Setting up Cribs

Simmons Crib Assembly Instructions

Twist the furniture pads on the bottom legs of the crib ends. There are four furniture pads, two on each end. These pads will prevent the crib from scratching the floor.

Line up one side of the crib with one end of the crib. Line up the holes in the crib end with the ends of the crib side.

Screw the screws in place by hand. Tighten them with an Allen wrench.

Attach the other end of the crib to that one side of the crib in the same manner.

Line up the mattress support so that it is in between the two crib ends and up against the crib sides. Line them up so the hole in the end of the crib is lined up with the metal diagonal support in the corner.

Screw all four screws in place. Tighten them with an Allen wrench.

Attach the crib side by lining it up and tightening the screws.

How to Set up a Baby Crib

Choose a location for the crib that is safe and convenient. Make sure the crib is away from any windows, especially those with blinds or draperies, since the baby could get caught or strangle in the cords. If you are placing the crib against a wall, plan to put the drop-side, if the crib has one, away from the wall.

Locate the manufacturer’s directions for putting together the crib. Some cribs come with the instructions attached to the bottom of the crib. If you cannot locate the instructions, contact customer support immediately.

Make sure you have all the parts and tools necessary to assemble the crib. If any parts are missing or damaged, contact customer support or the store where you purchased the crib to find out if you should return it or if they will send replacement parts.

Follow the manufacturer’s directions for assembling the crib. Putting together a crib can take several hours or more, so take your time and make sure to assemble all the parts correctly. Some cribs use the same instructions for several different models, so the parts for your crib may not look exactly the same.

Inspect the crib to make sure it’s sturdy, without any unnecessary gaps. The slats should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart, and the corner posts should not stick up more than 1/16 of an inch above the sides of the crib, unless the crib has canopy posts that are 16 inches or taller.

Set the crib mattress supports at the appropriate height for your baby. Generally, newborns and infants use the highest setting, for convenience in getting them in and out of the crib frequently, while toddlers use the lowest setting to prevent them from climbing out of the crib.

Place the mattress in the crib. Make sure the mattress fits snugly, with no more than two finger’s width between any side of the mattress and the crib.

Put a mattress pad and fitted sheet on the crib mattress. The bedding should fit snugly and securely, to prevent it from becoming a suffocation hazard.

Things You Will Need

  • Crib
  • Assembly instructions
  • Screwdriver
  • Crib mattress
  • Crib bedding

Tip

Place only a light blanket over the baby, or use warm sleep clothes, for safety.

Warning

Remove any soft bedding from the crib. Always follow the JPMA’s safe sleeping guidelines, linked below, when putting a baby in the crib.

Build your own baby crib

Visualising your crib and making a blueprint can help make your buidling project easier.
Visualising your crib and making a blueprint can help make your buidling project easier.

First, you will need to choose the kind of wood you would like to use for the crib itself. Practically any type of wood will work, and your selection should take your climate and use into consideration. Next, make a design for your crib on your blueprint paper. You can design it however you'd like, but you may want to visit a baby supply store ahead of time to get ideas of what you like. Some people like to trace out the pattern of the legs onto a piece of plywood and then cut it out so they have a model to use as a reference.

Your crib can be any design you wish, but try to keep it clean and simple.
Your crib can be any design you wish, but try to keep it clean and simple.

Cut your chosen wood into six boards that are approximately 54 inches long. These will serve as both rails and legs for the crib. Cut out the actual legs with your jigsaw, and then sand them down and cut any rough edges. Next you will want to make the side boards for the crib, which calls for 51.5-inch pieces of wood. Again, create a pattern and then create the life-sized version.

An exceptionally roomy crib will give your baby plenty of growing space.
An exceptionally roomy crib will give your baby plenty of growing space.

Take these pieces of board and trim the slats. Approximately 30 are recommended for each side if you want a roomy crib, and they should be about 1.5 inches wide. After your sawing is complete, use a mortise to cut mortises into each side rail. After this is complete, you can glue the sides and slats together.

Choose a unique stain colour that complements your nursery.
Choose a unique stain colour that complements your nursery.

Finally, you will have to use more wood to make panels. Go for plywood that is 1.5 inches thick and use T-nuts to make the crib adjustable in height. Fasten the legs of the crib with brackets, and test the crib for strength and durability.

