Some parents think that it might be cool to re-use baby cribs from another generation but it’s likely just not safe. We are truly surprised that children even survived the 30’s, 70’s and don’t even get us started in the early 1900s. There’s a chance parents can modernize a vintage crib so that it passes a safety inspection but overall, in this case anyway, sometimes it’s best to leave the past in the past.
Even thrift store finds can be risky. When it comes to SIDs, parents shouldn’t be risking their child’s health just because of nostalgia or because they think a crib from a certain era looks cool. Some of these cribs are so unsafe that we can’t even believe they were used once upon a time. What were these parents thinking? It’s not all their fault though, these were the way that cribs were manufactured and designed at the time. It seems as if no one knew any better. We found some of these cribs and they certainly don’t meet the modern crib safety standards but they are fun to look at. Check out these 20 vintage photos of cribs (that should have been banned).
The crib in this photo has holes in the sides that are so big that a child could just slip through it. You may think that it’s an isolated incident, but it’s not. This is a crib that was built in the ’50s and they were later used as doll cribs for obvious reasons. We’re sure that at some point they realized it just wasn’t going to work. Seriously, get a thicker mattress as well. Experts state that a mattress should be firm and tight fighting in the crib, there shouldn’t be enough room for it to move around.
This one just looks so bad to look at. Who would think to put wheels on a crib? We’re sure at the time that the crib was built, in the ’30s in this case, the idea was that wheels would allow for it to be moved easily from place to place. But this photo just gives us anxiety at the thought that someone could bump it or that it would just roll away from where it was left. It’s always best to stick with a crib that is sturdy and immobile. A crib should be in one place in the nursery. If you want something mobile, that’s where a playpen comes in.
The Baby Cage goes way back to 1894 when Dr. Luther Emmett Holt wrote the book The Care and Feeding of Children and talked about “airing” your child. "Fresh air is required to renew and purify the [system], and this is just as necessary for health and growth as proper food," he wrote. "The appetite is improved, the digestion is better, the cheeks become red, and all signs of health are seen." We all know that apartments can get stuffy at times, but this cage looks anything but safe. A walk to the park for some fresh air would have been a better idea.
This picture alone would give today’s parents all over the world anxiety. We have to wonder how secure it’s bolted into the wall. What if the child started jumping up and down? That’s not even a baby in there, that’s a toddler. Do these things have weight limits? Another reason why these cages were built, was there was the belief that by putting babies outside, parents would be able to “toughen up the babies, and make them better able to withstand common colds.” There was the belief that exposing children to cold would build up the immune system against it.
These items are still for sale on eBay currently and we hope that they aren’t being used for real babies at this point. These were the playpens that they had back in the day but they do not look safe at all. They are not tall enough to keep a baby inside and the holes in the crib are big enough that a baby could get his head stuck or even slip out of the playpen completely. The CPSC crib safety guidelines suggest that slats in a crib or playpen should be no more than 23/8" apart (about the width of a soda can).
The first thought we had when we saw this contraption was the hospital beds that were found in asylums or even the wire cages that rodents live in. The last thing that you would expect is to put a baby inside of it. But these cribs called the Kiddie Koop were made so that parents could have their children outside with them and they wouldn’t have to worry about snakes being a problem. The cribs are strange at best. The floor of the crib could be lowered and the top could be flipped as the baby grew. This sort of thing belongs in a chicken coop, it should never have been used for a child.
This is another example of a crib much like the Kiddie Koop. “Patented in the early 20th century, this domestic wonder promised fretting mothers a safe, sanitary, versatile container for wee ones. It was a combination of bassinet, crib, and playpen. A Tardis for tots, the Kiddie-Koop traveled from nursery to backyard as the child moved forward in time.” (University of Florida) It was also hailed as the crib “that could close so mommy could do chores.” There is so much wrong with this crib that it’s hard to even put it into words. The ads ran with taglines saying, “Your baby will be safer…easier to care for in Kiddie Koop.”
These days there has been a lot of education about the risks of SIDS in babies. We are told not to have too many things in the cribs with the baby and even bumper pads are frowned upon. Back in the day, no one really knew about SIDS and if the problem happened, it was often a mystery as to how it happened. Cribs or bassinets like this one would have been a big no-no because it’s covered from head to toe in lace which could become a very serious danger of course.
What is this? Not only does it look like the most uncomfortable crib ever invented but the metal bars are so thin that you have to wonder if a baby could bend them all on his own. The bed looks like a safety hazard these ones which are known as Cathouse antique iron beds are the least safe bed that has ever been on the market. This crib would never have met the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s safety standards for cribs. The side spokes alone on this crib is enough to make any parents stay away from it.
