Hand-me-downs are a great way to go with baby stuff because you need so much gear. There are a couple things I wouldn’t go used on, though: car seats, for one, because you never know if they have been in an accident, and cribs. There always seem to be recalls on cribs.
Last month, the Consumer Product Safety Commission banned manufacturing or selling cribs with movable drop-down sides. These cribs are supposed to help caretakers get kids in and out more easily, but their design makes it possible for babies to become trapped between the movable side and the mattress, which is a suffocation risk. More than 9 million of these cribs have been recalled since 2007, and tragically, they are responsible for the deaths of at least 32 babies. If you own a drop-side crib, check the CPSC website to see if it has been recalled. To be safe, stop using the crib altogether.
When shopping for a crib, you are faced with so many brands, styles, and colors—not to mention figuring out which cribs are good quality and safe. Luckily, I learned about the book Baby Bargains, which gives a letter grade for all baby equipment. You have to check out this book; it saved me from some really bad purchase decisions. I was about to buy a beautiful crib when I got the book and discovered it received an “F” grade. Fantastic, I was about to buy my baby a beautiful death trap.