If you would like, you can stain the crib in any colour you'd like. Allow it to air out for several days before laying a baby in it for the first time.

Tip

Always work outdoors where you are safe from inhaling dust and fumes. Only use cutting equipment you are familiar with. Ask a friend to help you if you're unsure. Buy some extra wood to have on hand in case you make mistakes. Don't rush the project. Learning how to build a crib can be tricky!

Warning

Working with wood and saws is dangerous, so know how to operate everything safely. Do not place a baby in the crib until you are sure everything is safe and toxic free.

Tips on Putting a Baby to Sleep in a Crib

Safe Crib Environment

Your baby's crib should contain only a crib sheet. Blankets, pillows and stuffed animals could potentially suffocate a young baby. As an alternative to padded bumpers, line your baby's crib rails with mesh guard panels to prevent any tiny limbs from getting stuck through the slats. Keep the room slightly cool, and dress your baby in a sleep sack for extra warmth, if necessary.

Make Crib Time Sleep Time

It's tempting to place your baby in her crib to play with a toy or to watch the mobile, while you take a shower or get dressed. Unfortunately, this makes the purpose of the crib confusing. As Dr. Marc Weissbluth explains in his book, "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child," you want your baby to associate her crib with sleeping and sleeping only. Place her in an infant seat when you want to keep her contained for a few moments rather than her crib.

Falling Asleep

Rocking, snuggling and soothing your baby are wonderful ways to show affection, but if the ultimate goal is your baby sleeping contentedly in his crib, he needs to learn to fall asleep on his own. To achieve this, cuddle and sing to your baby until he appears calm and drowsy, but is still very much awake. This calm, but awake, state is when you should place your baby in his crib, recommends ZerotoThree.org. By placing him in the crib while he's still awake, your baby has a model for putting himself to sleep.

Transition Slowly

If your baby has slept in your room or your bed up until now, it's understandable that being left alone in a crib results in anxious crying. This is why KidsHealth.org recommends gradually transitioning your baby, so his night time routine involves seeing you less frequently. Start out by entering the room and comforting your baby for a brief period every few minutes and gradually increase the time between visits. These regular, but boring, visits reassure your baby that you haven't abandoned him, but also reinforce that you expect him to sleep in his own crib.

How to Evaluate a Crib for Safety

Examine the crib for proper assembly. Look for any loose or damaged parts and loose screws and bolts. These create safety problems, including fall risks and the potential for children to choke on removable hardware.

Avoid cribs with cutouts or attachments on the headboards or footboards, since a child's head or hands can become trapped in these open crib decorations. Removable decorative crib attachments also present a choking risk.

Measure the height of the corner posts and side rails using a measuring tape. Safe corner posts either fit flat against the crib structure or tower a minimum of 16 inches over the headboard and footboard. Side rails must also measure a minimum of 16 inches to keep the child safely inside the crib. Also measure the width between the crib slats. The space must be no more than 2 3/8 inches to meet safety standards. Larger slat openings risk trapping the child's head between the slats or allowing the child to slide through the slat openings, risking strangulation.

Examine the crib design to see how the mattress fits inside the sleeping area. Any space between the rails and the mattress risks injury from trapped fingers, hands, feet or toes lodged between the crib and the mattress. There's also a suffocation risk if the child's face becomes wedged in that opening.

Look at the crib side rails. Select a crib with fixed, not adjustable, sides. The CPSC found drop-side rail designs offer less structure for the crib, even when new. Older cribs with adjustable sides frequently fail, creating a risk of strangulation when the child becomes trapped between the rails.

Locate the crib manufacturer and model number and research this information online using the CPSC's product safety alert and recall search feature. You'll be sure to avoid selecting a crib listed under federal recall for safety problems.

Tip

Select a firm mattress and avoid filling the crib with toys, blankets and pillows. These create a suffocation risk.

Warning

Test the crib mattress yourself. Don't rely on mattress labeling or product descriptions to select a firm crib mattress. The harder the mattress, the better. Fluffy filling and loose mattress covers also create a risk of suffocation.

Examine crib attachments, including mesh tents, to avoid entrapment and strangulation dangers, and check recall announcements using the CPSC's web page for recalls and product-safety alerts for these products.

