Some (Non-Mainstream) Thoughts on the Crib Recall

Hi Readers — I’m going to be blunt: The ban on the sale, resale and manufacture of all drop-side cribs does not make sense. Here’s why:

Over the past nine years, 32 children have died in these cribs. That is tragic. My heart sinks thinking about it.  But — and yes, there IS a but, and this “but” does not make me a heartless bean counter, or a crazed Free-Ranger who laughs in the face of danger (I am, at base, a nervous mom) — we are talking about roughly 3 deaths a year in a country where about 4 million babies are born annually. That is, about one death per million.

That does not prove that the cribs are UNsafe. It proves that the cribs ARE pretty safe. Safer than stairs (1300 deaths/year), safer than eating (about 70 kids under age 10 choke to death on food each year), safer than just sitting there and the next thing you know, you’re bitten by a venomous spider (5 deaths/year).

I realize that these stats are jumbled — they are not the deaths of infants, whose main cause of death is birth defects (5623/year) — but my point is that 3 deaths a year from any cause for any large population is almost something that statisticians call “de minimus.” Not that these deaths don’t count. Of course they do! But when a cause of death is that rare, you can’t base your life on it, or you couldn’t do anything. Go outside? No, there are spiders! Go downstairs? No, you could trip! Eat a sandwich? No, you could choke! (And then would you sue Wonder Bread?)

As for cribs, one reason the drop-side models seem so “dangerous” is because they are so popular. When you have millions of people using anything, no matter how safe, the odds of an accident go up because the odds go up with the numbers. That’s why it’s more likely an American will die in a car accident than a bucking bronco accident. Doesn’t mean that cars are inherently less safe than bucking broncos. The odds also go up because with millions of people assembling these things, some are bound to do it wrong, which seems to have been the case in many of these tragedies.

I don’t want to get into a huge discussion of crib design, but the recall list includes some of the biggest baby-product manufacturers around, like Even Flo and Child Craft. I am sure they tested their cribs because no company deliberately puts dangerous products on the market, if only because they know they could be sued up the wazzoo. And children’s product manufacturers know that better than anyone. Think of all the products recalled for tiny infractions, like a protruding screw.

And yet my own senator, Kristin Gillibrand (D., NY) is quoted in yesterday’sDaily News saying, “These products are deadly, and this critically needed action will prevent further senseless deaths.”

Ah, but what will prevent further, senseless grandstanding? These products are not deadly. There’s a difference between a deadly product (cyanide) and a product that sometimes results in death (a grape). We keep obscuring that difference, and congratulating the folks who act as if it is only a lack of vigilance that allows anyone to die of anything other than old age.

This is the same impossible standard we then go on to apply to parents: The idea that if anything bad EVER happens to ANY child, it is because the parent was “defective.” And what is the result? Helicoptering! Truly, one reason parents today are so obsessive and fearful is that this is society’s norm: Worry about every possible, if extremely unlikely, thing that COULD go wrong and spend your days ACTIVELY trying to prevent them all.

The truth is: I love the idea of the government keeping us safe from dangerous products. It is the definition of “dangerous” that has gone awry. Next the Consumer Product Safety Commission may train its sights on balls because, in their inherent roundness, these sometimes roll into the street, and some kids running out to get them get hit by cars. Moreover, there are millons of balls in Americans’ homes, making balls a far bigger danger than, say, battery-operated guillotines. That is why, if I am ever elected Senator, I will not rest until we redesign the bouncy ball. A slightly boxier one would make our kids safer, would it not?

Elect me and I will make sure our nation has no more balls. – Lenore

Minimize risk? Yes. Eliminate all risk? Impossible.

254 Responses

  1. I hate to say it Lenore, but we lost our balls during the Bush administration.

  2. Hear, hear.

  3. Great close, Lenore! After they run you out of town you have a gret future as a speechwriter for members of the Texas Legislature, which, as Molly Ivins remarked, leaves many a village without an idiot when it convenes.

    I smelled a rat when I first read of this ban – there is no way that an industry as closely scrutinized as child products could get away with an inherently dangerous, deadly design for so long. Thanks for clearing up the stats – Lord, I shudder when I think of the things that there are a one-in-a-million chance I could die of. Rabid wombats rampaging thru the streets of Houston, for example. Somebody should pass a law, and, of course, make many, many speechs on TV.

  4. Unfortunately, you may be too late as far as “having no balls” goes.

    I agree with your comments, and I’d like to add that there are safety and economic benefits to drop-side cribs. When a child is able to climb out of his crib (as my brother started to do at 9 mos), dropping the side converts the crib side to a sort of ladder – a much safer way to climb out than flinging one’s top-heavy body over a high crib railing. At the same time, the railing is still there to keep the child from rolling out of the bed while he sleeps. I would bet that this design has actually prevented injuries and perhaps deaths. And, for many families, it avoids the need for a transition product between crib and regular bed.

    Have you noticed that cribs with drop sides are often the most economical options out there? It’s no wonder the pricier crib manufacturers have been pushing for this law. Cha-ching! More expensive cribs AND more toddler bed sales!

    Now back to the safety aspects – a drop side crib is safer for parents under many circumstances. When your baby is too little to stand or sit up, if you don’t have a drop side, you have to reach way the heck down there to get your kid. If you are short, or have back problems, or are pregnant, this is uncomfortable at best, unsafe at worst.

    Most importantly, if I want to buy a crib that requires careful assembly and maintenance, that should be MY business. (For the record, I bought and assembled two drop-side cribs for my daughters and I’m very happy with them – they work great, they look great, and they have been perfectly safe, because I put them together right – and I do not have a certification in product assembly, LOL.)

    But my big question is, when are they going to take away other parenting choices that have at least a remote risk of being unsafe? Will two-story homes be banned due to the unacceptable risks posed by stairs? Surely cars will be banned in short order, that’s a no-brainer. Stoves? Definitely on their way out. I mean, frankly, it’s hard to think of many things that are MORE safe around a mobile baby / tot than a drop-side crib. So what’s next on the list? I think it depends on who’s putting up the lobbying dollars.

  5. Your comparison between things deadly and things that “sometimes cause death” is so bang on. And that last line… so very well written. 😉

  6. The way I see it, you have to compare alternatives. So, drop-side cribs cause 3 deaths per year, which obviously is horrible. But how many deaths will result from short people (I am 5 feet tall and had a lot of trouble with our non-drop-side crib) dropping their babies while trying to get them over the stupid too-tall rail? Is it more or fewer than 3 per year?

  7. Long time reader, first time caller.

    Usually I agree with you, but on this I think you’re wrong.

    I just spent an hour “converting” my son’s drop-side crib into a toddler bed. Yes, we had already added the bolt to “fix” the drop side. I’m relatively familiar with the mechanism. I’m relatively handy. And I’m highly doubtful that I could put the crib back together safely.

    Thankfully, the recall made it clear that there was some risk if I screwed it up. When I reassemble it for baby #2, I’ll use the bolt to “fix” the drop side again.

    From a statistical point of view, I’m not one of 4 million…I’m one of the few who re-assemble these cribs. And if I’m going to have a hard time, I’d like everyone to be fully aware that this is hard. People who willingly violate this law will at least be aware that they need to pay attention while reassembling.

    This is not a case of trying to control the outside world. This is as basic as outlet covers for toddlers.

  8. I think its wonderful, actually. Perhaps it will help people lean towards cosleeping which is the more natural, healthier, and yes, SAFER way for babies to sleep.

  9. Finally, someone with some sense! It is totally impractical to retrieve every danger to our kids. We might as well recall all the rocks of the earth (or not let our kids go outside to play) because, hey!, they just might trip over and break a bone. I honestly think that people have lost their minds when it comes to our children’s “safetly”. It truly is the parent that is deffective and irresponsible but THEY have to blame SOMEONE! Love your opinionated post

  10. I want to know when these people who profess to just want to make us all safer are going to ban cars? Because those things kill WAY more people than any sort of crib.
    What a bunch of baloney (although I fully admit I sound hypocritical, as I avoided a drop side crib thinking it was dangerous for my son, without researching further. That’s what I get for listening to the news, I guess).

  11. Dan, I have no problem with a warning. For years, we’ve been hearing warnings about injuries & deaths from improperly assembled drop-side cribs. I don’t think anyone is complaining about information being disseminating. It’s a complete ban on drop-sides that is very wrong.

    I should also note that there are different ways to design drop-side cribs, and some designs are safer than others. Yet no consideration has been given to this fact, either.

    I think this will have the unintended consequence of having people keep recycling used drop-side cribs, which will end up being more dangerous than buying new ones. (And then of course, drop-side cribs will appear even more dangerous.)

  12. Another excellent piece. The REAL reason the drop-rail crib was banned is that the crib-making industry doesn’t have nearly the clout or funds to buy protection from regulation. That’s what allows ubiquitous health dangers — like high-calorie snacks, beverages and fast foods — to go not only unchecked but widely advertised to kids.

  13. And Dan, I don’t believe outlet covers are required by law.

  14. I don’t agree. We know stairs are dangerous to babies, that’s why we put up baby gates or somehow keep than away from stairs until they are old enough to not kill themselves. This product is a CHILD’S BED. The number of babies killed because of the manufacture (and that includes difficulty in construction) o their beds should be zero. I believe dropside cribs were banned a long tine ago in Europe.

    No, 3 children per year is not many compaired to many other causes of death. But it’s pretty hard, when dealing with a product designed for children, and used appropriately for their age group, to draw the line where this many deaths are ok, but this many are not. For years now, we’ve been tolerating voluntary recalls on dropside cribs that have been proven to be a potential hazard. They haven’t managed to get it right yet.

    Streets are dangerous. Small objects you don’t notice are dangerous. Cribs shouldn’t be.

  15. I love this post! I grew up hearing my step-Dad (a scientist) say, “there are lies, damn lies, and statistics”. You are exactly on point- there is rarely context given for the numbers and I love the way you created the context for this one. Everyone (somewhat understandably) freaks out when they hear that a kid got injured or died from something, but they still do all sorts of things that we KNOW are dangerous (as you said, driving, feeding them, etc).

    The hysteria about danger makes me crazy sometimes, especially as a parent of a child with a life threatening illness. Sometimes bad crap happens. It happened to us. It’s not always avoidable or someone’s fault. I’d rather try to live my life focusing on what is good rather than live feeling like there is danger lurking around every corner. I can’t protect my kid from everything and I know that, so I choose to use my common sense and live knowing that I can’t control everything. It’s a challenge sometimes, but I think it’s the only sane way to go.

  16. Good point, SKL! If a product PREVENTS 100 deaths per million while causing (or allowing) 1 death per million, it is a safer product despite that one death.

    And also good point on cost-versus-safety, and who benifits (the manufacturer of more expensive products) from banning a low-cost alternative. Obviously, all children would be safer riding in a half-million dollar custom-armored European mega-vehicle, so all other vehicles should be banned… for the sake of the children. If you can’t afford one, you are a Bad Parent.

  17. @SKL The consumer reports pick for top economical crib is an Ikea fixed side crib for under $200.

  18. My wife is short. She cannot reach our son with the side up. We’ll keep using our drop-side crib.

    I would like someone to explain exactly how the kids injured or killed “by” drop-side cribs were hurt. I haven’t seen this anywhere. Does someone have a link? Is it that parents forget to put the side up and the kid climbs out? Is it that the kid somehow manages to drop the side and somehow gets caught in some bizarre way?

  19. I was thinking the same thing about the recall. I have a fixed crib but mainly because I thought it was cuter and I hated those drop sided ones when I babysat (gasp!) as a 13 year old way back when kids could babysit.
    By the way, I’m currently reading your book and enjoying it. Thanks!

  20. Kelly, I would love to see the statistics showing that co-sleeping is safer. Do it if you choose, but how is it safer?

  21. Thank you Lenore! I have been feeling the SAME way about this recall!

  22. I bought a Graco drop-side crib (made by LaJobi) 2 years ago. The plastic hardware on the drop-side failed twice, and one of the screws for the hardware fell out due to the screw hole getting too large for the screw. The manufacturer replaced the entire crib with a non-drop-side model. In my opinion the problem was due to using plastic hardware. Plastic is not durable enough for the amount of stress a crib goes through but people seem to prefer cribs with ‘invisible’ hardware.

    I’m a relatively relaxed parent but the one place I feel my child should be completely safe is her crib. It’s the only place she is left completely unattended (because we are sleeping too).

  23. I’ll add another reason this is an economic waste: It’s wasting congresses time. They can’t take the time to pass a federal budget (forget actually reading it) and yet they somehow have all the time in the world to waste on things like this. There are MAJOR NATIONAL ISSUES like medicare, social security, etc that need to be dealt with and have needed to be for a while. This should not even be on the radar until those are fixed.

  24. Good post.

    And for those who actually questioned the “problem” with drop side cribs: Improper assembly and hardware failure can cause the drop-side of the cribs to dislodge, creating a gap in which a baby can smother or strangle.


    Sounds like user error is a part of problem. We no longer require users to accept that if they choose to assemble the product, they are responsible for proper assembly. Instead, we blame the company for making it possible to screw it up.

    For those with hardware issues, their was a fix supplied to correct the problem (if used, and if the crib is still assembled properly.) But, this is overshadowed by DEAD BABIES, OMG!!!

    My SIL sent me articles on this no less than 4 times even though I told her 4 times that we don’t have a drop side crib (went with convertible for other reasons.) She’s really big on getting worked up over every news report without engaging the brain.

    It’s similar to the “ban” on crib bumpers (which are even less deadly than drop side cribs.) Most infant product related deaths are actually user error and not related to that particular product, anyway.

  25. Lenore said “balls?” God I love you even more! (Ha ha.)

    For a minute I thought you were referring to yourself when you used that “elect me” bit. (I read it too quickly initially.) That said, I will say it–I think a lot of us would vote for you, at least where it regards parenting issues anyway, for public office in a heartbeat. As someone once said to someone else who was espousing common-sense philosophy–“if you started a cult, I’d drink the Kool-Aid.” Ha ha.

    We had a drop-side crab and sold it the same way we got it–on Craigslist, as our son is now 1½ and we graduated him to a full-blown bed really quick. (You did WHAT?? He might roll over! You have to wait until he’s out of college!!!!). This now makes me wish we’d had the room to store it for the next 25 years to pass on to our daughter when she becomes a mother.

    I make no apologies for taking this stance–convenience matters. In fact, dare I say it–in a way, convenience is now outranking safety with me in how I parent day-to-day. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s acceptable to be reckless to be slothful and sloppy, not at all–but my needs matter too–for example, I don’t leave drugs-pills on the coffee table, but I’m not storing them in a fireproof lockbox either. When I have a headache, I don’t want to have to go through Ft Knox to get me the relief that I need! I’m having asthma issues right now, I do every now & then (it’s improving though)–and when I need an inhaler, I need it.

    Besides, I’m finding out that when you just take it easy and not stress so much, it really works out fine. And someone remarked “boy you’re calm” when they were watching a video of me cooking in the kitchen, noticing a pair of scissors within the kids’ reach (who were watching me with curiosity right beside me)–and very calmly putting them on top of the refrigerator like it was no big deal.

    Also, more to the point, we’re taking safety too far. It’s as if we are, say, spending 500 units of energy to gain 2 units of extra safety. And day-to-day, with all life entails having to do, it’s not worth it.

    Now, if it were, say 50 units of energy excerted with 10 units of safety gained, even though that’s still a 5-1 ratio of pain to gain, I’d probably do it. It goes without saying that when it’s more even, or when it’s 2 units of energy spent and 100 units of safety gain, of course you do it.

    But for it to where you’re a lazy, slothful apathetic irresponsible lazy good-for-nothing lowlife who doesn’t go along with the adage of “parenting is hard, if you don’t want to do the work, don’t have kids” and take it so far that you’re spending 50,000 units of energy to gain 1 unit of safety–well, that’s just plain nuts.

    Convenience matters.


  26. C’mon now with my spelling errors.

    Drop-side CRAB?? C’mon now, ha ha.


    See, spell-checkers don’t make it okay to be lazy about your grammar & so forth. Bad keyboard!

    (Bad typing is what it really was, but I’m in denial.)


  27. Lenore, this goes way further back than whether a crib has a drop or fixed side. Why do parents put their kids in a box a couple feet off the ground to sleep? Who/what scared them into thinking that it’s the only safe way to sleep? Those “safety” organizations are about selling products and making money.

    I do have to disagree with you on one thing, though. Companies produce products that are dangerous for children all the time. FIre retardants in mattresses and children’s clothing are an example. Also, BPA hasn’t yet been banned in Maine and is still being used.

    The argument that the drop side crib is the economical choice is crap. The economical choice is to cosleep with your child. Cribs and toddler beds aren’t necessary. My kid sleeps with me. When she’s through with that, there’s a mattress directly on the floor in her room.

    And, like someone else mentioned, if you choose to use a crib, one of the Ikea cribs is less than $200 and tops in safety ratings.

  28. Meagan, that’s nice, but I got my kids’ honey-colored wooden, dropside, convertible cribs (convertible to toddler bed), with a trundle drawer underneath, for $100 each (new).

    Keri, since I assembled our drop-side cribs myself (and I knew about the “dangers” of poor assembly at the time), I have always been very confident that my kids were safe in their cribs. If something had come loose at some point, I would have noticed it while adjusting the crib side or otherwise using the bed. At that point, it would be my responsibility to tighten it up again. The hardware is designed to last through many adjustments, and the instructions noted very clearly that all the parts should be tested and tightened periodically.

    But if all of that is not enough for you, by all means buy a stationary side crib. Just don’t tell me I have to.

  29. I had to LMAO at that last line, Lenore. I have nothing more to add. You said it all. 🙂

  30. Why not ban bicycles and rollerblades too?

  31. Well, I’m not Kelly, but here is a link regarding the safety of co-sleeping:

    There are also many excellent resources on co-sleeping at which is the site for Mothering magazine. In fact, they offer a whole special issue regarding co-sleeping and the facts vs the myths.

    We have co-slept with both our daughters & will again with this baby we are expecting any day now. There are many ways to co-sleep & there is also a difference between co-sleeping & bed sharing. Co-sleeping can mean just sleeping near each other with the baby in their own space (such as a crib attached side-car to a bed or in a co-sleeper). Bed sharing means exactly what it sounds like. Sharing your actual bed with your baby. We’ve always done a mix of both.

    Also, moms who breastfeed have higher rates of sticking with it when they co-sleep. Breastfeeding has been proven many times over to reduce a child’s risk of SIDS.

    Also, and for me most significant, is that for the VAST majority of human history parents have slept with their infants. In fact, it is still the norm in the majority of the non-industrialized world. My feeling is if it was truly that dangerous we all wouldn’t be here! 😉

  32. Dan, the law only prohibits the *sale* of drop-side cribs, and their use in daycare facilities (though there’s a 2 year grace for replacement). It does NOT prohibit their use or reassembly in private homes.

    You should also be aware that there are many different designs for drop-side cribs. Ours has been disassembled and reassembled, and the process was quite easy, and resulted in a sturdy product at all times.

