This is a revised version of my crib modification Instructable. It includes more details on how to do some of the more complex steps, a complete list of tool/equipment requirements, and some additional changes I've had to make since publishing the original. I hope people find the extra information useful.
Parents with disabilities face numerous challenges when caring for a newborn. Besides the usual lack of sleep and anxiety about such a small and dependent life, much of the equipment for infants and children present substantial barriers for parents with disabilities. Changing tables are built for standing, bathtubs can take two (or more!) hands, and cribs require parents to have substantial flexibility and lifting strength.
Cribs are manufactured according to strict standards
designed for the safety of the child, not for universal access; the railings are all 2 or 3 feet off the floor, and a foot or more above the mattress. Because infants are left unattended in cribs overnight, they need to be built in such a way that the child cannot accidentally fall out of the crib or get any part of their body (especially the head and neck) trapped between components. The Consumer Product Safety Commission
has publicly accessible explanations
, as well as formal guidance
This Instructable describes modifying a wooden crib to allow a parent of short stature to access the crib without lifting. The railing opens from side to side, and the mattress is positioned just above the floor. An article
about this project will appear in MAKE 17
, available on newsstands 10 March 2009.