Reasons it is Essential to know the History of a Crib before Purchasing

A baby’s crib is one of the most important pieces of furniture parents and caregivers will buy. It is not a purchase that should be made lightly, as the crib is a place baby will likely spend much time in and it will be his safe haven.

One of the decisions that adults will face is what type of crib to buy and where to purchase the crib. Today’s market offers lots of choices, including department and specialty stores; or, parents may turn to second-hand options, such as eBay, Craigslist or thrift stores.

If considering buying a crib used, it is vital to know the crib’s age for several reasons:


Over time, safety standards change. According to USA Baby, a retail store, “Vintage cribs, manufactured before 1973 when the first federal guidelines went into effect, may be charming, but they’re the least safe cribs of all. Even used cribs that were manufactured more recently can be of questionable quality.”

Used older cribs may have splinters, decorative features that are a hazard to baby or slats that are too wide apart. Additionally, lead paint was legal in the U.S. until 1978 when a ban took effect.

According to USA Baby, in 1995 the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) “announced a roundup of all used cribs for disposal by crushing”. The reason for this was because the safety agency had received numerous reports of incidents where cribs came apart and babies were injured.

Over the years, even newer cribs have had recalls issued on them, leading to new federal requirements for cribs being issued in June 2011 [PDF].


Many older cribs may have had recalls issued on them, but without having the original information and/or if there are no longer any identifiers no longer on the crib, could mean the crib may be a hazard to your baby.

*History of the crib

If you do decide to buy a used crib, be sure and learn its history. For instance, cribs that have been passed around a lot to different families, or have gone through many moves, have been taken apart and reassembled multiple times. Over time, this reassembling could cause additional wear and tear on the crib, making it weaker. Additionally, some of the hardware could have been lost over time, which means the crib may not be secure.

Ideally, it is best to buy a crib new, and/or at the very least, obtain a used crib from a trusted family member or friend who has had a baby recently and the used crib meets current standards.

Baby Center offers some tips on how to buy and set up a crib.