Is it Safe to Buy a Used Crib? (Yay or Nay and What To Look Out For)

Is it safe to buy a used crib is a common question among parents with a tight budget. And that’s understandable, given the conditions and financial situations that we currently live in.

But enough of the doom and gloom and let’s just focus if it’s OK to get a secondhand crib for your little one. 

As some parents, moms especially, feel super guilty about this decision.

Is it Safe to Buy a Used Crib?

Yes, it can be safe to buy a used crib, provided that it meets current safety standards, it doesn’t have any damage, and whatnot.

However, it’s essential to be aware of the potential risks associated with them. Especially with second-hand cribs that you don’t know the history of or are missing some parts, etc.

There has been an average of 50 infant deaths every year from the usage of secondhand cribs and that is a sobering statistic that every parent should take seriously.

This is why the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends against using a secondhand crib.

The Risk of Second Hand Cribs

It’s crucial to understand that when you buy a used crib, you might be taking on certain risks, such as the following:

Outdated Safety Standards: Older cribs may not meet current safety standards, putting your baby at risk of potential hazards.

Wear and Tear: Secondhand cribs may have wear and tear from previous use, which can compromise their structural integrity.

Recalls: There’s a possibility that the crib model you’re considering has been recalled due to safety concerns, which could put your baby’s safety at risk.

Missing Parts: Used cribs may be missing essential parts, such as screws, bolts, or safety features, making them unsafe for use.

Unsafe Modifications: Some individuals may have made modifications to the crib that don’t meet safety guidelines, posing a danger to your baby.

Drop-side Cribs: Drop-side cribs, which have movable sides, are banned in the US due to safety concerns. However, you may still encounter them when shopping for second-hand cribs.

Hygiene Concerns: Secondhand cribs may not be as clean and hygienic as new ones, potentially exposing your baby to allergens or germs. 

Unknown History: You may not know the history of the crib, including whether it has been involved in accidents or damaged in any way.

Lack of Assembly Instructions: Without the manufacturer’s instructions, it may be challenging to assemble the crib correctly, increasing the risk of safety issues.

Unverified Compliance: Ensuring that the crib complies with safety regulations and standards may be difficult with a secondhand crib, leading to uncertainties about its safety.

Taking these risks into consideration when contemplating a secondhand crib purchase is essential to make an informed decision that prioritizes the safety and well-being of your baby.

What To Look Out For in a Used Crib

Here are the factors you should consider if you want to accept or purchase a used crib:

Verify that it was made after June 2011

Newer cribs are designed to meet updated safety standards, making them a more reliable choice. Cribs manufactured after June 2011 adhere to these improved guidelines, so it’s advisable to choose one of these if possible.

Check for Recalls

Always double-check if the crib model you’re interested in has been subject to any recalls. 

While it is illegal in the US to sell a recalled crib, mistakes can happen, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. You can easily search for crib recalls on the CPSC website.

Say No To Drop-side Cribs

Drop-side cribs have been banned in the US due to safety concerns. 

These cribs have movable sides that can detach, posing a significant risk to a baby’s safety. Avoid them entirely and opt for a crib with fixed sides.

Ensure It’s Not Rickety, Damaged, or Modified

Give the crib a thorough physical examination. 

Shake it gently to check for stability. 

If it feels wobbly or unstable, it’s best to move on. Look for any signs of damage, such as cracked wood, splinters, or loose screws. 

Also, avoid cribs that have been modified in any way, as these alterations may compromise the crib’s safety.

Check It’s No Missing Parts & Conversion Kits

Make sure that all the crib’s original parts are present. 

Missing parts can compromise the crib’s structural integrity and safety. 

If the crib is convertible, ensure that it comes with the necessary conversion kits to transform it into a toddler bed or other configurations.

Comes with a Label & Instructions

A reliable used crib should still have its original label attached. 

This label provides essential information about the crib’s manufacturer, safety standards compliance, and recommended usage. 

Additionally, having the manufacturer’s instructions is important for ensuring that you can assemble and use the crib correctly and safely.

Properly Spaced Slats

Examine the space between the crib slats. 

They should be spaced appropriately, not too far apart to prevent your baby from getting stuck or slipping through. Ensure that no slats are loose or missing.

