Is My Drop-Side Crib Safe? A Must Read Checklist

Cynthia Dermody
crib repaired with duct tape

This homemade repair led to the death of a baby.

Both my babies slept in drop-side cribs, where one entire side drops down into a lower position so mom can save her back. One crib in particular was very wobbly. But I never did anything about it, and thank goodness I avoided tragedy.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has recalled about 7 million cribs in the last three years, most of them drop-side models. Click for the crib recall list. ( I'll be trading in my old crib at Toys "R" Us to put it out of circulation.)

Manufacturers are no longer allowed to make drop-side cribs, but they still may be for sale in stores, so if you come across one, don't buy it! The CPSC is working with other groups to develop a new state-of-the-art crib standard, which will be available sometime later this year.

But that doesn't help you and your baby right now, especially if you have one of the outdated models, does it?

The first thing you need to do is make sure your current crib is safe, and if it's not, to get rid of it. A new CPSC crib safety Q&A should answer most of your questions, but here's a summary in case baby is getting sleepy right now:

To make sure your crib is safe:

1. Every time you change the sheets, make sure there are no gaps larger than two fingers between the sides of the crib and the mattress.

2. Make sure all visible bolts and screws are tight.

3. With the mattress out of the crib, wiggle the crib to see how tight all the joints are. If the crib feels loose, wobbly or structurally not sound, tighten all hardware.

4. If the crib remains wobbly after tightening, look for loose wood-to-wood joints that may be causing the problem. Stop using the crib if loose wood-to-wood joints are found.

The CPSC says about 30 percent of crib deaths each year occur because of missing hardware, have broken or non-working parts, or have had ineffective repairs made to them. Police may criminally investigate parents who tried to repair broken cribs, following the death of their babies.

Going through this checklist is the best Valentine's Day Gift you could give your baby. Then take a few minutes and read the full CPSC post, and contact them if you have further questions.

Have you checked lately to make sure your baby's drop-side crib is safe?


Other posts you should read:

Largest Crib Recall in History

A Week of Scary Recalls: What's a Mom to Think?

Warning: Your Baby's Crib Might Not Be Safe

Read More