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The History Of Baby Cribs

Dec 26, 2007
Cribs are used today for all infants up until about age 2 or 3. But this wasn't always the case. The history of baby cribs goes back several hundred years ago.

Before babies had cribs they usually slept with their parents. Bedrooms were rare until the mid 17th century. At that time beds were present in each room and were also used as sitting areas similar to the way a daybed is used today.

Early beds were actually enclosures that had either walls or draped fabric to keep the bed and its occupants warm at night. As homes became more well-insulated and better heated bedrooms started to become popular.

The first type of cribs used were probably more like cradles. They typically were small free-standing beds that could be placed right next to the parent's bed for easy accessibility. The baby cradle was homemade with the first ones often being made from a hollowed out log. Many cradles were made on a frame so they could rock gently.

Once the child outgrew the tiny cradle they often slept in a small bed that could fit under the parent's bed for storage during the day. This was the beginning of the trundle bed and was considered a toddler bed. Cradles were made of many different materials but were most often made of wood that could be found easily. Cradles began to be designed and produced by woodworkers who also designed other home furnishings of the time.

The baby crib, as we know it didn't come into common use until the 19th century. The crib was most likely designed to take the place of the cradle. As homes became larger there was enough space to use a crib that the child could sleep in for more than a year. Most cribs were constructed of wood and were often made by the husband. Cribs were often passed down through many children of the household.

During this time there were many children in a family and each one would use the crib for the first year or until the next child came along. The nursery started as a small nook located adjacent to the parent's bedroom. Eventually the idea of the child having his or her own room came to be the standard. Wealthy families who could afford a full time nanny were able to have a separate room for the child.

As children outgrew the crib they would take a bed in the children's bedroom, which was often shared by many children. Eventually homes were built with more bedrooms so they could accommodate more children.

Crib design through the years has shown a steady improvement of features yet the same basic shape and form have remained the same. Nowadays cribs are under stringent safety rules to ensure that children are safe from harm in their cribs. These standards are continually updated and new products are tested for safety. Parents still need to take precautions to ensure the safety of their child in the crib. A visual inspection of the crib and its hardware should be done monthly and any loose hardware should be fixed.
About the Author
Article written by Randi Reese, she offers wide selection of themed baby cribs and great pricing for unique baby cribs .
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