We recently moved our toddler from his original nursery to a larger bedroom down the hall. With a baby brother arriving soon, it was imperative that our three-year-old adjusted to his new space quickly.
Toddlers are faced with many transitions as they “grow up” (preschool, potty training, new siblings). Change is hard, so helping them cope with these challenges smoothly is key.
In this post, I share five tips that eased our bedroom changeover.
1. MAKE A BIG DEAL OUT OF HIS BIG BOY ROOM:
About a week in advance, we started introducing the idea of how fun it would be to move to a “big boy” room.
We spoke with excitement and even organized a family trip to IKEA to see what appealed to Dylan most. We looked at color schemes, bed styles, dresser configurations and (most importantly) ended the outing with an ice cream cone.
Including our toddler in decor choices enforced the fact that he’s a BIG BOY that can help us in BIG DECISIONS. By the time we left the store, Dylan had already picked out his new bunk bed and a giant bookshelf to hold books and toys. Added Bonus: I honestly think this trip made the transition a lot less scary.
Our little man is obsessed with Super Mario Brothers (how cool is that?), so you can guess what theme we went with.
Here are links to his comforter and wall decals.
2. STICK TO YOUR NORMAL NIGHTLY ROUTINE:
Toddlers do well when they know what to expect next… so make sure to keep your bedtime rendezvous the same as they were. If you haven’t established a nighttime ritual, here’s a peek at ours below.
- 7:15PM: Potty time, followed by a bath.
- 7:35PM: Putting on our PJ’s, pull-ups and brushing our teeth.
- 7:45PM: Storybook time – we typically read between three to five age-appropriate books. Sometimes we go potty one more time after reading.
- 7:55PM: Tuck-in with a kiss goodnight and lights out.
I wish our nightly routine wasn’t as time consuming, but this is the schedule that works for us. Every child is different so make sure to organize a routine that is best for you and your family.
3. MINIMIZE CHANGES THAT AREN’T MANDATORY:
We changed Dylan’s crib into a toddler bed about 2 months before his transition to a twin-sized bed (and that’s only because he was ready for it). If your child isn’t comfortable taking the leap to a big kid bed, don’t force it. If necessary, move their crib to the new room until they’re ready to make the switch.
Personal Note: Dylan really wanted a bunk bed, but I wasn’t 100% comfortable with him having access to a ladder in the middle of the night. Solution? We turned the bed around so the ladder lays against the wall (see photo above). We’ll switch it back around when the time seems right.
Compromise where necessary. For example, Dylan falls asleep to his Baby Einstein Sea Dreams Soother every night. It plays lullaby’s and serves as his nightlight. He wasn’t ready to give that up (and he’s still using it today), so we figured out a way to include it in the configuration of his new bedroom. He is also very attached to his life-size Mario and Luigi (he plays with them constantly), so they were the first toys invited to spend the night with him.
Behind the scenes at our Super Mario Brothers dessert party with Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams.
4. CREATE A SPACE WHERE HE WILL WANT TO PLAY AND SPEND TIME:
The first thought that came to my mind while designing our son’s room layout was “there’s so much room for activities” (who else loves the movie Stepbrothers? 🙂 ). Toddlers (especially little boys) like to keep busy, so make sure to give them enough space to be creative. We opted for this activity table with two chairs, but I also love the idea of a chalkboard, building blocks bench or coloring center.
My thought process behind this step was to claim our living room back as an “adult space”. We ended up moving a lot of these toys up to Dylan’s bedroom, and he absolutely loves having a space to call his own!
From toddler-yoga and toys everywhere in our living room to neat and organized in Dylan’s new bedroom.
5. CELEBRATE THE NEW MOVE WITH A SPECIAL TREAT:
Transferring all of your toddler’s treasured possessions to a brand new environment is a big deal, so it’s important to acknowledge the switch (and point out how cool it is)! It’s an exciting time (and as a mother, very sentimental), so there’s plenty of reasons to throw a little party in your big boy’s honor. We coincided his move-in date to come right after his 3rd birthday party… this way he had a cool spot to play with all of his new toys.
If you don’t happen to have a birthday popping up around the same time you’ve decided to change rooms, celebrate in another way that feels best (go out to his favorite dinner spot or grab a special frozen treat at your local creamery).
Dylan’s Super Mario 3rd Birthday Party Celebration.
Because I’m obsessed with cooking… I’ve include the recipe for those simple white cupcakes pictured above. I cheated and decorated them with store-bought icing, which I’m totally ok with (it’s an easy swap if you’d like to make your own). We also purchased these Super Mario figures to decorate each cupcake.
- ⅔ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 egg whites
- 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2¼ cups cake flour
- 3 tsp. of baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Grab two 12-count muffin tins and fill each hole with a cupcake liner.
- In a large stand alone mixer, cream the butter and sugar until well blended.
- Beat in the eggs and milk, then add the vanilla extract. Gently fold together until mixed.
- Now add the dry ingredients: I like to mix all three dry ingredients (flour, baking powder & salt) in a large bowl and then slowly stir them into the wet ingredients until smooth.
- Pour batter into each cupcake liner (about halfway). Bake at 350 for 15 - 17 minutes.
- Make sure to allow cupcakes to fully cool before decorating with frosting.
I hope this post helps your family with toddler boy room ideas. If you’ve already moved your little one to their “big kid” room, what are your favorite tips to share? Leave us your advice in the comments section below!