Many families are doing this not so much to save money, but for good luck. reminisce, nostalgia. etc
I sent a crib to Canada for my first grandchild a beautiful crib that was my son's. Really lovely to see my grandson in it. I made a fabulous mattress to go with the crib.
Anyway lets press on, obviously before you use this old cot that has been in the loft for years, ensure all the components are in good condition No loose slats or bars and all held together tightly with all the correct fittings.
There are a few pitfalls to be aware of depending on how old the cot is because the British Standards have changed.
The British Standard for a mattress some 30 years ago was not to have more than an inch all the way round. If the mattress was pushed up to one corner of the cot there would not be more than a two inch gap (5 cm) very sensible to avoid a trap between the mattress and the cot bars.
Then as we fell under the EU laws the standard was changed from 2 inch (5.08 cm) to 4 cm which seemed acceptable as we were moving towards metric.
However a few years ago the boffins in Brussels decided to reduce the gap from 4 cm to 3 cm. I will refrain from passing comments about this!
Most old cots took mattress sizes 46 x 21", 50 x 25", 51 x 27" (imperial remember that?). Corresponding sizes are 117 x 54 cm 126 x 63 cm (mamas and papas size 300) and 130 x 70 cm
You may find the gap is closer to 3 cm because most good quality covers now are more luxurious and add a cm to the width and length - all perfectly safe
One problem that can occur, If you do not have the instruction leaflet there is 50% chance of getting the base upside down!
It is upside down on some cots you will see a frame around the cot base that should be on the underside. The frame is there to strengthen the base. You will not get a mattress to fit if the base is upside down!
Some people look at the base when upside down and it appears as though the mattress should fit in the frame- NO NO!! If you did that the mattress will be too small and leave a dangerous gap between the mattress and the cot side. The mattress base must be even bar to bar, end to end.
Cot With Drop-side
In the US and Canada they have banned drop-sided cots they consider them unsafe.
In the UK drop-sides are acceptable as it makes it easier and safer to lift your baby out when the base it at the lower level. Especially if you are not very tall and have a back problem.
NB the Americans and Canadians call their cots cribs if you want to read about their drop-side ban.
However you must be mindful that you do not leave the drop-side down if the baby is in the cot and the base is set at the high level, your baby might sit up and fall out!
Do not leave the drop-side down if the baby is in the cot and the base is set at the low level there is a a risk the baby can get its head stuck under the drop-side.