Cradle questions

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Forum topic by mart posted 01-05-2009 05:24 AM 2168 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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190 posts in 4133 days

01-05-2009 05:24 AM

This morning at church we were introduced to the two newest members of our church, two new babies born just prior to Christmas. It got me to thinking that I should make cradles for the the new babies. I mentioned this to my wife. Ever the pragmatist, she mentioned that a low cradle, one on the floor with rockers on it, would be: one, cold due to being on the floor, and two, difficult for the mom just recovering from delivery to lift a child out of. I suggested that it would still be useful as mom would not be recovering forever and that she would be able to use it after recovery.

I suggested a pendulum cradle that would bring the baby up to a height that would make it easier for the mom to pick the baby up from. My wife suggested that babies tend to roll to the side in a pendulum cradle and become trapped against the side. I noticed one of the cradle projects posted here was built to house a basket which would eliminate this possibility.

What are your thoughts on this both as woodworkers and parents/grandparents? Are cradles more a novelty or odd piece of furniture that never really gets used or are they a practical gift that mothers would find useful? Thanks in advance.


16 replies so far

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4402 days

#1 posted 01-05-2009 05:36 AM

Both of my kids had a cradle that they slept in just about every night and it was very “floor hieght” and it was on rockers. I vaguely re-call reaching over from the bed I slept on (which was also floor hieght) and giving the cradle a slight push which often stopped my babies constant nighttime screaming sessions.

In the event the pushing/rocking of the cradle didnt work, then that meant picking the screaming infant up and rocking us both to sleep in the rocking chair.

Both kids turned out pretty good.

Their mother is still recovering!

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View lew's profile


12860 posts in 4264 days

#2 posted 01-05-2009 07:13 AM

Most of the pendulum cradles I’ve seen here have a locking mechanism that can be used to prevent the rocking and thus trapping the infant at the side.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View woodbutcher's profile


592 posts in 4675 days

#3 posted 01-05-2009 07:49 AM

I built one of the pendulum design for a friend last year. His only problem has been trying to keep the younger children from rocking the new one all the time-lol I told him he could just glue the stop in place if he wanted so they wouldn’t remove it all the time. My design was made with the intent that the mother did not have to bend over either. I had no plans or established dimensions with which to work, it was flying by the seat of your pants. Please view it on my projects and see if it’s of any benefit in your quest.
Ken McGinnis

-- woodbutcher north carolina

View NY_Rocking_Chairs's profile


528 posts in 4106 days

#4 posted 01-05-2009 12:24 PM

I found the idea of a cradle to be quite out-dated. When we became pregnant with the first my wife asked for one and I refused. She ended up borrowing a bassinet from a family member. It was used for 2 weeks and then the baby was moved to sleeping in his crib (which I did make) in his own room.

Hence I felt justified in not spending the time and money building a cradle that would have seen maybe 2 weeks of use before taking up space. Since it would have been hand made my wife would have insisted on keeping it for future use, meaning it would then be my responsibility for storing it in my already-over-crowded storage area.

The crib on the other hand was used for an entire 18 months before the first born was upgraded to his big-boy bed and now the second son is in the crib for another 14-16 months. When the crib is done it comes apart and can be stored in a 12” thick package.

I have made cradles for people who insisted on them, though I tried to talk them out of it, a fool and his money are soon parted.

Good luck and I applaud your willingness to try and help these people out. Perhaps you should have a chat with them to find out if there is anything they are specifically looking for that you could make.

-- Rich, anybody want a peanut?

View Steelmum's profile


355 posts in 4471 days

#5 posted 01-05-2009 03:35 PM

I had a pendulum cradle for my second child. It was very pretty. I used it for about a week. Make the new mothers a picture frame, or a plaque with baby’s birth info on it instead.

-- Berta in NC

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 4182 days

#6 posted 01-05-2009 06:15 PM

Build a nice rocking chair instead. That could be used for some time during feedings, rocking to sleep, etc.

View LesB's profile


2202 posts in 3952 days

#7 posted 01-06-2009 02:50 AM

I have made several pendulum type cradles (one was posted about two weeks ago) and they were used for about 6 month before the baby starts to roll over and get on their hand and knees. At that point they become a hazard and the kid is ready for a crib. The tipping problem is easily solved by installing a movable stop pin that goes between the upright and the cradle bed to lock it in place when rocking is not desired. I also made mine with threaded metal inserts at the bolting places so it could be taken apart and stored flat to await the next new born or the next generation which ever comes first. Also the little girls like to play dolls with them when they get old enough. Nursing mothers tell me they found it handy to have the cradle next to their bed where they could rock the infant and also easily lift them out to their own bed for feeding. Of course they still had to get up to change the diaper (-:

-- Les B, Oregon

View Karson's profile


35201 posts in 4909 days

#8 posted 01-06-2009 02:56 AM

I’ve made a cradle that won the first contest on LumberJocks. I was also concerned about the length of time that a cradle would be used. Look at my design and the solution.

Click for details

The last post I made at the end of this one has it being used as a glider.

Click for details

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View 8iowa's profile


1591 posts in 4270 days

#9 posted 01-09-2009 03:18 AM

In 2000 I made a neat hooded cradle on rockers. Everyone liked it, however, my grandson out grew it in just a few weeks. My daughter has it stored somewhere – not in sight. Unless the family plans to have several children, a crib is probably a more practical project.

That said, I think I still have the plans if you are interested.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View southpaw's profile


1 post in 3924 days

#10 posted 01-19-2009 05:10 AM

I built a crib a few years back that converted to a twin bed by using the crib’s headboard and footboard as a headboard and footboard for a bed.

View HallTree's profile


5665 posts in 4276 days

#11 posted 01-19-2009 08:15 PM

I should of done more research before I built the rocker cradle for my great grandchild. It is walnut and took a lot of time to build. It was never used. The young parents now days use the modern automatic swing type, which really make sense. It now sets in the corner of our living room.

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View mart's profile


190 posts in 4133 days

#12 posted 01-19-2009 11:35 PM

Those are some awesome cradles. I guess I will look at something else for them. It sounds like most cradles don’t get used for very long. Maybe I will will make a couple for the church nursery instead so that they will see more use. I haven’t summoned up the courage yet to try a rocking chair, or a chair of any kind for that matter. I guess that needs to be high on my list of “learn how to”.


View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 4222 days

#13 posted 01-20-2009 01:40 AM

Per her request I made a cradle for my daughter. She used it for both of the boys but I have no idea for how long. Personally our kids went directly to the crib with crib bumpers of course . my wife and I alternated “on call nights” so you could get a full nights sleep every other night. and not having them in our room wasn’t ever an inconvenience.

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View Icemizer's profile


88 posts in 4048 days

#14 posted 01-22-2009 03:28 PM

While I only made a floor cradle I did provide for the rockers to be removed and its further use as a magazine rack when the baby out grew it.

-- Say what you mean and mean what you say.

View TNWoodwright's profile


25 posts in 3923 days

#15 posted 01-22-2009 05:02 PM

The cradles in the 1600’s where built so the baby was protected

-- If you have a garden, a shop and a library, you have everything you need with apologies to Marcus Tullius Cicero

showing 1 through 15 of 16 replies

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