  33. I personally think the drop-side cribs are a bad idea. For hundreds of years babies have been kept in simple, stable cribs. Why change that? When I went crib shopping I was looking for a crib that was as stable as my bed frame. Why? Because it is a bed and I shouldn’t have to worry about it failing on me. I walked around and shook the hell out of each crib display. If it wasn’t stable, I wasn’t going to buy it.

    Drop side cribs are not stable because they aren’t meant to be. Also the number of deaths per year from drop side cribs isn’t comparable to the number of babies born per year. Not every baby born was in a drop side crib. I don’t know the stats on this, but I would be willing to bet the number of babies per year using a drop-side crib is MUCH smaller than that.

    I agree with most of what you say, but not this. I think the drop-side crib is another example of parents over complicating things and making things more unsafe than they were before. Another example would be sleep positioners which were also recently banned. Parents were trying to make it safer and they wound up making it worse….go figure.

  34. I’m so glad to hear someone else thinks this is RIDICULOUS!!! All I can think about is the fact some day, my daughter-in-law is not going to allow us to put our grandchild in the beautiful crib we’ve been saving from our sons because it has drop-down sides. Kind of reminds me of (during my baby-rearing years) grandparents weren’t allowed to use their cribs because the SLATS were too far apart. Hmmm. And the funny thing is, we never put the sides down on the crib anyway – just plucked the baby out. The mattress goes up and down as they grow. I think I’ll just have my husband put a few screws in so it CAN’T drop down. Good thing I don’t have to worry about it for at least…oh…12 more years or more. 🙂

  35. Kelly @ Kelly naturally-
    We were co-sleepers too. Loved it and our crib we invested in sat idly by 90% of the time.
    Both of my children loved it too. =D
    We didn’t even use the crib in the transitional time to get them to sleep in their own big boy/girl beds.
    The only times I used the crib, was when I needed a breather (or I might go crazy) or when I was vacuuming, neither child liked the vacuum so I would crib them with some of their favorite toys and shut the door. They would be safe and content while I did my vacuuming.

    OK, my next comment.
    I agree with Lenore on this one. I think they have gone looney tunes for sure. I will be passing your article onto my parents who have a business as child proofing homes in the MI, OH, IN, IL and sometimes other states.
    Just to make sure they don’t fall in with the craziness if they haven’t already. 😉

  36. Mr. Nonymous and I talked about this last night. The crib we use for Baby Nonymous is a drop-side. In fact, it’s a reassembled drop-side, because her four-year-old cousin used it first. I asked him how he felt about it, and he said, “Well, we can buy a new crib or I can put screws in it to make it a fixed side.”

    I said, “Or we can just continue with it, and be vigilant about making sure the side is latched in the ‘up’ position.” So that’s what we’ll do.

  37. Oh no here come the co-sleeping people. I’d rather have my child safely in a crib than unsafely in a bed for my husband to roll on top of and smother. Co-sleeping is NOT safe and pretending it is just makes parents who insist on doing it feel better.

  38. First of all, I want to be clear that I’m all for the CPSC making sure that products are as safe as humanly possible for both children and adults. That being said, I think sometimes the concerns of both government agencies and consumers are misplaced. I work for a shopping cart company, and therefore am faced with the scary fact that “shopping cart related accidents” are the number ONE reason for children under 5 to go the ER, that’s around 24.000 injuries, including many infants that were in their car seats and placed on or in the shopping cart. Meanwhile, lead posioning, which nobody can stop talking about, only affects about 600. People’s concerns are misplaced. Let’s do what we can to solve the big problems. Once the world is safe enough that our biggest killer product only affects 3 babies a year, then we can be concerned with banning it.

  39. dlivtx, there is nothing new about drop-side cribs. My mom bought one for my oldest brother. He is now 47 years old. It was a very sturdy crib and there were never any mishaps caused by the drop side. That crib was used almost continuously through my mom’s 6 kids (20+ years) and now it’s been handed down to the grandkid, and it’s still a great crib. The drop-side mechanism was completely different from the modern ones, though.

    The only crib-related accident I know of with that old crib was when my youngest sister tried to climb out when the side was UP, and fell on her head. We think that is why she developed epilepsy.

  40. Lenore, I think America already “has no balls”. lol But that is true logical and common sense thinking. I endorse your candidacy. 😉

  41. Wow, Katy-Anne. Frankly that’s one of the rudest comments I’ve seen on this site.

    I have nothing against parents who use cribs. We use one part of the time ourselves. Co-sleeping certainly can be not safe if it’s done in an unsafe manner. There are plenty of legit reasons not to co-sleep. Not the least of which is you simply don’t want to!

    But making a blanket statement that “co-sleeping is NOT safe” is just false. Where are your statistics to back that up?

    Oh, and FWIW, I was simply providing statistics that Kelly had inquired about. I wasn’t trying to evangelize everyone in the world into co-sleeping. LOL Like everything else it’s not for everyone! Each family needs to decide, based on ACCURATE data, what is right for themselves.

  42. I’m torn on this one. On the one hand, the ban – especially banning the use of cribs already bought – is over the top.

    On the other hand – ANY time the CPSC is willing to question a crib, I’m happy. We talk a lot on here about banning things for fear of litigation. The crib issue the reverse – blanket approval because of political and legal clout. The crib manufacturers pretty much own the CPSC, which is why we get it drilled into us that the *only* safe place for a baby to sleep is in a crib. It’s wrong, and I ‘m happy when they admit it.

  43. Well, since someone brought up co-sleeping, I think it’s the same thing. It is safe except when someone does something stupid (like getting drunk and rolling over on a kid). I didn’t do it, but other people should have ccess to the pros and cons (safety and otherwise) and make their own decisions. BUT, if the government should ban drop-side cribs, it should ban co-sleeping, because I’m pretty sure there are more than 3 deaths per year that occur during co-sleeping.

  44. @Katy-Anne “Co-sleeping is NOT safe and pretending it is just makes parents who insist on doing it feel better.”

    No pretending! When done correctly, co-sleeping is is VERY safe, and research backs that up.

    FWIW, small infants shouldn’t be placed next to fathers in a bed. Simply researching co-sleeping can help you come to an educated, non-knee-jerk conclusion about the safety of co-sleeping. I provided several links (by request) above; please have a look.

  45. One of the things with drop side cribs that they stress is that its not so much about being assembled properly the first time – you are supposed to go in and re-tighten all the hardware once a month or so if you have a drop side crib. A lot of people don’t know that.

    I’m more of the mind set that a crib is one of those items that should be safe no matter what. If there is a safe option such as fixed side cribs, why not make that the standard?

  46. Holly, you sure haven’t read much of this site then if mine is one of the rudest comments you can find. The fact that co-sleeping is unsafe should be common sense.

  47. Kelly, I don’t need your propaganda to know that co-sleeping is unsafe.

  48. Sarah, if your kid can climb over a stationary crib side (and many can before they are ready for a toddler bed), then the child is NOT safe in his crib “no matter what.” A toddler’s heavy head will often be the first thing to hit the floor from that height.

    But again, make your decision as an educated consumer. And let me make mine.

  49. My jaw just dropped when I read about this ban.

    30 kids in a decade is now an epidemic?

    Tragic. Stuff. Happens. That’s why it is a tragedy – unexpected stupid bad luck. But there is no way on earth, no matter how much we parents hover (or are expected to hover) that we can guarantee that all children will grow up to adulthood. There is no way that we can guarantee that no child will be abused, molested, or end up in the ER. We can legislate all common sense out of the world, and still, kids will die before their time. Sucks, but there it is.

    This ban is solving a nonexistant crisis.

  50. Kate – the co-sleep thing isn’t going to work for me. But the mattress on the floor is a pretty good work around. Very Japanese. For us, it is the crib though. This could have been avoided if people put their cribs together correctly and the companies used higher quality parts. AND if the government would stop deciding how much risk we should take on in our private decisions.

  51. Life results in death, 100% of the time, lets recall that too.

  52. @SKL – the problem isn’t the kids climbing over the side of the crib – the problem is the bottom of the rail separating from the mattress.

    Also, I woudl imagine most people don’t realize their child can climb out of the crib until the first time they do it.

  53. Maybe Congress passed this law because we will need every possible person in my son’s generation to survive to cover the deficit from the tax cuts for the rich.

    Too bad my son wont have day care, health care, public schools or college loans over the next 20 years. Its the new baby boom generation policy, keep them “alive” in a society where they have no support to “live.” Its sad.

  54. Keri brings up a good point. Is it drop-side cribs, or is it poor manufacturing and poor materials? THAT’s what we should ban.

    In fact, that points to the one area of this that I don’t agree with Lenore – that left to their own devices, manufacturers will make a safe product. Companies cut corners all the time in the name of dollars. There should be better oversight and higher standards. Banning drop-side cribs won’t achieve that.

    I also think the outlet covers are a good example. That’s a choice parents can make to keep their children safer. Not all parents use them and no one requires their use. The only product parents are (rightly) required to use is a car seat, since cars are so inherently dangerous. But we don’t ban the cars or children riding in cars.

  55. Katy-Anne – If you’re going to make such statements, it’s a good idea to back them up with facts. And no, “the research is out there, go find it yourself” doesn’t count. Those of us who have done the research (regardless of whether we actually cosleep, ourselves) have found a large amount of information that says the opposite of what you’re claiming, when done properly.

    Regarding your husband-rolling-over comment, there’s an easy fix to that. Put yourself between him and the baby and have a bed rail. Or don’t sleep in the same bed as hubby for a time. Or use a co-sleeping nest. Or use a sidecar.

  56. Cosleeping unsafe? Maybe if you’re a bottle feeding Mama, have a very fluffy bed overran with heavy blankets, or want to place your Baby next to a body who is not in tune with theirs (daddy, siblings).

    When in a nursing relationship, there is no safer place for your Baby then wrapped in your arms.

    But yeah, this ban is pretty dumb. Along with all other cited deaths… over 100 baby boys die EVERY year due to unneccesary routine circumcision.

  57. If you (general you) think you’re too short to not have a drop side crib, then get a step stool or shorten the legs of the crib.

    Drop side cribs that have the plastic pieces just aren’t safe. I’m glad there was a recall and ban.

  58. Issues of product safety should remain separate from issues of raising Free Range Kids. This reminds me of the story of how rewarding it was to remove the safety netting on a son’s trampoline and let him break his arm. When I think if Free Range Kids I think about 10 year olds being able to use the subway, not being able to play lawn darts.

  59. Sarah, I think you are missing my point completely. I KNOW that the issue for which they are banning drop sides is the loosening toward the bottom. My point is that there are also dangers to fixed crib sides. The fact is that many kids stay in cribs beyond the point at which they are able to climb / fall over the fixed crib side. They are not “safe” from falling on their heads from a significant height (unless, of course, mom buys a crib tent, which most do not). If you have a drop side, you can drop the side and teach your child to climb safely in & out once she is developmentally ready in your opinion. You, as parent and thus expert in your child, can weigh the risk of her being able to easily get “loose” versus the risk of her trying unsuccessfully to vault the raised crib side. Why should the government take away your right to decide?

  60. Banning things that cause only a few deaths? Let’s get rid of phrase “de minimis.” Occasionally it’s misspelled (see above) and, among those rare readers who remember their high school Latin, one or two heads will explode!

  61. Dawne: Step stool = too unstable to be safe while wrangling a toddler in and out of a crib. Shortening legs of crib = tampering with the stability of the product and probably rendering it far more unsafe than a drop side. (Not to mention the inconvenience of that option.)

  62. Thank you Lenore!!! I’ve gotten some grief about the fact that my son was in a drop-side crib, but his had a metal railing, not a hidden plastic mechanism – it was passed on to us after being used for 4 other babies, and is still in great [safe] condition. He was in it until he started to climb out – which is when it got dangerous.

    This ban (while it doesn’t yet affect our family, as we’re Canadian) is far too broad in scope – many [generally older] drop side cribs were made with very safe mechanisms that literally can not fail in the way that the “dangerous”* ones can.

    *In quotes because as you’ve pointed out very clearly, ‘dangerous’ is a rather odd way to perceive the stats behind the issue.

    Can’t wait to pass this on to those who questioned my parenting when they saw me drop the side of his crib to get him, because, like a previous commenter, I’m short and couldn’t have reached him otherwise!

  63. Two things (and I sure hope I don’t create a lot of freaking typos this time!).

    I read the article real quickly and didn’t realize that the ban was now in effect. Frankly, I’m going to go & try to buy one of these, because it’s not totally in effect yet. I will do whatever I have to for storage so that, assuming I’m a grandfather in 20-30 years, I’ll have it to use. And frankly, if my then-grown kids don’t like it, they can find another free babysitter.

    It seems to never end, does it? Everything is about the kid’s safety, and to HELL with a parent’s convenience. I don’t apologize for liking things convenient for me. I can’t stand the new gasoline cans either (and have about a dozen of the “old” cans which I’ve picked up at garage sales and hoard like beans during a nuclear war), I can’t stand the screwed-on battery covers for toys, and the safety experts telling you that drugs belong in an underground vault where you as the parent with a headache can’t easily get to them. You’re not supposed to leave your child in the car even for 3 minutes to go retrieve a package from behind the counter, even though it’s not as unsafe as it’s made out to be and removing them every time is, indeed, extremely inconvenient.

    But of course, you’re called lazy, apathetic, slothful, take your pick because you want a little convenience for yourself. Well I make no apologies for it.

    I’m going to be on the look-out for a drop-down crib, buy it, and store it at the in-law’s in a shed if I have to. And again, if someone has a problem with that (our own children are in beds now), they can keep the damn brats out of my house. (Yes, even if they’re my own grandchildren in 25+ years.)

    Now, about co-sleeping.

    I don’t want to weigh in on it with the wrong attitude, as I’m coming from a different point not having to do with safety anyway, I don’t wish to judge other parents based on a preference, and because it seems the originator of that was the same Kate recently welcomed here in an article, and I don’t want to jump all down her case and make her feel scolded.

    I am against co-sleeping, especially for anyone in a relationship or looking for one, because of the John Rosemond principle (my other parenting icon whom I respect) that your marriage and your needs should not be dismissed over everything being so child-centric– in fact, your spouse should come first before your children. To my wife & I, the marital bed is sacred. No children have any business interfering in that realm of our life unless blood is spouting out of their ears.

    After all, without “that realm of our life,” they wouldn’t even be here, ha ha.

    Besides that, I credit this healthy detachment as the reason why they take to bedtime so readily and wake-up happy and content–they don’t need us for sleep. All they need is a comfortable room—right temperature, dry sheets, and darkness. That’s it. They don’t need to have any seances done to “get them in the mood,” all they need is that environment and our edict that “it’s bedtime.” They don’t choose bedtime, it’s chosen for them, as it should be. The same has always been done for naptime, too–we lay them down, walk-off, and they can scream all they want, but naptime is naptime, end of discussion. If I have to, I’ll plug my ears with my MP3 player to drown it out. Seriously, I will do it.

    It’s for that reason I don’t advocate co-sleeping at all, period (we’ve done it this way since INFANT age, although obviously we did the midnight feedings until 3 months age or so).

    However, that rant aside, although I oppose co-sleeping for those reasons for ANYONE especially who is married or in a relationship, I’m not going to “soapbox” about it either. Where it regards Kate–assuming it’s the same Kate featured in the poster a day or two ago, she is a new free-ranger, I want her to feel welcome, we agree on those free-range topics, and I’m going to be nice.

    Now I just hope I didn’t miss fixing all & any typos.


  64. Totally agree!

  65. My husband and I have our hot & naughties in many other places than our bed. We (as in, Husband and I) welcome our children into what can still be an intimate and sacred, but not sexual, place to connect as a Family.

    My Husband and I had our precious years together and we chose to have children to add to our dynamic, to nurture and tend to them. It’s amazing you, and so many others, are so comfortable having your children just cry themselves to sleep. Like that is healthy!! Incredible!

  66. Before my kids came home, I totally tried to figure out how we could co-sleep. It’s kinda funny, looking back. Me and a 12mo and a 9mo, none of whom had any history together, two of whom were grieving their foster families. 12mo was perfectly happy to settle down in her own little crib from the first night. No brainer there. 9mo grieved and I tried bringing her into my bed when she cried. Ha! She did NOT like it and could not sleep in my bed. Tried for hours, on more than one night. Lesson learned. Co-sleeping really is not for everyone.

    In the end I was kinda glad, because I really needed to be able to sleep during that time in my life.

    So I am the last person to take a stand on co-sleeping. If it works for you and your kid isn’t missing you when she’s in her college dorm or marriage bed, then more power to you. But, don’t diss us crib users, either.

  67. I agree with Larry on the co-sleeping thing. ALL of the parents (especially the mothers) that I know of that co-sleep with their kid(s), say the same thing. They do it stay close to their children. That they will never be that young again, and want to spend as much time as they can with them. My sister is guilty of that too. The main issue I have with it, is most parents don’t know when to quit. My nephew is 4, and he can’t sleep in his own room, in his own bed. My bro-in-law is starting to get tired of it. The longer parents let their kids sleep with them, the harder it is to ween them off of it. I’ve ready cases where the kids are already 10 years old and still sleep with their parents. That’s very unhealthy. Again, this is a selfish act of the parent(s). This doesn’t benefit the child, only the parents. In the long run (which they tend to go), it’s detrimental to the child’s mental and emotional well being.

  68. My message was in response to LRH, just to be clear.

  69. Here’s my thought (for what it’s worth). Manufacturers of children’s products typically issue recalls right about the time that the original child would have outgrown the item. This applies to cribs, car seats, highchairs, etc. You see a lot of recalls issued when items are between 1-3 years old. I agree that to recall an item or an entire design over a few deaths is absurd, but if the manufacturers can get them off the market by claiming a defect, it actually benefits them more financially than they are hurt by the recall itself. I truly believe they do this so that they can keep the used equipment off of the market. A generation ago, almost all kids were raised with hand-me-down equipment. Now, everything has to be new because almost all of it ends up with a recall and can’t legally be resold (that’s not to say some thrift stores and don’t resell it even though they know it is illegal and that some owners don’t resell items at yard sales or pass them down because they simply have no idea that it is illegal to do so.) JMO.

  70. **clapping**

  71. @ Sarah
    SKL’s point is that, with a fixed side crib, once a kid can climb over (which some kids can ridiculously early), their heavy little heads will be the first thing to crash to the floor. So, if they have the higher, fixed side, they fall farther. I think. I hope I’m not making incorrect assumptions SKL.

