What Should You Do With Drop-Side Cribs?

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 Is that advice suddenly outdated?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?


  1. We had registered our crib when we bought it in 2005 for our first child and when the first drop-side recalls began to happen, the company sent us the conversion kit to make it stationary. Ours was made by Graco. My younger son slept safely and now my nephew is snoozing in it too. 🙂

  2. Sarah K. says

    I purchased a Graco crib (one of the Simplicity cribs) in 2004 for our first child. It went through several rounds of recalls/fixes , me feeling more uncomfortable about the crib each time. Finally, they just recalled all models and said to take it back to the retailer (in 2010). So I took it back to Target and got the full price back!

    I do think we should do our best to get drop-side cribs off the (new or used) market. You never know where it will go after you hand it down. I think the main problem with many of these these cribs is that they are cheaply made and the hardware is not durable. So it is best to check it our carefully and make sure it has all the instructions before handing it down to another family.

  3. Courtney says

    I thought the ban was also on the selling side of the market, new or used.

  4. This kind os saddens me because I slept in a dropside, as did my brother, and so did most of my peers. We all survived. The problem is not drop side cribs – it is the severe decline in quality manufacturing. If my parents still had our crib, I would use it without qualms. But instead we had to spend a large amount of money for a crib that really isn’t all that well made anyway. Which is why we skipped the lifetime cribs. I figured if they didn’t even look all that great in the store, they probably wouldn’t hold up over a “lifetime”.

  5. Jennifer,
    That’s exactly why I think we’ll pass our daughter’s drop side crib onto another family. It’s a solid maple Childcraft crib that’s extremely well built and sturdy. In our book we also recommend passing on the “lifetime” cribs because you also often have to buy lots of additional hardware to adapt it to the different stages of baby’s life.

    It’s my understanding that consignment shops won’t sell dropside cribs, but I believe individuals can. We’ll probably just donate ours, but I’ll make sure that the next family knows about crib immobilizers.

  6. We never used our second-hand drop side crib as intended…we removed the drop side entirely, and connected the frame to our bed as a co-sleeper/sidecar. If we were traditional crib users, I’d likely feel comfortable using the hardware to make the side stationary.

    Interesting to think about all the recalls and recommendations about cribs, bumpers, etc; wondering how the numbers compare to co-sleeping death and injuries?

  7. The bumper pads on that crib are probably far more dangerous than the dropsides on the crib. Go to the American Academy of Pediatrics for information on Safe Sleep. No bumper pads, no stuffed toys, no pillows, no quilts etc in the crib…all put babies at risk for SIDS!

  8. I loved our drop-side crib, even recommended it to a friend. I could not imagine me (5′ 1″) being able to pick up my infant son out of his crib at nearly 10 lbs. without a drop-side. I passed it on to another family, duly warned about the “issues,” and they are very happy also. No matter what you put your baby in you have to be vigilant. I think drop-sides are getting a bad rap.

  9. I have 2 Pali drop side down cribs. Just beautiful & sturdy. Hate to throw them away. Will give them away for free. Please email me. I live in the Cleveland, Ohio area.

  10. I have to two Pali drop side down cribs that are just beautiful (no teeth marks) and very very sturdy. I hate to throw them away. Will give away for free. I live in the Cleveland, Ohio area. Please email me at rxhines@netzero.net if you are interested.

  11. Stacey Stanley says

    We live in North Grafton, MA, near boston, and have a great drop side crib to give away. Please email if interested: glissonagain@hotmail.com. If you live within 40 miles, I’ll deliver it to you.

  12. Megan Donovan says

    So glad everyone is just giving away drop down cribs despite the ban. Way to think of others and their children.

  13. What will they ban next? If sleep deprived parent were not leaning on the drop side to begin with trying to get their babies to fall to sleep again there would not be this problem. Are the cribs dangerous or have lack of care for them made them dangerous. I know what it is like to try and get a baby back to sleep in the middle of the night. You just want to lean somewhere while your waiting for this little bundle of joy to fall back to sleep. So manufacturing problem? Doubt it. Parent problem, that my opinion. What is so wrong with turning the drop down side towards the wall? Common sense people. It’s not that hard.

    It makes me wonder how any of our past generations ever survived.

  14. I bought my DROP SIDE CRIB 35 years ago when my first child was born. My youngest is 24. I am SO HAPPY that I did not get rid of this crib. I use it now with my grandson, who I babysit 2 days a week.

    The dropside cribs made 30+ years ago where much better made than the ones made about 20 years ago. The frame of my crib is very rigid and sturdy. No chance of the crib collapsing, and the mechanism for lowering the side is such that it will not accidently drop. Fortunately, both sides drop.

    My son and his wife are tall (I’m 5ft) so putting their boy in the crib is not much of an issue for them. Now that they had to lower the mattress to the lowest level, because grandson is standing, I now have to use a step stool to put him the crib. I had to build a wide and sturdy step stool, just so I could be assured of safety. NEVER have that concern with my DROP SIDE CRIB. I love it.

