Wait, WAIT! Didn’t you just have that baby??? How on earth did she grow so fast?
I know your pain. I have two boys of my own, and I swear to you they were just born last week. And now they are 31 and 28 years old. When I had to accept the fact, many years ago, that I had to change their bedroom from a nursery to a toddler room, it took all I had to accept that my baby growing up is part of this parenting process!
The problem here is, I really never understood how to have my baby make the transition to toddlerhood in his own bedroom.
Sure, I am an Early Childhood Specialist (with a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood) and I understood child development and how to set up a kindergarten classroom…but an actual bedroom? For a kid?
Start with Where the Child Is
Okay. Your toddler has been sleeping through the night for months now, and has been waking on her own and actually climbing out of the crib some mornings. Yikes!
And she’s on the verge of toilet training…did I mention that?
No problem. The crib is no longer keeping your child contained, and you are scared to death she might fall to the floor one Saturday morning when you aren’t looking. Time to act NOW.
Child safety aside, you aren’t using that changing table all that much, either. And that rocking chair taking up precious real estate in the nursery? When is the last time you rocked her to sleep there? (You might still be using it to read to her at bedtime each night.)
With all this in mind, it’s probably safe to say it’s time to transition from a nursery to a toddler bedroom.
Get the Child Involved
Just as you make the whole toilet-training process into a big deal, so it is with going from the crib to a Big Boy/Big Girl Bed. If you aren’t comfortable going from a crib to a twin bed, there are alternatives.
Perhaps you purchased one of the cribs that either transitions to a toddler bed with optional toddler rails, like these:
Or, you may have purchased the toddler crib rails, and need to install them. Either way, involve your toddler in the “building” of the “new” bed, so they feel involved and more grown-up. Ask him or her if they are ready for the big kid bed, and you may get a resounding YES!
Look (with your child) through sales flyers, the internet, or their own toys to get inspiration for what bedding to buy. Spiderman? Dora? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (my kids’ favorite—and now it’s come back!) A sports team? Get excited with them, and you will get further buy-in from your child.
After all, this new bed means new freedom—and getting you out of bed early on weekend mornings!
The Changing Table
Just as you did with the bed, it’s time to transform the changing table. (Even if your child is still in training, you can use the bed for changing.) Now the changing table can be used as a full dresser, with the top drawers reserved for things needing to be kept out of reach. (Be sure to secure the dresser to the wall to prevent tipping over if your child decides to climb.)
Add a lamp, a stuffed animal, and some of your child’s favorite treasures to the top. And there you are!
The Rocker and Ottoman
I say, keep the rocker for now, but store the ottoman elsewhere. When you are done using the chair for reading to your child while he is on your lap, replace it with a cute reading tent! You can still read to your child in bed OR in the tepee!
Keep Their Treasures Close By
Of course, every child wants her room to reflect her own personality with her own favorite books, toys, and stuffed animals. Keep them close by. They remind her of her not-so-grown-up times, and have become her favorites for a reason.
If space is an issue, you can always hang shelves or attach rows of gutters (yeah, from the home building store) to the walls to display books and small objects.
And don’t forget to create an area for play in the middle of the room with a cute rug. I love this one, and it will withstand Play-doh, mud, watercolor spills, and other mishaps because it is machine washable:
Guarantee a Good Night’s Sleep
So now all that freedom you have just given your child can make for too much of a good thing. You don’t want him climbing into your bed when he can’t sleep at 2 in the morning.
To increase the odds of a comfortable and good night’s sleep, you might want to add a sleep machine night lamp to his room. (This also makes a great baby shower gift.)
Not only will it act as a night light, but it provides quiet ambient sounds to help lull him to sleep and keep him asleep. (Maybe until 9AM on a Saturday?) It’s certainly worth a try!
Get your child involved in this exciting transition from Baby to Toddler. He or she will love knowing that soon they will be a Big Kid. Will you be as excited?
If you need a little help in decorating and changing your baby’s nursery to a toddler room, give me a call. I promise the transition won’t hurt one bit!
Disclosure: Some of the links in this blog post are affiliate links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commish if you click through and make a purchase.