    We co slept with our kids. I nursed. I woke immediately when they started to wake, I rolled over with them, hooked them up, we all slept soooo much better, and when my 7 month old son had an allergic reaction and stopped breathing in the middle of the night, only because he was sleeping in contact with my body did I catch it. His little body went stiff as he tried to breathe, and I bolted upright, fully awake. Had he been in a crib, he’d’ve died. He’ll be 19 in April. All good.
    When we got our grandson at 20 months, we had to pull a lot together might quickly that we hadn’t thought about or budgeted for. We got a great drop-side crib on freecycle. Metal hardware. Easy assembly and sturdy. I’m short. I’m in my forties. I have an iffy back. I couldn’t have gotten him to the mattress in a fixed side crib. No way, no how.
    I also find it funny that literally the day before or the same day that this ban was announced, there was an article about doctors seeing more cases of ‘mommy thumb’, thought to be in part caused by lifting babies in and out of low, fixed-side cribs. This thumb thing sends shooting pain up the wrist side of the hand and lower arm, and can be excruciating.
    The juxtaposition made me LOL

  72. Based on those statistice co-sleeping should be banned also, because there are 27 deaths/year because of parents smothering thier children in the family bed. The Consumer Products Safety Commission collected these statistics:

    A review of incident data from January 1990 to December 1997 linked adult beds to at least 515 baby deaths. Analysis of the deaths revealed four major hazard patterns:
    Suffocation associated with the co-sleeping of adult and baby.
    Suffocation where an infant becomes entrapped or wedged between the mattress and another object.
    Suffocation due to airway obstruction when the baby is face down on a waterbed mattress.
    Strangulation in rails or openings on beds that allow a baby’s body to pass through while entrapping the head.
    CPSC’s study is the first to quantify the number of fatalities resulting from the practice of co-sleeping with babies. Of the 515 deaths, 121 were reported to be due to a parent, caregiver or sibling rolling on top of or against the baby while sleeping. More than three-quarters of these deaths occurred to infants younger than 3 months. The other 394 deaths resulted from suffocation or from strangulation caused by entrapment of the child’s head in various structures of the bed. Entrapments occurred between the mattress and the wall, bed frame, headboard, footboard, bed railings or adjacent furniture.

    Maybe we just shouldn’t let babies sleep, they might be safer.

  73. I didn’t read through all the comments, so this might have already been mentioned, but..

    All the cribs that were having the problems were cheaply made ones with plastic parts instead of metal. We had and passed down a good quality drop side crib with quality metal parts, that is still in excellent condition.

    Oh and to the guy who mentioned they were hard to reassemble, you got the wrong kind, because ours was easy as could be.

  74. I do know a single mom with just one daughter, and her kid went through LONG periods of time when she HAD to crawl in and sleep with her mom, well into her teens! She had her own bed and all. Her mom did not like it. But there it was. And, this was a gifted / normal kid in every other way.

    I don’t think that’s typical for co-sleepers, but the risk does exist.

  75. or, rather, the thumb side, through the wrist and lower arm. There.
    The ‘wrist side’. Sheesh…

  76. I’m rather shocked that this discussion has turned into a for/against thing with co-sleeping. It’s like breastfeeding – whether you do it or don’t is completely different in every family depending on your set of circumstances.

    We co-slept part-time. My son was not a good sleep-through-the-night baby and I needed the rest! So when that’s what we needed, that’s what we did. And it made nursing easier. My son was safe. We even bought one of the now-banned baby positioners – not for him, but for DH, because he feared rolling onto the baby (which never came close to happening). And this was only about half-time – the other half he slept and lived-through a borrowed drop-side crib.

    Parents have co-slept with their children forever. Many many parents co-sleep now, but feel too guilty to mention it because they get a lot of self-righteous people give them heck for it. Kind of like the self-righteous folks who give parents heck for leaving their children in a car for one minute while they are at the ATM. Or chastise them for letting their kids walk to the bus stop when ANYONE might snatch them.

    Come on people, we all have different routes to bringing our kids up. And none are exactly like any of the others.

  77. Katy-Anne, how is it that you know that co-sleeping is unsafe? I’m genuinely curious. All the research I’ve seen points to the opposite conclusion!

  78. MajKitab Of course I let them “cry themselves to sleep,” and as Clint Eastwood said in that “get off my lawn” sequence in Gran Torino, afterwards I can “sleep like a baby,” that is, totally free of any guilt, because I’m not doing anything wrong.

    Let me warn you, if “warn” is an acceptable word (again, no wish to be of a “fighting” nature)–this is an area where my opinion is very strong, very very strong (that is, not in an “anti-co-sleeping” tone as much as a “pro-separation of the bedrooms” and “the marriage comes first and the bedroom is separate” tone). I’m not going to attack Kate or the co-sleepers for their choice, but if someone attacks me for the “cry themselves to sleep” thing I do–where it regards self-defense of my choice and the principle of the matter, the gloves come off.


  79. Eric$ – I agree with you that some parents don’t know when to stop. My niece is almost 9 and has co-slept since birth. Not only can she NOT sleep in a room by herself, she can’t even BE in a room by herself. That includes the bathroom. She wants someone in there when she takes a bath and when she goes to the toilet. Very sad.

  80. Okay, and I’m being annoying now probably, but when we co-slept with our kids, we were always on a futon on the floor. No frame, no wedged against the wall, even if we had to put the futon in the living room. Waterbeds? Do people still have those?
    And yeah, we’re hippie parents, who took our kids to the last few years of Grateful Dead shows too. They can both hear just fine, and they are both artistic, smart and musical. The girl one is waaaaay more impulsive, but no less smart, thoughtful and lovely. Another thing we did quite differently with the grandboy was disposables. I don’t think either of my kids ever had a disposable on their little butt. Yes, I was the crazy young mother who went to the laundromat twice a week with the cloth diapers while nursing and carrying a full college course load. Hell, it was downtime! LOL

  81. @Teri For whom is it sad? Do the parents feel it is sad? Does the girl? The level of dependence that you describe isn’t typical & I’m sure it’s not rooted in co-sleeping. Many older children, teens, and adults sleep with their mothers and DIDN’T cosleep as an infant or child. It is a source of comfort and connection for people, not sadness.

    My children both coslept since birth & moved to their own rooms of their own accord at 3 and 1.5yrs respectively. They are quite independent.

  82. Totally off topic now, but regarding kids crying themselves to sleep – someone should do a study, because I’d lay bets that on average, a parent who is committed to “cry it out” (CIO) has a child who cries a lot less over the course of time than a parent who doesn’t believe in CIO.

    Time and again, I’ve seen parents who honestly try it have 1 really rough night, 1 iffy night, and by the 3rd or 4th day, all’s quiet on the nursery front.

    And, ever heard of a “good cry”? Sometimes kids need them, too. A good cry is a healthy, normal stress reliever.

    And I’ll also say that most of the kids who tend to tantrum loudly and cry a lot, have parents who don’t believe in “letting kids cry” (as in, allowing disappointments, or letting them get over themselves). Just my observation over several decades of childcare, travel, friendships, etc.

  83. @dmd: that’s true. But one has to ask themselves, “is this to benefit me, or my child?” I would wager, at least 90% of co-sleepers, it’s for the benefit of the parent(s). This may be a bad analogy, but it’s like dog owners who dress up their dogs and humanize them (that’s a separate conversations though). It’s not for the dog, the dog couldn’t care less, but it makes the owner feel better. I don’t have issues with co-sleeping in the first year, maybe second. But when the child is capable enough, he/she should be getting used to sleeping on their own. In my sisters case, if she had stopped when my nephew was 2, he would have been fine sleeping on his own. But he’s so used to sleeping in their bed, he doesn’t want it any other way. And referencing Teri’s example, that’s not a good thing. It’s just like them learning “fear” is normal from paranoid parents.

  84. I think I agree with you Terri. My son just turned 6 and we still have his car seat, crib, high chair, and swing in storage for a #2. It’s a drop side crib and the directions to put it together are on the board for under the mattress. The crib parts are in his closet and the attachment materials are in his underwear drawer in a gallon ziploc. Isn’t that where you’re supposed to keep stuff? The rest are in the cellar collecting dust.

  85. One more and I’ll be done…
    Larry, we actually did both. It was co-sleeping while they were tiny newish infants. It was into the toddler bed by a year and a half, when nursing was winding down, they were totally eating, and it was time to build the self-comforting skills. And we let them cry themselves to sleep a couple nights, and they were just fine after that. They are confident, self-reliant people who also were/are very closely and safely bonded to their parents.
    My mom, who was single, slept with my youngest two siblings for stupid long. And the older of those youngest siblings is still struggling with being an independent man who can do things for himself, even though he’s a 32 year old father of 2 and has been married for over 7 years. gah.

    But yes… different families find different things work. The same family may find that different things work for different kids. Or at different life stages. Co-sleeping, cloth diapering and long-term nursing was a piece of cake at 24 and 26, even being a full time student, married to a full time student. At 40+, oh hell no. Huggies, a nice crib and formula is just fine, thankyouverymuch. He’s no less loved or healthy or well-adjusted, neither is he more so. He’s another loved child, who came with a bit less (okay, a whole effing lot less) notice and prep time, and at a time in our lives when the very last thing on our minds was starting over with a toddler.

    Again, we loved our drop-side crib, gotten for free on freecycle. Wouldn’t have even attempted co-sleeping with the guy at that point. We occasionally will now let him cuddle up (usually with Papa when Gramma goes to hang with Uncle, or whatever) and watch some superheroes on DVD, fall asleep, and get carried across the hall. But that’s like, less than once a month. Special boy night. He’s a super easy kid to put to bed, same time every night, books, cuddles, his stuffed puppy, and some music. Lights out, door closed, we generally see him about 10 hours later, all sunny and well-rested. But it took some crying himself to sleep in little dude-hood to get here. Not much… but a few nights sucked.

  86. Larry summed up the rest of my thoughts on co-sleeping.

    I have seen so many spoiled children that co-sleep that cannot leave their mommy even for a second or they will cry. They cannot sleep in their own crib.

    People who really think know that you don’t put a big person in a bed with a tiny person. Big person can squash tiny person easily. It’s also unsafe EMOTIONALLY as the little brats cannot (more like WILL NOT) sleep on their own ever.

    Yet parents continue to do it.

  87. It is funny, I both agree and disagree. I find it funny the things our gov moves to protect us from when the EPA has not done their job in over 30 years where chemicals are concerned.

    But, the examples of a spider, falling down stairs, running after a ball etc are things you can not help. We can help an infant getting wedged between a mattress and a drop side and suffocating because of a malfunction. I know that 1 infant in a million is not much, but if it was your infant it is everything.

    I agree that parents helicopter, which does not help your kids!

    We are not those kinds of parents, I have real doorknobs not those sadistic covers no one can get to work. We dot have gates every where that trip us but keep our kids out of things. We cover the outlets and keep them safe and let them figure out the rest!! I mean I grew up in the 70’s, rode my bike without a helmet, played on scorching metal playground equipment and I survived. So will my kids, just not in drop side cribs.

  88. Also, why do people have to attack each other on every forum? Parents who co-sleep or let their kids cry it out or what ever have just as much right to make that decision as those that do not.

    We all do the best we can, sometimes we succeed and sometimes we fail. Our kids will grow up and blame us for something, but if you do what you think is RIGHT at least you wont blame yourself.

  89. I’d be curious to know what kind of parenting was being implemented with the children whose lives were lost due to these now banned cribs. How long were these babies crying for a parent to think it was worth responding…

    I would have thought free range was about being in tune with your Kid. Whether you co sleep, roomshare, use cribs… You should always meet your babies cries. Maybe they NEED a hug. Pffttt! Peace out!

  90. Wow. Okay.

    My first thought was: You know, she’s right in general, but there are also alternatives to drop-side cribs that might be safer, so why not try to make it better, if it’s not a great inconvenience?

    But then I read the comments from short people. Well, get a shorter crib, LOL! Cribs are much to big, in my opinion.

    As for the mommy wars–the whole CIO vs. no CIO, co-sleeping vs. no co-sleeping, this all reminds me of what I learned at uni about philosophy. Our profs said that a lot of philosophy was an exercise in justifying pre-existing intuition, especially in ethics and politics, but also in metaphysics. I think that applies to being a parent as well.

    SKL- Crying it out is not having a “good cry”. Anybody with a typical child knows the difference between tantrum crying (which only the most permissive parents can or will avoid), and terror-screaming. I’ll admit I was too wimpy to let my daughter scream in terror, shaking for more than four days, so I have no way of knowing whether that would eventually work for her. I know my own mother did it for two months with me! It worked a charm–her milk dried up and I sucked my thumb for a very long time, longer than I’ll admit here, but I slept through the night.

    I guess it’s all a matter of balance. I think recommending co-sleeping is a bad idea because it’s actually pretty complicated for many parents to get the hang of: no smoking, no drinking (how many drinks, how drunk?), no co-sleeping in a soft bed (how soft?), no fluffy pillows (how fluffy?), baby stays next to husband (from personal experience I know this results in an aggravating rotation throughout the night as baby switches sides on the breast), etc. etc.

    It all comes down to the fact that no matter what we do, there’s an element of short-term and long-term risk attached to that and life is so complicated it’s nearly impossible to tease it all out.

    It should go without saying that babies should not sleep in a big heavy pile of fluff, and that includes adults who are drunk, smokers, druggies, or (sorry guys) sleeping men.

    There are always going to be people that practice some parenting methodology like incompetent morons. That goes for attachment parenting, free-range parenting (fwiw I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive, not if practiced with some sense!), mainstream parenting, whatever. I always know the argument has crossed the Rubicon when we start hearing examples of potty-training in kindergarten, co-sleeping adolescents, and babies that died from CIO because they puked and aspirated it.

    Let’s keep it real, people. There are idiots in this world, they reproduce, it’s tragic, but that should not inform our parenting decisions, any more than bizarre crib statistics do.

  91. @Katy-Anne
    Never ever ever ever did my kids have trouble leaving me, for daycare, or to play in their own room, or to visit friends, even while co-sleeping. They were the farthest thing from spoiled brats. They weren’t in a family that could give them whatever, or that allowed inappropriate behavior, with the lessons that appropriate behavior varies with circumstance. Running and screaming… appropriate at the park, inappropriate in the living room for example.

    Don’t tell me that we didn’t think… we thought long and hard, did our research, read a butt-load, talked to our midwives, our experienced parent-friends, and made a conscious, educated decision. The fact that you are here calling all co-sleeping kids little brats that can’t leave mommy for a minute, and all co-sleeping parents unthinking is appalling in this community.
    Hell, my longest nurser and longest co-sleeper is the. most. independent. teenage boy I have ever met. The most well-behaved, responsible, polite kid anyone could ever have the pleasure of meeting. Can the assumptions and generalizations. Play nice.

  92. dlivtx, I have to jump in with others in saying that drop-side cribs are not even close to new. I slept in one, I’m 41 years old, and they weren’t new technology then.

  93. Larry – I have to say, I find it quite funny that you rant about convenience, then rant about refusing to co-sleep.

    I have to ask – did you ever take the night shift?

  94. Kelly – I think it is sad that an almost 9 year old is so afraid of being by herself that she can’t even go to the bathroom alone. No, I don’t blame co-sleeping for 100% of it at all, although that is where it started. I was just agreeing with Eric that some parents over-do it and don’t know where to draw the line. In my niece’s case, I do, however, blame her helicopter parents. They are so afraid she may get hurt if she’s left alone in a room for 10 minutes that they never let her out of their sight. This is the root of her problems and a prime example of parent’s over doing it. I have no problem with parents who want to co-sleep as long as it’s not harming the kids and the as long as the kids are able to separate themselves from their parents and become independent as kids have to do in order to become independent adults. Obviously in my niece’s case, it has been taken too far, and has harmed the child.

  95. As to co-sleeping and then I’m done…….My daughter was a preemie, so I was never comfortable actually having her in the bed with me. She did sleep next to my bed until she started sleeping through the night at around 3 months. Part of that was because her dad traveled for work all week long and I had no help in getting up in the middle of the night with her. It was just easier to have her right there beside me since I didn’t have a husband that could or would get up and bring her in to be fed in the middle of the night. She is 11 now and I have no issues with her sleeping in my bed if she’s feeling overly needy one night (say having had a bad day at school or watched a movie that ended up scaring her) or if she is sick or if she just feels the need for a little extra attention. Once in awhile is fine, but I don’t allow her to do it every night. Now that she is older, she sometimes just wants to be in the room and not necessarily in my bed, so she will bring her foam chair that makes out to a pallet into my room and sleep on it. Her room is actually at the other end of the house than mine and when she was younger, I would let her sleep in my room on nights that we were having tornado warnings. My room is nearest to the tornado safe place, so it just made sense. There are exceptions to having a “never” sleep in the parents bed rule and I don’t feel like banning it completely is wise, either. My daughter has the security that she can sleep in my room for one night when she feels she needs to not sleep alone, but she also has the security in knowing that she can sleep alone. Some kids who co-sleep until their pre-teen ages or even older don’t grow to know that they can sleep in a room alone.

  96. @LM
    “My son just turned 6 and we still have his car seat, crib, high chair, and swing in storage for a #2.”

    FYI, carseats typically expire after 6 years because the plastic breaks down and will no longer hold the harness straps during a crash. I’d recommend checking the expiration on your carseat, and most likely getting a new one for #2.

  97. benirleciel, I wasn’t talking about terror-screaming. That is rather unusual, as you probably know. Like everything else, CIO isn’t for “everyone,” but it works pretty well for most committed parents, AND the parent is the one most likely to know if it’s right for his/her individual kid. (The only reason I commented was because someone here felt it necessary to suggest that CIO = child neglect or not caring, which it isn’t.) When it works, CIO means a happier, better-rested child (and parents). When it doesn’t work, you pretty much know that by the end of the 2nd night. You don’t apply “CIO” for months at a time and expect it to eventually kick in. Or at least, I don’t.

  98. It’s also unsafe EMOTIONALLY as the little brats cannot (more like WILL NOT) sleep on their own ever.

    Oh, please. People all over the world share beds with their children, or have their children share a bed with another child. This is nothing new, it’s been done for generations, mostly because people didn’t have space or money for tons of beds.

    Of course, I’ve always thought it strange that there’s something “wrong” with letting a child sleep with another person – but if you, as an adult, choose to sleep in a separate bed from your partner that’s also considered a sign of something being “wrong”.

    And SKL, you’ll be pleased to know there HAVE been studies done on crying it out versus NOT crying it out and the long-term amount of crying done by children in each group.

    Those studies don’t generally show what you want them to show, though. When I have time I’ll search some up for you 🙂

  99. Oh, my kids are allowed to come to my bed if there’s loud thunder or fireworks or if they are very sick (but not puking, LOL). I’m single so there’s no “sacred marriage bed” to talk about. But if they come just to see if they can get away with it, I send them back to their room. They don’t like it, but Mom needs to mean what she says.

    My girls are also allowed (and encouraged) to come into my bed “after the sun comes up” every morning. I am not a morning person so this allows me to spend a little cuddle time with them before having to drag my sorry butt out of bed.

    But they couldn’t open their bedroom door until they were over 2 (short kids), so before that, it was just a given that they stayed in their own beds. They were good about it. I have to say I really lucked out in the toddler sleep department.

  100. Oh how I love you! I saw the crib recall yesterday and was just waiting to see what you had to say. The CSPC is out of control and it is like they are on a witch hunt for anything that could even possibly harm a child. I wish the politicians would have the balls to either dismantle the agency or at least rein it in.

