Used baby furniture like cribs can really save you some big bucks. However, I suggest going with lightly used baby...
Used baby furniture like cribs can really save you some big bucks. However, I suggest going with lightly used baby furniture as opposed to "been through the wringer and back" furniture. Used furniture is no bargain if it breaks or if it's in such bad shape that it harms your baby. Cribs: You actually can put your baby in a used crib even though you may have heard it's unwise. The best recommendation is to only use a used crib that's coming from a friend because you do need to check it out. You don't want to buy a used crib at the thrift store only to find out later that's it's been recalled. If a friend has a crib for you, check with the manufacturer to see if the crib has been recalled. You'll need the crib style and usually a product number. Then check with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website -- they list recalls. Finally check out the crib yourself. Here's what to look for:
  • Corner posts are the same height as end panels.
  • The spaces between the crib slats (or rails) need to be under 2 3/8 inches. No slats can be missing or loose.
  • All the crib should be strongly put together; this means no loose screws, no missing bolts, and no loose anything (legs, slats, etc.).
  • Never take a crib with designs cut into the end slats because your baby could get trapped in the design.
  • Make sure the entire crib is smooth with no splinters or rough areas. Also make sure paint isn't chipping off -- although if you want to refinish the crib than chipping paint is fine since it's coming off anyhow.
  • Don't take a crib older than five to eight years. Safety standards are always improving and it makes no sense to go with outdated standards.
Lastly, something I suggest is an internet search. Simply enter the name of your crib followed by the word, "Safety" you'll likely get some hits that can tell you if someone else has had an issue with the crib. This all sounds like a lot of work. However, new cribs can cost $250 and upwards while even a very well-done crib inspection won't take you more than a few hours so it can be worth it.

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