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Used Baby Cribs: Great Deal or Baby Guillotine Safety Death Trap?

Updated on October 11, 2012

It almost seems that when you finally let the news out about your new little bundle of joy, that there will be many people that want to give you free stuff. While this is usually a very good thing if it’s baby clothes, baby safety products, or even furniture, it can be a major point of contention when it comes to the crib. It turns out that their good intentions could actually lead to a baby death trap!

OK, so I’m being dramatic here, but it could be a major issue between you and your baby’s mamma. Case in point, I have a very good friend of mine that actually gave us a beautiful hardwood crib, complete with mattress, baby bumper, blanket, and a set of sheets. I was overjoyed! I had been in the stores with the Mrs. and saw just how much these little baby prisons could run up to ($1000 is the price of the model she wants), and thought, “GREAT! Scratch one major expense off the list!” Apparently I couldn’t have been more wrong. She actually is reading a book on great and not so great baby deals, and apparently a major no-no is a used crib. Supposedly for multiple reasons.

For starters, this baby book advises to never accept a crib with a used mattress. Something about babies being dirty and spreading germs or something.. I wasn’t really paying attention to her point with that one as I had already disinfected the mattress to the point of almost rubbing out the design on the mattress with Clorox. Hell, that mattress is now cleaner than the one I sleep on! While I was letting my head clear from the bleach fumes in the garage, I politely informed my wife that my good buddy just saved us well over $1000 and a ton of hassle. Well at that point I either passed out, or she clocked me in the face a time or two.

When I regained consciousness, we started chatting about the crib again; although I was now wearing a motorcycle helmet to prevent any further head shots. It turns out that the crib that was donated to us was a really expensive crib and I figured it would be completely safe. I mean come on, he just had a kid two years ago and he’s fine! Well as it turns out my wife actually informed me after speaking with his previous wife that it wasn’t recently purchased. It was actually purchased almost 10 years ago when his step-daughter was born. “But they paid over $600 for the crib back in the day, it must be safe?” I mumbled from under the full face shield of my helmet. Again I was wrong, the really awesome feature of “drop sides” that this crib features apparently is a safety hazard. Apparently, back in the day, kids could either figure out how to unlatch the sides, or parents forgot to latch them. I personally think that the latter was really the reason why these drop sides would spontaneously slide down potentially trapping the little one, or even worse, act like a baby guillotine. In fact, the Consumer Products Safety Commission has tons of recalls on these types of cribs because of entrapment, fall, and strangulation hazards. Many of the manufacturers of these types of cribs will actually send you a repair kit at no charge witch will change your drop side crib into a fixed side crib. Remember that awesome feature which let you easily place baby down for a nap that you paid extra for? Yepp, money down the drain.

After checking out the website with my wife, we determined that no matter how good my buddy’s intentions were, it simply wasn’t worth the risk. Sure tons of kids were fine, and grew up in these types of cribs, but if life has taught me one thing, God has smitten me with statistics in the past, it’s better not to tempt him. I offered a reasonable solution to the wife which included simply screwing the sides permanently to the crib and an elaborate net of zip ties. Needless to say I now need to wear a cup in addition to a motorcycle helmet when discussing baby safety issues.

For more information about crib safety and to see if your donated crib was recalled, check out the below website (click on cribs):


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    • RichardPac profile image

      RichardPac 5 years ago from Sunny Florida!

      I hope to keep the crib we purchased for quite awhile. We would up getting the super-mega-deluxe model, but it's a "Crib 4 life", so we looked at the overall expense and decided it was better to pay now, then upgrade it to a bad as time goes on.

    • profile image

      kelleyward 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this important information about crib safety. We bought a new crib with our first child and kept it with our second and third. Voted up and useful.

    • WorkAtHomeMums profile image

      WorkAtHomeMums 5 years ago from Australia

      Great hub. I couldn't agree with you more. I recently published a similar hub on items people should never buy from garage / yard sales and used cribs / cots and mattresses is high on the list. Not only is there the safety issues with age etc but the hygiene. Voted up and useful.