Skip to main content

NewFolks may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Are drop-side cribs safe?

While they may seem convenient to use, drop-side cribs can pose a serious safety hazard. Their manufacture and sale has been banned in the United States and Canada. Organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend they not be used. Let’s learn about drop-side cribs and the dangers associated with them.

Baby sleeping in a crib
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The history of the crib

The earliest raised beds designed specifically for children date back to the early 1600s in what is now Italy. They evolved to look more like modern-day cribs in the 19th century. Cribs once were an item made by traditional woodworkers, and while handmade cribs are still available, mass-produced beds are more common. In the United States, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has regulated crib manufacturing standards since 1973.

Why these cribs were banned

Drop-side cribs were especially popular in America up until their ban in 2011. These types of infant beds allowed a caregiver to more easily access a child by simply lowering one side of the crib, which unfortunately created a gap that babies could get stuck in. After more than 30 infant deaths from strangulation and suffocation, the CPSC prohibited the use of these cribs in homes as well as motels, hotels, and child care facilities. In addition, the safety commission required more stringent safety tests for cribs, stronger mattress supports, and sturdier hardware.

Modern-day recommendations

Baby boy lying in crib

All of those soft, cuddly items that used to be common in cribs also can be hazardous. The AAP suggests that to avoid the risk of suffocation, infants sleep in a crib (not drop-side) with a firm mattress and no blankets, bumpers, stuffed animals, or any other soft object. In addition, infants should sleep in their own bed near their parents (not co-sleep) on their backs to reduce the chance of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

In a nutshell, drop-side cribs are not considered safe. Older cribs, perhaps those that have been handed down through generations, may not meet modern safety standards. Check the width of the gaps between slats, among other measurements as explained by the CPSC on any used crib you purchase. There also are immobilizer kits for purchase online that will turn a drop-side crib into a fixed-side crib.

Want more? Read on further to find crib-training solutions for your baby.

Editors' Recommendations

Baby play mat ins and outs: What age you should get one and the benefits for baby’s development
Play mats are fun for babies of all ages
Smiling baby on colorful play mat

There seems to be an endless array of baby gear available for little ones as they grow and develop, and it can be hard to determine which products are worth the investment. Play mats are a must-have item for many babies because they can provide endless fun and stimulation for your little one, not to mention allowing them to play on their own.

A play mat gives your child a comfortable spot where they can play on their back or their tummy and practice rolling over while also giving parents a nice break from holding or entertaining their baby. It's also a nice place where baby's classic toys are within easy reach for your mini human. 

Read more
What is a nanny? How to hire the right nanny for your needs
Looking to hire a nanny? Here's how
Frustrated mom in need of nanny

Finding the right childcare for your family is challenging whether you're returning to work following a maternity leave or transitioning from being a stay-at-home mom back into the workforce. It's never an easy decision to leave your kids during the day to go to work.

While some parents have family to rely on to watch the kiddos, many don't. Their options boil down to daycare centers. Other parents opt to hire a nanny to care for the children during the workday to allow the kids to stay in the familiar environment of their own home. Nannies have been caring for children for ages, but exactly what is a nanny, and how do parents go about finding one?

Read more
What age do babies crawl and when you should worry if they’re not
How to encourage babies to crawl
A baby crawling away from their parent.

Baby's first year is full of super exciting milestones. A monumental one is when your little one begins to be mobile by crawling. Crawling opens up a whole new world for your baby as well as you. Of course, with crawling comes a lot of concerns like what is your baby going to get into as well as worries if your guy or gal isn't. So, at what age do babies crawl? We've got everything you need to know about crawling including what to do if your baby hasn't hit that milestone yet.

At what age do babies crawl
Baby milestones are of course exciting and adorable. Proud parents can't wait to capture those special milestone moments for themselves, family, and friends. Milestones are important for other reasons though. Milestones like rolling over and crawling build upon one another and eventually lead to walking. According to the Mayo Clinic, most babies begin crawling between seven to nine months. Of course, this is only a range which means some little ones may begin crawling earlier or later. Some babies also skip the crawling stage and move right into cruising. There are different types of crawling too. So, let's take a look at common crawling questions parents may have about this monumental milestone.
Types of crawling
For the most part, there are five different types of crawling. Just the like age babies begin to crawl, there isn't a right or a wrong way to do it. The method babies use to crawl is the ideal way for them to do it. These are the basic methods for crawling.

Read more