General Question

Cupcake's avatar

Crib advice?

Asked by Cupcake (14854points) December 22nd, 2011

I was given a never-been-used, solid oak crib by a good friend of mine who co-slept with her kids instead of using a crib. My husband put it together yesterday and I noticed something strange… there are not variable levels for the mattress. I thought all cribs came with three level options (you start out high and move lower as the kid rolls over/sits/stands).

I can’t reach the mattress!

The mattress support is screwed directly into the ends of the crib and is in no way adjustable. One side of the crib used to drop, but perhaps they got a kit to prevent that… because we can’t figure out a way to drop the side (and you’re not supposed to anyway).

So how do I get my baby into and out of the crib? It doesn’t seem safe to put something under the mattress to raise it up until the baby can roll over, right? Suggestions?

Here is an image that resembles the crib. It’s very simple… 2 sides screwed into 2 ends which are screwed into the mattress support (a rectangular, metal, springy thing).

Help!

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29 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

I seem to remember cribs having a way to lower the side rail, it would slide down about a foot.

Also, you could use a bassinet for the first few moths.

Or, get a very stable low step to use, for you to stand on.

Cupcake's avatar

@JLeslie they used to… but have all been recalled. It is now illegal to sell a drop-side crib.

I have a bassinet, but I’m expecting this baby to be quite large… so he won’t be in it for long. Plus, I would probably have him nap in the crib (at least sometimes).

The step idea is interesting.

JLeslie's avatar

@Cupcake Just make sure the step is wide. Maybe you could even just get a step from Sports Authority, or some sports store, the kind they use in step aerobics. They usually are two stackable peices, low to the ground, very stable. It has to be stable because people are using it to step on and off of constantly through the workout.

Jeruba's avatar

Illegal to sell a drop-side crib? Why??

When my kids got big enough to try to climb out of the crib, I started leaving the side down all the time. I taught them how to climb out of it and helped them practice so they could do it safely. Leaving the side up would have been dangerous because it meant quite a fall. Yet they were still not ready for a regular bed.

How annoying to have reasonable choices preempted by legislation that prevents people from taking responsibility for their own decisions.

john65pennington's avatar

Be sure to check the baby bed recall list before using.

Pandora's avatar

Buy two mattress and stack it till the kid can stand. I would check the recall list as @john65pennington suggested. The crib is the most expensive part and mattresses can be bought seperately.
http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=crib+mattress&rls=com.microsoft:en-us&oe=UTF-8&startIndex=&startPage=1&rlz=1I7SKPB_en&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=16439522696106723887&sa=X&ei=R5nzTt2qOObt0gHZu-mzAg&ved=0CJ4BEPMCMAQ#
by a cheaper one for the bottom. Like getting a box spring.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Pandora How simple! Why didn’t we think of that?!

Cupcake's avatar

@Jeruba This is a year old, but explains the issue. I agree, I’m not sure I would have supported legislation based on 30 deaths in a decade.

I also used a drop-side crib with my older one. I can’t even fathom how to use a crib without a drop side… but I’m sure I’ll adjust.

@Pandora I was thinking about 2 mattresses. I would just want to make sure it didn’t make the top mattress too “soft”.

Dutchess_III's avatar

You could always put a board between them.

JLeslie's avatar

Maybe just put a thick piece of wood below the mattress?

Bellatrix's avatar

I thought about the two mattress idea but then discounted it just in case the baby managed somehow to get down and between the two mattresses. I know that sounds ridiculous but if we are banning drop-sided cribs because somehow children have been hurt, I guess anything is possible. I think the idea of a very stable step is the safest option rather than doing modifications to your cot.

Dutchess_III's avatar

But the baby can get down between one mattress just as easily…

Bellatrix's avatar

Yes, but there would potentially be another padded mattress underneath them. I am thinking suffocation. Heck, I don’t know if that could happen. It might be impossible. It just occurred to me that it could. I would never have thought a drop-down side crib was dangerous but kids do things we would never expect. Little people have strangled themselves on blind cords. I would just rather err on the side of caution and not modify the crib.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yeah…the thing with the drop down sides was that people weren’t assembling them properly so they were dropping when the kids stood up and leaned on them and tossed them out on their heads.