This crib is not as bad as some of the metal cribs that we have seen so far. It looks as if the manufacturer actually got the message that the slats need to be closer together. But the crib is still not up to standards. The slats are bigger still than a can of soda and this is another crib that is up on wheels. Tiny, unsafe looking wheels. You should never want to have baby rolling around in the cribs. If you happen to have a rambunctious baby who likes to bounce in the crib, then it’s going to start moving.
Ascetically pleasing cribs were very popular back in the 1900s but were they really safe? This crib was hand carved in the early 1900s and would be considered to be a collectible today. But as gorgeous as it is, it’s not likely to meet the safety standards that we have in place today. The CPSC crib safety guidelines state that “There should be no design cutouts in the headboard or footboard.” This crib would certainly not pass inspection but we definitely have to marvel at what a great job the owner did with the carving.
The crib is certainly a pretty choice but it’s not safe at all. We’re not sure how they keep the baby inside of the crib at all. When a child is very young you may not have to worry about them trying to wiggle their way out but a baby could still roll and get caught in the slat of this crib. Also, there is no mattress in the crib. There appears to be just a comforter in there on some very uncomfortable looking metal springs. There definitely needs to be a firm mattress in the crib for the baby’s safety.
Popular Science came out with this little crib contraption. What were they thinking in the 1900s with this one? We don’t think we would want a huge motor hanging above our baby’s crib. Everything about this thing seems wrong when you think that there is a child inside it. The tagline for this ad states, “Don’t waste time rocking your baby’s cradle; let a motor rock it for you. When baby wakes, he can watch the wheels go round.” We’re not sure when rocking our babies became such hard work but this crib is beyond ridiculous.
There is just something about this circular metal bassinet that doesn’t feel safe to us. It might be that it doesn’t look sturdy at all. It is made of thin metal which doesn’t even look strong enough to hold the baby inside of it. There were a lot of bassinets created this way in the early 1900s and it seemed as if they were more worried about how pretty the crib or bassinet looked rather than if it was safe for their child to be in it. This particular bassinet looks like it should have been banned immediately and we would recommend not using anything like this anymore.
Some people think that it would be really cool to raise their child in the same crib that their grandmother was but it’s important to put nostalgia aside and think about the fact that there weren’t safety standards back then for cribs. Regardless of how pretty or cute something looked from the ’30s or ’40s, there is a lot of things wrong with the cribs of the past. Time and time again we see pictures like this where the slats on the cribs are just too wide. If you want to keep something that your grandmother had then use it for the garden.
This is another example of a metal bassinet that not only looks terribly uncomfortable but very unsafe as well. “Though an antique crib may be beautiful and sentimental, if it doesn't meet modern safety standards, it should not be used. Cribs that don't meet safety standards should be destroyed or used for decorative purposes only” (Very Well Family). These cribs could be used as creative planters for the garden now, but they should never be used for a bed for your child. Be creative and find a way that you can use something from the past and keep it in the family.
Perhaps the mom is smiling happily in this case because she knows her baby is getting much needed fresh air. In some cases, parents have put bassinet and all out there in the cage. When parents asked Dr. Holt if there were any objections to a child sleeping outside like this, he stated that there was no need to worry. “There are no real objections. It is not true that infants take cold more easily when asleep than awake, while it is almost invariably the case that those who sleep out of doors are stronger children and less prone to take cold than others.”
We have used similar cages for pets especially dogs if we intend on training them but who would have thought of putting a child in there. Many animal advocates would suggest that it’s the same difference and that no one should be put in a cage but that’s another debate altogether. Moms are certainly busy but if chores need to be done, is this really the answer? To lock children in a cage so that they can’t escape and bother their mothers? If these were available nowadays there would be a lot of outcry going on.
This is the kind of crib that we would expect to see in a classic frightening movie. There certainly have been similar beds like this used in asylums for patients. We’re not sure why anyone would buy something that looked so, well, like this. Again, this crib is on wheels which makes it great for moving it in and out of the house but we don’t see any brakes on it so how do you prevent it from moving around? They preferred these cages because they could have their children outside and not worry that a snake would slip inside the crib and hurt the baby.
What atrocity is this? Back in the day, people were definitely more worried about how a crib looked rather than how it performed or whether it was safe. We can’t even say that this would be ascetically pleasing because it’s way too “extra” for us. The slats might actually be the proper size in this picture but that’s the only thing going right with this crib. Hopefully, someone took it off the market quickly because it seems as if it would be an eyesore in the nursery. We apologize, but it wouldn’t even look good in the garden either.