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

When should babies start wearing shoes?
How can you resist a cute pair of baby shoes, but do babies need to wear them?
Child wearing baby shoes outside

Everything about baby clothes is simply adorable. Who doesn't smile at seeing those cute little outfits? One part of a baby's wardrobe that really gets the happiness meter up is the shoes. Few things are more endearing than a pair of baby shoes. They can certainly serve to accessorize a mini fashionista or a stylin' stud muffin's ensemble. Besides being wonderfully charming, baby shoes also have an important function. Baby shoes protect little ones' precious toes while helping them on the journey to independence and mobility.

The decision of whether to buy the adorable shoes you just have to buy for baby does come with some questions. When should you buy baby shoes for your cutie? When should babies wear shoes? Should babies wear shoes when learning to walk or is bare feet better? Let's take our shoes off and find out.

Read more
Why you need baby earmuffs to protect your child from noise
No need to miss out on loud events with baby earmuffs
Baby with noise-canceling headphones

Loud noises can be annoying for most people, but for a baby, loud noises can negatively impact their hearing. Noisy environments can be more than just scary to your little one. The alarming fact is that long-term or even short periods of exposure to especially loud sounds can damage your newborn, infant, or toddler's sensitive inner ear — potentially leading to noise-induced hearing loss.

Unfortunately, severe damage to the hearing nerve is irreversible. If you suspect your young child may have some hearing loss, you will want to ask a doctor or specialist to perform tests. To help prevent hearing loss, you'll want to do everything you can to keep their ears healthy and safe, like getting a pair of baby earmuffs for your little one. Headphones for infants can actually give little ones the protective benefits of noise reduction. Want to know when to slap a pair on your peanut? Read on for all the important tips and info.

Read more
When can babies eat spinach? Don’t feed it to them too early
What you need to know about giving babies spinach
A highchair set up with a baby toy, sippy cup, and green baby food.

We all want to see our kids eat more green food, starting with the transition to solid foods as an infant. If you’re hoping your baby will be “strong to the finish,” just like Popeye by eating spinach regularly, then you may wonder when a suitable time would be to introduce that iron-rich food to your little one. This little green leaf's ability to pack on the nutrients makes it such a great food for parents to feed their tots.

But when are babies able to eat spinach safely? More importantly, how can you make spinach baby food that your child will actually eat? Let's break down the when and how to get your nugget to enjoy this mineral-rich superfood.

Read more