How to Assemble A Basic Baby's Crib

Every crib is assembled about the same way. All cribs have the same pieces, such as a headboard, a footboard, rails and springs. After you have built one crib, it is easy to build another. Many cribs purchased secondhand have no instructions that come with them detailing how to build them. However, it is not hard to figure them out. Building a basic baby crib should take about one hour to complete. It may take less time if a friend helps.

Ensure you have everything needed for the crib. If the instructions are missing, sometimes you can search online and the manufacturer will have the instructions for that brand of crib on its website. If you purchased a used crib, make sure it meets all safety requirements for cribs. The spacing between slats should be no wider than 2 3/8 inches across. Check for lead paint or peeling paint, and make sure there are no corners sticking out that can catch on clothing.

Take the headboard and lay it faceup on the ground. Screw the latch brackets into the inside of the headboard. Make sure that the brackets face what will be the inside of the crib. Repeat for the crib footboard.

Attach the stationary rail. To attach, insert one dowel through the head and footboards on one side of the crib by sliding them through the holes in the latch brackets. Slide all the way to the ground and screw into place. Some stationary rails are attached by screws only. If this is the case, tighten enough so that the rail does not shake.

Attach the mattress support. If the crib is new, screw the attachment pieces onto the metal springs before attaching to the wooden crib head and footboards. If they are already attached, just screw them to the crib using a wrench, nuts and bolts. Ensure that the mattress support is attached to the same hole on each corner of the crib.

Take the drop side rail and attach to the front of the crib. Stand the drop rail onto the latch brackets. Insert one metal rod through the holes in the crib, securing the drop rail to one side of the crib. Do the same for the other side. Slide one of the remaining loose springs over the dowel and sit it just above the bottom hole in the drop side rail. Screw the rod tops into the side of the head and footboards. Repeat for the other side. Place the mattress on the bed after placing a sheet on the mattress. Test the bed to make sure the rail can raise and lower.


Missing crib pieces can usually be reordered from the crib manufacturer's website. If the crib is old, then it will be harder to find missing pieces.


Do not place a child in the crib before it is completed.

Many drop side cribs have been recalled due to the risk of injury. More and more cribs are being manufactured without drop sides. Always check the Consumer Product Safety Commission website prior to purchasing or using a crib.

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