Baby and Juvenile Crested Gecko Care –Complete Guide

When you first purchase a crested gecko, you will most likely get an older juvenile or an adult because they are simpler to care for. You can, however, purchase a newborn crested gecko if you are a more experienced owner.

Baby crested geckos are simpler to bond with, and you’ll get to learn how to care for a crested gecko at practically every stage of its life: hatchling, juvenile, and adult.

However, baby crested geckos come with their own set of problems. For example, they shed more frequently, therefore you’re more likely to encounter shed difficulties in hatchlings.

Because of their diminutive size, they can also dry up faster, making humidity a little more difficult.

In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about young crested geckos and how to care for them.

Understanding Baby and Juvenile Crested Geckos

It takes about 2-3 months for newborn crested geckos to hatch from their eggs. Baby crested geckos, also known as hatchlings, are tiny, usually weighing around 2 grams and measuring about 3 inches in length.

As they grow into juveniles, they’ll gradually gain weight and reach around 10-20 grams. Adults typically weigh between 35-50 grams and measure 7-9 inches from snout to tail tip.

Baby and juvenile crested geckos have less pronounced crests compared to adults. They also tend to have more vibrant colors, which may change as they mature. It’s not uncommon for a gecko’s coloration to become darker or lighter as they grow.

Younger geckos are generally more energetic and skittish than their adult counterparts. They’ll become more confident and easier to handle as they grow and get used to their environment.

Growth and Development Stages of Crested Geckos

Hatchling Stage (0-3 months): During this stage, your baby gecko will be small and fragile. Proper nutrition and a well-set-up enclosure are crucial for their growth and well-being.

Juvenile Stage (3-12 months): This is a crucial time for your gecko’s development. They’ll grow rapidly and require consistent care and attention to ensure they’re healthy and thriving.

Subadult Stage (12-18 months): As your crested gecko approaches adulthood, their growth will start to slow down. You may notice changes in their appearance and behavior as they mature.

Adult Stage (18+ months): Once your crested gecko reaches adulthood, their growth will have mostly stabilized. However, they’ll still need consistent care to maintain their health and well-being.

The typical growth rate of baby crested geckos is shown in the table below.

1 month2 grams
2 month3 grams
3 month4 grams
4 month5 grams
5 month7 grams
6 month9 grams

Setting Up the Perfect Habitat for Your Baby Crested Gecko

Caring for a baby crested gecko has things in common with adult crested gecko care, particularly in terms of environmental conditions.

Both juvenile and adults geckos require the same temperature and humidity levels.

However, there are three key differences in housing baby crested geckos compared to adults: the size and design of the enclosure, the choice of substrate, and the selection of plants.

Baby Crested Gecko Enclosure

Unlike bearded dragons, crested geckos don’t need a huge space to thrive.

A 10-gallon tank or a 12x12x18-inch terrarium works well for baby and juvenile crested geckos.

You will need to upgrade to a minimum of a 40-gallon tank as they grow. We recommend getting a 60-gallon tank for adult geckos.

Ensure proper ventilation with a screen top, which also prevents escapes. Also, consider a front-opening enclosure for easy access during feeding and cleaning.

Substrate Options and Recommendations

Due to their tiny size, you cannot use the same substrate for baby crested geckos as you would for an adult.

The right substrate for a baby or juvenile crested gecko would be one that has a low risk of impaction and that is easy to clean.

For baby and juvenile crested geckos, we recommend using a paper towel because its easy to clean and monitor for any health issues. You can also use old newspapers as it works the same way as a paper towel.

However, if your baby crested gecko tries to eat the paper towel, we recommend using butcher paper, which is a lot sturdier and is less likely to tear.

As your geckos grow, you can switch to coconut fiber or reptile carpet, which provides a more natural look.

Avoid using loose substrates. Loose substrates, like sand or bark, can be accidentally ingested and cause impaction.

Temperature and Humidity Requirements

Temperature and humidity are critical factors in your geckos’ habitat. Maintain a temperature gradient of 72-75°F (22-24°C) during the day and 65-70°F (18-21°C) at night.

If necessary, use a low-wattage heat lamp or ceramic heat emitter, but avoid under-tank heaters.

Keep humidity levels between 50-70% by misting the enclosure twice a day. To monitor humidity levels accurately, use a digital hygrometer.

Lighting and Photoperiod

Crested geckos can benefit from natural light, but be sure to avoid direct sunlight. A low-wattage LED light can help simulate a natural day-night cycle if artificial lighting is needed.

