib.

IKEA trampoline crib
Step 3:

For The Trampoline Crib’s fourth “wall” we simply used the vertical bars found on the old IKEA crib.

We decided to NOT affix this wall of bars permanently. We can lift it off, and set it aside; when it’s time for the baby to sleep, we lower this fourth wall of vertical bars in place.

Because it is removable, it is easier to change sheets and clean the crib, etc, etc. 

Also, we don’t have to lift the baby much; we can place her onto the trampoline, and then place the vertical bars in place.

The original crib was longer, so we cut-off the excess length of the vertical bars. 

Gravity holds the wall of vertical bars in place, and we latch it in place, so our infant cannot kick it away; the latch is simply a piece of wood that can be spun on a center screw to create tension. It’s all very simple and snug.

Step 4:

Once we decided on the desired height of our Trampoline Crib; we were pleased to discover that the length of the four desk legs was perfect for the height of our Trampoline Crib.

So, we did not cut the length of the legs of the crib; we simply mounted the four legs onto the plywood base using nuts-and-bolts. 

We may decide as our infant grows that we will cut the legs shorter; this will simply mean measuring the same distance from the bottom of each leg, and then sawing-away equally that lowest section of each leg; but for now, the existing height has been perfect.

mesh
Step 5:

We stretched the fabric so it is very taut, and “stapled” it in place. This is done for the three walls with horizontal slats and also for the sleeping trampoline surface.

We left about 2″ for “sag” of the mesh above the surface of the plywood base.

Step 6:

We hand-sanded with common sandpaper, to remove any splinters that may have arisen during sawing and drilling of holes/screwing.

And we were done!

IKEA trampoline crib
TIME:

The assembly took me about 8 hours. Before assembly, I washed and gently sanded-down the various parts. I did not use paint or any form of chemical sealant/glue.

COST:   

The cost of screws, nuts and bolts were a few US dollars.

The mesh materials awas probably about $8USD. 

The plywood I had was leftover from another house project.   

I always have leftover IKEA parts from earlier hacks, as well as other IKEA hacks-in-progress. 

What was the hardest part of the hack?

Stretching the mesh taut, while stapling it into place. It really helps to have an assistant for that one portion of the job.

IKEA trampoline crib
What do you like most about the hack? 

There is no bending over. When it’s time to take our baby out of the crib, we lift and set aside the 1 wall of vertical bars; she can then be taken out of the crib with no bend-and-lift at all.

When it’s time for her to go back into the crib, our baby is placed inside the 3 walls, and then we return the vertical bars into place, and we turn the wood latch so it’s all snug.  We also like the ventilation — it’s perfect.

What to do Differently?

We would place a plastic liner on top of the platform, which is below the mesh trampoline. Why? We didn’t anticipate that anything the drips down through the mesh will land on the wooden base, and it’s not easy to clean that platform beneath the trampoline; a very simple plastic liner can be pulled in-and-out and easily cleaned. We use a simple pad now.

~ by Jim Wistman