  101. […] post by FreeRange Kids author Lenore Skenazy provides some great reaction to the issue of how deadly […]

  102. A boxy bouncy ball, are you nuts, Lenore?? It could bounce up and hit a kid in the eye with one of its corners! Much too dangerous. You should ban bouncy balls entirely!

    On the crib side of things, our drop side crib has gone safely through three kids now. No problems at all. I rarely drop the sides, but when I used it, I really felt a need for that convenience.

    I did have to correct my husband’s assembly of it for the youngest, when he put the drop hardware in on the wrong sides and wanted to leave it that way. Now that would have been dangerous. I simply pointed out the hazard, we fixed it, and no problems. I suppose we’ll have to figure out what to do about getting rid of it one of these days since we’re done having kids. Could keep it for someday far away grandkids, but I don’t know about storing it that long.

  103. SKL – I got really lucky, too. My daughter has always been a pretty good sleeper and would get up in the morning and quietly look at books or play with toys in her room until she heard me get up. She’s been in a twin bed since about 18 months, so she was able to get out by herself. It was such a blessing. Her dad and I got divorced when she was a year old and I had to go back to work, so it really helped to have one that let me sleep as late as I needed to at times and that was easy to get to bed. I will forever be thankful for that. She’s still good about going to bed on her own and will even put herself to bed early if she is tired. I know some kids get tired and then get cranky and then the fights ensue over going to bed. I never had that problem thankfully. However, she also quit taking naps at around 18 months, but that just drove the daycare workers nuts. LOL! I’m thankful, though, that they went with the flow and just set up a quiet play area for her in the main office and didn’t force her to nap. She had a nap mat in the office, too, and some days she would just lay on the mat and sing to herself instead of play or would pretend to read a book out loud. They just really didn’t know what to do with her, but I’m glad they didn’t leave her in the room with the other kids and then fuss at her continuously to take a nap or to be quiet. The fact that she quit taking naps during the day is probably one reason it was easy to get her to bed at night. She was (and still is) a hard sleeper – very hard to wake up during the night, which is one reason I had her near me during bad weather. Carrying dead weight down the stairs from her room would have been a slow process.

    Yes, puking sick gets you put on a pallet by the bathroom door, not in mama’s bed. 🙂

  104. I am wondering if this is a manufacturing issue rather than an issue specific to drop-sided cribs?

    The USA is lucky, for the most part, to have access to a large range of very reasonably priced products. Other countries are not so lucky – we don’t have the range of cheap, mass-produced stuff. My drop-sided crib (known as a cot in the country we bought it and the country we now live in!) is supremely solid – like a previous commenter, I did the shake test on the cribs I looked at. We paid through the nose for it, as we were not exactly spoilt for (quality) choice.

    This crib has been assembled and disassembled several times, and is on its 4th child. It remains as sturdy as the day I bought it. (Okay, I confess that having a 15kg 23mo jumping up and down in one spot in it did bust a knot in the wood of one of the slats, but I believe that would not be considered “appropriate use”!)

    I wish the media would stop distorting statistics to support some stupid notion of consumer protection.

  105. Well, I didn’t plan to co-sleep with my son– turned down a sidecar sleeper repeatedly before he was born! But after one too many scary incidents where I woke up from an inadvertent nap during late night feed on the couch with him balanced on top of me and sliding– the exact peril the scientists warn about– I gave up and nursed in bed, and we ended up co-sleeping because I was out before he was done! We tried a sleep positioner to protect him from roll overs, but he just rolled over into the sides or slithered out the bottom.

    Now, he mostly sleeps in his crib and can go to sleep most other places– but if I want him to go to sleep on MY schedule instead of his own, I’d better be prepared to hold him in bed with me until he conks out! Hopefully we’ll grow out of that, though.

  106. P.S. I have a friend who was reported to Children and Youth when she tried the “cry it out” method of getting her son to go to sleep, because he NEVER went to sleep at all and screamed all night even with her coming in and checking on him every few minutes. Poor kid. Poor mom. The Police were sympathetic, and so was Children and Youth, but of course they did have to do the follow-up!

  107. I find it ironic that people on a site dedicated to allowing children independence are bashing those people who allow/encourage their children to sleep in a different room.

    It seems like the CIO philosophy is similar to the non-intervention philosophy in older kid interactions. I am not saying the whole thing needs to be accepted lock stock and barrel for every stage of life but it’s the concept we all support in some way. Each one of us will apply it differently. Each one of us has boundaries. You all rock as parents – happy?

  108. Jeanne, not sure if that baby cried all night because the mom kept checking on him (rewarding his crying). But again, all kids are different, and I wasn’t there.

    My sister has a one-year-old who isn’t sleeping thru the night, and I just mention to her that the baby is old enough to make that transition whenever Mama is ready to go for it. Totally up to Mom. Only she knows how to weigh her eventual good night’s sleep against the short-term discomfort of sleep training.

    I remember a couple of days after I took custody, and both of my kids hollered pretty much all day long (grieving). Every time they quieted to go to sleep, the phone would ring and it would start all over. We were in an adjoining hotel room with my mom in the other room. Finally I went through the door, sat with my mom, and said, “whose kids are those? I feel sorry for them. Hey, is there anything on TV?” Thank goodness their foster moms had trained them to sleep at night. Otherwise I might not be here to talk about it. Oh, the magical, wonderful days of becoming a new mom!

  109. My girls graduated from their drop-side crib roughly a decade ago, and when I heard the about the recall on the news yesterday I shuddered. I thought of how the drop-down feature had saved my back during those years of really heavy babies that didn’t sleep through the night; of how I could the side down to keep the baby next to me for easy feeding without actually co-sleeping. This is another one of those examples of how the race for 0 risk (unobtainable as it is), does very little to improve overall safety, and quite a bit to make your life more complicated and less pleasurable.

  110. I have one of these atrocious drop-side cribs, made by Storkcraft. I am with you Lenore. While the deaths caused by drop-sides are completely tragic (it is hard to even imagine such horror), I do not think it was necessary for our government to completely outlaw this crib design. They are useful for so many parents: those with disabilities, short in stature, recovering from surgery, or pregnant. Personally I feel our government is overrunning its authority and obligations in many areas of our lives and this is just the latest in that effort. Sad to see.

  111. I haven’t read all the comments, so I apologize if this is a repeat. I saw the story about the recall and didn’t really pursue because I no longer have a child in a crib. However, my first reaction was, that’s insane. I am 5 ft. tall. When my daughter was in the crib, I struggled just to pick her up and put her down even with the sides down. On those occasions that I couldn’t put the side down for some reason, I was the biggest danger to my daughter. I don’t think either of us would have survived if I had to use a step stool just to put her in her crib. Just saying.

  112. Just found this
    A review of incident data from January 1990 to December 1997 linked adult beds to at least 515 baby deaths. Analysis of the deaths revealed four major hazard patterns:

    * Suffocation associated with the co-sleeping of adult and baby.
    * Suffocation where an infant becomes entrapped or wedged between the mattress and another object.
    * Suffocation due to airway obstruction when the baby is face down on a waterbed mattress.
    * Strangulation in rails or openings on beds that allow a baby’s body to pass through while entrapping the head.
    So do these who agree with banning these cots want co sleeping banned as well as more children have died that way? How on earth did we become the dominant species on this planet without all these stupid laws.

  113. Excellent post, Lenore. Very well-said.

  114. *stands up* *applauds*.

    The complete ban is complete non-sense.

  115. I was going to write a diatribe for my friends….but instead I’m just going to point them to yours. Bravo, thank you, and amen and good night.

  116. Hear Hear! My thoughts exactly on the whole “drop-side” crib issue! I have no intention of getting rid of my drop sides for my twins, sometimes i DO need to let the crib rail down, and at 21 months, i am hoping the twins will stay in the cribs for at least another 6-12 months, to save my sanity if nothing else! 😉

  117. Lenore, you were on FIRE with this one! I think this is your best post yet.

  118. About the cosleeping stats:

    This quotes the 515 deaths over that 8 year period, then also notes on the next page that the CPSC also reported 100 deaths over a later 2 year period. And co-sleeping has seemed to rise in popularity since the early 90s, so I wonder what the numbers are now.

    There are safer ways to co-sleep, but no way is perfectly safe. I haven’t seen any evidence that it is safer than putting baby in a crib. And I DO co-sleep, for convenience.

  119. If sale, resale and manufacture is banned, what about import?

    In regards to co-sleeping, I, my brothers and most kids of family friends, all were co-sleeping children, and I think we all turned out independent enough. I may have been a cowardly child, but that was more fear of unfamiliar situations than of being away from my parents. And as far as privacy for the parents, considering I have younger brothers, I do not seem to have been an impediment. I slept through the youngest’ birth in the next room, and through falling off my bunk bed, so I’d rather not think about what else has been going on next to me while I slept. 😉

  120. I haven’t read the other replies, but the crib manufacturers wanted this ban. They were the primary driving force. They wanted it because a big crib recall or lawsuit could shut down many of the manufacturers- at least one was put out of business by it. Yet people want the drop side cribs, changing to fixed side cribs or drop leaf cribs would also be financial suicide when bigger manufacturers would be continued to allow to make them.

    So, yeah, this is a business decision as much or moreso than it is a safety decision. I don’t care, either way- I like fixed side cribs, drop side/drop leaf are annoying to me.

  121. I waited for this post with baited breath since I read about the recall. You hit the nail on the head (once again). The government and “child safety advocates” fail to look at the statistics in comparison with the big picture. When i read about the recall, I immediately thought “Wait, that’s three deaths a year. I can think of about a million other things that kill more than three infants a year”.

  122. I like the recall because there is already an alternative, the gated crib. Why have a drop side when there are other ways of doing it that won’t feasibly kill the baby?

  123. I saw this column

    and thought of your post. It’s the same mindset.

  124. “ALL of the parents (especially the mothers) that I know of that co-sleep with their kid(s), say the same thing. They do it stay close to their children.”

    Not true at all. I co-slept because it was convenient for ME. Didn’t really give a slight consideration to the kiddo. Unfortunately, I’m a horrible sleeper and my daughter was a nightmare baby. She refused to nap and didn’t sleep through the night until 15 months old. And no, this wasn’t because of co-sleeping (it had to do with her extremely tiny size – still can’t get her over 3% in weight – and way out of the ordinary alertness). She actually slept the same regardless of where she slept. I, on the other hand, could stay in bed and barely wake up to deal with her or I could get out of bed and go to another room to deal with her and then be wide awake for hours because I have trouble falling back asleep once fully awake.

    As soon as my child slept through the night, co-sleeping stopped. I’ve never had a problem getting her to sleep in her own bed. She occasionally wakes up at night and crawls into mine but it’s not a routine thing. And the constant refrain from every teacher she’s had since she was 1 is that she is extremely independent and self-assured so co-sleeping didn’t hurt her at all.

    My view on the debate is to do what works. I was adamant that I was never going to co-sleep until I had my nightmare baby. In the end, it’s what worked best to get us both the most amount of sleep possible (and keep me out of prison for killing her). I did end up enjoying snuggling with her at night but, with a different kid, I probably never would have co-slept.

  125. This is the one place where I cannot agree. If I am buying something, it seems to me I want the safest product on the market. I bought mine because it was fixed and that was supposed to be safer. If I can buy a potentially safer product and it makes no difference to me, I want the safer product.

    No need for scare tactics. Thanks for the info Nicole (I found it reasonable and interesting).

    I have a fixed crib and I’m short. I worried alot about being able to reach the baby. It was never a problem.

    Fixed cribs are designed differently than drop side ones (which I’ve used at my mum’s and in-law’s places). My crib has an extra setting for the mattress to be higher when the baby is smaller.

    Unless you are very very short, I can’t see it being a problem. It’s no harder on my back. And as he was able to sit and stand up, I lowered the mattress.

  126. Oh, and Lenore, you said: “I am sure they tested their cribs because no company deliberately puts dangerous products on the market, if only because they know they could be sued up the wazzoo.”

    And yet–lead paint in toys. Cadmium in toys. Sold by major toy companies. Recently. We now read labels to see where our daughter’s toys, bottles, pacifiers, etc. are made, no matter what logo is on the packaging.

  127. A society can’t ban products due to deliberately misconstrued statistics and call itself a free society. Products don’t come from nowhere: banning products destroys businesses and livelihoods. You can only shrug off the unnecessary illegalization of any product (or service) if you discount the people behind the product.

  128. There’s another consideration here with respect to the law of unintended consequences. How many deaths or injuries happened each year before dropside cribs were invented by short or overburdened parents trying to get their kids and and out of a crib that was too high for them to get them over safely? We’ll probably never know because you can’t then blame it on the product, and while this is pure speculation on my part, I suspect it would come out that there were a few deaths among the millions of kids out there caused by a weird accident while being put in and out of a crib because it did NOT have dropsides.

    We have a general problem in society with underregulation of extremely dangerous things — cars, for example, or drivers, to be more particular — and overregulation of things that appear to be dangerous but which statistically are just as dangerous as sitting around all day in a comfy chair on a feather pillow doing nothing.

  129. I already agreed that his recall is silly. But one more thing to add: A lot of people are complaining about not being able to lift the kids out of the bed without a drop side. Remember that most cribs these days have an adjustable mattress support too, that brings them up closer to the top of railing when they are litte. Then every few months you lower it another notch. I am not really short, but this helped me tremendously since I had a BIG baby!
    (Ps. I bought a drop side crib. I received info and a kit to make it NON-drop side in the mail and so I just went ahead and installed it last year. Even though I thought it was fine. I shoulda just trusted my instinct and left it alone. We will continue to use the crib. My parents also use a dropside crib at their house for grandkids and it works fine too.)

  130. But won’t you think of the CHILDREN??????

    Seriously, is there any crib that doesn’t get recalled? So many of these recalls come out every year. Our fixed side crib was one of the many that got recalled this year or last year. We use it so infrequently that we decided not to replace it.

  131. This is exactly what I have been thinking. Thank you for saying something.
    Now I’m stuck with a crib my baby doesn’t sleep in because I can’t reach far enough over the NON drop side to lay him on the mattress gently. The only way to get him in there after he’s asleep is reach over as far as I can then drop him the last 2 or 3 inches which would wake him up.

  132. You are right! This ban is absolutely riduculous! And although I agree, I’m off of this board now! How can you believe Cry it out is okay for your children…yes they stop crying…becuase they feel abandoned and don’t even bother to try to reach out to their parents because they know you have abandoned them…Sad, sad, sad…My cosleeping, nurtured children feel safe and secure…are safer in my bed…and know I am here for them anytime (day or night)…and when they choose to transition out of the bed (at about 3-4 years in our family), they do so happily and confidently!

    And for those that say you have to sacrifice marital status…you just aren’t creative! My husband and I have plenty of time together 🙂

  133. I loved my son’s crib…It made a great storage container. We ended up cosleeping so the crib was actually a waste of money (cosleeping is great when done properly.)

    I do think that a redesign of cribs would be good, though.

  134. I safely coslept with all three of my children. It helped tremendously with nursing and my sleeping. We did it safely. Many other cultures around the world do it as a normal practice, with fewer SIDS deaths. It is all about using common sense and being knowledgable about your choices and making educated decisions.

    Oh – and my father? He slept in a drawer on the ground as a baby. Yes a drawer. That’s all his parents had. And he survived. Today they’d probably be arrested.

  135. I have photographic proof that I slept in dresser drawer and also the back hatch of a GMC Pacer. Just sayin’.

  136. I totally agree about the recall. It is unnecessary.

    As far as co-sleeping, there are right ways to do it and wrong ways to do it. Car seats are installed incorrectly all the time and infants die or are injured in accidents because of this. But, do we ban infant car seats? No. Why? Because done correctly, they are very safe. It’s the same thing with co-sleeping. There are guidelines. And most of the time when a baby is injured or dies from co-sleeping, it is because the parent was doing it wrong.

  137. Great post! I have a drop side crib and will continue to use it as I am confident that it is well made, assembled properly and safe for my kids. I am aware of the risks and take steps to manage those risks. Luckily, drop-sides haven’t been banned in Canada yet, so I’m hoping I can sell it when I’m done with it.

    Some info to add to above arguments and questions:

    Most fixed side cribs are actually a lot lower than drop side to make reaching baby easier. There’s really no reason for cribs to be as high as they are. Cutting legs down shouldn’t affect the structural integrity of a crib – it would probably improve it (lower to ground = lower centre of gravity = more stable… assuming the legs are evenly cut by someone proficient with using a saw).

    I’m not going to go into co-sleeping too much, but am going to say that there is plenty of research indicating that it is safe (if done properly – i.e. with breastfeed babies, next to mom, no alcohol, etc.), it is the norm in any culture but North American and Western European, and studies show that kids who co-sleep with their parents grow up to be independent and well-adjusted. Check out Our Babies, Ourselves by Meredith Small for some of the research. That said, co-sleeping is not for everyone – parents should not be judged for using a crib or for co-sleeping. We are entitled to make choices for our own families.

    Re: deaths associated with co-sleeping – similar deaths occuring in cribs are often attributed to SIDS. The causes of infant deaths in many cases are not clear, though if co-sleeping is involved it is often blamed.

  138. […] think Lenore at Free Range Kids summarizes my feelings best when she says Over the past nine years, 32 children have died in these cribs. That is tragic. My heart sinks […]

  139. It’s not just the death rate, but rather known technical defects as well as the specific conditions in which those defects might lead to more deaths, that we need to examine. I’m all for free-range, but I don’t want to give a free ride to the business community with simplistic comparative death rates. If you want to make a point, that’s fine. But if you are a parent like many out there, you want to know the context, the analysis, the assumptions, limitations of the results, and questions/concerns that the studies leave unanswered. I’m a free range parent who believes in empirical observation, linear thinking, and cost-benefit (and cost effectiveness) analysis.

  140. I had a drop side crib collapse and my daughter was stuck by the neck. She was screaming, I went in to check on her, it was very dark, I was very confused, I stepped on her, I couldn’t figure out what she was doing outside of the crib. I tried to pick her up, assuming the logical – she had fallen out and was scared- but she had actually fallen THROUGH, and her neck was stuck between the bottom of the drop side and the top of the mattress.

    The kicker – it wasn’t the drop side that failed. It was the plug that the bolt that held the mattress support screwed into that worked its way out of the wood. Hope that makes sense.

    My daughter was 20ish months at this point. It seemed KIND of silly to buy a new crib at that point, but she wasn’t ready for a toddler bed. My husband said “If you want to go out and buy a brand new crib, I won’t fault you.” But it seemed silly. I ended up snagging the 30 year old drop side crib from my dad’s house, borrowed from a family friend, which had slept at least 3 babies before mine. An dold Simmons with the metal bar the drop side slides on. That thing is built like a TANK. If you look at it side by side with the newer drop side cribs, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how newer cribs just aren’t as well made. It’s not the drop side that is a problem. It’s the cheapening of materials. For starters older cribs had multiple attachment points at each corner of the mattress, rather than all the weight resting on one point.

