For many expectant families the new The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) ban on the manufacture of drop side cribs won’t be an issue. It’s easy to pick out a non-drop side crib and there are several eco-friendly option including the DaVinci Kalani Convertible Baby Crib or the DaVinci Richmond 4-in-1 Crib each of which go for just under $250.

Still, what about those of us who bought used cribs, or are still using drop side cribs that we bought for our first child? In The Eco-nomical Baby Guide, we suggest that families consider buying a used crib if it’s in excellent condition. Is that advice suddenly outdated? Should we all turn our cribs into sweet pea trellises and invest in another piece of furniture? What about cribs that we’re done using? Are they safe enough to be passed on to another family?

Happily, families can now get a free crib immobilizer kit that will make any drop side crib into a safe, stationary sleeping space for baby. Most manufacturers offer them at no charge, but if your company is not listed on the previous link you can also buy the crib immobilizer hardware for about ten bucks online and install it in under an hour. Even though we never bought this device, early on I simply stopped using the drop side option for our crib. The intensity of sleep deprivation made my sad memory even worse than ever and I was worried that I’d forget to put the side back up while stumbling out of my baby’s room after a late night feeding.

I will be passing our used Childcraft drop-side model on and sharing the information about a crib immobilizer kit with the next family to use our sturdy baby bed. It hardly seems worthwhile for every family in America to trash their cribs and buy new ones, but I do want parents to feel safe about their baby cribs.

What’s your take on drop side crib recycling or reusing? Do you know of any other resources for green-minded families?