Related Article: How to Keep Baby’s Legs From Getting Stuck in Crib

Should You Buy a New Mattress for a Second-Hand Crib?

Yes, you should buy a new mattress for a second-hand crib.

Related Article: How to Choose a Crib Mattress (Buying Guide For Stressed Parents-To-Be)

A crib mattress plays a crucial role in your baby’s safety and comfort, and ensuring that it is clean, supportive, and free of wear and tear is essential. 

When using a new mattress, you can be confident that it meets current safety standards, fits the crib snugly without gaps, and provides the right level of firmness for your baby’s sleep. 

Reusing an old mattress or using a secondhand one may pose potential hygiene and safety concerns, so investing in a new, high-quality, best crib mattress is a wise choice to prioritize your baby’s well-being.

Is it OK to Use a Second-Hand Crib Mattress?

No, it is not OK to use a second-hand crib mattress due to possible hygiene and safety issues. 

The second-hand crib mattress could have gone through countless diaper leaks, diaper blowouts, or worse, and is not the best, safest choice for your baby.

So always get a new crib mattress for your baby, as it guarantees a clean and secure sleeping space for your baby.

What Baby Items Are Okay To Buy Second-Hand

Buying second-hand baby items can be a practical way to save money, especially since babies outgrow things quickly. However, not all baby items are suitable for second-hand purchase. Here are some baby items that are generally okay to buy secondhand:

Clothing: Babies often outgrow their clothes before they wear them out, so you can find gently used, stylish outfits at a fraction of the cost of new ones. Just make sure to wash and disinfect them before use.

Toys: Toys are another excellent option for secondhand shopping. Babies and young children can enjoy toys regardless of whether they are new or gently used. Be sure to inspect toys for any broken or loose parts that could pose a choking hazard.

Baby Gear: Items like playpens, and playmats can be cost-effective secondhand purchases, but check for safety recalls and ensure they are in good condition.

Books and Educational Materials: Baby books, puzzles, and educational materials are often in great condition when sold secondhand. These items can provide valuable learning experiences for your child.

Baby Monitors: Baby monitors are often available secondhand and can be a useful purchase if they are in working order. Ensure that the monitor’s range and features meet your specific needs.

Baby Bath Tubs: Used baby bathtubs can be a practical choice, but check for any signs of wear and ensure they are clean and free of mold or mildew.

Diaper Bags: A second-hand diaper bag can be an economical choice, as long as it’s clean and in good condition.

FAQ on Buying Second-Hand Crib

Is it OK to use a second-hand crib?

It’s okay to use a second-hand crib as long as it meets current safety standards and you have vetted it and checked it thoroughly, based on the guidelines provided in this article.

How do you disinfect a used crib?

You can disinfect a used crib by using a mild detergent, warm water, and a soft cloth to clean all surfaces thoroughly. Avoid harsh chemicals that could damage the crib parts and are harmful to your baby.

What to avoid when buying a crib?

Avoid drop-side cribs, older cribs that do not meet current safety standards, and any crib with signs of damage or modification.

How do I know if my crib mattress is safe?

You will know if your crib mattress is safe by checking that it fits snugly in the crib without any gaps around the edges. It should also be firm and supportive, and is CPSC certified. 

Is it Safe to Buy a Used Crib: Final Thoughts

While it’s true that used cribs can be hazardous, with proper research and diligence, you can find a safe and affordable option for your baby’s nursery. 

I’ve given our crib to a relative and it’s a crib that’s only been used for a year (my kid started climbing out of it). It was still in great condition so they really saved a lot on that!

But remember, it’s not just about cost savings; it’s about ensuring your baby’s well-being from the very beginning.

So if you’re deciding to get a used crib or your in-laws or friends are insisting on giving you a secondhand crib, just remember to go through the used crib safety checklists here and vet the secondhand crib thoroughly first, before buying or accepting it.

I hope you find this “Is it safe to buy a used crib” article useful. If you like this guide, then make sure to check our other articles, such as Have a Baby On A Budget: 40 Tips To Save Money, Do Cribs Expire?, and Crib Placement and Nursery Layout Ideas.

Julie