    We moved her into that old “death trap” crib and had no problems. The only problem with that crib is the bars are slightly further apart than a newer crib – not get your head trapped dangerous, but more likely to get a limb stuck.

    I am pregnant now with #4 and I am on the fence if we will use that crib. There is no doubt in my mind it is safe. But after 30 years – it’s kinda ugly, LOL.

    Anyway I wanted to chime in as a mom who had a drop side crib try to eat her baby – I think the ban is stupid. I would buy another dropside in an instant – but I’d check that it was well constructed.

  141. A couple of people in my family were criticized for not co-sleeping. Lets see in each case the Mother has a history of sleepwalking and night terrors. Started as toddlers/Preschoolers and continued till yesterday at least. (no trauma it is genetic)

  142. I thought you would be interested in this news article in our area about a Mom being charged with neglect for having her kindergartener walk to school.

  143. more kids die from adverse reactions to vaccines each year too, but they PUSH and MANDATE those rather than ban them! IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE!!!

  144. oh, and the problem with the newer drop side cribs these days are that they are very cheaply made…most are probably made in china (especially if bought from target, walmart, or kmart). the old ones were built to last.

  145. What I find funny is that there is this whole hub ub about the drop side cribs but what about car seat safety?! They dont care that children die because car seats arent installed properly or because children are forward facing when they should be rear facing OR when 3 yr olds are in booster seats because the weight requirements say 40 lbs….PLEASE! I think we have much more important things to worry about than drop side cribs!

  146. For me, at my height, the lowering of the mattress as the kid gets bigger IS the problem! They’re heavier, and now I have to pick them up from a LOWER position? Nope. No thanks.

    And, all three, 2 kids and the grandkid, have been in toddler beds at about 18 months. We bought regular, twin size bunk beds when our kids were 3 and a half and 18 months. Nobody ever fell out. Grandkid was in a regular twin size at 3. They literally got too long for the toddler bed. They’re all tall, like my husband.

  147. I’m sorry I couldn’t find your email, but please blog about this!

  148. @Kimberly – Wow, a 5 year old walking to & from school alone, in the inner city, without reliable sidewalks or crossing guards. Every day. Along a route that the school even deemed hazardous.

    I don’t think that’s “free range parenting”; that’s just irresponsible.

  149. I have an older, 80’s model, all wood and metal drop sided crib that we bought used. It is GREAT. I totally trust it though never used the drop part – we’re tall and appreciate the height! As previously stated, the issue isn’t the drop part, it’s the plastic crap part.

    The issue that is looming is that the law states that all hotels and child care facilities will have one year to replace all drop sides… My guess is that this will also include foster families and those of us in the process of adoption.

    There is nothing wrong with my crib and yet I will likely be forced to buy a new to me crib just to meet safety inspections. I get their concern but they also made us take a class on line on car seat safety… This class pointed out that over 80% of car seats are not properly installed. And yet, we can still drive foster kids in cars. I just really don’t get it.

  150. You’re wrong when you say the odds go up when the number of users goes up. The number of accidents may go up, but the odds may stay exactly the same. That’s the whole reason we compare things from variously-sized data set using odds, rather than simply comparing total occurrences. Duh.

  151. kelly Who’s to say that the route is really dangerous? If you read up to a certain amount out there in general you learn that schools practically deem breathing hazardous, so I wouldn’t put much stock in their view.

    My position, though, comes down to this–if said mom wants to parent her child this way, it isn’t anyone else’s business to tell her otherwise, and to me, yes–that includes the law too. It’s none of their business–and if the statues say it is, well then they’re wrong, and need to be overturned, and the parent shouldn’t have to change her behavior in the meantime just to make the legalists happy. It’s her child, not theirs. Others need to leave her alone.


  152. Somehow, my 3 cousins, and the three kids in my house survived both a drop-sided crib and one whose slats (horrors) were spaced uther apart than modern cribs. This was one crib mind you, and as my eldest cousin is now around 60 if my memory of our relative ages is correct, and my little sister 40, this crip was in pretty continuous use for around 20 years…. Daddyhad to tighten up the screws because my brother used to rock the thing to death, but it lasted well. Modern cribs were so flimsy (in our price range) when my daughter was born in ’89 we got my hubby’s old crib (which went through at least 3 kids) from their attic. My daughter never got stuck in the slats. I did have the crib bumpers because I got them as a gift,but they soon got removed because she’d get stuck in them LOL. My last two boys have co-slept….the oldest is emotionally needy in a lot of ways, and keeping him in his room is a fight even now, but when you almost get born at 24 weeks and get subjected to stress tests every few days (which he hated) you end up with some quirks. The little guy is actually less needy, but still wants to cuddle to sleep. No problem for now. Daughter absolutely refused to sleep with me unless she was sick, so a lot of the co-sleeping debates boil down to your individual kids. Daughter refused to breast feed, or eat snuggled up. Oldest boy threw a fit at 5 when it was made clear he wasn’t getting breast fed any longer, youngest weaned himself at about a year old. I asked my mom before her death about the three of us… I weaned at 14 months (except briefly insisting on a bottle when brother was born), brother at 9 months, sister at 2 years. Had nothing to do with parenting styles, just our own personalities. I was apparently imposible to get to stay in bed at night, brother IIRC was fine,sister needed someone to lay down with her until she dropped off. Daughter would go to sleep drinking a bottle,then (because I am short, and dropping the crib rail was impossible with 10 lbs of baby in my arms) would get dropped an inch or so half the time, get woken up, and have to be held and walked back to sleep. The whole crying it out thing was what was touted in the books I read back in ’89. I tried this. I intuitively felt it wrong, but tried anyway. You know what? ALL my kids are every bit as stubborn as I was(am). No way I am letting a child howl more than an hour, and that’s what it would have taken.

    Eldest son used to hide from the baby heart mnitors in utero. You would hear him scrunch as far away from the vibrations as he could. Then he’d rush it and you could see it bounce from the impact, and he’d hide again. But singing to mom’s belly would bring himup and he’d genty push at that place. The stress tests….ultrasound+monitor+stimulation to keep his heart rate up x seconds…. they quit working, he’d zen out by the time he’d gone through about 3 because he knew he couldn’t excape. As a newborn, he seldom cried, he mewed quietly because he didn’t expect any relief from discomfort- hunger or being wet. Once he figured out we would deal with his problems, he gained confidence and started crying or hollering for attention. But he had learned helplessness in the womb, and had to learn otherwise. That is part of why he is so needy I think. But then again, some kids just are. He’s pretty sure of himself, outgoing, has no problems making friends, polite (at least that is what people tell us), epathic, creative, spontaneous and ADHD which is its own set of problems. But letting him cry it out was never an option as an infant, not after the in the womb experiances, then having sleep apnea (caught because we were co-sleeping), athma and allergies (to corn sugars-caused collicky baby if mom ate too much corn syrup). So he has reasons for being who and how he is.

    Rather than a crib ban, safety testing (my brother’s rocking, which dented the wall simulated seems like a good test) and going back to the tank like construction of the 50’s cribs seems to be a better answer. They didn’t ban cars because people died in crashes, they mandated crash tests. Mandate crib tests. Bounce weights, rock the thing, vibrate it, raise and lower the side 100.000 times. If it fails, re-design it. But even with the matress at the top level, I tend to drop a heavy sleeping child the last little bit.

    I guess my point is that as a society we are smothering our kids in cotton, and some of us have to do a lot more smothering than we would prefer because around here, if someone holds a grudge against you, they call CPS with some bogus claim. Since they have to come out, they will look until they find SOMETHING. I had a friend with a house which had an unsafe 2cd story porch. The door to said porch was nailed shut. They had to put a padlock on the nailed shut door. It was a farm, they had a woodpile with scraps of 2×4 and such to use in the woodstove. It had to be fenced off. Not because any of the kids had been injured, but because to justify the visit, they had to find something. Their real crime? Grandpa on hubby;s side felt that a Coke and an asprin would cure anything. Granddaughter had a rare condition where her kidneys let poisons out and trapped the good stuff- Mom left hubby so daughter could get medical care and moved in with her parents. Hubby’s family called social services. I’m scared around here NOT to helicopter…to trail my kids on the playground, to leave the 11 and 7 year olds in the car while I go in to pre-pay my gas. Soeone called SS on us claiming broken glass in our yard and our son had been to the ER because he stepped on it. Uh, no. No glass to my knowlege. Only ER visit was a croup attack. But they still had to waste time investigating.

    I’m a flaming liberal, but I long for the days when you could live a little dangerously…like learnig to steer a car on the back roads in your father’s lap, or my parents used to leave me with a comic book on the windowsill of the store while they bought groceries. Where my brother and I used to trick-or treat at ages 6 and 2 together without adults trailing us in cars. Stuff that today would get me arrested as a mom.

  153. WOW! Lots of responses to this one! I stopped reading about 1/2 way so forgive me if I am duplicating an existing post.
    I point out the law of unintended consequences.
    Were drop side cribs the most popular choice? If so where will all the babies be sleeping that WOULD have slept in a drop side? Some will co-sleep. I do not know if that is unsafe or not. I hear “stories” of babies smothered, I know ours fell out of bed onto the floor a few times. Luckily we are poor housekeepers and there was dirty laundry piled up to cushion his tiny baby head.
    Will we ban co-sleeping? I mean every life is precious, if we can save even one family from the heartache…
    Fixed side cribs? A short mother who now must climb a step stool to get to her child. What if she falls while carrying the baby to or from the crib?
    Do we ban step stools in the nursery? Or short women from giving birth?
    We are becoming a nation of pale, sightless worms. We are evolving into a society that cannot think for itself, much less raise our children to do so!
    I think I will encourage my children to take chances, think for themselves, to bounce their balls.

  154. Lenore, maybe one chapter of your next book should be:


    Detail how everything can and will be dangerous or fatal to somebody sometime.

  155. Everything in moderation, I say.

    I just wanted to add to the point about some co-sleeping parents not knowing when to stop. Case in point, my SIL. She has two kids, a 16 yr old boy and a 12 yr old girl. Both are still co-sleeping with their parents. To me, that is just not normal or healthy.

  156. JennyNY, it’s good that you’re leaving this board; there are plenty of parenting styles out there, and your blanket assumption that one of them results in abandoned, un-safe/un-secure and non-nurtured children is not welcome here.

  157. My kids are 4, 2, & 2–What’s with the crib? Was I supposed to have one? Could I have left kids in a crib when I did stuff, like use the bathroom? My mind is reeling….

  158. Regulations and recalls always make goods more expensive. As that happens, whether cars or cribs, the poorest will be forced to use old, used items…..which are usually less safe than new.

  159. very thanks good are best…

  160. Great post! Might be your best ever. As far as your remove balls from the nation you’re to late. Our elected officials have already done that.

  161. “This is not a case of trying to control the outside world. This is as basic as outlet covers for toddlers.”

    Well now, some of us might not think outlet covers basic. In fact, I never used them with my second toddler, having discovered with my first that they merely attract attention to outlets that would otherwise have been ignored. My first saw the covers, thought, oooh…that looks like something fun to pry out! She then spent a great deal of time trying to locate metal objects to pry them out. My second child, for whom I used NO outlet covers, never showed the slightest interest in the outlets.

    I had a drop side crib I used for both kids. I loved it. No problems. My husband assembled it so I’m not sure how difficult it was, but clearly he managed fine. I’m not sure what you mean by all this toddler bed conversion talk…ours you would remove the drop side completely if you were converting it to a toddler bed, which we never did anyway, because it was too high for a toddler bed even when fully lowered.

    But to actually make a product illegal because 30 people have died in ten years…in the end, what could be legal?

  162. Oh, and to add, I simply could not reach a lying child with a non-drop side crib to pick him/her up. One of the curses of being short. If I had a fixed side crib, I guess I would have had to climb a stool, and pick my kid up while standing on a stool…or climbed into the crib…all sounds pretty dangerous.

  163. “One of the things with drop side cribs that they stress is that its not so much about being assembled properly the first time – you are supposed to go in and re-tighten all the hardware once a month or so if you have a drop side crib.”

    I wasn’t aware of that. We used such a crib for four years with two kids and never once tighetened the hardware. They then used it as a jungle gym for an additional two years. That drop side never once came loose. I wonder if there are different types and qualities, and they just banned them all instead of setting standards?

  164. Seems to be a lot of condemnation of parents for co-sleeping “too long”, because it’s “not right” or “unsafe” or “creates brats” and then in the very next breath, “get the government out of my bedroom” with regards to the type of crib you choose to use or how you want your kids to get to school.

    So, which is it? Are you FOR individual parental choice – doing what works for your own family, or are you AGAINST it & want regulation & meddling?

    What goes on in another person’s bedroom ISN’T YOUR BUSINESS. If cosleeping or using a drop-side crib is working for a family, that’s their own choice.

  165. “Time and again, I’ve seen parents who honestly try it have 1 really rough night, 1 iffy night, and by the 3rd or 4th day, all’s quiet on the nursery front.”

    It totally depends on the kid, I think. We left our son to “cry it out”, and it took him approximately 60 seconds a night. We left our daughter, and it took at least 30 minutes every night, not just the first few nights – but for months. I did find, however, that if I went in to comfort her, it just started ALL over again the second I laid her back down, so it would be two hours before she fell asleep if I went in to her every ten mintues. Thus, eventually, we just turned off the monitor for the first 30 minutes and shut the door, and it stopped being so rough…on us. It was probably rough on her. She got over it, though, and learned to sing or talk herself to sleep as she got older.

    I think it’s entirely a parental preference and doesn’t really make much difference either way to the long term health, happiness, and sleep habits of the kid. If a parent can’t stand going in constantly, s/he lets the kid cry it out. If a parent can’t stand to endure the crying, s/he goes in. It’s all a matter of the parent’s personal comfort, in the end. But bad sleepers remain bad sleepers and good sleepers remain good sleepers, more or less. Sleep habits are tied to personality, and you can only affect personality so much. I have one of each – a good and bad sleeper. And I’m a bad sleeper and my husband is a good one. And how our parents put us to bed had nothing to do with it.

  166. This i

  167. Hahaha, I was sending that comment from my phone and the thing is retarded.

    Anyway, this is anonymous because I’m prepared for people to be horrified, but I don’t want to deal with personal attacks.

    I cosleep, exclusively for the convenience. I nurse my kids, and I can sleep through the feedings if they’re already in my bed. When they start getting wiggly (about 3 months), I move them to a bassinet for the first part of the night, but they end up back in bed each night because I’m too tired from moving them in and out. When it seems like they *can* sleep through the night (about 5-6 months) I move them into a drop-side crib in the other room and forget about them til morning. For me, CIO only works because I pay attention to my instincts. As a mom, you learn what is crying for attention, and what is crying that isn’t going to stop until you fix it. For all my kids, if they cray more than 5 minutes, it’s not ending unless I calm them down. So why waste time and make them feel neglected? However, 5 minutes of crying isn’t going to hurt anyone.

    Now the part where people are going to get judgmental: As for where my husband and I have sex, it’s in bed with the baby on one end, and us on the other. That kid doesn’t know what’s going on, and I’m not going to risk her waking up by moving somewhere first. We’ve got a king size bed.

    And like others have said, the bed’s not the only place you can get bizzay!

    My parents had 9 kids in 15 years and coslept with all of us for at least a year. They were probably having sex with me in the bed. I’m not going to ask, they’re not going to bring it up, and we’re all fine. No one is emotionally scarred.

    Oh yeah, drop-side cribs are the BOMB! My newborns take naps in them with the mattress all the way up and the side all the way down so I don’t have to drop them onto the mattress when they’re asleep.

  168. We’re fighting amongst ourselves but missing the bigger picture. What right does the government have to ban things outright? We haven’t banned cigarettes and they are linked to more deaths than cribs. If it’s that much of a problem add a warning label to the crib. Although that might actually be counterproductive. People would probably laugh at it. “This crib design is linked to 32 deaths” Let us decide for ourselves what’s right for our family. One way of doing things is not any better or worse than others. It’s called choice, and they seem to want to take more and more of it away from us.

  169. “it’s a secret” — No flames here! I could have written your post almost word for word. That is nearly the exact routine we’ve followed with all our kids for bedtime.

    Now, that said, if it doesn’t work for this next baby, we’ll do something else. For me “attachment parenting” isn’t about following a specific set of rules, but rather being responsive to each particular child’s needs. For our first child that meant cosleeping for longer. For our second, we only coslept for a couple months. She simply wanted her own space. This baby….who knows?!?

    We also “get busy” with the baby in the room. Although generally we will put them in the bassinet next to the bed or the swing in our room. Mostly because we have a queen, so not as much space!

    I actually think it’s funny how prudish people are about having sex with a sleeping baby in the room. But, to each his own. Everyone needs to make their own decision about what they’re comfortable with. Again, like cosleeping, it’s been the norm for the vast majority of human history & is still the norm in much of the non Western world. When you have a whole family living in one room, often with only one or two sleeping areas, well, it doesn’t take a lot to figure out that most parents are doing it while the kids are asleep or finding “creative” spots! LOL

  170. I wanted to write something just like this when I read the news report yesterday. Thank you!

    I wonder about the people for whom drop side cribs made a huge difference in their ability to care for their children, particularly people with disabilities. I had a slight glimpse into this when I had pleurisy for 10 days with a newborn. I was unable to use my left arm most of the time and it was very difficult to get my baby in and out of a crib. If I had not been able to drop the sides, I’m not sure how I would have done it.

    Luckily, she never got very heavy and I rarely had to drop the sides of the crib once I got healthy again. But had she, I don’t think I would have had the strength to lean over and down and pick her up as she got older.

  171. AnnMarie — even a simpler, more common, situation, like pregnancy, creates that issue. When I was pregnant with #2, getting #1 out of a crib would have been very difficult, especially since I tried to obey the “don’t lift things that are too heavy” rule. Mine were 24 months apart, so by the time I was big enough to be concerned about it, I had an 18+ month old to lift. With the drop side, I could just have her put her arms around my neck and swing her down, without using so much lift. Without a drop side, a pregnant mom has to heave the toddler up over the rail — which is the kind of thing you’re not supposed to do.

    Sometimes following all the safety rules isn’t just ridiculous, it’s literally impossible because they contradict.

  172. The author’s analysis completely misses the point. This is a repeatable, non-random causation. It may or may not be frequent… but it is predictable and repeatable. Argue that they should have gone after higher frequency defects perhaps, but this one is also statistically valid…

  173. But it is a good question — who decided that crib mattresses need to be 2 feet off the ground at their lowest? Surely that makes things more difficult for more people than putting cribs at normal bed height and having parents bend down to pick the child up.

  174. My kids’ crib’s lowest setting was the same height as a toddler bed (since it was convertible) – not 2′ off the ground for sure. It worked for us. But, I was never pregnant, etc., so I really don’t know what would be ideal for the majority of moms. One would hope the crib mfrs did some research before setting a standard.

