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you'll get lots of opinions on this i'm sure, but i'm using a 30 yr old crib. I measured the rails to make sure they were a safe distance and its made out of hard wood and metal bolts. Worked great for my son and i'm using it again for my daughter. (it was my crib when i was a baby) I think 7 yrs is fine as long as all the bearings are tight and it good condition.
I think you are ok if you check a couple of things. Make sure it has fixed (not drop) sides, all the hardware, and you can't fit a soda can between the slats. I'm pretty sure you are also supposed to make sure it doesn't have posts (clothing could get caught) or decorative cutouts.
I accepted a used crib from my grandmother for DD1 (she had custody of my then 3 year old cousin) and only found out when DD2 was almost 2 years old that it was one of the very first drop side cribs recalled. We just bought a new one today, actually. Target and Walmart have some 3 or 4 in 1 versions in the $120 range.
you can usually find replacement screws for this kind of stuff at the hardware store, our crib lost 2 screws during the move and lowes had the same size, so a screw won't be a big deal to find a replacement for, but the brackets that hold the crib up might be harder to find.
Location: Just moved to Pineville, LA from Fort Polk, LA
i dont think thats to old as long as its sturdy and stationary with no moving pcs that go up n down n slide. I got a used crib and found out when we put it together that the drop side scribs were outlawed so hubby made it a stationary crib so it will NOT move, any pcs of it. You can use an old crib just make sure its very sturdy even if you have to use extra screws and bolts and wood glue and make sure no sliding pcs will ever slide with any amount of weight on them. its like making a homemade stationary crib they can be safe not new store bought, but MAKE SURE 100%. we left out the sliding hardware pcs and just put bolts straight into it like a regular bed.
I bought the set we used with DS 1 used. It was a Pali set similar to one I had been drooling over locally at a shop for $4k. I found it on CL for $800 for the 4 piece set, and snatched it up. Of course, a year or two later they banned drop side cribs- and it happens to be a drop side. However, Pali has never been on the recall list. I'm still using it. It's sturdy, and has never dropped, and like someone said above- if I do feel worried about it, it's as simple as drilling another hole and bolting it in place to make it stationary.
ETA: I don't understand the fear of used cribs. A crib is just a piece of furniture. It's wood, and screws, and bolts. As long as you have the correct hardware, and the instructions, there's no reason that buying used poses any sort of safety risk, IMO. Any damage can be seen with the naked eye. Carseats, however, are a different story. The integrity of the styrofoam in those can never be accurately judged by just looking. Small damages can weaken the styrofoam without actually cracking it, and you'd never know unless you KNEW for sure that it had never been dropped, in an accident, left out in the elements, etc.
It's not actually illegal to sell the drop side cribs until December of this year. It's amazing to me how quickly safety standards change. Kelly will be 6 in two weeks and her crib was a drop side... We never had any issues whatsoever, but I do understand how it's a hazard.
The only reason I won't buy used is because I want to know that I'm the first owner... Then I know that i can easily call the manufacturer and get any needs parts. I'll know that's my SO put it together correctly and I'll know that it wasn't "beat up."