Put Away the Excedrin–The Less-Stress Way to Assemble Baby Furniture Kits

You’ve reviewed reasons to build with baby furniture plans and decided that a baby furniture kit might be a better option for your skill level, time availability, stress level, and marriage.

That’s ok!

You can find some great ready-to-assemble baby furniture kits that are

  • environmentally friendly
  • made from sustainable, recyclable materials
  • relatively inexpensive
  • and still stylish and safe for your baby.

Putting together baby furniture kits can be easier in some respects than building your baby furniture from scratch with woodworking plans, but don’t say that I told you it would be easy!

Building with a Baby Furniture Kit

Here are 10 tips to help you construct a wonderful memory with your baby furniture kit:

  1. Clear a work area. The baby furniture kit may look all nice, neat, and compact in its box, but it won’t be after you start pulling items out. Make sure you have enough space to lay out the different baby furniture pieces in an organized manner, move items around without constantly banging against walls, and work in a safe environment with your tools and baby furniture pieces. It’s often a good idea to assemble the baby furniture inside the nursery so that you do not have to transport it there later (and find out it doesn’t fit through the door frame!).
  2. Unpack the baby furniture kit. Sometimes the ready-to-assemble baby furniture pieces will slide right out. Sometimes you will have to resort to ripping the box open. One recommendation is to save as many large chunks of the cardboard container as you can so that you have buffers for later. Laying down the cardboard can help in several ways including: preventing scuffs on the new baby furniture, stopping gouges in your hardwood floors, preventing carpet stains from oily parts, and permitting easier cleanup. As you are unpacking, try to keep the furniture pieces in a logical order, even if you don’t know what they are or what they do yet. Grouping large pieces in one stack and smaller pieces in a second stack seems to be a good start.
  3. Confirm you have all the parts. The instructions for the baby furniture kit should list all of the pieces, screws, hardware, and other materials needed for assembly. The easiest method is to check each item off while you are unpacking the furniture pieces. In most cases the major sections will be accounted for, but some of the minor hardware (knobs, rails, etc.) may be missing. Don’t be afraid to contact the manufacturer for replacements—you paid for them! If you are in a time crunch, you can sometimes pick up missing pieces at home improvement stores.
  4. Have someone available to help. No matter how easy to put together the baby furniture kit sounds, always be ready for a backup plan. It’s frustrating to be almost finished and then discover that you really do need someone to keep part C standing up while you screw in part G and glue part M. Even if you start out building the baby furniture yourself, keep someone on standby.
  5. Read the instructions. Most of us like to jump into a project and disregard the instructions. We can figure it out. Well, I hate to disappoint you, but in the age of efficiency and cost-savings, some of these baby furniture kits make more sense to the factory that produced them than to the parents at home assembling them. At least take a quick look at the instructions to get an idea of what you’ll be doing throughout the process and the order of the steps. The instructions will also give you a warning if you have to delay some steps in order to wait for glue to dry, wait for stain to set, etc.
  6. Gather your tools. Some baby furniture kits will list out each tool you will need; others do not. Some baby furniture kits will even provide you with the tools, while others leave you on your own. Some common considerations are:
    • Do you need a screwdriver? Phillips or flathead?
    • Do you need a special hex key?
    • Do you need wood glue? (Sometimes baby furniture can be made a little sturdier by gluing some pieces even if the instructions do not require it.)
    • Do you need screws or nails? What size?
    • Do you need a hammer? Drill?
    • Do you need furniture pads for the bottom of the legs? Do you need a furniture strap to secure the baby furniture to the wall and prevent it from tipping?

    Also keep in mind that, while power tools may be faster, they may also strip delicate (or cheap) hardware. Often it’s better just to grab a manual screwdriver and prepare to put some oomph into it.

  7. Go slowly. Do you want the baby furniture to be done quickly or correctly? It’s best to check the instructions, complete a step, confirm with the instructions that you completed it correctly, and then move on to the next step. If you are almost finished and then discover that you made a mistake early in the process, it will not be fun to pull everything apart and start all over again!
  8. Use common sense and dry runs. Many times the people who right the instructions for the baby furniture kits have never actually built the baby furniture. That means that the instructions could be incorrect, out of order, or misleading. You can always use a dry run (without fastening pieces together) to determine whether the furniture pieces really will go together as the instructions state they will. If you have doubts, you can call the manufacturer. You can also call friends and sometimes even the retailer for assistance.
  9. Do not force anything (until you are positive). Most baby furniture kits are manufactured with templates. Often the pieces will fit together perfectly because that is how they are designed to be. At times, however, holes will not line up where they are supposed to or extra gaps will appear where they shouldn’t. If that happens, don’t panic. Refer back to step 7 and double-check the instructions. Maybe have someone else look at it too. If you are right and the baby furniture instructions are wrong, then you should be prepared to make some modifications. You may have to drill new holes and fill in the old ones or use extra screws and glue to secure a piece in place.
  10. Repeat until finished. Keep going and eventually you will have a fine piece of baby furniture. Be proud of your accomplishment, and be happy about what you are contributing to the new baby’s life.

Now clean up the mess from the baby furniture kit, and get ready for the next adventure in your life!

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