Step One: Set up in the nursery
While putting the crib together in the garage or basement might offer you more space, the last thing you want is to finish the job and realize you can't get the piece through the door. So set up everything in the baby's room and assemble it there.
Step Two: Read the directions
It might sound simple enough, but plenty of us dive right into assembly mode without reading through the instructions. Safety is your number one priority, so you don't want to miss a crucial step. "Any new baby crib you purchase is supposed to meet minimum government requirements," says Heather Corley, of About.com's Baby Product Guide. "If you assemble it to the manufacturer's instructions and use the crib properly, even the least expensive crib should be safe for baby."
Step Three: Line up the parts
Also, take a look at the parts list before you begin and make sure you have everything you need. If you don't have all the pieces, call the store or manufacturer so they can send you any missing pieces (don't try to put it together without all the parts!). Typically, the set will include:
1. Two side pieces
2. The heat and foot boards
3. Board or slats
4. Screws, bolts or other fasteners
5. Wheels (for some models)
Step Four: Get some backup
Ask a friend or family member to help out -- it's always a good idea to have someone on hand to read the directions to you while you work and to hold the pieces together so that you can put it together securely. Also, be sure to keep the customer service number for the crib manufacturer on hand in case you have any questions while you're working.