Updated: Feb 27, 2019
Watching my sweet baby girl grow and learn more everyday is the joy of my life. She is amazing. She isn't perfect though. I don't want to be one of those moms that pretends their baby is perfect. She isn't. She screams bloody murder if I'm not in the same room as her and she blows out her diaper almost everyday. But she is sweet and she has the biggest smile that will light up your world. I've got good mom days and I've got days where I let her stay in pajamas until 3 in the afternoon. You get the picture.
One thing I absolutely loved doing before she got here was creating her nursery! I had so much fun with it, even though I was limited because we are renting right now. I imagined her playing in there one day and putting her in her crib at night, just like any first time mom. I loved it so much that I considered niching down to just designing nurseries one day, but I love kitchens and baths too much to give them up. :)
So how do you switch from the "nursery" to the "big kid" room? And when?! To answer the "when" question, I'd say when they are getting out of diapers and you're no longer using a "changing" table. Even if you're like me and don't use a changing table, this is still the perfect time to transition and give them a sense of pride for their new space. A lot of parents will reward their children for getting through potty training with a "big kid" room! Love that idea. Changing from crib to "big kid bed", and diapers to undies... what a big step!
OKAY. Now to answer the "how" question.
You want their room to be grown up, but not too grown up. You want it to be whimsical and fun, but not "kitchy". So how can you marry the two in perfect harmony? Start by getting inspired. It's a great idea to look for inspiration in multiple places. The Crate and Kids Instagram has so many cute posts and ideas.
After getting inspired and with your wheels turning, start with something that your child absolutely loves and work from there. This could be a stuffed animal, a toy, or maybe even a character. Use this to guide you. I like to start with art work most of the time, but if you have a bed that you HAVE to use in their new room, incorporate that as well. If you want to start with the bed, try something funky like these upholstered platform beds. Or if you are wanting more whimsy, these "house" themed beds are really fun and can easily be used as "superhero hideouts".
If you choose a bed without a headboard, a great way to add some "pizzaz" is to add long panels of art behind the bed. They can be your little one's own work of art, or even panels of framed wallpaper. Display their favorite books or have a large clock! When you are decorating, always use things that will engage your kiddos. 90% of a child's brain develops by the age of 5. That means that everything they see, they are learning from. Whether they like it or not! Making their room a place that they can create, learn, and be imaginative is essential.
If you have room, giving them an extra defined place to play in their room makes a huge difference and makes them feel special. The teepee's that people are getting into are GREAT. They provide a fun place to play, and they help with the scale problem that most kid's rooms have. Another great way to give them a defined place to play is by creating a special wall in their room. This could be a chalkboard wall, a dry-erase wall, a wall full of books, art, OR place cloth storage bins all along this wall for a fun yet functional look. Target has really cute rope storage bins that we use as "diaper caddy's". They are the perfect size for little hands to grab and start learning how to organize their toys.
If you're like me and want your child to be "hands on", add some life to their room by bringing the outdoors in. Adding a plant, tree, succulent to their room can give them a sense of responsibility and is a great opportunity for them to learn. Obviously you have to set boundaries so you don't have a mess... but it's a great learning point and a nice way to get them off of the iPad.
If you are having trouble figuring out just exactly WHAT TO DO WITH ALL OF THESE TOYS... Search for creative solutions that you can use to store them in. I like the idea of not seeing everything, even when it is put away, that is why I really like using bins. There are so many different sizes and they generally can be put inside any kind of "cube storage" unit or even large bookshelving units. Hide that mess behind the bins!
If you're looking for an inexpensive rugs for your space, try saving money and using a smaller rug underneath their play area instead of a large rug for the entire room. This is a great way to help define that "play area" you are designating for them. Choose a different shape for this rug to add a little bit more character to the space.
I hope this was helpful to all of my mama and mama-to-be friends. Sometimes we just need that extra oomph to get where we want to be when we are working on our homes. Just remember... take it a day at a time! Rome wasn't built in a day, and your perfect home doesn't have to be either.
What is your favorite part of your little one's bedroom?! I'd love to know. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Thanks for reading! Have a great rest of your week.