Secondhand or Heirloom Cribs

In these tough economic times, parents are pinching pennies anywhere they can. A new nursery can cost as little or as much as you are willing to spend. Whether by choice or necessity, parents are increasingly buying second hand products. From garage sales, auctions, thrift stores or friends and family, parents are finding ways to cut costs on baby gear.

Secondhand cribs

Cribs and bassinets are a popular hand-me-down product because they often carry sentimental value if it’s passed down through generations. There have been great advancements in crib safety over the past 30, 20 and even 10 years. With the risk of hurting anyone’s feelings, it is really important to check that the crib or bassinet meets current safety standards such as crib slat width and corner post height just to name a few. Hand-me-down cribs and bassinets have a greater chance of missing parts, since it’s most likely been reassembled numerous times and traveled.

Did you know age is a factor in the safety of any crib? At a minimum, the CPSC recommends that you not use a crib that is older than 10 years.

If you are on a tight budget, buying second hand is a good alternative, however it is vital you follow a few basic rules to ensure you aren’t compromising safety for price:

  • Parents should check to see if a recall has been issued and/or if repair parts are available for a crib that is being reused. Visit: www.recalls.gov for recall information.
  • Don’t forget to frequently inspect products for missing hardware, loose threads and strings, holes and tears.
  • Be sure to look for the JPMA Certification Seal for added assurance the product was built with safety in mind.
  • Prior to using a hand-me-down crib, be sure that all manufacturer’s instructions and labeling are still intact and legible.
  • Put safety before price- even if it’s the deal of the century! This means inspecting the product in detail. Don’t buy any product if it has anything “out of sorts”.
  • Do not purchase cribs at a garage sale, thrift shop or other online auction sites as products sold are not checked for recalls or regulated by the government or industry.
  • Items sold at second-hand locations have a higher chance of having missing, broken or loose parts.

The Bottom Line!

New products meeting current safety standards are the safest option. However, if it is imperative to use older products, make sure they have not been recalled, meet current safety standards and have all the manufacturer instructions and labeling requirements. Most importantly, err on the side of caution and safety and use your best judgment if you must buy second hand baby products or take hand-me-downs. If you are unsure of the safety of any used baby product, it's better to buy new or seek an alternative.