Old English cribbe "manger of a cattle stable, fodder bin in cowsheds and fields," from a West Germanic word (source also of Old Saxon kribbia "manger;" Old Frisian and Middle Dutch kribbe; Old High German krippa, German Krippe "crib, manger") probably related to German Krebe "basket."
Meaning "enclosed child's bed with barred sides" is 1640s; probably from frequent use in reference to the manger where infant Jesus was laid. Thieves' slang for "house, public house, shop" dates to at least 1812, but late 20c. slang use for "dwelling house" probably is independent. The Old High German version of the word passed to French and became creche.