Now what am I supposed to do with it? As of yesterday, my crib, along with millions of other drop-side cribs, has been outlawed from manufacture, sale, and resale. I’ve been saving our crib in the attic “just in case” and also for potential grandchildren. We got it in 1996, so that thing is ancient. It’s a double drop-side, so I guess it’s twice as deadly. Now I can’t give it away or sell it in a yard sale, and apparently I would have to be the worst mother on the earth to consider ever using it again.
This post by FreeRange Kids author Lenore Skenazy provides some great reaction to the issue of how deadly these cribs really are. Skenazy points out that 3 deaths per year, which is the number attributed to drop-side cribs over the last nine years, is an incredibly small number when you consider that about 4 million babies are born each year in the United States. Certainly, the death of a child is tragic, especially when it is due to a freakish accident. And that’s exactly what these crib-related deaths are. Do we need the government to step in with regulations to protect us from every possibly freak accident? If so, stay tuned for rules regarding everything from zippers (It really hurts when you get skin caught in them!), stoves (They get HOT, you know.), Peanut M&Ms (They must be a choking hazard.), Snuggies (You could fall asleep under one and suffocate–or be late for something important!), and every other tool or device that separates us from animals.
Getting back to the crib, though, I hate to think of the injuries that would have occurred if I had been forced to use a fixed-side crib. I’m short with short arms, you see, so even with the drop-side, it was a reach for me to place a baby in the crib or take one out. I spent many long hours in the middle of the night in the rocking chair wondering if baby was asleep soundly enough for me to risk
dropping laying her/him in the crib. Often, I jumped the gun; then, back to the rocker we went. Babysitters often are shorter than I am. Imagine a petite, young sitter trying to put baby in a new, fixed-side crib gently.
It’s hard to believe that I, along with millions of other parents over the years, have been doing it wrong when it comes to putting our babies to sleep. In fact, my kids both slept in my mom’s really ancient old crib without falling through the too-widely-spaced bars or getting stuck in its drop-side or even getting tangled up in its plush bumper. What was I thinking?!! I guess the only way to truly protect your baby from every protruding piece, collapsing part, or entanglement is to wear him/her in a sling all day and sleep with baby next to you all night. But wait. Some people have problems with that, too. Now I’m really confused.