How to Put Together a Crib

Steps 5-8

Step Five: Start with the head and foot

Set up the head and foot boards and attach any stabilizing bars. Keep in mind that you will either attach the spring board or you will attach the pieces that the spring board sits in. "Adjustable mattress height is available on all but the most inexpensive cribs," says Corley. "It allows the mattress to be higher in the crib so you can gently lay down a sleeping newborn, then lowered for babies who can pull up. At least two mattress heights is nice, three is even better." The best choice is a metal spring system to support the mattress.

Step Six: Then move from back to front

Attach the back of the crib, followed by the front -- and both should be stationary. After the deaths of more than 30 infants and toddlers in the past decade and millions of recalls, the government finally outlawed the sale and resale of drop-side cribs, which have a side rail that moves up and down (the ban will officially go into effect in June 2011). If you've already bought a drop-side crib, call the store for an exchange.

Step Seven: Put in the mattress

Remember that you'll have to purchase the mattress separately from the crib, so be sure to order one that is sure to fit. "The mattress should fit fairly tight inside the crib. There shouldn't be an obvious gap between the crib frame and mattress, and you shouldn't be able to easily push more than one finger down in between the mattress and crib frame," says Corley.

Step Eight: Double check your work

Do an inspection of the crib: make sure all the screws and bolts are tight, that the spring board is securely in the right setting, and that there is nothing poking out that can hut the baby, such as a sharp edge.

Once you're done, now the fun begins -- setting up the bedding and making baby's first room as cute and comfy as can be!

Copyright © 2011 Meredith Corporation.

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