How to safely stain or paint a baby crib

Wash the entire crib with the sponge and hot soapy water. Use a nontoxic or natural soap. Use the hose to rinse the crib thoroughly. Allow the crib to dry.

Sand the crib with sandpaper. Lower grit numbers produce a rougher sand and will let more of the staining material to soak into the wood. Dampen a rag or sponge and wipe down the wood of the crib.

Paint the conditioner on the wood of the crib. Use a nontoxic wood conditioner, such as TimberSoy or SoyCrete. Allow the conditioner to soak into the wood and to dry.

Paint a nontoxic stain or paint, such as TimberSoy or SoyCrete, on the wood of the crib. If you're using stain, apply as many coats of stain as you want until you get the desired colour, allowing drying time between each coat.

Paint the sealer on the wood of the crib. Use a nontoxic wood sealer, such as TimberSoy or SoyCrete. Allow the coat of sealer to dry.

Tip

Even if you work outside, it is a good idea to wear gloves and a dust mask while sanding, pretreating, sanding and post-treating. This will avoid you getting wood dust and dirt into your nose and lungs and keep the other products off your hands.

Where to buy replacement parts for cribs

Local Stores

Large stores like Walmart or Target have crib parts available. You can always get a new mattress and bumper pads. If you need hardware, try a home centre, like Home Depot or Lowes, or a hardware store. A complete set of crib hardware, including springs, two stabiliser bars, four rods and a set of teething rail covers cost approximately £104 in 2009. If you needed only the teething rails, £9 to £9 is a fair price.

Online Shopping

A number of websites sell crib hardware and parts online. Some sites even offer parts that change the way your crib functions. For example, you could adapt your crib to have one or both sides slide up and down. Another option would be for one or both sides to fold down.

Check with the Manufacturer

Many parts for cribs made in the last decade may be available through the manufacturers. If you know the brand of the crib, use a directory to find contact information for the manufacturer (see Resources). Look under "customer service" or "parts" to identify a specific model and to order a specific part. These manufacturers also have call centres to help you if you have questions.

Slats are critical to a crib's safety. Babies have died or been seriously injured when they their heads got caught between slats. Check with the Consumer Product Safety Division at (800) 638-2772 to make sure no recalls exist for any model and manufacturer of a crib with a missing slat.

Assembly Directions for a Delta Venetian Lifetime Crib

Attach the left support bracket to one of the corners of the mattress support with a support assembly bold. Use the M4 Allen wrench to tighten the bolt in the hole on the bottom of the bracket. Make sure the pouch in the mattress support is facing up. Attach the other three brackets to each corner of the mattress support.

Use the M4 Allen wrench to tighten the left crib back post to the crib back rail using two long bolts and two metal dowels. Repeat with the right crib back post.

Attach the left crib front post to the crib front rail. Use two long bolts and two metal dowels and tighten with the M4 Allen wrench. Repeat with the right front post.

Attach the mattress support to the right and left sides of the crib. Use two mattress support bolts in each corner. Start all the bolts before tightening with the M4 Allen wrench. Make sure the pouch on the mattress support is facing up. Adjust at the highest position for newborn, and move as the child grows.

Use the M4 Allen wrench to attach the crib back side. Use two bolts on the top and two on the bottom of the crib.

Attach the front side to the crib using four short bolts. Use two on the top and two on the bottom, and tighten with the M4 Allen wrench.

Place the Instruction Manual on the pouch on the crib mattress support before placing the mattress on the crib.

Remove the front side of the crib to convert to a toddler bed. Make sure the mattress support is placed on the lowest position.

To convert to a full-size bed, remove the front side of the crib and the back side of the crib. Use the front side of the crib as the foot board and the back side as the headboard of the bed. Purchase the bed rails separately from Delta’s Children Products.

Tip

Use the toddler bed as a love seat sofa. Register your Delta Venetian Lifetime Crib in order to receive safety alerts and updates at http://deltaenterprise.com/register.asp

Warning

Use a mattress measuring at least 27¼ inches by 51 5/8 inches, with a thickness not to exceed 6 inches. Never add a pillow, comforter, blanket or other items to the crib to prevent suffocation. Tighten all fasteners to prevent a child from getting trapped on a loose fastener. Lower the mattress to the lowest position once the child can pull up to a standing position.