How to Assemble a Convertible Crib

A couple works on a crib.
  • 2-3 hours
  • Beginner
  • 150-600
What You'll Need
A partner
Screwdrivers or allen wrench/hex key
Adjustable wrench
Diagrams or instructions
All parts packaged with the crib

Convertible cribs are often well worth the investment because they can be used for several years as the baby becomes a toddler and then a child. This has made them an attractive solution for new parents looking for longevity out of their baby furniture.

Most convertible cribs require some assembly and will come with a set of instructions or an assembly diagram. While the specific parts will vary from model to model, the basic steps are the same and easy to complete.

Step 1 - Sort Out Your Materials

The basic pieces of a convertible crib include a headboard, footboard, two sides (often with slats or bars), and mattress rails. One of the sides may have a gate or be set up so that it can be lowered or raised to allow better access to the crib. Some models may also have wheels. Separate these pieces and take note of any labels. Sort out the hardware that came with the crib and keep things separated so they can be accessed easily when needed. Check the instructions to make sure you are not missing any pieces; if you are, contact the manufacturer of the crib.

Step 2 - Choose a Configuration

The parts you install depend on what configuration you need your crib to be in to begin with. Most convertible cribs have three settings: infant, toddler, and child. Some beds may only have a crib setting and a bed setting. An infant bed will have both sides installed. A toddler bed will likely have a gate on one of the sides or may have one side open. A youth or child bed will have optional side rails. There may also be different settings for the height of the mattress.

Step 3 - Attach the Headboard and Footboard

The mattress rails will be what holds the headboard and footboard together. These pieces will likely have brackets or pre-drilled holes to show you how and where to position them on the headboard and footboard. Take care that you match the holes carefully based on your preferred mattress height. Use the correct parts and tighten all bolts securely. These parts can sometimes be quite heavy, so for your own safety, enlist the help of someone who can hold up the headboard and footboard while you secure the rails. If there are wheels, you can install them now.

Step 4 - Install the Sides and Mattress

This is where you will likely need to consult your instructions or diagram, as different systems will have different installation needs. A crib with a dropside will likely have some sort of locking mechanism to keep the child from being able to pull the side down. Take care when installing this important safety feature.

Flip your crib upright and fit the mattress inside. If your crib is wooden, give it a final once-over for any splinters, cracks, rough spots, or paint chips, as these can all be potentially dangerous to a baby.