Maintain a 12-hour light and 12-hour dark cycle to support your gecko’s natural behaviors.

Read More >> Crested Gecko Lighting Guide

Hiding Spots and Climbing Structures

Provide multiple hiding spots like cork bark, small caves, or even upside-down plant pots for your geckos to retreat to when they need some privacy.

Also, incorporate branches, vines, and plants (live or artificial) for your geckos to climb and explore.

Remember, crested geckos are arboreal and love to climb, so be sure to utilize the vertical space in the enclosure.

Baby Crested Geckos Diet


Crested geckos require a diet rich in nutrients, especially protein and calcium. Baby and juvenile geckos need more protein for their rapid growth, while calcium is crucial for the development of strong bones and a healthy skeletal structure.

A well-balanced diet should also include carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Ensuring that your gecko gets the right nutrients will help them grow into a strong, healthy adult.

Commercial Crested Gecko Diets

When it comes to commercial diets, there are several great options available. Some of the top recommended brands include Fluker’s Crested Gecko Diet and Zoo Med Crested Gecko Food. These diets are specially formulated to provide all the necessary nutrients for your gecko.

When choosing a commercial diet, look for one that is high-quality and well-reviewed by other crested gecko keepers. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to avoid low-quality, generic brands that may not provide the complete nutrition your gecko needs.

Supplementing with Insects and Other Treats

While a commercial diet should be the primary food source, you can supplement your gecko’s diet with insects and other treats for added variety and enrichment.

Appropriate insects include crickets, dubia roaches, and the occasional waxworm. Be sure to gut-load the insects and dust them with calcium powder to boost their nutritional value.

Offer insects as treats once or twice a week, but be cautious not to overdo it, as excessive protein can lead to health issues.

Fruits like mashed bananas, peaches, or mango can also be offered as occasional treats, but make sure they are free from pesticides and additives.

Feeding Schedule and Tips for Promoting Healthy Growth

Feeding your baby and juvenile crested geckos properly is essential for their growth and development. Here are some tips to follow:

AgeFeeding FrequencyPortion SizeAdditional Tips
0-6 monthsDailyDime-sizedMonitor eating habits and adjust portion sizes as necessary
6-12 monthsEvery other dayDime-sizedGradually reduce feeding frequency; continue monitoring habits
12+ monthsEvery other dayDime-sizedAdjust portion sizes based on gecko’s size and appetite
  • Feed your geckos every day when they are under six months old, then gradually reduce feeding frequency to every other day as they grow older.
  • Offer small portions of food, about the size of a dime, to avoid waste and ensure freshness.
  • Observe your gecko’s eating habits and adjust portion sizes as needed. If they consistently leave leftovers, reduce the amount you offer.
  • Monitor your gecko’s weight and growth regularly. Healthy baby and juvenile geckos should show steady growth and maintain an appropriate weight.


Baby crested geckos in the wild typically consume dew droplets. However, because recreating this in an enclosure is impossible, place a small dish of water within the enclosure instead. To keep your reptile from drowning, keep the bowl shallow and change the water on a daily basis.

Common Health Issues in Baby Crested Geckos


In this section, we’ll discuss some common health issues that baby and juvenile crested geckos may encounter, as well as preventative measures and care tips to maintain their wellbeing. Remember, it’s always better to prevent a problem than to treat it!

1. Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD)

This condition occurs when crested geckos don’t receive enough calcium and/or proper UVB lighting. Symptoms include weak limbs, difficulty climbing, and even deformities in severe cases. To prevent MBD, make sure to provide a balanced diet and appropriate supplements.

2. Dehydration

Crested geckos need a humid environment to stay hydrated. Signs of dehydration include wrinkled skin, sunken eyes, and lethargy. Ensure that you’re misting their enclosure regularly and providing a water dish for them to drink from.

3. Impaction

This happens when a crested gecko ingests substrate or other foreign objects, leading to a blockage in their digestive system. To prevent impaction, use a safe substrate like paper towels or reptile carpet for baby and juvenile geckos.

4. Shedding Issues

Incomplete shedding can lead to retained shed on their toes or tail, potentially causing infections or loss of digits. Maintaining proper humidity and providing rough surfaces for them to rub against can help prevent shedding problems.

