Cardboard is versatile stuff and, aside from packaging, has been used to make everything from a helmet to a bicycle, and even a church and guitar. The latest addition to the ranks is the Foldo Bebe, a flatpack cardboard baby crib that promises to be lightweight, durable, and green.

The idea for the Bebe crib came about when Romanian product designer Nicolae Baciu, of design studio Foldo, became a father and read that babies in Finland have slept in cardboard boxes since 1930.

The Bebe is suitable for babies up to around 6 months old. It weighs 3 kg (6.6 lb) and, according to Foldo, can be assembled within a minute, with no tools required. It can also swing or be locked in place and meets European safety standards.

The crib is supported by a cardboard beam and has ventilated holes underneath and covered sides, to waterproof them. According to Foldo, it can handle up to 90 kg (198 lb), which should be more than enough for even the biggest bouncing baby.

The Bebe measures 59 x 85 cm (23 x 33-in) and can be disassembled again to flatpack for easy transport. Once the baby is too big for the crib, Foldo suggests it can be used as a toy box.

Two types of mattresses are available, both made of memory foam, and with either an Aloe Vera or Organic Cotton cover.

Foldo promotes the Bebe as the world's cheapest swinging crib, but it's not yet on sale. The company is raising funds on Kickstarter where pledges start at €60 (roughly US$69). Assuming all goes well, delivery is expected for October this year.

As well as being a good fit for families on a budget, we can see great potential for humanitarian use – in refugee camps or disaster zones, for example – given its lightweight flatpack design.

Check out the video below to find out more.

Sources: Foldo Bebe, Kickstarter

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