  175. I don’t like having sex with the dog in the room. But that’s just me. I didn’t spend my time building out that nursery just to have the kid in my bed. I can walk the couple feet to give a bottle (AND I DO!). Disclosure – it’s pumped breast milk (not looking to turn co-sleeping argument into breast feeding argument that never ends well) that way we both get to bond and my wife gets some sleep.

  176. Of course, buffy, that goes both ways – JennyNY’s comment wasn’t nearly as nasty as the anti-cosleeping comment that started this discussion.

    Also, just to stir the pot some more:

  177. […] Lenore Skenazy: “As for cribs, one reason the drop-side models seem so ‘dangerous’ is because they are so popular. When you have millions of people using anything, no matter how safe, the odds of an accident go up because the odds go up with the numbers. … These products are not deadly. There’s a difference between a deadly product (cyanide) and a product that sometimes results in death (a grape). We keep obscuring that difference, and congratulating the folks who act as if it is only a lack of vigilance that allows anyone to die of anything other than old age.” […]

  178. Co sleeping worked just fine for my wife and I. In fact, our first slept in our bed for the entire time he was nursing. My wife would nurse him without either of them actually waking up (I know because I saw it happen one night). We all slept through the night after his first week home.

    Our second (20 months later) was more of a drama queen about feeding and required the full on mom in a chair, lights on treatment for her night time feedings (of which there were at least 2).

    Both kids are independent, intelligent and fully functional little people.

  179. “One would hope the crib mfrs did some research before setting a standard.”

    I don’t think it’s a standard, exactly, so much as a custom. Convertible cribs may well be lower, but non-convertible ones may not be precisely 24″, but they’re a lot higher than they need to be. Why shouldn’t they just be as low as play yards, for that matter? It makes sense to have them high when the baby is very small so you don’t have to bend down, but when the mattress has to be lowered to keep a larger child in safely, why shouldn’t it go almost to floor level? If there are people with issues that prevent them bending that low, there could also be cribs designed to stay higher.

  180. I didn’t read the comments, but if you do the math it is 4 million babies*9 years of babies born*365 days/year*1.5 years (average time babies sleep in cribs, as per my three)= 19,710,000,000 (19 BILLION 710 million) nights slept in these cribs with 32 deaths…how much safer can you get? My bet is in most cases, it is parental negligence (not checking hardware, etc.) that caused the cribs to fail. Just wondering how many head injuries we will have now from babies who get dropped being put into or out of cribs that parents can’t reach safely because the sides don’t drop.

  181. Maybe to keep the critters away from the kiddies while they sleep? To allow more under-bed storage? I don’t know. I never knew it was an isssue. Personally it seems more cheery for the kid to be at a higher level for interaction, but that’s probably because I’m used to that.

  182. Is CoSleeping Safe than drop side cribs?

    According to a quick search I found this site:

    According to the CPSC, at least 515 deaths were linked to infants and toddlers under 2 years of age sleeping in adult beds from January 1990 to December 1997:

    121 of the deaths were attributed to a parent, caregiver, or sibling rolling on top of or against a baby while sleeping

    more than 75% of the deaths involved infants younger than 3 months old

  183. —— So, which is it? Are you FOR individual parental choice – doing what works for your own family, or are you AGAINST it & want regulation & meddling? —–

    False dichotomy. I’m for the government staying out of people’s affairs, but I have definite, strong opinions about many aspects of parenting. I don’t approve of extended co-sleeping because I see too many kids who won’t get out of mommy’s bed, but I don’t think the law should have a say in the matter.

  184. Wow, there are a lot of comments on here! I wanted to remark on a couple of things, and I tried to read everything first, but there’s so much! So I hope I’m not repeating anything.

    Regarding co-sleeping. That is some people’s parenting choice. And what I like most about the Free-Range Kids philosophy is we don’t judge other people’s parenting choices. I’ve said before “We have nothing to fear, but the judgement of other parents.” So, as far as co-sleeping goes if you do it, good for you, and if you don’t good for you, too. Guess what? I combined the two!! I would put my kids down in the crib/bassinet, and often take them out for feedings and then allow myself and baby to both go back to sleep for the rest of the night in bed. I made sure that my bed was safe, and that the crib was safe, and these transitions always went off without a hitch for me and baby. The crib vs. co-sleep wars that I’m seeing on here are like the bottle vs. breast wars. Just accept other people’s parenting choices!
    And these alleged co-sleeping death “statistics” are just as flawed as the crib death statistics. I did my research on this when my kids were infants, and guess what? Included in the number of co-sleeping deaths is parents who were over-tired/high or drunk/etc. and fell asleep holding their baby. Also included are parents who decided a couch or recliner would be a good place to co-sleep. And parents who had pillowy matresses, fluffy comforters, adjustable beds, too many pillows, etc., etc., etc. We may never know the number of deaths from proper co-sleeping, but it seems to me someone found it easier to stop the research there and lump it all in together as “co-sleeping”.

    Now, back to cribs. Yes, cribs kill almost one in a million children each year, and it has been determined that this is due to improper assembly or user error. I’m curious as to what the statistic is for car-seat deaths caused by this reason, and I’m confident it’s at least close, if not higher. Even if the seat or base is installed properly, improper buckling of the child negates the five-point restraint system. This was brought to my attention by a nurse at the hospital where my second child was born. She told me that a couple from her church lost a child because although he was buckled in, the chest buckle was fastened around his waist (right above the buckle that goes between the legs), and he was thrown from the seat upon impact. She showed me where to fasten the buckle (connecting the two armpits), and that’s all it took. A warning and a “spread the word”. I don’t have a problem pointing it out to my friends, and I even got Kia to change part of one of their TV ads when it showed an improperly buckled child.
    So what would be the reasonable thing to do about cribs? A warning. Demonstrate what could be dangerous and why in the user manual. Most (if not all) communities have “car seat safety stations” at the police or fire station. You can have an officer or firefighter check to make sure your seat is installed properly. They’ll even come to your home if you can’t get out without the baby! Some volunteers to help unsure parents set up their cribs and check them for safety would be a huge part of keeping kids safe. Oh, and look, once again we come back to the whole community thing…parents and neighbors helping each other will ultimately be what keeps our kids safe.

  185. You are so awesome. Thank you. Great comparisons with cars & bucking broncos, cyanide & grapes. It really is no wonder parenting seems so f*cking hard these days when really, it should be a great deal easier in certain ways. (Though I think lack of extended family to help with even minor stuff like picking up milk does take a huge toll.) I just keep thinking — how are all these moms (like me) with just one child going around barely able to scrape themselves off the floor with exhaustion? What is going on? It’s almost like the dynamic you describe is that much more operative with a single child. What possible excuse did you have for not standing behind your toddler as he went down the slide and then catching him on the other end too? Your only task was to keep that one child safe and you didn’t even manage that?????

  186. Numbers never lie
    but you can lie with numbers…

    I don’t want any children to die. But is it the government’s responsibility to legislate every aspect of our lives.

    We are a Lawsuit happy people. The first thing that as happens when anything bad or even inconvenient happens is we ask ourselves “Who can we sue?” of “How much money can I get out of this?”

    Look at the warnings we see every day:

    Caution! Coffee is HOT!
    (No S*#t Sherlock! do you want COLD Coffee?)
    Do not Iron clothes while wearing!
    Do not use this device in the shower!

    How and where does it end?

  187. “Maybe to keep the critters away from the kiddies while they sleep? To allow more under-bed storage? I don’t know. I never knew it was an isssue. Personally it seems more cheery for the kid to be at a higher level for interaction, but that’s probably because I’m used to that.”

    SKL, I don’t mean to be argumentative, just thinking out loud about the history of this. “Keeping critters away” doesn’t seem to be a reasonable explanation for a product that came into its presence shape in mid-20th century America. If you mean bugs, six inches would do that as effectively as a foot and a half or whatever it is.

    “More cheery for the kids at a higher level for interaction” — cribs are generally for sleeping, where there’s little interaction, and even now we put kids in ground-level play yards and bouncy chairs, etc., for waking time, so that doesn’t seem to explain it, either.

    Under bed storage, maybe — but ISTM that since the primary function of a crib is for a kid to sleep in rather than to provide storage, if that was a big issue, you’d have what I propose: different kinds of cribs for different purposes, just like you have differently designed beds for different purposes (some have built-in storage, some are lofts, some are bunks, some are just basic frames, some have shelves in the headboards, etc.), rather than one universal design for all cribs.

  188. Pentamom – there is no one universal design for all cribs. However, I live in an urban area and have access to TONS of different design.

  189. Well if all cribs were hand-made to order, there probably would be no standards. But if you were running a mass-manufacturing business, you’d have to settle on a limited number of options, or you’d be out of business very quickly.

    I would also note that not all beds are the same height. So making the crib the same height as a bed doesn’t seem to be the answer.

    After thinking further, it seems to me that people used to put cribs in the parents’ bedrooms (many still do) and it would seem to make sense for the crib to be around the same height as the bed, so Mom and baby could see each other while lying down (if that’s what Mom wanted). Now I really don’t know if that influenced the original design or not. I guess I’ll have to defer to anyone who has actually studied the history of crib design.

    The only time I remember crib height being an issue was on my first babysitting job, when I was 10. The family had a fixed-side crib and the baby (33 lbs, 13 mos) was unable to sleep outside of his crib. I literally had to drop the kid in. (No injury occurred.)

  190. @DirtyHooker – you’ve seen too many kids who won’t get out of Mommy’s bed. Okay, but why is that your business or concern? If a kid doesn’t want to get out of Mommy’s bed, and Mommy doesn’t mind, then good for them. It is solely their own business. Cosleeping has been around since the dawn of time. Plenty of research out there showing attachment to parents is a good thing, not a bad thing. But all that aside, if it works for the family, then great. Isn’t that the point of free range parenting? Figuring out what works best for your own kids & family without fear and guilt and regulations and NOSY PEOPLE getting into your business?

    Now if it’s your OWN children and it bothers you, then by all means, do what you need to do to make yourself comfortable, but someone else’s children? Not your business & I don’t see why you’d approve or not approve. What someone else does inside of their home doesn’t affect you. Someone else cosleeping isn’t damaging you, and I submit cosleeping isn’t damaging anyone when done following common-sense safety precautions.

  191. Came for the post–which turned out to be a generic “HURF DURF GUMMIT DID SOMETHING, MUST BE THE WRONG THING”–and stayed for the entertaining spat over co-sleeping. I’ve got popcorn, here, this is *great*!

  192. As far as co-sleeping goes, it seems there are many people on both sides who really haven’t reasearched the issue thoroughly, or they don’t want to give credence to some of the things they have heard. I would venture to say that most co-sleepers would not do it if they heard that it’s typical for kids to stay in their parents’ beds until they were teens. So the question is, what is the risk that this can happen, and is there something I can do to keep that risk manageable? Same thing for babies getting smothered, kids being afraid to go pee alone, etc. (Well, of course, the first question is, do I want to share my bed with a kid?)

    In other words, what is needed here is better information-gathering, interpretation, and critical thinking skills. That is, if you want to take a stand one way or the other. “I won’t do it because my sister had a bad result” is fine, but “you shouldn’t do it based on that one data point” is not logical in my opinion. As is, “if you do it, it means you want that to happen.”

    No, I don’t want co-sleeping to be outlawed, but I do think it’s a tragedy that so many kids die that way. And yes, that’s a fact. My mom’s uncle was killed that way when a drunken father rolled over on him. It isn’t all that rare, and considering the selfishness reflected in such occurrances, yes, that is tragic. But, it’s also very easy to avoid. For starters, don’t put the kid in bed with a drunk person. It just blows my mind to know how many people let this happen. (And no, that has nothing to do with free range.)

  193. —– but why is that your business or concern? —-

    We all have opinions about everything, and when we expose our life decisions on a public forum, we invite complete strangers into our lives to pass judgment.

    Humans pass judgment all the time. When I walk down the street at night, I will walk by the old lady in the wheelchair, but I will cross the street to avoid the teenage boys on the corner because it’s my opinion that I’m more likely to get trouble from the boys than the old lady. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe those kids are angels and the old lady is a gang member, but it hurts no one to exercise my own judgment. I’m not pushing for laws to keep boys off the corner.

    On this blog, people frequently mock helicopter parents. It doesn’t hurt anyone if someone won’t let her 17-year-old daughter go to the bathroom by herself, but we all have opinions about it, and a blog comments section is one place for expressing them.

    I am anti extended co-sleeping, but I don’t think it’s on par with child abuse, thus my lack of desire to send police to the house of people practicing it.

    I’m just another random human reading a blog, and people who co-sleep are free to ignore my opinion and carry on.

  194. […] Big Brother watching out for your child. […]

  195. In regards to the comment about the link someone posted:
    “Wow, a 5 year old walking to & from school alone, in the inner city, without reliable sidewalks or crossing guards. Every day. Along a route that the school even deemed hazardous.
    I don’t think that’s “free range parenting”; that’s just irresponsible.”

    Um… what? I must have seen a different article and video from that same link.
    If that’s an “inner city” environment, I’ll eat my fuzzy winter hat. It’s in Utah, to start with.
    The route in question is actually simply across the street from the “approved” route… the “approved” route which *does not have sidewalks the whole way*.

    It very much sounds like a free range parenting issue. Saying something is irresponsible without really knowing the circumstances and jumping to conclusions instead, simply because it is outside of your comfort zone, seems very much the antithesis of what this site and movement are actually about.

    As for the co-sleeping, CIO, etc. issues:

    Honestly, I have very rarely run into anyone that brings up the Attachment and Natural Parenting ideals of breastfeeding, co-sleeping and all the rest without it carrying a fair amount of superiority or judgement, which made it especially jarring to see here. The fact that someone even said something about being shocked/horrified enough to leave over it makes me wonder what they were doing here to begin with, as part of the whole ideal behind this is to allow parents to decide how to parent their own children. There also seems to be, more often than not, an assumption that people who do not choose that simply “don’t know better” and need to be educated.

    Just like when people say we are putting our children at risk when we allow them to do any number of the free-range activities talked about here, saying we “don’t know how dangerous it is!” and so forth, people who act as if someone is simply being negligent because they opt not to co-sleep or choose to let their child cry it out is assuming they have not done any of their own research, assessed the risks/benefits, taken into account their own child and their own values, and *made a conscious, educated decision*. I get so many shocked reactions when I explain to my AP and NP friends that it is not that I didn’t have access to the information… I read quite a bit of it, actually… and I rejected it for my own reasons. Now, I do have a lot of beliefs in common with those same friends, but reactions and attitudes like those I’ve seen here on this thread are why I avoid related forums like the plague.

    I see no difference in comments that make it sound like there is something wrong with choosing to have your children sleep in their own bed because of your values (i.e. fostering independence, creating boundaries, taking care of your own emotional needs as you see necessary) or cry it out because you truly believe it to be the right approach for you, and comments found all over the ‘net about articles touching on some of the Free-Range ideals, saying someone is “endangering their children” because they are lazy, selfish, uncaring or ignorant. It’s the same “I know better what is right for your child(ren)” arrogance.

  196. This is the downside of regulations. Regulators can never be criticized for something that doesn’t happen. Therefore, it is always safer to ban something and follow zero tolerance than to be criticized for allowing statistical probability.

  197. @KLY – I was going by the posted article, using their wording; not jumping to any conclusions.
    DIRECTLY from the article:
    ” irresponsible for her to allow her young son to walk from school unaccompanied.”
    ” mile-long distance from school ”
    ” crosses two busy streets in order to get home. ”
    “hazardous bus routes in developing areas where cities hadn’t put in sidewalks or where other hazards exist”
    ” alarmed by the sheer number of vehicles traveling on [one of the roads].”
    ” There are no sidewalks for about half of the boy’s daily trek. ”

    I did NOT say “does not have sidewalks the whole way”. What I did say was: “without reliable sidewalks or crossing guards. Every day. Along a route that the school even deemed hazardous.”

    I also did not say, anyone was “lazy, selfish, uncaring or ignorant.”.

  198. Holy Hannah there are a lot of responses to this and I don’t have time to read through them all right now.

    I just wanted to say they were discussing this on a parenting site I belong to and I almost wrote the exact same thing but deleted it because I would have gotten flamed for saying such a “heartless” thing that 30 deaths in the millions of births is statistically nothing. All the other moms were saying things like, “it’s about time” and any parent that continues to use their drop side crib should be arrested for child endangerment. Never mind that millions of babies have used these cribs for over a century and few died because of it.

    We had a drop side crib when my older kids were babies. Eventually it did break after years of heavy abuse (I had 3 kids right in a row so it was constantly used by one kid or another from Feb. 01 until Aug. 06). The part that broke? The stupid PLASTIC piece that holds the drop side up. The one side broke making it impossible to lower and raise the crib. It still held in the up position, though, so we continued to use it (which made it nearly impossible to lay a sleeping baby into the crib without waking them up when the mattress was lowered because the baby could stand already).
    Then the kids finally broke the whole dang thing. I went in there one morning to get the 2 1/2yo out of the crib and the drop side was pushed away from the crib at the bottom and she had her legs dangling out while her siblings laughed. The side came off completely after that and we used it as a toddler bed for another year and a half.
    I looked online to find a replacement piece but they didn’t sell them. You could get a replacement hardware kit for all the metal pieces. The only thing it didn’t include was the PLASTIC piece. The one piece that broke on the crib.
    The crib didn’t need to be banned…the manufactures needed to use quality parts. It was a design flaw.
    We plan to get a crib from IKEA for our youngest. I can’t tell you how many people told me I’m crazy because they are cheap (under $200) so they are flimsy and worthless and not safe, lol. The other crib we had we got for $400 on sale and it broke (and would now be illegal to sell). Expensive does not equal better and we buy most of our furniture from IKEA now.

  199. I mentioned jumping to conclusions because you specifically referred to it as “inner city”. Which is not correct. My comment regarding the approved route was to point out that the school deemed that roadway safe to walk along, it just recommended the side without a sidewalk.

    The lazy, etc. mention was a part of my commenting on a separate issue. Please re-read for clarification, as I was not accusing you of saying such, specifically. If I had been, I would have quoted it directly and been a lot less polite over-all.

  200. Just a short note to address a claim made near the beginning of the comments, that drop-side cribs are already banned in Europe. This is not correct as far as I know — they’re still available for sale in the United Kingdom, and I’ve never heard any warnings about them other than the standard ‘make sure the railings are not too far apart’.

  201. For starters, don’t put the kid in bed with a drunk person. It just blows my mind to know how many people let this happen.

    And that is absolutely a fair statement to say. One of the cardinal rules of bedsharing* is don’t do it if you’re intoxicated OR an extremely heavy sleeper.

    *There are many who call co-sleeping any situation where you’re sleeping in the same room as your young child, including with the child in a sidecar crib or in a separate bed of their own. Using the term bedsharing keeps these folks happy and the discussion accurate.

    Honestly, I have very rarely run into anyone that brings up the Attachment and Natural Parenting ideals of breastfeeding, co-sleeping and all the rest without it carrying a fair amount of superiority or judgement, which made it especially jarring to see here.

