82-year-old bassinet has been shared by family members through 25 babies

The Anderson family has a hand-me-down tradition that is both practical and meaningful for the new babies of the clan.

A vintage bassinet that Milo Anderson, his daughters and grandchildren have all slept in has been helping babies have sweet dreams since 1937. It's now hosting baby Terrek, No. 25.

Calgary mom Akira Anderson says she hopes the 82-year-old bassinet will keep her baby calm. So far, two-week-old Terrek has been sleeping soundly through the night.

"When you have a baby, you buy a crib. The crib can't move into your bedroom, so the bassinet is super easy to roll to right beside your bed," said Milo, who slept in the bassinet as a baby.

"So it's just way more convenient for those first few weeks when you have a baby. It just became a value. It's not just because it's an old device, it's actually quite useful."

Danielle Nerman/CBC
Danielle Nerman/CBC

Milo says the bassinet has moved around Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

"I have driven this thing back and forth a few times," he said with a laugh. "The task was that if you take it, you bring it back to whoever, and it was often exchanged at family reunions or family get togethers, Christmases."

The bassinet was originally purchased by Milo's grandparents, Clarence Melvin Anderson and Nellie Smith, in 1937. Milo's father, Donald Floyd Edward Anderson, was the first baby to sleep in it.

"Akira is the third of my four daughters, and was the 14th baby to sleep in it. I find it pretty amazing that 25 years later, she ends up having the baby that will be No. 25 on the list of children," Milo wrote in an email to CBC's Danielle Nerman.

The bassinet has changed a little over the years.

"When I first received it to use in 1986 with my oldest daughter, Ashley, it needed a paint job. So I changed it to the white colour that it is now," Milo wrote. "I cannot recall if Ashley's mother made the white material that wraps it or if that was my own mother or someone else."

Milo pointed out that not everyone was open to using the bassinet — some family members turned it down. But he said at least 10 of the family members who slept in the bassinet still live in Calgary, and he hopes the tradition keeps going.

"I know my dad and his siblings are very proud of this heirloom passed on over the generations," he wrote. "It remains in great shape, and I would guess there will be many more children that will be participants."

Milo added that he hopes his family's story will inspire others to celebrate their own family traditions.

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