You’re a lover of all things vintage. You pride yourself on thrift store finds. Not only this, but you get involved. You DIY. If a dress is the wrong size, you’ll sew a few seams, shorten the skirt. If a chair needs re-upholstering, you’re just the girl for the job.
Then along comes baby. Well, the promise of baby. The plus sign on that little stick.
Of course you visit your parents and pull down all your own baby gear from the attic. Oh, how sweet! you cry, over and over, sorting through tiny clothes and ragged stuffed animals.
And then–you gasp–there it is! The cradle. The one your grandfather carved by hand. Your father slept in it, you slept in it, and it’s been waiting here for some three decades, just waiting for you to retrieve it, line it with the perfect infant crib bedding, and rock it gently while you sing soft lullabyes to your own little darling.
The thing is, as soon as you discovered baby on board, you developed a new passion for all things CLEAN AND SAFE. You can scrub the cradle down, but is it…safe?
You slept in it, and you’re still here, so probably. But then again, you can remember a family road trip from Connecticut to California where you bopped around the trunk of the family Volvo, nary a seatbelt in sight. Thank the angels of the highway you survived just fine, but times have changed. With knowledge comes responsibility, or something like that.
Plus, the old sheets are mildewed, and that’s just not okay.
Okay, safety first.
How To Make Sure The Crib Your Grandfather Made Is Safe For Your Baby
1. How’s the base? Is it wide and solid? A wide and sturdy base allows you to rock the cradle without it tipping over.
2. If there are slats, how far apart are they? They should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart.
3. Any rough spots or splinters? Exposed hardware? Your hand should be able to rub over every inch comfortably.
4. If there are any latches or locks, make sure they’re secure.
If you’re satisfied that grandpa’s handiwork passes the test, wonderful! If not, there are a number of gorgeous, old-style cribs on the market today. You might not run into them in your average baby furniture store, but there are excellent online sources with a wide variety to choose from.
Next stop, infant crib bedding.
1. It’s very important for the mattress to be a tight fit. There should be no room between the mattress and the cradle floor or walls. Measure your crib. You might find the right size mattress online. You might have to have one specially made. Or, DIY girl, maybe you can size one on your own.
2. Infant crib bedding is not the same as grown-up bedding. You need a mattress pad (to guard against leaky diapers!), a fitted sheet that can be secured snugly, and something to keep your baby warm. Babies can be hurt by a tangle of sheets or blankets, so you want bedding that can stay snug around baby–like swaddling blankets, or a sleeper that zips or fastens closed.
There are so many adorable infant bedding sets on the market. This is something you’ll want to buy new, most likely, rather than vintage. Look for super soft cottons. Our advice is to find organic cotton. Combined with the heirloom cradle, it’s the perfect blend of appreciating the past and being mindful of the future.