While the anticipation of a new little family member is a bundle of joy and excitement as well as overwhelming, assembling baby furniture can be, well, just overwhelming. Putting together a Radio Flyer is one thing, but a whole baby crib is another—not to mention the accompanying changing table, dresser drawers and nursing glider.
The work can be grueling and usually requires some handiwork, plus four sets of hands, not just two. Over the course of raising my two kids, I’ve put together many pieces of nursery furniture and have learned that if you keep these few simple tips in mind, you’ll save yourself a lot of frustration.
1. Take no shortcuts. Read the instructions and do so thoroughly. Like you would a recipe you’ve never made before, read through the whole thing before you get started and as you unpack the pieces. Getting a visual tally of how the parts look in real life versus how they are drawn on the directions is key.
2. Enlist help. I strongly suggest you get a friend or your spouse to help you. I know it’s just a bunch of wood and hardware, but it can get complicated pretty fast, especially when assembling a crib. Since it’s the biggest piece of nursery furniture you are likely to construct, putting the ends together and lining them up correctly will require four hands—one person on each end of the crib.
3. Use the right tools. Baby furniture of all kinds is manufactured so that parts can be put together with a single Allen wrench (also known as hex keys)—a hexagonal tool for securing bolts and screws with hexagonal socket heads. While it means you can’t use a Phillips or flat-head screwdriver to build the piece, it does mean you only need one tool to put the whole thing together. Be patient, and use the wrench provided.
A properly built crib means maximum safety and a longer lasting piece of furniture. And once the baby furniture is in place, all you need is the baby!
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