Pandora's avatar

@Cupcake Babies don’t ever stay long enough to put a dent in the first mattress. So long as its not a pillow top it should be fine. I worked in a day care with the infants and trust me when I say it can even take the heaviest of babies and still not get dented. We even had a very over weight baby and the mattress wasn’t too soft. Babies can sleep in anything. They don’t get body aches from sleeping in something uncomfortable.
As for the matter of worrying about the baby getting caught on the sides, then you can put bumpers and wedge it down on the sides for an extra tight fit. Make sure it isn’t way up where the baby can snuggle her/his face in it.
I wouldn’t use a stool myself because it would be to simple to step down wrong with the baby in your arms and fall if you are tired.
Another option would be to cut down the legs and re-inforce with brackets.
Or make extra holes higher up and attach the springs to that and lower it back down when the kid is taller or can stand.

Jeruba's avatar

This kind of governmental paternalism boggles my mind. Kids fall out of trees, but trees aren’t being recalled. They fall off chairs and out of windows. They can drown in two inches of water. Adding more laws can’t prevent all accidents. This certainly seems to be a case of overzealous regulation. What kind of law will they make when a short mother can’t reach her child quickly enough to save it from distress—or loses her balance on a stepstool—while using a crib with high, fixed sides?

I wonder what kind of market there is now in old cribs with this discontinued feature.

JLeslie's avatar

It seems like the crib should be able to be lower to the ground, adjustable in terms of total height, if the side is not able to go up and down. For the baby all that matters is the sides are high enough they won’t get out, it can be on the floor like a play pen.

@Jeruba Yeah, I feel that way about the decongestant Dimetapp. Best drug ever. People took it incorrectly, taking two at once, and a few had strokes or died and now after being on the market for many many many years, it was recalled.

I guess if the mom loses her balance on a stool the crib manufacturer won’t be sued.

Bellatrix's avatar

Couldn’t agree more @Jeruba and @JLeslie.

Jeruba's avatar

@JLeslie, no, the stool manufacturer will be. Or maybe the floor manufacturer.

JLeslie's avatar

By the way, here is the step I was thinking about. You can stack it to the height you need. But, it probably defeats the purpose of getting a free crib.

Maybe just put the baby in a drawer like the old days.

Bellatrix's avatar

Then people would have to sue the chest-of-drawer manufacturer if the baby falls out. Unless they have had the foresight to include a statement “these drawers are not designed to safely hold children”.

JLeslie's avatar

@Bellatrix I meant take it out of the dresser, pad it up, put it on a large low table.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Hell, @JLeslie. Leave the drawer in the dresser, put the kid in it, and close the drawer. They can’t fall out! : )

ohVaNiLLaGoRiLLa's avatar

Well you could always just get another mattress and put it on top of the other one so its taller. Or you could modify it yourself to fit your needs. Or just go out and buy a crib that you like.

Bellatrix's avatar

I wasn’t entirely serious @JLeslie. However, I have noticed some pretty crazy riders on goods over the years. Just in case someone does something silly and then sues.

JLeslie's avatar

@Bellatrix I’m not serious either, and yes there are incredibly ridiculous warnings on many items, because I guess some idiot sued after doing something stupid. Although, I think people did use drawers like bassinets when they did not have the means to buy something new, and would only be used for a few months.

Pandora's avatar

@Jeruba It is ridiculous. Most of the accidents probably occured from people not making sure the latch on the side was secure. When my kids were little I use to fear this would happen so I would push against the rails in both direction after putting them in the bed to make sure it was hooked back in place properly. Same thing. Now bumpers are considered dangerous because babies can sufficate and they claim the infant can get tangled up. How? Bumpers get tied in to the sides securely. I agree it isn’t always the items it is how people use them. Safty latches for toilets and all kinds of things. How about put dangerous things securely out of reach of toddlers. Be present with your infant or toddler or any small child when they are in the bathroom and check all safety features on any item that you trust to leave your child alone with before leaving them alone. But as you pointed out, even the safest enviroment isn’t going to keep them safe. The majority of safety comes from parents.

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