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Hazards of Hand–Me–Down Cribs

Would You Take a Hand–Me–Down Crib?

A friend of mine graciously offered to give me the crib that she used for all four of her children. Mostly due to safety issues, I declined her generous proposal and bought a new one. Consider these points before you pick up a secondhand crib:

  • Many older cribs have not been built to current safety standards; the width between the slats may be too wide, posing a choking hazard.
  • If you didn't assemble it, you can't be sure it was put together properly.
  • Check for splinters, peeling paint, and worn out bed railings or broken slats.
  • Be wary of dislodged mattress supports.

To see the rest of the list,


  • Avoid higher corner posts than the end panels, as children can hang themselves on these pillars.
  • Find out if there have been any recalls on the crib.

Did you, or would you, consider using a hand-me-down crib for your child?

bchicgrl bchicgrl 8 years
I think the only hand me downs I would take would be clothes and some toys because those can be washed and washed again if needed. Other then that, I would love to get things brand new and get used by each kid we decide to have.
roxtarchic roxtarchic 9 years
we use a "gently used" crib... it was used for one child, it was IMMACULATE w/all the hardware, manual, etc. people think the bedroom set is brand new... it was THAT loving cared for. I did check for recalls, and of course cleaned it like crazy anyway. but i would recommend used in excellent condition if you do your homework and check for recalls, etc.... i also like the recylcing aspect Kia...
gspencer gspencer 9 years
Oops.. I made a mistake. I meant to say "why wouldn't a gently used used crib be as good (in terms of function) as a new crib?" Btw, I think to each their own. If they can afford a new crib and it gives them piece of mind, that's great. But we could not afford to buy a new crib that would have been as safe or as sturdy as this used crib has been.
gspencer gspencer 9 years
I am totally using a hand me down from a friend (and her son is now like 12 or 13). But I double checked every safety recommendation, recall list and assembled it myself (and then double checked it again for safety). It definitely helped that it had the original directions and all the correct hardware pieces. So, I think if you are super careful (and it helps to know exactly what you're getting before you take it...), why wouldn't a used crib be as good as a gentle used used crib? Even new cribs are subject to recalls and could not meeting safety standards (even though they should). Every crib (new or old) should be held up to the new safety standards! Oh and to facin8me, I don't know if old crib mattresses are linked to SIDS, but who really wants a used mattress? Unless it was used sparingly by someone you know well and is less than like 2 years old, a new mattress is not that much. (We did get a new mattress, which subsequently fit perfectly in the used crib.)
weirdy weirdy 9 years
i personally would not use hand me downs for my child.. be it cribs, car seats, clothes, toys, etc..
Greggie Greggie 9 years
We don't use a crib, but I wouldn't have hesitated to take one from a friend or family member. The list would've been checked off, but something being secondhand doesn't automatically rule it out for me.
Pencils Pencils 9 years
lawchick--just make sure that your own crib is up to current standards before using it. It may be sturdy, but if the slats are too far apart, it's not safe.
Pencils Pencils 9 years
Nope, never even considered it. My baby is going to spend a lot of time in that crib, and therefore I wanted something brand-new and up to all safety standards. I even went with one without a drop side (Nurseryworks Loom crib) because they seem a lot more sturdy to me. We may get a few hand-me-downs in other baby items, but I'm planning on checking them very carefully for any problems, and checking online for any recalls. Nothing is more important than my daughter's safety.
facin8me facin8me 9 years
I recently read (and I don't know if this is crib company propaganda or what) that used crib mattresses are linked to SIDS for some reason. I've read that if you take a crib from somebody, you should always buy a fresh mattress for it, or at least get a mattress cover. Has anybody else heard this? I swear I'm not making it up.
kia kia 9 years
When my time comes I will look for a refurbished crib or a hand me down. I like to recycle, what can I say? It is a part of my everyday life. However I will thoroughly inspect the crib first for safety standards and like to know its history. I have had the misfortune of losing a little brother when he was nine months old and sleeping, I don't take baby safety lightly.
Rylansmommy Rylansmommy 9 years
I used a hand-me-down crib for my 2 children. A family member gave it to me and had included all the hardware, the manual, and his personally written "helpful" instructions on how to set up the crib. I also made sure to look online for any recall information. Sadly, my cousin's 10 month old daughter died in a Pack and Play that she had received as a hand-me-down. It had been recalled years earlier. The importance of checking recall information can never be emphasized enough!
milosmommy milosmommy 9 years
oh and lawchick the crib we did buy was from babies r us and it's very well built and not all of them are from china...just sayin
milosmommy milosmommy 9 years
We decided against doing for the crib, but we used a bassinet that had been in the family for like 70yrs. But I think that's a little different as there are no slats or knobs or anything.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
you lose parts, etc. anyway, since that child has autism she won't ever be moving into her own place :( but someone is happy to be getting it.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
we are actually giving one of our cribs to a friend. my oldest daughter used it and we bought the converter to use the one side as a headboard. we got it so that when she moved into her own apartment she would be able to take it with her. let me just say;do not do this! waste of money. you don't know what that child's taste will be and
pinkprincess1101 pinkprincess1101 9 years
i couldnt due it
tngirly tngirly 9 years
I have wondered this myself- I am due late Spring and I am a big EBayer and I know I will get a new carseat but I was not sure if I could do a EBay crib or not....
lawchick lawchick 9 years
when I have a child, I will use my own baby bed. it will be 30+ years old, but it is very sturdy and well-made. I feel pretty sure it is better than the rickety stuff you can get at babies r us that was probably made in china on the cheap.
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