How to Assemble a Baby Crib

A white baby crib in a blue-themed nursery.
  • 5-15 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 250-500
What You'll Need
Drop cloth or sheet
Headboard and footboard
Ratchet set
Stationary and drop side rails
Drop side rod

Putting your baby crib together can be an enjoyable and meaningful experience. A baby crib can be assembled easily in about an hour with just a few tools. Even though cribs come in a wide variety of styles, most of them have the same parts and can be assembled in the about same way, outlined below.

Step 1 – Prepare Your Work Station

The best place to assemble the crib is in the baby room because they can be awkward to move around once they've been put together. If it’s a large crib, it may also be tricky to get it through the door. You can either put it together right on the floor or set up a work table. Lay down an old sheet or a drop cloth to set the parts on so you don't need to worry about losing anything on the floor.

Step 2 – Attach Latch Brackets to Headboard and Footboard

Put the headboard and footboard on the floor or on your worktable and attach the latch brackets to both. Make sure that the brackets are attached securely and facing the inside of the crib.

Step 3 – Secure Stationary Rail

The next step is to attach the stationary rail. Place one dowel through the headboard and footboard on one side of the crib by inserting it through the holes in the latch brackets and screw it into place. It may be easier to have someone hold the headboard and footboard in place for you while you do this.

Step 4 – Add Mattress Support

Now you can attach the mattress support. There will usually be a manufacturer sticker showing you which side goes face down. You may need to screw the attaching parts onto the springs before you attach it to the headboard and footboard. If they are attached already, then simply screw them to the crib using nuts and bolts.

Step 5 – Attach Drop Side Rail

Attach the drop side rail to the front of the crib. Hold the rail onto the latch brackets, and put the drop side rod through the designated holes in the crib to secure it to both sides of the crib. Place one of the remaining springs over the dowel and set it slightly above the lowest hole in the drop side rail. Screw the rod tops into the side of the headboard and footboard, and then repeat the process for the other side. Test the rail at this time to make sure that it raises and lowers properly.

Step 6 – Place Mattress in Crib

Put the sheet on the mattress and add the mattress pad if you have one. Sleeping pads are a great baby crib addition because they help to support the baby when they toss and turn. Some of the pads even raise and support the baby's head while they sleep.

Step 7 - Finish Adding Any Accessories

The final touch is to add any accessories that you have, such as blankets, a rib rail teether, night light, or baby monitor.