When to Consult a Reptile Veterinarian

While it’s essential to be proactive about your gecko’s health, there are times when it’s best to consult a professional. If you notice any of the following symptoms, reach out to a reptile veterinarian:

  1. Persistent lethargy or lack of appetite
  2. Rapid weight loss or stunted growth
  3. Visible injuries or deformities
  4. Signs of infection, such as discharge or swelling

Handling and Socialization with Baby Crested Geckos


Baby crested geckos are small and swift, making them difficult to manage, especially for beginners. They are also unaccustomed to being handled and will attempt to jump away, which can be dangerous if they don’t have anything to hop on and fall to the ground.

It is best not to handle a baby crested gecko until it is a little older (six months and older). The only exception is that you will need to handle them in order to weigh and measure them, as well as clean the container.

When and How to Start Handling Your Baby Crested Gecko

It’s best to give your baby crested gecko some time to adjust to their new environment before you start handling them. Wait for at least a week or two after bringing them home, allowing them to settle in and feel comfortable in their enclosure.

When you’re ready to handle your gecko, follow these steps:

  1. Wash your hands to remove any harmful chemicals or scents.
  2. Approach the gecko slowly and calmly to avoid startling them.
  3. Gently scoop the gecko up from the side, supporting their body with your palm and fingers.
  4. Keep handling sessions short, around 5 to 10 minutes, to minimize stress.

Tips for Building Trust and Reducing Stress During Handling

Building trust with your baby crested gecko is essential for successful handling and socialization. Here are some tips to make the process smoother and less stressful for both you and your gecko:

  1. Be patient and consistent with handling sessions, gradually increasing their duration as your gecko becomes more comfortable.
  2. Offer your gecko treats or food after handling to create a positive association with the experience.
  3. Create a calm and quiet environment for handling, free from loud noises or sudden movements.
  4. Avoid handling your gecko when they’re shedding, as this is a vulnerable and stressful time for them.

Signs of Stress and When to Give Your Gecko a Break

It’s crucial to recognize the signs of stress in your baby crested gecko and give them a break when needed. Some common stress indicators include:

  1. Rapid breathing or panting
  2. Tail wagging or twitching
  3. Attempting to escape or hide

If you notice any of these signs during handling, gently return your gecko to their enclosure and give them some time to relax. It’s essential to be patient and understanding of your gecko’s needs to build a strong bond and ensure their well-being.

Remember, handling and socializing your baby crested gecko is an essential aspect of their care. With patience, consistency, and a friendly approach, you’ll soon develop a strong bond with your new scaly friend. Happy gecko-keeping!

Baby Crested Gecko Shedding and Growth

Shedding is a natural and essential process for crested geckos. As they grow, their skin becomes too tight and needs to be replaced with a new, larger layer. Baby and juvenile crested geckos shed more frequently than adults, as they are growing at a faster rate.

You might notice your gecko shedding every couple of weeks, which is perfectly normal.

During shedding, you’ll see your gecko’s skin color become dull and opaque, which is a sign that shedding is imminent. Your gecko may also become more reclusive, as they’ll feel vulnerable during this time.

How to Support Healthy Shedding

To ensure your baby or juvenile crested gecko has a successful shed, follow these helpful tips:

1: Maintain proper humidity: Crested geckos require a humidity level of around 60-80% to facilitate shedding. Mist your gecko’s enclosure daily and provide a humid hide (a small, enclosed space filled with damp moss) to help them shed more easily.

2: Keep an eye on stuck shed: Sometimes, geckos may have trouble shedding certain areas, such as around their toes or tail tip. If you notice any stuck shed, help your gecko by gently misting the area and using a cotton swab to remove the skin. If the problem persists, consult a reptile veterinarian.

3: Provide rough surfaces: Offer branches, cork bark, or other textured items in the enclosure for your gecko to rub against, which can help them remove the shedding skin.

Monitoring Growth and Signs of Healthy Development

As your crested gecko grows, it’s essential to monitor their progress to ensure they’re developing healthily. Here are some signs of healthy development:

1: Steady weight gain: Baby and juvenile crested geckos should steadily gain weight as they grow. Regularly weigh your gecko and keep a record to track their progress.

2: Good appetite: A healthy gecko should have a good appetite, eagerly eating the food you provide.

3: Active and alert: Your crested gecko should be active, curious, and alert when awake, showing interest in their surroundings.

4: Normal shedding: As we discussed earlier, regular and complete shedding is a sign of healthy growth and development.

By understanding and supporting your baby or juvenile crested gecko’s shedding and growth, you’ll be well on your way to raising a happy, healthy reptile companion.

Do Crested Gecko Require Calcium After Shedding?

