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old cribs and Product safety requirement

user-109570 | Posted in General Discussion on

As a brand-new about-to-be grandmother, I was crushed when my daughter-in-law informed me that we would not be able to use the crib that I have been saving in my attic since my own children were little…that the old cribs do not meet Consumer Product Safety guidelines.  So my question is, could I make something similar to a slip cover, that would fit over the crib railing sides, that could be secured with velcro strips on the sides and the very bottom, and if this tight “slipcover” were in a breathable fabric, would the crib still meet the safety guidelines?  (If the issue is the bars on the older cribs are too far apart, if we eliminated the possibility that the child could be injured by blocking access through the bars..would the crib then be in compliance?) 




  1. sueb | | #1

    here's a link to the CPS commissions websites page on crib safety.  At the bottom there is a toll free number that you can call.  I would call them directly and ask them your question.


  2. User avater
    paddyscar | | #2

    Congratulations on the up-coming grandchild - you will love being a grandmother!  

     In the February 2005 issue there is an excellent article "The ultimate babyproofing guide" by Clara Ogden pp 87+. 

    The article says that crib bars must be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart, that there can be no corner posts or cutout designs in the either the headboard or footboard.  The section also says that if the crib "is more than 15 years old, it probably isn't safe".

    Covering the sides with fabric may restrict the air flow through the crib, and restricted air flow is thought to be a contributing factor in SIDS. 

    The differences between old and new also extend to possible lead paint in older cribs and the newer cribs have a solid base for the mattress unlike the slatted kind that were used in the '70s which were held in place with 'S' hooks.

    Perhaps you could use your crib end panels to make a toy box or something for the baby's room.

    You are in the same boat as me ... I saved the playpen my kids had and can't use it either, and the high chair I kept all this time, is nothing more than a booster seat for a toddler by today's standard.




    1. user-109570 | | #3

      Thanks..it seems such a shame to have to toss....am so excited about being a grandmother...and I don't want to do anything wrong..but five nephews and nieces used this crib without mishap, but I wold never forgive myself if I did something that would hurt my grandchild!

      I appreciate your input..and I will try to find that article...



      1. solosmocker | | #4

        Don't toss it! Hold it until little gets ready for a big boy/girl bed. Turn it on its width and remove one side. Hook up a double bed mattress.You now have a headboard with side panels to keep little one from rolling out. I would think by the time little one it two or three these gov't requirements would be done with. I have seen this done but someone please correct me if I am wrong.

      2. nmog | | #6

        As a 'new' parent (son will be three in May and 5 month old daughter), I completely understand the beauty of the old cribs and such. My mother saved my sister's and mine (we're twins) for 30 years. Since our children can't use them safely, we are planning on taking a few of the spindles out and making them into a picture frame of either myself and my sister when we were younger or of a family portrait. That way we can still pass on the idea of our cribs if not the crib itself.Just an idea, and I hope you find a solution!Nicole

  3. stitcher | | #5

    Dear New-Grandma-to-be

    I have been an new Grandma for just two months. It is so incredible that these new parents are soooo frightened by safety standards. I can remember when my youngest sister slept in a dresser drawer when my family visited Grandma in Detroit. My son slept in a cardboard box when we visited my mother and now my grandson comes to my house with a U-Haul behind my son's car to tote all of his safety equipment.

    My huge disappointment came when he slept less than two weeks in the beautiful cherry spindled cradle built by my father for my two sons and used by 8 neices and nephews.

    Ah mi, these modern babies and their parents.

  4. Teaf5 | | #7

    I agree with other posters not to use the old crib for the baby. Perhaps it could be used to hold the hundreds of stuffed animals the baby will receive or be made into a delightful nursery room bench (using one side as the back and the ends for arms) that the new mother could enjoy.

    When my mother brought our old crib to use for our son, we set it up, checked it out, and then put him into it. Within minutes, he had shaken it hard enough to move it across the room, and then he very casually put his leg over the side and climbed into my arms. Although it was technically "safe," we couldn't use it.

    Heirlooms are precious, but your new grandchild is a thousand times more so!

    1. solosmocker | | #8

      Your post brought a smile to my face. When I was about 8 or 9 I had twin brothers who were maybe a year and a half old. They each had a crib in a very large bedroom we called the dormitory. They would rock and shake those cribs across the room, laughing all the while. It was like a game with them and I swear they were racing each other across the room. They were so cute. And they lived to talk about it as did the other six of us.

      1. user-112898 | | #9

        I totally know how you feel--when my first grandchild came my kids didn't want me to use the beautiful metal crib I'd salvaged from my great-grandmother!!!   They did use it when they were a little older, with no worries, but when any new ones are born, I plan to try using tulle, and 'weaving' it all around the crib, in and out the slats, and sewing it up pulled nice and tight.  It will make it difficult (if not impossible) to put the side down and up, but I think it will at least be safe!  What say you all?

        Linda 03052

        1. sueb | | #10

          I think that the consumer safety commission puts the warnings out on old cribs for a reason and that it's a bad idea to use something that you know that you shouldn't just becuase it has sentimental reasons.  I've been watching this thread for a few days now and I must say I have been amazed that people would let sentiment guide their decisions for what is acceptable products to use for infants.  Is it really worth the risk to a childs health and safety just so it can sleep in the same crib that one of it's parents did?  Is it really worth the risk?

          1. user-112898 | | #11

            Nope, and I wouldn't be able to forgive myself if they did hurt themselves.  I hate it, but you're so right!  <grin>

            Linda 03052

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