How can I reuse or recycle a baby’s cot?

We’ve had an email from Jess:

What can I do with my little girl’s cot now she’s too big for it? We’re not having any more so don’t want to keep it and I know you’re not supposed to use second hand beds for babies.

There is apparently an increased risk of cot death if the mattress has been used by a child in another home – but it’s the mattress not the whole cot/crib. All sorts of second-hand baby furniture is available via eBay, Freecycle/Freegle or NCT Nearly New Sales, so you should feel free to sell/pass yours on with a clear conscience.

While it’s best to keep using it for its original purpose for as long as possible, I know they’re reused in fun ways too – a blog I read, I forget which, showed one flipped upside down in a larger chicken run as a broody chicken house, and I’ve seen them used as growing containers in the garden – the plants either tied or climbing up the bars.

Any other suggestions for how to pass them on? Or for reuses around the home and garden?

(Photo by levigruber)

Related Categories

baby, household

Search for other related items



6 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle a baby’s cot?”


  1. Bellen says:

    Kids sofa/loveseat: remove one long side, shorten legs, secure other three sides so it is sturdy, add/make back and side pillows & cover mattress with same material – place for just for kids

    Dog bed: same as above only cut legs off completely

    Doll bed: remove both long sides, shorten legs, secure sides, add bedding

    Mirrors,bulletin boards: use ends of crib, remove legs, paint if desired, secure mirror or cork or paint with blackboard paint, add hanging hardware

    Long slatted sides can be secured to ceiling for use as a place to hang things – maybe plants, extra stuffed animals, as a drying rack that’s out of the way especially for items on hangers (you might have to add hooks)

    Long slatted sides can be painted/decorated and used a wall decor

    Bedspring base: use as a trellis for houseplants or outside

    I’m sure there are lots of other ideas but these are some my family did.

  2. Kara says:

    This is an area where you can plan ahead and buy a model that converts to a toddler bed and eventually a headboard and footboard for a twin bed – our youngest will use most of our crib until she leaves home! But I have seen cribs used as daybeds and my mom plans to convert the two she has into a bench for her garden nook. We found hypoallergenic covers for the mattress, so that could be reused as well with a cover.

  3. I have had cot ends turned into an a-board for exhibitions, and we still have one mattress for sitting on and another was used when re-upholstering a chair (first when I re-created The Time Machine and then most recently as an Egyptian throne!)

  4. bookstorebabe says:

    Oh, I’d love to see the Time machine and Egyptian throne! Could you post a link?
    And it’s not the mattress so much that makes it dangerous to reuse-very old cribs, the side slats are too far apart. Just enough so that babies would get their heads caught between them.
    If your crib is reuseable, try offering it to a day care center. Or a woman’s shelter-even if the shelter itself doesn’t need it, sometimes they help women in transition set up a place to live. Most woman who go to shelters arrive with nothing.
    I love all the suggestions for reuse.

    • Here is the link to the Time Machine made with the kids at the Summer Art Project at The Williamson Art Gallery, Birkenhead last year. http://www.flickr.com/photos/abscraft/3862463486/
      Not sure if I have photos of the Egyptian chair without kids but I will take a look and post here.
      No photos of the cot end A-board, was used by the exhibiton, the Oxton Art Fair, was then borrowed by a temporary gallery and was then used by a local church who still have it….

  5. I am sure there are lots of women’s shelters out there with a need for cots — many domestic violence victims leave home with nothing but their babies. And I am just as sure that there are enough kind donors and sponsors out there who are willing to sponsor new mattresses and crib guards to make the cots safe for the next baby using them.



Leave a Reply

Your name
Your email (it will not be published. If you want people to contact you, leave your email address in the message too.)
Your website (if you've got one)