You do not need to give them calcium once they shed. This is due to the fact that they eat their sheds in order to recoup some of the nutrients used in the formation of new skin.

However, you can keep a healthy shed by spraying its tank on a daily basis to provide the optimum amount of humidity. During the shedding time, keep an eye on them for incomplete shedding.

How Much Does a Baby Crested Gecko Cost?

The price of a crested gecko is determined by its age. Hatchlings and young juveniles are typically less expensive than adult crested geckos. A crested gecko’s price can also be influenced by its gender.

However, a newborn crested gecko from a good breeder would cost you between $50 and $100.

Cost of Supplies

  • Tank/enclosure – $150 
  • Artificial plants – $10 
  • Artificial vines – $10 
  • Substrate – $15 
  • Food/water dish – $15 
  • Temperature gauge – $10 
  • Spray bottle – $5 
  • Food – $20 

So, once you’ve purchased everything you’ll need to supply for your crestie, you’ll most likely spend roughly $235. The price of the crested gecko will vary based on the morph. The morph is essentially the crestie’s color scheme or pattern.

Some of the more expensive morphs, such as the Tricolor Harlequin and the Tiger, can cost up to $500. A young crested gecko, on the other hand, will most likely cost approximately $40.

Where Can You Purchase A Baby Crested Gecko?

Crested gecko can be found practically anywhere in the world. However, because crested geckos are more popular, they are easier to obtain in the United States. Some of the venues where you may purchase a newborn crested gecko are as follows:

  • Online
  • Pet businesses in your neighborhood
  • Exhibits of reptiles
  • Individual breeders
  • Reptile rescues

It should be noted that not all breeders are good people since some prioritize profit over the health of the gecko. Before purchasing a gecko, it is advisable to obtain as much information as possible about it. You should also search for evidence that the gecko is in good health and does not have any health problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Can A Baby Crested Gecko Live Without Eating?

Hatchlings and baby crested geckos typically consume a large amount of food. This is primarily due to the fact that they are still developing and will require feeding five times a week. There are times, though, when your gecko can go for a few days without eating. This is common when keeping them in a new tank. Juvenile cresties consume somewhat less food than baby cresties. You must feed them three to four times every week. They can also go for several days or even a week without eating.

Does Baby Crested Gecko Bite Cause Pain?

Although crested geckos make good pets, they dislike being handled. When handled, a crested gecko can bite, however, their bite seldom causes serious injury. The bite of a crested gecko may startle you at first, but it will not harm you. A bite from a crested gecko, on the other hand, can result in the transmission of bacteria and some fungi. Because bacteria and fungi can be toxic, it is best to wash your hands after touching and biting a crested gecko.

Is it safe for a baby crested gecko to drink tap water?

Although some gecko caretakers are concerned about giving crested geckos tap water. This is due to the chlorine in the water, however, there have been no reports of crested geckos drinking tap water.
If you are confident that your tap water is safe, there is no reason to avoid using it. However, if you live in an area with contaminated tap water or have multiple animals to care for, it is best to educate yourself on chlorinated water and how to cope with it.

Do baby crested geckos feed on a daily basis?

Baby crested geckos, like adult crested geckos, do not need to eat every day, but can eat every other day. You can feed them every day to boost growth, depending on the type of diet you provide.

Can you keep baby crested geckos together?

In a large enough terrarium, baby crested geckos can be housed together. When they grow too huge to fit in a standard terrarium, you should divide them. It is advised that they be separated at six months.


As we wrap up our comprehensive guide on baby and juvenile crested gecko care, it’s essential to remember that providing the proper care and environment for these fascinating creatures is crucial to their health and happiness. From setting up the perfect enclosure to maintaining a balanced diet and understanding their unique behaviors, being well-informed will ensure your little friend thrives under your care.

Caring for a crested gecko may seem a bit daunting at first, but trust me, it’s a genuinely rewarding and enjoyable experience. As a fellow crested gecko owner, I can assure you that the time and effort you invest in learning about their needs will pay off in the form of a healthy, happy pet that brings joy and fascination to your life.

So, don’t be afraid to take the leap and embark on this incredible journey of becoming a proud crested gecko parent. Remember, you’re not alone in this adventure! Our friendly community of reptile enthusiasts is always here to offer support, share their experiences, and provide helpful advice on any crested gecko care topic.

Please feel free to reach out, ask questions, and engage with fellow crested gecko lovers. Together, we can ensure that our baby and juvenile crested geckos receive the best care possible and continue to captivate our hearts for years to come. Happy gecko parenting!

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