5 Things to Consider when Turning a Nursery into a Toddler's Room

Taking your baby’s nursery and turning it into a toddler’s room is like a rite of passage, just one of the many milestones and phases you will go through with them as they age. If your child is no longer crawling, but rather climbing out of the crib, then it’s time. 

One of the areas of transition for this project is the decorating. There are plenty of decorating ideas and thoughts to consider, and I am going to share some of them with you. 

1. Rooms to Grow with Your Child

Unless you want to redo the room in just a short time again, you might want to consider neutral choices when it comes to major things like flooring, wall color, and even a few pieces of furniture. You want a room that your child can grow into, such as using a full-size dresser or armoire. 

If you have a neutral floor of a lightly colored wood or carpet, you could change it up with area rugs as the child grows into different stages. 

2. Having a Discussion with Your Child

Unlike the nursery, your child might like to have some input in the room they will be spending a lot of time in for the next few years. It would be nice to have something they are comfortable with and enjoy, since it is their room. 

Sit down with them and ask what they would like in their room. Of course, most of what they want might be impossible, or just not make any sense. Most kids have wild and incredible imaginations. So, they might come up with a fairly strange or complex request. But, you should be able to pick out pieces of what they say and apply it in the room. 

If your child is not able to communicate enough hints, then sit down with them to view photos of ideas and take note of their reaction. 

3. Painting the Walls

Just because you are giving your child a new room, it doesn’t mean you have to paint. Perhaps the color you had for the nursery will work for the next stage. There is no rule that the same color can’t be used over and over again, if they like it. 

I did not change the color when transitioning the nursery to the toddler room. The color worked for both the duck theme of the nursery, as well as the aquarium theme for the new look. 

4. Alternative Ideas for the Walls

It will all depend on what theme, or color plan you decide to go with, but there are several different things you can do to the walls, in order to add a lot of charm and character to the room. Here are just a few:

  • Murals – You can either hire someone to paint a wonderful mural on a wall, or do one yourself if you are gifted. This could be time consuming to have, but painting a large tree on a wall for a room with a butterfly theme would be very appropriate. 
  • Decals – If you are looking for very specific characters or images on the wall, try decals. They can provide a very realistic image for most any theme. For example, princess wall décor could easily be enhanced with a decal of a castle.
  • Framed Art – Do you have a budding Picasso in your home? If your child enjoys art as much as mine does, frame some of it and use it as wall art. It’s an inexpensive way to decorate, and it encourages your child to express themselves in a constructive manner. 
  • Framed Photos – Royalty free photos are available online to download for your use. You could find just about any theme you can imagine. I downloaded various black and white photos of baby feet, hands, and silhouettes to hang in the nursery. My son loved to look at them. Even better would be to take artistic photos of your own child to use. 
  • Stenciling – I have seen some rooms with stenciling that add character to the room, even stenciled quotes. If you don’t think you can stencil, check out the decals that are available that give the appearance of stenciling, or actual writing on the wall. 
  • Chalkboard Paint – Using chalkboard paint on a wall in their room gives them an entire play area, without taking up any space. It also allows the child to be creative and have a daily input in the room’s décor. 
  • Hang Toys – Use small and lightweight toys as wall art. Hanging paper or model planes would be great in a room with a plane or transportation theme. Another idea is plastic beach shovels, if the room has a nautical or beach theme. Frame a couple doll dresses for a princess theme. 

There is so much you can do in a child’s room. After all, it is a child’s room and children are whimsical, creative, and a bit ‘off the wall’ at times. So, there is no reason their room shouldn’t match that spirit. 

5. Nourishment of Identity

An important thing to remember when decorating a child’s room …is just that. It’s a child’s room. Many people when decorating a home prefer the rooms to flow together as far as color schemes and style. It makes sense, because the living room, kitchen, and bathrooms are often seen by guests. It also helps in having the main living area look and feel more spacious. 

However, your child’s room is the exception. It doesn’t have to have the same flow and fit as the rest of the house. In fact, it probably shouldn’t. By allowing them to have a unique room, different than all others in the home, it will encourage growth in their own spirit and identity. 

In Closing

As you can see, there are many options to consider when decorating a child’s room…and basically, no rules. As long as you stick to the same safety guidelines as you did for the nursery, you can do anything. 

About the Author

Kathy Barber is working on a series of articles that was inspired by her research of redecorating her son’s room and knew that she could write on bringing Disney Cars to your kid's room. As a freelance writer, she was able to create a full-time career out of her passion for writing. Raised in Michigan, she and her husband now raise their son in the same area. 

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