    I probably will NEVER get rid of my crib, and I am sure my children will be fighting over who will get to keep my drop side crib when I am done babysitting. My daughters-in-law all wish they could have this crib.

    The crime is that manufacturers began making a good product in a shoddy fashion that a great idea is now banned.

  15. I shudder to think what would have happened to my sons IF I did not have a drop side crib when they were babies. My sons loved to jump and bounce and I am certain they would have catapulted themselves out of today’s cribs and been very badly hurt.

    My youngest brother is 52 years old (8 years younger than I). I remember my parents had a contraption that attached to the side rail to raise it, making it impossible for him to climb out of the crib. Fortunately for me, they were pack rats and did not throw it away. I did not need it with my two older sons, but needed it for my youngest.

    He was climbing out of the crib by the time he was 16 months old. Putting him in a bed was not an option. Yes, he had physical abilities, but not the understanding of limitations. He figured out how to pick every lock in the house and every safety latch before he was 2 years old. If I did not have that bed rail extender, I would never have gotten a minutes sleep. Before the rail extender was attached to his crib he would wake in the middle of the night and wander all over the house. One night he stacked up the entire encyclopedia and shimmied up the 7 foot wall unit in the living room. Fortunately for all of us, the wall unit was bolted to the wall studs and could not topple over. I am certain if crib rail extenders were made recently, they would be banned as well.


  16. catherine goldsmith says

    Just had to add – the old drop side cribs had ALL METAL hardware. In their infinite wisdom, the crib companies eventually started using plastic slides which don’t hold up over time. What a terrible waste to put all those cribs in the landfill! I hope to get immobilizer parts so that I can pass on our two cribs.

  17. I agree that the problem lies with the manufacturers. Many of our goods today are not as well made as they were 30+ years ago- especially those made overseas. Cheap materals, cheap construction= cheap prices. We have a beautiful, well-made, and therefore- expensive drop side crib. Our youngest still sleeps in it. I am not worried about it collapsing on him or about the sides separating and entrapping him. When visiting grandparents- both of our children slept in the drop side crib my mom still has. Both of my brothers and I slept in that crib. It is sturdy and made of solid wood and metal hardware- not particle board and plastic like many of the cribs under recall.

  18. We recieved a drop side crib as a gift for our son in 2008 its beautiful and seemed well made all wood with metal bolts ect when i got to the parts wile putting it together that made it a dropside the pieces were plastic i was worried about this being that this part of te crib would be moveing up and down on a regular bases i was so worried about it that i NEVER moved the side up and down out of fear for the plastic breaking when my son was about a year old i heard him wake up from his nap and went to go get him he was in his crib and when he saw me began to jump up and down in excitement and in doing so snapped the plastic! He was unharmed thankfully but the crib was leaning to one side and i had a massive panic attack that was the scarest moment of my life seeing my sons crib collaps with him in it!…….the companys who make products for children need to be reminded who these products are for babies our children are being put in danger so that these companies can make even more money sad if u think about it……i found out about two months later that our crib had been recalled and a month or two after that the reason was because a cild had died and some 30 others hurt because of that one plastic peace breaking ……..all dropside cribs made between 00′ & now should be thrown away or repaired with the immobilizer kit it should not be passed on to another family who may have no idea the danger of these cribs

  19. Bob Corbin says

    I have a Stickley Furniture, Mission Oak, beautifull crib, IT IS A DROP SIDED CRIB.

    It is in fantastic shape, looks new! I pais $1800 for this crib.

    If you know of anyone who is interested in quality crib please email me.
    The drop side issue can be dealt with!

    Stickley make high quality furniture and not junk,,,,hate to see this crib not be used.

    Bob Corbin

  20. All three of my children slept in a drop side crib. I’m 5 ft and almost cracked a rib putting my granddaughter in her crib! The crib I had for my children was made around 1978. It is solid maple with sturdy steel parts. My kids jumped in it like all kids do. It never loosened one bit! Come on people they can put a man on the moon! You mean to tell me they can’t manufacture a safe drop side crib? That’s ridiculous!

  21. Melissa I was just reviewing your post. You stated your son was jumping in his crib and the “plastic” part broke. Maybe that’s the problem. Cheaply made cribs. The crib I had for my three kids would still be standing after a nuclear blast! It was made of solid wood and all metal parts. I believe Simmons was the manufacture.

  22. Hi, I have a 12 year old dropside Pali crib that needs casters and wondered if anyone, before they toss out their Pali crib, would be willing to part with them.

  23. Katrina Schmidt says

    So we have a Jenny Lind crib and got a kit from the manufacturer which made it so the drop downs didn’t go down all the way. Are they not supposed to come down at all now?

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