    I suspect that *part* of the reason the more AP types are being rude here is because the first comments on this subject were extremely anti-cosleeping and rude about it. Fighting rudeness with rudeness is probably a bad idea, but most of us have done it at some time or another. I certainly have, and no doubt I’ll do it again.

    I’m not pushing for laws to keep boys off the corner.

    Those laws already exist, though. They’re anti-loitering laws. (And they’re spottily enforced, but that’s another issue.)

  202. Uly, the first comment to bring up co-sleeping immediately praised the ban and stated it might push people to the “more natural, healthier, and yes, SAFER way for babies to sleep.”
    I think that the judgement inherent in that statement, by implying all other methods are inferior, is what often sets non-AP parents off, in discussions like this. What I was talking about, regarding the general trend I have observed, is that there *too often* seems to be that assumption of it being The Right Way(tm)” to do things (if only people knew better!)


  203. Oh, and I apologise for my random over-use of commas. I blame my sinuses and their seeming need to mutiny every time the temp drops again.

  204. I do find it interesting that many of us (on both sides and even in the middle) are so sensitive / defensive about a few specific parenting topics. I guess I’m glad there are only a few topics quite like that. Maybe we should have some sort of pledge here, e.g.: “I promise to respect other free-range parents’ beliefs regarding spanking, co-sleeping, potty training, CIO, homeschooling, breastfeeding, and Santa Claus!”

    At the same time, we could stand to be a little less sensitive when someone merely makes an observation. For example, I might say something is “safer” or “healthier” without the intent to accuse others of being negligent if they don’t do what I do.

  205. KLY, you’re right, that is the first one. After all the discussion I’m losing track – but it’s a little judgmental, not outright rude along the lines of Katy-Anne’s comment.

    But if you forgive me for that, I’ll forgive you for wanton abuse to the common comma, can’t say fairer than that 🙂

    SKL, you forgot about circumcision. (And I’m very glad it didn’t come into this discussion of the crib ban at all. It did in another forum I read!)

  206. —- Maybe we should have some sort of pledge here, e.g.: “I promise to respect other free-range parents’ beliefs regarding spanking, co-sleeping, potty training, CIO, homeschooling, breastfeeding, and Santa Claus!” —-

    The problem with trying to extract these kinds of promises is that few of us can make them sincerely. We ALL have opinions about the best parenting techniques, and there are some decisions I can’t honestly respect. The mere act of having those opinions is not disrespectful. We wouldn’t be able to make any decisions at all if we didn’t make these judgments.

    That said, we can all behave respectfully — and realize that other people’s judgments don’t hurt us at all. It’s annoying when someone doesn’t see how wonderful our choice is, but the world is like that. I’ve had plenty of people tell me I should have had children in my 20s, with my first husband, and it’s annoying that they can’t see what a disastrous choice that would have been, but whatever. It’s not like they could make me.

    My issue with the “co-sleeping is safer” comment isn’t that the commenter is co-sleeping, but that it’s factually inaccurate. There’s no credible evidence that co-sleeping, in all the ways people do it, is safer than crib-sleeping. There’s some evidence that it can help prevent SIDS deaths, but it presents dangers of its own that need to be taken into account.

    Like with all of life, we’re not completely safe anywhere, even in our mothers’ arms.

    —— Those laws already exist, though. They’re anti-loitering laws. (And they’re spottily enforced, but that’s another issue.) ——-

    Yes, sadly. Fortunately, not everywhere.

  207. As a small business retailer in the juvenile industry, I’d like to respond to some of the on-topic comments in this thread.

    “The crib manufacturers pretty much own the CPSC, which is why we get it drilled into us that the *only* safe place for a baby to sleep is in a crib.

    If you watch any of the hearings or read publications regularly put out by the CPSC, you’d find that the current interest group category of prominence is the consumer advocate. As evidenced here, they do not always work toward positive ends for consumers.

    “[…] you are supposed to go in and re-tighten all the hardware once a month or so if you have a drop side crib. A lot of people don’t know that.”

    This bears repeating. Bolts and sleeves are not crafted perfectly and will loosen when constantly stressed in multiple directions. While it is true that many cribs may remain stable throughout their use with no re-tightening, the best practice is to verify regularly.

    “In fact, that points to the one area of this that I don’t agree with Lenore – that left to their own devices, manufacturers will make a safe product.”

    Partly true and partly false. It is not uncommon for the cynical consumer to believe all companmies are evil, and but for the grace of government we would all pay them to kill us. Companies live by their reputation, and that is in most cases a stronger motivator than the CPSC. The missing piece here is price. I for one would never buy a crib as cheap as Storkcraft makes, but to buy something of higher quality generally requires spending more. Part of why companies can craft poorly and get away with it is their competition is more expensive, and right now price is the primary motivator in consumer decisions.

    Also, recalls have become so pervasive that they hold less urgency than they used to. Note how every Roman shade on the market is systematically being recalled one at a time.

    “I truly believe they do this so that they can keep the used equipment off of the market.”

    The market is big enough as it is, manufacturers have no need to force obsolescence.

    “I did the shake test on the cribs I looked at.”

    Two things to note: First, retailers do not always regularly tighten the bolts in their floor models, and any crib that has loose parts will feel shakey. Second, cribs with drop-sides will always shake more than cribs with fixed sides due to how the side is connected. That doesn’t mean it will fall apart or break. Whether the drop-side uses visible metal rods or recessed internal hardware, it is made to move up and down, therefore it will not be as tightly connected as when bolts are used.

    “I haven’t read the other replies, but the crib manufacturers wanted this ban. They were the primary driving force.”

    If this is true, it would be to help prevent future litigation, not to make more money by selling replacements. Don’t forget that companies are made up of people, and many people take pride in their work. The majority of juvenile furniture manufacturers are privately held, and often family owned. It is only the few big names at the mass merchants that are publicly traded.

    Also, manufacturers must purchase insurance in case of future product issues, and the cost for covering drop-side cribs is higher than for fixed-side. They may have gone along with it willingly, but they did not instigate the change.

    “But it is a good question — who decided that crib mattresses need to be 2 feet off the ground at their lowest?”

    There are specific dimensions that cribs must meet. Regarding mattress height, in the uppermost position the mattress support must be no less than 9 inches from the top rail. In the lowest position, the minimum is 26 inches from the top rail to the mattress support (16 CFR 1508.3). To compensate for this upcoming change (the drop-side ban), more cribs are now being manufactured at a lower overall height. The modern look that has been trending lately works with this. It absolutely increases the strain on the backs of shorter people, but that was not a significant factor (if it was one at all) when the policy was being designed.

    “But if you are a parent like many out there, you want to know the context, the analysis, the assumptions, limitations of the results, and questions/concerns that the studies leave unanswered.”

    If you take the time to look into specific cases (those that you can find information on), you will find that most involved improper assembly, missing hardware, and user error. It is by nature difficult to view the situation objectively when a child has died, but far from giving businesses a free ride, you would find many have been found guilty of forseeable misuse, a means by which the manufacturer must predict how a consumer will wrongly use a product, and compensate for that ahead of time.

    I would also argue that most parents have little or no interest (and often capacity) in following up on what they’re told by their favorite news channel (they all sell fear to varying degrees). I do tend to be fairly cynical, though.

    “This is a repeatable, non-random causation.”

    Ask a parent how non-random their child’s behavior is. =)

    “Argue that they should have gone after higher frequency defects perhaps, but this one is also statistically valid.”

    That would depend on what you were comparing. I choose to look at the numbers for children who have used cribs successfully versus those that have not, and unless you’re using an unusually high confidence level, that number is not statistically significant. (It is non-zero, but that is not relevant to this topic, unless we seek to immobilize children from birth to 21 years.)

    “I don’t think it’s a standard, exactly, so much as a custom.”

    16 CFR 1508 has the rules for (full-size) crib design, I’m not linking it due to blog comment filters, but it can be searched for directly if interested.

    It is, of course, much too late to do anything about this ban. It had to have been started two years ago, when HR 4040 was being passed by Congress. The outrage generated by the consumer groups is by nature louder than the outrage against unreasonable decision-making, especially when the popular sentiment continues to be that all businesses are evil and require micromanged direct oversight to operate. (Note that I am not arguing that all business should be unregulated.)

    Regarding the other issue that cropped up in the conversation, one point I make to anxious new parents is that there is no wrong way to raise a child. As long as you are trying to do a good job of it, it doesn’t matter whether you choose to use a crib or not, breastfeed or not, go to Gymboree or not. Plenty of kids have turned out fine from both sides.

  208. DirtyHooker, her unusual userid notwithstanding, actually makes a lot of sense.

    I suppose I’m paradoxical in someways. While I absolutely am of the opinion that “how one parents their child is their own business,” and I surely don’t agree with meddling & judgmental attitudes by neighbors & the like, by the same token, we all have opinions and, like DirtyHooker said, there are some that I just can’t respect and I’m quite strong about how I feel in contrast to them, but I can respect that the parents have the RIGHT to do it that way nevertheless. And yes, co-sleeping is one of these issues.

    Further, when it’s between close friends & family, we should be able to state what we think of certain choices others make, we just have to be careful to not be ugly about it so long as it doesn’t entail extremist behavior like drug usage, molestation etc. We shouldn’t be perpetually negative, it’s just that we should be able to speak our minds somewhat–just in the PROPER way to where people don’t dread our presence.

    It really isn’t any of my business, really, what people do in their own homes–my own posts show that I clearly don’t think outsiders have any right to meddle–but I am passionate about parents not losing themselves or their relationships with adults on account of soaking themselves completely into their children. I suppose I am passionate about it because I’ve seen a lot of people become parents and afterwards they, frankly, are no longer really interesting anymore. They don’t discuss world issues or topical matters anymore, or have any interest in going out to play ball or shoot baskets etc, because every other sentence is “my child this” and “my beautiful baby that” over & over ad nauseum. Frankly, it gets tiring.

    And I have seen many marriages end over it, where one of the spouses–usually the wife-mother (but not always)–suddenly is totally immersed into their children and even states that their children come first before their spouse. They won’t take spouse-only vacations, even for 1-2 days, even on anniversaries, because they can’t stand to be away from their children for that short of a period of time.

    I’ve seen it in my own family–our 3 nieces-nephews, they love us and love spending time with us, but I will not let them spend the night in our place anymore. Why? Because their parents co-sleep (with a 7 year old, c’mon!) and when the kids are here they REFUSE to sleep in the child’s room. It’s silly, they’re aged 4-7 years, our 2 are only 1½ and 3½ but they have slept on their own forever without a problem at all. It’s ridiculous.

    I could become real nasty and they’d for sure not leave that room (believe me, it can be done), but rather than “go there” & risk crossing any lines or just plain being outrageous, I simply got through it one night and now have taken that firm stance–you 3 will NEVER EVER AGAIN sleep over here unless or until you can sleep in the one room. No sleeping in the parents’ room allowed at all for any reason at our place–not even during storms.

    The boundary is drawn, and nothing, not Armageddon, not even the law–is going to change my position on that, no sleeping in our room. Ever. The day the law meddles in that, no children in our house anymore–not even our own.

    That said, as firm as my wife & I both are about that, we don’t preach at the children’s mother (my wife’s sister) about it. We do have a tendency to brag, at times, about how good ours are at sleeping in their room because we just don’t tolerate it any other way, but it’s not done in an insulting “look at how much better we are than you” type of way.

    And I sure don’t go around telling people who co-sleep that they’re bad parents, I will NOT condone what they do, but I don’t judge–and I sure would not advocate any legal intervention to MAKE them stop it.

    That’s where a lot of these problems come into play–we don’t understand the difference between having a strong opinion about what’s best, versus imposing it on others. Sure, where it regards molestation, drug addictions etc–by all means, legal meddling is correct. But using the government to tell someone they had better co-sleep or had better NOT co-sleep or letting-not letting one’s kids play outdoors etc, or to make them stay outdoors because they’re on the Wii too much–that’s not right.

    Say your 2 cents worth, in the RIGHT tone, then be done with it.


  209. Oh great, having a baby is even MORE expensive. Honestly, I got all of our stuff second hand/hand me down. I looked everything up. One crib had been recalled, so I checked to see if it had the problem, and fixed it. The other crib was so old that I doubt it was even on the radar. Even my Baby Bjorn had been recalled, I got the fix, and finally gave it away after ten years. (With notice to the recipient that it had been recalled and they needed to use the fix.)

    I am not saying the ban of resale is bad – it is just that those on limited means making the best of a situation find that it is just that much harder. But now I know why people on Craig’s List are selling the cribs as ornaments for displaying quilts.

    Now, as long as they don’t bring up that thing about lead that prevents the resale of all things for children, including books (!!!) I will be happy. Our best books, our best toys, have been the ones that other kids used first and still are going strong.

  210. We bought a crib without drop sides before our daughter was born. (Not for safety reasons…we liked it because it converts into a toddler bed, and then into a full size bed. This kid is set for bedroom furniture until she moves out, or breaks the thing.) I, however, had one major complaint about it once we started having to lower the mattress as she grew: I couldn’t reach her.

    I’m 5’3″, and I seriously had to stand on tippy-toe and ignore the pain from the rail digging into my armpits just so I could reach down far enough to cover her up when she kicked off her blanket. If she chose to “hide” in the far corner of the crib because she wasn’t ready to get up and dressed, I could do nothing about it but call Hubby for help.

    Does someone want to tell me how this is a good thing? If we want to play the “what if” game, here’s one for you–What if she’d moved into that far corner one day when Hubby wasn’t around, and then…oh, I don’t know…had some kind of seizure? What am I supposed to do, pull the whole thing over on its side to get to her? Wouldn’t that be just as dangerous to her, if not more so, than the teeny-tiny possibility that a drop-side crib could hurt or kill her?

    People need to just face the fact that NOTHING in this world is EVER going to be 100% safe and risk free, and make up their own minds (leaving everyone else to do the same,) about how they’re going to deal with that.

  211. I’ve often thought about designing a ceiling crane, but I don’t think it’d get past regulations. =)

  212. Retailer359 – they make ceiling track lifts (a ceiling crane of sorts) for adults with disabilities – I’m sure they could be modified for lifting babies in and out of cribs. 🙂 Might be some big business there!

  213. We have 3 kids who are now 10, 8, and 5 and definitely free range (play outside by themselves; the other two walk home from school and to the corner store, etc.).

    We have NEVER owned a crib. Our kids all slept in pack n plays until they were ready to move up to a bed at age 2 (not a toddler bed but a regular bed). We kept the pack n plays in our room until they were 6 months old and then moved the pack n plays to their own room. It’s very convenient because they had no trouble falling asleep when we went on vacation cuz the sleeping environment was always the same. We could move the pack n play around to the family room for naptime if I was in the backyard with my toddler. They were all far more flexible sleepers than most kids we knew.

  214. In the last comment I meant the “older two” rather than the “other two”. I don’t let my 5 year old walk places alone yet unless the 10 year old is with her. I will when she’s a bit taller and develops better traffic skills as I’m far more worried about her being run over by a backing up car who can’t see her than the one in ten million chance that she’d be kidnapped. My 10 year old daughter is very responsible and holds her hand when they are walking out. My 8 year old I can trust to walk places by himself but is not yet responsible to walk his younger sister yet.

    I also wanted to mention that my kids are STILL far more flexible sleepers than many others. Sleepovers at other people’s houses are never a problem. If they stay up really late (even past midnight on holidays and special occasions on weekends), they make up for it by sleeping in the next day. I hear from many parents,that their kids STILL wake up at 6AM no matter what until they are 12-13 and have to be “put to bed early” to prevent crankiness.

    I think their flexibility in sleeping is party due to our relaxed attitude.

  215. Uly, it’s a deal! (Always happy when someone is willing to forgive me my offenses against innocent punctuation!)

    I am definitely not saying that was the most blatantly rude thing said here, by any stretch. I used that as an example of how even casual (friendly and “helpful”, even, in some cases) mentions of the subject seem loaded, far too much of the time.

    I think, to me, it would be like a free-ranger going into a forum for Worried Parents (they’re out there, though I think they use the terms “Concerned” and “Caring”) where someone was upset over… say… the fact that they weren’t allowing parents to accompany their 8 year old into a Bounce-House to make sure they were safe (not making that one up, either) and interjected into the middle of all of the sympathetically outraged comments something to the effect of “Good! Now maybe people will lighten up and let their kids run around being Free-Range, since it turns out smarter, healthier, more capable children, anyways!”
    (I’ve not seen that actually happen, it is a hypothetical parallel.)

    Or, it would be like one I *have* seen, very often lately, wherein someone comments to some of the brouhaha over Happy Meal bans with “This is excellent! People should be feeding their children the vegan/macrobiotic/raw-food/locavore/paleo/whatever diet I follow, anyways, because it is the healthiest way!”

    Mentioning that something doesn’t apply to you because you choose a different approach, while giving an overall opinion about the subject, is one thing… it is different when it is taken as an opportunity to preach that “My Way Is Better! and maybe now people will have to realize that!”

    Anyway… that was just my rambling way of explaining why that bothers me, personally.

    ++”“I promise to respect other free-range parents’ beliefs regarding spanking, co-sleeping, potty training, CIO, homeschooling, breastfeeding, and Santa Claus!””++

    This. Yes. Can we do that?

    I have this crazy dream of finding a parenting forum where parents can discuss raising children in this inane, amazing, mixed-up, beautiful world without engaging in “Mommy Wars” over differing philosophies. A place where people can be comfortable stating some simple details about their day or their situation without running into so many horrified “Oh God! Why would you do that to your children!?!?” reactions that it becomes tempting to fire back with “Because we were out of red-dyed Asbestos Flakes with lead-painted marshmallows, and the kids were bored with the razor blades I gave them to chew on!”

    It would especially be nice to see people consciously take that stance of acceptance, tolerance and respect here. I think that just by the fact that someone is here, on a site that is *all about* assessing the real risks/benefits and making your own call, based on knowing your own child (even when that stance is not always popular), it is very likely that people here are concerned parents who have given their decisions careful thought. (There are always trolls, but those are not hard to spot.)

    I’m not actually one for being all that PC; I just don’t believe talking to other parents should have to feel, as it so often does these days, like walking through a minefield. I think there is nothing wrong with debate, and challenging the facts or statistics can lead to healthy discussion, if done without attacking the choices someone makes or implying that your way is better for *everyone*.

    Oh, and Uly, I can make no excuses for my shameful use of parenthetical interjections/asides or my propensity towards slash groupings (I am afraid those are both character flaws and not symptoms).

  216. @ Larry Harrison from 17 December 2010.
    Now I’m never going to hear about these nefarious cribs without giggling like an idiot. People already think I’m strange…
    I just can’t get that image of a drop-side ‘crab’ out of my mind.
    It sounds like something out of the old Batman TV series:
    “Next, watch the Caped Crusader duel with that Crafty Crustacean, that Nautically Naughty baddy, the Crab, played by Albert Salmi.”
    I wonder what kind of vehicle George Barris and Gene Cushenberry would come up with for the Crab. Drop side doors, of course, from whence the Crab and his henchmen would scuttle on their nefarious outings.
    “Holy Brachyura, Batman!”

