c.1200, cradel, from Old English cradol "little bed, cot," from Proto-Germanic *kradulas "basket" (cf. Old High German kratto, krezzo "basket," German Krätze "basket carried on the back"). Cat's cradle is from 1768. Cradle-snatching "amorous pursuit of younger person" is 1925, U.S. slang.
c.1500, from cradle (n.). Related: Cradled; cradling.
cradle cra·dle (krād'l)
A small low bed for an infant, often furnished with rockers.
A frame used to keep the bedclothes from pressing on an injured part.