Setting up the nursery before baby comes can be really exciting.
When it comes down to actually painting the walls, shopping for furniture like swings and dressers, choosing a baby monitor, and assembling the crib, you might start to wonder what you got yourself into.
Like any home improvement project, designing and building a nursery can take a lot of time!
Luckily, assembling a crib usually isn’t the worst offender. Most cribs can be assembled in under an hour. I assembled mine by myself in about 45 minutes or less.
But if you can’t spare that kind of time, or are hopelessly un-handy, there are other options! You can actually buy pre-assembled cribs and nursery furniture or find creative workarounds to save time and energy.
Here are my 4 best hacks.
1. Buy a super, duper easy to assemble crib
I know this sounds a little like cheating, but hear me out.
You can usually assemble a crib in an hour or less. Faster if you have an extra set of hands.
But that might actually be the worst case scenario. If you do your homework and read reviews on Amazon carefully, you’ll find that plenty of cribs (and other nursery furniture) can be assembled in 10 minutes!
The crib my daughter uses could not have been simpler. Though the packaging was really heavy, the crib itself came in only about 5 pieces that just needed to be snapped together and secured with some very basic hardware.
Most modern cribs are designed to save you a ton of assembly time. If you have a spouse, friend, or partner who can help you with the heavy lifting and hold the pieces in place while you work the screwdriver, you’ll breeze through crib assembly in no time.
If you can’t spare 10 minutes, I’ve got bad news about what your life is going to be like when the baby comes!
One gorgeous, unique, and REALLY fast to assemble baby crib is the Jenny Lind by DaVinci. Multiple reviewers on Amazon write that assembly takes no more than 15 minutes for a single adult. Hard to beat that!
Oh, and here’s a quick hack to easily find out how long it takes to assemble a crib:
- Find a crib you like on Amazon
- Click through to the product page.
- Scroll down until you see “Customer Questions & Answers” or click “# Answered Questions” at the top to jump directly to this section.
- In the search bar, type “assemble” or “assembly” or “put together,” to find user submitted questions
- You’ll learn common problems people run into during assembly and a bunch of time estimates
2. Browse local marketplaces like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace
If you’re set on buying a crib that’s already been assembled for you, and don’t want to blow the budget, I highly suggest going used.
Browse Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or other online vendors where you can local used goods for sale.
(In my area, you can EASILY get a pre-assembled used baby crib for under $100 on Craigslist.)
Parents are constantly cycling through used baby stuff after their kids outgrow them, and you can get some serious bargains if you don’t mind a few knicks and scratches on the furniture.
The major benefit of buying a used crib is that, in most cases, it will be 100% assembled and ready to go. You’ll also likely get a great deal on the price.
The major downside is that assembled cribs are pretty big and probably won’t fit in the back of your hatchback. You’ll need to either own a truck or van, rent one, or hire someone to transport the unit for you.
3. Use a temporary crib (inflatable, pop up, bassinet, etc) until you find what you want
So you waited a little too long to get the crib.
Now the baby is almost here and you’re in panic mode because nothing’s ready.
Hey, it happens. You’re forgiven.
Here’s a little secret about your first days as a parent: Your new baby probably won’t sleep in their own crib alone for a little while, maybe even a few weeks or months.
There’s nothing wrong with having a new infant sleep in a crib. It’s just that they wake up ALL the time crying for food, diaper changes, or snuggles. It’s just easier to keep them where you can keep an eye on them, especially in the early days when the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) is highest.
All that is to say, take your time finding the right crib if you don’t think you’ll have the time to assemble it.
You can easily buy a fantastic bassinet to keep by your bedside, which you can put together in no time flat with no help, and baby can sleep comfortably in that for weeks most likely.
I honestly don’t remember what kind of bassinet we used when my daughter first came home from the hospital, because everything from those days is now a fog.
But I’ve seen nothing but rave reviews for the Chicco Lullago Portable Bassinet, and if it takes you more than 5 minutes to set up, you’re doing something wrong.
4. Use Amazon’s crib assembly service on any crib you buy
This is seriously awesome.
In recent years Amazon has started offering a service where they’ll send a pro out to your house to assemble whatever crib you want (purchased on Amazon or not).
The assembler brings his or her own tools, transportation, and will even gather up all the packaging and trash and take it out to the trash can or community dumpster for you.
In my area, the estimate is somewhere around $100, and that includes assembly of any crib or bassinet up to 2 hours of work. Your estimate may vary.
To me, that’s an insanely good deal if you’re strapped for time, tools, or furniture experience. Imagine what you can be doing with your time instead of getting ready for the baby while a real professional is putting together the crib in your home.
On top of that, the reviews for this service are stellar
Find out more about how to get your crib assembled through Amazon and read real reviews.
How to put nursery furniture together faster
Cribs are usually pretty easy to set up. Other pieces in your nusery may not be so easy, like nursing chairs and dressers.
Dressers are particularly tricky and time-consuming because of all the intricate drawer hardware and alignment that needs to happen.
My best tip for this is to swallow your pride and tag team these projects with your partner or a friend.
I know we all (looking at you, dads) want to do this by ourselves, but it’s a lot easier when you have someone stabilizing parts, helping with heavy lifting, finding hardware, handing you tools, and offering moral support.
You can even have your partner work one or two steps ahead of you in some cases, which saves a ton of time.
(Just be careful you don’t let any pregnant women do anything dangerous or lift super heavy objects.)
Oh, and on that note, you can also hire someone to assemble other kinds of furniture, including dressers and chairs, through Amazon.
If you have more money than time, I highly recommend it.
So there you have it, plenty of options to save you time and frustration setting up a baby crib.
To recap, you can:
- Spend a little research time finding a crib that takes under 20 minutes to assemble.
- Buy a used, pre-assembled crib and haul it yourself. Or pay for delivery.
- Use a temporary crib or bassinet until you’re ready to tackle the crib project.
- Spend a little extra money by having Amazon send someone to assemble your crib.
Personally? I don’t mind a project, and I’d opt for just reading customer reviews carefully to make sure I didn’t buy a nightmare-to-assemble crib. There are worse things than having a beer and some pizza and having a furniture assembly party.
But if you’re really strapped for time or are just hopelessly bad at these things, look into Amazon pro assembly. It’s not a bad deal for what you get and has outstanding customer reviews.
Hope this helps!