Friday, July 22, 2011


Now that my granddaughter is over a month old it is time to get going on the baby's crib. Apparently she likes the cradle that I made for her. She hasn't told me directly but my daughter has told me that the baby sleeps quite well in the cradle. I am happy to hear that. the challenge will be to design and build a crib that is as satisfactory as the cradle.

A crib poses a few more challenges and restrictions than a cradle. In the first two or three months of life a baby does not move so much that design and safety considerations are important. As long as the cradle is strong enough and sways easily back and forth, that is sufficient. Other than that, the cradle should also be attractive. I think I was successful on all counts.

A crib is different. The baby is usually three months old or older before it sleeps in a crib. By that time the baby is more mobile and usually heavier, between fifteen to twenty pounds. There are some stringent CSA requirements that restrict design and construction of a crib. I have been mindful to incorporate all of these requirements. I want the crib that I create to be as safe and as strong as any commercial crib that could be purchased on the market.

In the design I created, I made sure that I incorporated all of the recommendations and requirements from the CSA. Actually, in most cases I went beyond their requirements. For instance, the spacing of slats is supposed to be no more than 2.38 inches . I decided to make the spacing 2 inches. It is simpler to measure and it will be a stronger frame. There is another requirement that the side cannot be raised or lowered unless there are two discrete movements incorporated into the action of raising or lowering the side. In my design the sides do not move. The base for the mattress can be raised and lowered by removing four fasteners that thread into a threaded nut in each post. The fasteners hold the frame for the mattress in place. I designed it so that it can hold at least 200 pounds of static weight. That might seem like a lot but a small child can exert a lot of force on the bottom of a crib. It is the dynamic force that a child creates that I am more concerned about. In the end, my goal is that my granddaughter has a safe place to sleep while she is still an infant.
This is a sketch of what the front of the crib will look like with a few dimensions. The sketch does not show well so I will talk more about it in my next post. The crib appears to be square which is not how I drew it. The crib will measure 53 inches long by 30 inches wide. It is more of a rectangle than a square.
 This is a better picture of the front view of the crib than then one I tried to scan the other day. For whatever reason, scanning the sketch changed the proportions of my sketch. Instead, I took a picture of my sketches instead. The pictures are not perfect but the proportions are correct.

I will update everyone as I progress. Right now I am rushing to get everything in place for the baby shower this weekend. I have new floors in place and between now and Sunday I want to have new newel posts and railings in place. With luck, I should be able to get all of this done!

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