Tuesday, March 26, 2013

DIY Crib Rail Guard for Teething

Lemon has no teeth - is that weird?  She's almost nine months old and I look and feel her gums and there is nothing there, not even anything under the surface, as far as I can see.  I told Ian the other day - what if she never gets teeth?  What if she's a teenager with no teeth?  Could you imagine?!  :) 

I figured that I better put all of the teething stuff in place before we actually have to deal with it.  We give her Hyland's Teething Tablets (all natural), I even have some homeopathic drops and she does chew on everything, even bottle nipples, and drools - but no actual teeth yet.  I'm really kind of happy about it because when you have a babe that already doesn't like to sleep you pray that teething comes later and later so that maybe you can get a break before the real fun begins! 

I found this today and it frightens me.  I thought I would post it to frighten you too so I'm not alone (and so I can look at it and curse at it later)!

So, I started looking at crib guards for teething because I had a friend whose daughter totally ate up her crib.  I thought that it would be horrible to find paint in your babe's mouth and to have a crib that was once really nice look like a shark attacked it when you try to resell it (or use it for another babe later).  So, I was about to invest in some really nice (but expensive) fabric crib guards, to go on our super cute Babyletto Hudson crib (which I LOVE), when I stumbled upon this tutorial from Jane Marie's photography blog.  I thought I'd try it out, even though DIY projects are super new to me.  But, since becoming a mom, I have done more things like this then I ever thought I would so I was pretty confident that I could do this too!  (See how to make fabric bows.) 

I knew I wanted to use fleece to make these, because it's soft and easy to work with, but wasn't sure on the color.  The walls in Lemon's nursery are aqua, her crib is white, her curtains/rug are pink and she has yellow accents (of course).  (See our nursery reveal.)  So, I opted for white, to match the crib, and because I have so many different pinks going on in there and didn't want to chance another shade of pink or yellow.  My friend Melissa was already at JoAnn's getting party supplies for her daughter's first birthday, so I had her pick me up 5 yards of white fleece.  Why 5 yards?  I have no idea because I ended up using about 1-1.5 yards, so don't go too crazy on the yardage when you do yours (I must have had mom brain that day!).  5 yards were on sale for $25 so I bet I made this for under $8.

Start by measuring the sides of your crib.  I wanted to do all four sides of mine because ours doesn't have a decorative back or anything.  (Can you spot my little helper?)  Pardon the dark pics, we put a blanket up over her window to see if it would help her nap, it didn't.  Ha.


Then, measure out your fleece.  I did mine about an inch longer than the measurements of the crib rails and then cut the width at 12 inches (instead of 10 like in the tutorial I found).  I don't know if my rail was a different width but I found that 10 inches didn't give me enough length to tie between the slats (12 almost wasn't enough), so you can adjust this after laying your fleece on top to see how much "hang down" you have.

(Are you a Star Wars fan like my husband?  We got this super cute onesie on Etsy from EngramClothing.  He is so sad she's almost grown out of it!) 

Then drape your cut fleece over your crib rail to make sure you have enough hanging down to start cutting and tying it.  
You will have to lean over the crib to cut the strips on the inside, I started with just a little cut and then went back and cut longer strips, just because it is a weird angle to be cutting.  Cut about a 2 inch strip wherever there is a slat in your crib so that you have strips for the slates and also strips for the space between the slats.  Cut strips on both sides, inside and out.

And sometimes you have to take a break while you work because someone is apparently hungry . . .

Now you have strips cut out on both sides of fleece.  Take the strips that are between the crib slats and tie them together (see why I needed a wider piece of fleece?).  I tied them just once, they are pretty secure and I didn't have a lot hanging out so some of the ties were a bit tricky.  If your top rail is fatter than mine, you will probably need an even wider piece then 12 inches and longer than 2 inch strips.   

After you tie the strips together that are between the slats, you will still have strips hanging down that are over the slats.  Just tuck these up on both sides and then make sure your ties are snug after tucking.

Then, you will have a really cute, soft and safe crib rail cover for your babe to go to town gnawing on!  I thought Lemon would love playing with the pieces that hang down, because they are like tags (and you know, babes love tags!), but she hasn't played with them yet.  I thought for sure I'd have to keep tying them because she pulls them apart but maybe that fun will come later. 

And then we had to test them out!

Good luck and have fun!  If I could do this simple DIY project, you can too!


  1. My daughter didn't get any teeth until she was 13 months old! I was totally fine with that since I was breast feeding haha! She also isn't a very good sleeper so I was concerned how her teething would affect her. She got four teeth at once and I only realized she was teething because she ate her crib! (too bad I didn't cover the rails) She is actually cutting two teeth right now and I only found out because the dentist told me! So, I hope your daughters experience with teething will go smoothly!! I think it should be a trade off for the lack of sleep right?! Good luck!

  2. This is so creative & cheap! Bookmarked....

  3. Great idea! Is there any other fabric I could use considering I am not too happy for my baby to chew/suck on polyester?

  4. My daughter was also a late teether and I had no idea that she would start chewing on her crib! Your guard is so pretty -- did your daughter ever try to untie the bows? Did the solution end up working out? I may try it with my next one. In the meantime, for the super non crafty or busy, another crib guard idea is to tightly tie an old swaddle blanket around the rails like we did. I linked to your instructions, and explained my approach, today on my blog of daily hints to make parenting easier and cheaper.


  5. This is a really great idea. You could even add some foam undeath the fabric for some extra softness.