15 - 2012

5 Tips to Help Turn Your Baby’s Nursery into a Toddler Room

William Shakespeare once said, “It is a wise father that knows his own child.” However, I don’t think he was talking about my husband and our two year old son. Upon learning that we were expecting for a second time, we chose to turn the spare room into a nursery and redecorate the current nursery into something more age-appropriate for our toddler. I speak the truth when I say that it was much easier said than done.

If my husband selected zoo animals my son insisted on sea life. When my husband suggested puppies, my son chose monkeys instead. It was war and neither side was willing to back down. But then Disney and Pixar released the movie Cars. Lightning McQueen won both their hearts, and I was just thrilled that they both finally agreed on something. I started redecorating that same weekend before either had a chance to change his mind.

Choosing an Iconic Theme

Disney’s Cars is a theme that lasted my son from the terrible twos up through the first grade. Characters from the movie Cars are a hit with boys because transportation is an iconic theme. Some others that fall into this category for boys are super heroes, sports, and dinosaurs. Some that lean more towards little girls are princesses, flowers, and ballerinas. Of course, some themes work for either a boy or a girl, like safari or jungle animals, the alphabet, or ocean life. Whatever theme is selected, the main priority is that it’s something your child is happy with, as that is who will have to live with it.

Updating the Bed

Because we planned to pass down our son’s crib to his brother, it was time to choose a new bed for his room. We bypassed the standard youth beds and went straight to a twin-sized mattress set. Thanks to great advice from my husband’s sister, who was raising half a dozen boys before ours were born, we opted to forego the bedframe for the first year. Our son moved around in his sleep and accustomed to the crib rails protecting him from a nasty fall. Having the mattresses closer to the floor allowed him to experience a few falls without the risk of serious injury.

Adding Storage

As the changing table was also moving into the new nursery room, my husband and I added a small dresser to our older son’s room. The piece was the perfect place to display the Lightning McQueen lamp we found when searching online for Disney Cars bedroom ideas. We found an old coffee table with shelves and drawers at a second-hand shop. It was perfect for storing things like coloring books and crayons.

Cleaning Out the Closet

Closets have a way of accumulating clutter. My little boy was growing up, and that meant bigger clothes which in turn needed more storage space. While his closet until this point held old prom gowns, outdated coats and purses, and the wreath that graced our front door each winter, it was time to send those things to the attic. Once the closet was cleaned out, my husband installed an organizer that held our son’s clothes, shoes, and even a tub of spare building blocks.

Adding a Quiet Corner

I am pretty sure my son emerged from the womb with a love for books. Even before he could read he’d spend entire afternoons just looking at the pictures. A bean bag chair in bright, primary colors gave him a place to relax near the bookshelf in his newly redecorated bedroom. Some other furniture options for the quiet zone are a small student’s desk or a child-sized table and chair. Second-hand shops are a great place to find these items at a price that won’t break your budget.

Redecorating my son’s bedroom taught my husband and me to be flexible. We were constantly reminded that even though we didn’t choose the theme, it wasn’t our bedroom and we wouldn’t have to sleep in it every night. When you allow your child’s room to grow and reflect his ever-changing interests, then you are allowing him to build self-confidence in a way that’s both safe and age appropriate. If the theme doesn’t grow on you then just wait. By the time your child reaches teenage years, his preferences at age 2 could seem tame in comparison.

About the Author

Freelance author Melissa Cameron enjoys writing articles about all things related to children and parenting. She recently completed a series of articles about using Disney-themed elements, like a Princess wall mural, to decorate a little girl’s bedroom. Becky spends her spare time with her own family, which includes her husband, two children, and a golden retriever puppy. Together they delight in activities such as hiking, playing board games, and miniature golf.

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