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With the first baby, I spent countless hours, days and weeks planning the ‘perfect nursery.’ Between dreaming on Pinterest, scouring the internet, and picking out just the right paint colours, Little Man’s nursery was perfect. But he never slept a single night in there; so, now as a toddler, it was time to make the room fit for a toddler.
The Naive Nursery Dream.
Little Man never ever slept in the nursery I built him; not ever. For the first 18 months it was fondly referred to as “The Diaper Room” because the only thing we ever did in there was store cloth diapers and change diapers.
We anxiously installed the crib in this room, only to release sharing a room with our newborn was the only thing to calm first time parents (and perhaps even the current recommendation from the American Academy of Paediatrics). My husband begrudgingly rebuilt the crib in our room at my beckoning (because it would be silly to make or own a crib that fits thru doorways). Again he never slept in the crib, but lovingly with his parents.
Who was I to kid myself. I couldn’t crate train our dogs; why would I ever be able to crib train an newborn infant? Little Man found himself safely in our bed, cozied up against his mom without a blanket or pillow to be seen. #justboob
A New Baby & A New Sleep Routine.
Naively, I didn’t think our sleep situation would change with a new baby. How could I possibly move my loving toddler to his own bed? This was all he ever knew. In my state of pregnant exhaustion, there was no energy to try to sleep train or encourage new sleep behaviours.
The plan: keep our massive floor bed (Queen + Double) + dockatot + night nursing infant + restless toddler + snoring husband + never sleeping wife.
Ya – that failed.
Apparently, bedsharing/cosleeping with a toddler AND a newborn isn’t easy, or practical, or really functional. Little Man moved back into the nursery, and a toddler room was born.
We are literally flabbergasted at how easy it was to move him into his own room. Once we found the time, energy, and motivation to encourage him to sleep on his own, he showed us he was ready. I miss my warm toddler sleeping buddy; lucky for me, I still find him curled up in my bed around 3am – if not at 5:30/6, he runs in with a little giggle to nurse and wake up the world. <3 It’s the sweetest of moments.
Over the past month, we ‘transformed’ the nursery/diaper room into a toddler room. We moved out the diaper changing things, the boxes of stacked clothes, and all the junk lingering. We moved in all the awesome.
- We bought Little Man his very own big boy bed. This bed was 1/4 the cost of our bed, and seriously, its dreamy to sleep on it. It’s literally a thick chunk of foam, but it feels so good. We decided on a double instead of single, because we knew we needed room for snuggles and the occasional nap.
- I’d love to find him train sheets for this bed… any suggestions for Double sized sheets? I had crib ones from the Pottery Barn that I LOVED.
- We moved in a toy shelf from the downstairs playroom we never used and filled it with some toys for quiet time.
- Grimms XL Rainbow – which is has finally figured out is a fun stacking toy.
- Haba Beads.
- DIY Busy Book – made with love by mom.
- IKEA cars.
- Animal Puzzle.
- Such like this.
- Melissa & Doug Pound and Roll Bench – which is missing most of its balls, because balls are fun to roll under small places and down stairs.
- Find it on Amazon.
- We bought a portable speaker and memory card. It’s now loaded with sleepy quiet white noise. It was potentially cheaper than a sound machine, with the added perk of sending over our favourite tunes via bluetooth (late night Wiggles dance party anyone? Or early morning Raffi?)
- We built a small dresser for him, and arranged all his clothes into the closet. He has more clothes than fit, and I’m not really sure how best to use this montessori inspired dresser. Nor do I think he’s quite at the stage of dressing himself, but it sounded like a good idea.
- We finally hung the artwork, and wall decor. This turned into a bad idea. I placed art at his eye sight because its his room and space, but he just tore it off the wall (FYI).
PS. We totally love playing in this little room. It’s an awesome change of pace. I use my bluetooth to send over The Wiggles to the speaker, and we have a little dance session, or Little Man plays quietly with his toys. Sometimes, I catch him playing in his room when Little Miss and I are nursing in the main part of the house. I’m completely smitten for this little space that’s his, and apparently so is he.
Next Project: Girl Toddler Room
Now, I have 18-24 months to clear out the “junk room/spare bedroom” and turn it into a toddler room for Little Miss. As second time parents, I didn’t fall into that trap of spending countless hours perfecting her nursery. She’d never sleep in a nursery. But that’s okay. Toddler rooms are more fun to design. Conveniently the room is already painted pink… but where will we go from there.
I’d love some inspiration for the perfect toddler girl room? Or would you have them share a room till their old enough to care?