Though it may have been the crib you spent time in as a child—and you did just fine—your old crib is most likely not suitable for your new baby. It’s tempting to purchase a used crib from a tag sale or to accept one from kindhearted family or friends whose children have grown up, but Willows Pediatrics recommends avoiding cribs that are more than 10 years old. (This means avoiding them at home, and also at day care centers and grandma’s house too!)
Here are just some of the dangers of older cribs:
– Drop-side cribs can entrap and suffocate infants and toddlers. (According to the AAP, at least 32 infants or toddlers have died and hundreds of others were injured in drop-side cribs). In December they were officially banned by the Consumer Products Safety Commission.
– Antique cribs can have lead in the finish.
– Slats in older cribs could be more than 2 3/8 inches apart, or there can be cutout designs in headboards or footboards. These conditions can also lead to entrapment.
– Older wood cribs can be rough and cause splinters.
For all of these reasons, we recommend purchasing a new crib, and making sure it is approved by the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission. For advice on choosing a crib, visit HealthyChildren.org. In addition, more information on the AAP’s “safe sleep” initiative can be found at http://www.keepingbabiessafe.org/.
One other thing to keep in mind: The AAP recommends that you do not put sleep positioners, toys and other soft-bedding (blankets, comforters, pillows, stuffed animals, or wedges) in a crib with your baby.
Your baby’s crib should be a safe place, and you should be able to relax while he or she is in there. Taking steps to ensure you possess an approved crib and have created a safe environment for your child will help you—and your baby—rest easy!