  217. “Say your 2 cents worth, in the RIGHT tone, then be done with it.”

    Why do you feel that you even need to say your 2 cents worth? You may feel that co-sleeping impacts life negatively and, by all means, should not do it in your family. But why do you feel the need to impart your “wisdom” on others? It’s not your marriage, kids or life.

    It’s perfectly fine to draw the line and say that your nieces and nephews can’t spend the night at your house until they can sleep separately because you don’t cosleep at your house. That is directly impacting your life. I’m also cool with telling someone who is complaining about sleeping with the kids or a decline in their marriage that cosleeping may be negatively impacting their life and it may be time to stop.

    But why do you feel the need express an opinion – or even care and have an opinion – when the people involved are happy with the situation? To each their own. Different things make different people happy. Everyone in the world doesn’t have to do it Larry’s way in order to be happy.

    I have a very strong opinion on many things that I feel are right for my family. I’m willing to accept that other people may do it different and, if they aren’t hurting anyone, it’s none of my damn business. Now if they try to make it my business – complain about their situation to me, try to tell me that their way is best, arrest me for not living their way, etc. – then I am more than happy to express my views. Otherwise, I roll my eyes and live and let live.

  218. “Maybe we should have some sort of pledge here, e.g.: “I promise to respect other free-range parents’ beliefs regarding spanking, co-sleeping, potty training, CIO, homeschooling, breastfeeding, and Santa Claus!”

    Can’t we just promise not to send in the cops or CPS? Because I really hate promising never to express a negative opinion about anyone or anything.

    Petnamom – I assumed the reason cribs are high off the ground is to save the mother’s back so she doesn’t have to bend over so much to lift up the kid. Except crib manufactures seem to expect most moms to be 5’6”.

  219. I didn’t mean to say that nobody should have their own opinions about co-sleeping, spanking, etc. But it’s quite possible to state one’s own opinion without disrespecting that of others. “I personally believe that spanking is effective and appropriate within my own family and many other families” is one thing; “yeah, your brats are that way because you won’t spank them” is another. (As is, “spanking is abuse, plain and simple.”)

  220. Funny story. When my son was 2 we took him out of the crib and into a regular bed. We didn’t have any railings on the bed. His box of toys was next to the head of his bed. Went in there in the morning and his pillow and head were in his toy box, he was fast asleep.

  221. seems to me this would make it very difficult for people in wheel chairs to take care of infants in daycare centers and other places where such cribs are “banned”… are such people now not allowed to work in such places? can they no longer carry out child rearing duties? Is fair to handicap them further? Just a thought

  222. I have come to the conclusion the drop-side cribs you speak of in the US must be vastly different to the drop-side cots we have in Australia.
    The one I used came pre-assembled and is VERY sturdy. About as sturdy as the non-dopside cot that was kept at the grandparents house.

    i would have no qualms using this drop-side cot again. i found it easier to use than a non-dropside one (another shorty here).

    I am usually pro-safety. But I fail to see how a drop-side cot is inherently unsafe. Well, except maybe to my fingers if I am new to the whole thing.

  223. I have a drop side cot (didn’t know you could get any other type). It was the second cheapest cot in the shop! Its been reassembled twice, and if by a mircle i could have another baby (girl), I would reassemble it a third time with no worries.

  224. Been chewing on this one (as I have been known to do) mostly because, I am considering buying a new crib for the new baby.

    I think the reason why the probability logic (while I agree in principle) doesn’t fly with me is that cribs aren’t like snakes or balls.

    I can’t put a crib on a high shelf, or supervise my baby while he plays with a crib. I am trusting a crib to safely contain my child for 8 hours of unsupervised time. I can’t teach the baby to play safer, or not chase the crib into the street. I have no defenses.

    Sure, chances are very slim that anything would happen, and I am not sure I think they should be banned, but a manufacturer that eliminates a known issue would get my attention.

    How many of us would use the crib our parents used with us? or the one our grandparents used with our parents? Aren’t incremental, and often legislated. safety improvements how we evolve?

  225. About the crib:
    I had one of these for my daughter that I brought at a garage sale for $10. I sure loved that crib. I’m not short (5’10”), but I do have a bad back, and it was nice not to have to bend over so far to lift her out.

    About co-sleeping:
    I did this for the first 4 months or so. Because I was tired and nursing. It was convenient, and my marriage didn’t suffer. During “business time” we put her in a swing.

    About CIO:
    I also did this. When she was 6 months old and too big for the basinette next to the bed, I put her in the crib in her room. It took us about 4 days for her to start going to sleep on her own. When she would start crying in the middle of the night, I would go nurse her in the chair and put her back to bed.

    To Larry:
    I totally agree with you that your spouse should be #1 and your kids #2. I recently went on a short road trip with my brothers and sisters, without my husband and daughter, and I got so much crap because I enjoyed the break from my daughter, but I was so sad that my husband couldn’t be with me.
    That being said, there are many different ways to put your spouse first. My husband put me first when he saw how hard it was for me to get out of bed every 2 hours to nurse a newborn. And I put him first when I saw how hard it was for him to bring me said newborn every 2 hours, watch me nurse for 15 minutes, and bring her back to bed.

  226. What I would like to know is how these babies died?

    Did they fall out?

    Did they get jammed in?

    Did the care giver forget to put the side back up?

    Is it because of caregivers putting the cot up carelessly?

    Looking at my cot, there is no way my baby can get into trouble, unless I forgot to put the side part up.

    So I believe it is carelessness that has caused these babies deaths.

    Can someone prove me wrong???

  227. Dana, many people would use the crib our parents used with us. My sister’s baby is at this very moment sleeping in the crib our parents used for each of their 6 kids, and I believe one or both of my brothers also used this crib for their kids. I would have too, except that I had 2 kids around the same age and wanted matching cribs.

  228. Donna I understand “it isn’t your business” etc, but that doensn’t mean you can’t have an opinion and EXPRESS it. The “it isn’t your business” part comes if you express it with too much of a judgmental attitude, especially directly at the person vs just in general, and ESPECIALLY if you advocate outright meddling in such a situation.

    It’s no different than, for example, how I have stated that I don’t understand why so many people buy Apple iPods when they could buy something else which doesn’t have all the funny Apple-isms–having to use iTunes, the sealed-up battery (granted more & more other brands do that too), the way the player locks you from easily transferring from player to computer–whereas, with my SanDisk, I can replace the battery myself, I can upload songs simply by dragging-dropping within Windows Explorer, and I can also re-copy from player to PC that way–absolutely no restrictions.

    Now, is it really any of my business? Of course not. Every person who buys an iPod–which of course is most people–they don’t for one minute have to justify their choice to me. It is their money, their music, their player–their business.

    Still, I can express the opinion that I think it’s silly that people would buy an iPod with all of those limitations, that it just doesn’t make sense to me.

    Or, when I was a single man looking for a woman, I didn’t like a woman wearing “boy-cut” shorts with her bathing suits. I found it repulsive, I felt that it made her look too much like a man to wear boy-cut shorts with a bathing suit top. I would always say–why don’t they just wear the bathing suit ONLY like a NORMAL person?

    Was that any of my business? Of course not. A woman has the right to wear a full-length dress, straight out of “Little House on the Prairie,” at the local pool or lake if she wants to–and it’s no one else’s business whatsoever. Still, it’s totally normal for a person to say “man I think that looks tacky” or “how in the world can she STAND that, as hot as it is, and as much more enjoyable as it would be if she’d allow the water to really flow over her bare skin?”

    Same thing. You can share your 2c worth on things you don’t agree with even if it isn’t your business, but you have to be TASTEFUL and RESPECTFUL about it, and be critical of the CONCEPT more than the PERSON for doing it.

    So, in other words, it would be fine for someone against crying-it-out to say “I don’t know why parents would want their children to cry out in agony that way it just seems cruel to me” but it would NOT be right to say “I think you’re wrong in doing that to your child, shame on you.”


  229. Tania, some of the accidents (as stated above, not all of them were deaths) were probably due in part to carelessness. However, there’s no real blame there – none of us is totally careful 100% of the time. Sooner or later every one of is is going to be a little lax, is going to make a mistake because we’re tired or lazy, sad or else too busy celebrating some joyous event to really care. And most of those times, the little mistakes we make don’t matter.

    Other accidents, however, were probably due to shoddy workmanship. Many people have pointed out that modern cribs have an emphasis on low cost of merchandise – well, plastic parts, though cheap, aren’t consistently up to the stress that moving parts can be put through. And you’ll note another part of this law is that all cribs now have to go through more strenuous testing before they can be put on the market, to make sure they won’t fall apart just because the kid learns to jump.

    Buying an inexpensive crib is also not an issue of blame. You have only so much money to spend, after all, and some of it has to go for rent and food.

  230. […] Hi Readers — I'm going to be blunt: The ban on the sale, resale and manufacture of all drop-side cribs does not make sense. Here's why: Over the past nine years, 32 children have died in these cribs. That is tragic. My heart sinks thinking about it.  But — and yes, there IS a but, and this "but" does not make me a heartless bean counter, or a crazed Free-Ranger who laughs in the face of danger (I am, at base, a nervous mom) — we are talking ab … Read More […]

  231. @ Larry –

    I agree if the opinion you are stating is done to your friends, family, blog, in general conversation, etc. However, it’s the height of rudeness to say it to the person effected. For example, I don’t believe in CIO until the child is old enough to understand the meaning of the words “it’s time to go to sleep now.” I would make that comment in general (as I just did). I would, however, not make it a point of telling a friend who is allowing their child to CIO. It’s not actually my business what they do with their child and it would serve no purpose other than to make the person uncomfortable and defensive no matter how nicely it is said.

    I also find it incredibly rude to offer unsolicited advice about things that don’t concern you. It’s perfectly fine to express an opinion to your spouse about so-and-so cosleeping but detailing to so-and-so the horrors of cosleeping according to Larry is just RUDE. If they are happy with cosleeping, it’s really none of your business. Since they didn’t ask for your advice or opinion about their lives, keep it to yourself.

    The fact is you need to look at why you are expressing your opinion. If it’s just a general conversation, it’s fine. If you’re expressing your unsolicited opinion hoping to impact the views of the person who you are talking to, keep it to yourself unless they ask. You are not going to change their mind, and no matter how nicely it is said, it will be viewed as criticism.

    And I also mean this only towards things that truly don’t effect you – CIO, breast feeding, cosleeping, IPOD choice, clothing. I’m much more likely to give an unsolicited opinion if the issue effects me directly or is a societal issue. For example, I’ll make a comment to helicopter parents or people criticizing free range parents because I believe that has a huge societal impact since the mindset is infiltrating our schools, courts, police and other public institutions.

  232. THANK YOU! Finally someone w/ some common sense. I’m so sick of over-protection & suing for almost EVERYTHING. Ugh. It’s just another subject that really ticks me off about our country. They’re trying to hard to protect everyone from everything & in the long run we are slowly losing all of our freedoms… I don’t see why people cannot understand that. We came here originally to get away from that BS & we are quickly getting right back to where we started. Frustrating… Anyone want to start a new country w/ me? =] haha. Thank you again for writing that!

  233. Thank you! I am so tired of the mindset that we should all be aiming for absolute, 100% guarantee of no risk whatsoever of any kind of harm in any aspect of our lives. I’d like to LIVE my life, thank-you-very-much – and I’m guessing my children would like to LIVE theirs, too. What good is it to live to 100, if you do so in such a bubble that it’s all dull and full of fear?

  234. Tania:

    Here is the latest report by the CPSC staff on nursery product-related injuries and deaths:

    Click to access nursery09.pdf

    If you want more specific information, you can query the NEISS database, but it can be tricky to decode the data.

  235. […] I disagree with cribs (strongly) but agree with this anti-fear sentiment. […]

  236. Understand and use

  237. The crib manufacturing industry (dominated by a few, non-family-owned companies) was unquestionably on board with this. They get to sell new cribs to every childcare provider in the US, along with all of the conscientious parents who won’t buy a used drop-side.

  238. Hey, your article was linked at the Stir! Agreeing in part and disagreeing in part.

  239. More pure-gold sage-ity, courtesy of Lenore.

  240. Great post Lenore! My daughter is still in her drop side crib and I plan to keep her in it until she’s about 2 which will be for another 4 months.

  241. OK, time to FREAK OUT. We are using a drop side crib that is nearly 50 years old!!!!! It has safely kept over 10 babies in our family. It has SIX pieces. Yes, SIX. Front, back, two sides, lever mechanism and “box spring”. It has eight bolts. They are all the same size. All SIX pieces were indeed put together by experts who did nothing else all day but build cribs. Nothing has come loose, nothing is broken and every piece is either steel or furniture quality solid wood.

    If all drop side cribs were made this way, I believe there would be zero deaths.

    Initially we were going to get a new crib, as we were warned of the danger of using such an old crib whose slats were more than GASP 3 inches apart.

    We looked at CHEAPLY made, but very pricey cribs and realized that they were less safe, built of flimsy particle board, small plastic pieces and a zillion pieces of hardware with instructions translated from Lord knows what language into English by someone whose native language was neither.

  242. I am 20 weeks pregnant. My doctor and midwife both recommended using my drop-sided crib to limit the distance I had to lift and carry my 25 lb son. I have never dropped the side during the entirity of my 18 mo old’s life, but the doctor states that the risks of using the crib as it was intended are substantially less than the risk to myself and my unborn child if I overexert myself in lifting.

    Just an argument that I haven’t heard brought up yet.

    That being said, I still haven’t used the drop side to the crib because the metal latch is difficult for me to spring loose on my own. My husband is a wonderful man who does all the lifting in and out of the crib for me.

    Co-sleeping/CIO: We co-slept until 7 months. I was a breastfeeder and I just felt it easier to have my baby next to me. I was very protective and woke at every small movement or noise; there was no way my baby was going to get hurt in this set-up, even it it meant I hardly got sleept. At 7 months, we decided to use CIO to get the baby to sleep in his own crib. We prepared for the worst night in the world. We laid him down, he went straight to sleep and has been sleeping happily in his own drop-sided crib since. And I have been sleeping better too.

    I advocate strongly that people educate themselves and each other with the pro’s and con’s of every parenting technique out there. That is partially what this blog is about. However, to insult each other based on those choices just seems contrary to the idea of “free-range.” You think your child is better co-sleeping or not co-sleeping; breast-feeding or formula-feeding; crying it out or rocked to sleep… well so be it.

    There is evidence and justification out there to support all these decisions. That is why they are decisions to be made in the first place. If you are educated on both sides of the issues, then I know you are promoting the best interests for your child and your family.


  243. Also, alternative conclusions drawn from the CPSC study on co-sleeping that everyone is siting, from Dr. Sears.

  244. *citing

  245. ” because no company deliberately puts dangerous products on the market” – …there is a thing called “risk management” in manufacturing and production. And there is also variation in corporate culture. These two things combined can lead to dangerous products on the market. It’s amazing that we as a species are still alive.

    I was surprised about the crib recall – but all my family made sure I knew about it, again and again, when I refused to stop using my drop side crib.

    We should be more concerned about contaminated drinking water in this country.

  246. I am 5 feet tall. I would like to know if short mothers will be banned next because without a dropside, I need to either literally drop my baby into the crib to go to sleep or stand a stool which I inevitably fall off of with the baby in my arms.

    I love my drop side crib. It is not made the way the “dangerous” ones were made. They threw the baby out with the bath water on this one.

  247. I don’t have to worry, I have a beautful BassetBaby Drop Side crib that my 2 1/2 year old maybe slept in a handful of times. She sleeps in our bed. I can hear the gasps of disgust and disdain as I write this…but there is nothing wrong with letting your children sleep in your bed. Think back to not so long ago…most people were too poor to have even extra bedrooms for children, let alone their own beds. Maybe they used a drawer, or a basket. For the most part we are the only country where kids are not “supposed” to sleep with their family. Think about it, since the beginning of time, families slept in the same beds, many children would stay attached to their mothers for months in a baby sling or papoose style sling. Anyway, I know my kid will not want to be so attached as she gets a little older and that snuggling time I get will grow smaller, so why not take advantage of it now??? Screw the crib!

  248. BTW – I breastfed my baby girl until she was about 2. OMG!!!! I wouldn’t attack others on their choices, but they sure love to pick on me. No matter what, we do still have free will, and no one should base their choices on someone else or what they think about your choices. Isn’t that the whole point of freedom? To get to do what you choose??? BTW, I hate bicycle helmets too, but feel free to wear one if you want, just don’t make me. 🙂 I wonder how anyone my age or older survived as long as we have. I also purchased vintage little people for my daughter because they are more detailed and imaginative. Yeah, she puts them in her mouth, but she knows better than to try to swallow them. Gosh I could go on and on….just one last thing….we tend to forget two things.

    1) Common Sense
    2) Personal Responsibility for your own actions.

    Just applying these two things could put a lot of lawyers out of work…..

  249. I don’t like drop-side cribs and here’s why. At home, we have stationary side crib, but at my parents house, where my daughter stays alot, they have a hand-me-down drop side crib. My daughter just started pulling herself to stand, so at our house we had to lower the crib mattress and my parents have had to start putting the side up higher. They lower it to change her diaper then put it up again.
    Well the other day I was over there changing her diaper, I lowered the side and my mom, who was in the room, had to remind me to put it back up again. I got really nervous realizing that if she had not been there I would have left it down and my daughter could have easily tumbled out. Likely not to her death, but still. So I got really paranoid and starting questioning my parents: You don’t ever forget to put it up do you? They assured me they didn’t forget. But it made me so greatful for my stationary crib at home where I didn’t have to worry about forgetting this.
    But the point stands that my forgetfulness is my own mistake and if I forgot to put the side up and my daughter got hurt, it would not make sense to blame the company who made the crib and demand that all cribs be stationary. The stationary crib works for me, just like the drop-side might work for others. Banning them is ridiculous and just another way the government takes away our freedom to choose.

  250. I know I’m late to the party but I just wanted to say thank you for writing this- you did it in a way that doesn’t negate the deaths of those poor babies or put blame on the parents who may have made an assembly error but clarified the essential truth. I swear I’ve said all of these things one hunndred times over every time one of my overprotective-helicoptering-mommy-waring friends has walked into my daughters room to find that (gasp!) she sleeps in a drop-side crib. NO! For the love of all that’s holy not a drop-side crib! Yes, a drop-side crib. You see, I slept in a drop-side crib as did my brother and sister, my husband and his brother and sister too- not to mention every child that went through my mother’s in-home daycare my entire life… and no, we weren’t “just lucky”. This ban is just another example of a gross overreaction and fear mongering campagin that has taken over this country. Thank you for yet again putting this risk in perspective.

  251. […] posts below this one about suing the Scouts for allowing boys to play in the semi-darkness, or about the recall of drop-side cribs. The fear that an item or activity might have any negative consequences EVER is enough to make us […]

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