Depending on how you designed your nursery, transitioning from a nursery to toddler room may be quite simple.
This transition should be done in steps to ensure that the environment that your toddler is already familiar with stays intact while slowly incorporating some of their own tastes (especially if you’re transitioning them into a big kid bed).
Here are my best tips for transitioning from a nursery to toddler room.
Read Also: Nursery On A Budget
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.
When to switch from nursery to toddler room?
Usually, you’ll start thinking about switching from a nursery to toddler room around 18 months or so.
However, you may not start transitioning from a nursery to toddler room until your child is 3 years old.
Yes, this is a broad age range, however, this is due to the fact that you don’t want to turn the nursery into a toddler room until your child is no longer sleeping in the crib.
For me, this isn’t until my kids start trying to climb out of their cribs or they are able to successfully climb out of their cribs.
Should toys be in toddler bedroom?
Ultimately, whether or not you allow toys to be in your toddler’s bedroom is up to you.
If you have a playroom, you can leave toys in the playroom and allow them to keep their stuffed animals in their room.
Additionally, if your toddler is moving into their bedroom for the first time ever, I would recommend keeping toys out of their bedroom so it can be a place that is associated with sleeping/relaxation to help make the transition of them sleeping in their own bedroom go smoother.
While it is okay to allow your toddler to play with toys in their bedroom when it’s time for naps or bedtime the toys should be removed according to some child development experts.
What does a toddler need in their bedroom?
Toddlers don’t need a lot of items in their bedrooms since it is supposed to be a relaxing and calming environment. You won’t need to invest in a computer, tv, or a ton of toddler room furniture at this age, but there are a few toddler bedroom essentials you’ll want to consider.
- Books (and book storage)
- Natural light
- Cozy space (i.e. reading nook, popup tent, a cozy rug, etc)
- Stuffed animal storage
- Big kid bed (i.e. toddler bed or twin mattress)
- Lots of free space
As you can see not a lot is needed for a toddler bedroom. When transitioning from nursery to toddler room you’ll want to get rid of a lot of the baby items you may have in the nursery such as swings, playmats, etc.
The main thing is to have an easy-to-maintain organization system and lots of free space for them to play.
Tips for transitioning from nursery to toddler room
When you start transitioning from nursery to toddler room you’ll want to keep the following tips in mind to make the transition go as smoothly as possible:
Ditch the crib
Once your toddler is able to get out of their crib or is attempting to get out of their crib, that’s your sign that it’s time to ditch the crib.
If you have a convertible crib (like me) you can go ahead and transform it into a toddler bed. However, if you don’t and are trying to transition from nursery to toddler room on a budget you can go ahead and move up to a twin-sized mattress.
If moving up to a twin-sized mattress I’d recommend holding off on getting a twin-sized bed and instead putting the twin mattress inside of a playpen and leaving it on the floor. This prevents you from having to invest in toddler rails for the bed and you probably already have a playpen from their infant days. It allows them to transition into a big kid bed but also gives you peace of mind that if they do wake while you’re asleep in the middle of the night/early morning that they cannot get into anything.
NOTE: The playpen mattress setup is NOT a replacement for having a baby gate securing their door, though.
Clear the floor
When you transition from nursery to toddler room you want to make sure that the bedroom floor is as clear as possible.
Yes, now is the time to get rid of any standing floor lamps, swings, etc.
You don’t want to have any safety hazards since they will no longer be confined to their cribs during sleeping hours. So, yes, you may have to rethink having a rocking chair in toddler room.
Toddlers are curious as they are in the learning and exploring stage.
Update the decor
Depending on how you initially designed your nursery you may need to update its decor.
You could consider adding in photos of them, a growth chart, or even some personalized decor items to make it feel like a big kid room.
For me, I just loved personalized items AND one company that I find that has great personalized decor for kids is Name Stories.
If you’re unfamiliar with Name Stories, they are a personalized art company that is dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of names. They aim to provide fine art that celebrates the singular story of each name’s remarkable journey through time.
They offer personalized name-meaning prints that serve the purpose of being a decor item and keepsake that will last a lifetime.
Currently, they have more than 4000 names available and about 16 vibrant color choices. Their name art prints are available in two sizes and you have the option of adding on a frame.
Understandably, if you went with a unique baby name, the name may not be available. However, I recommend checking to see if your child’s name is available because it is the perfect decor item to add to your toddler’s bedroom.
Double-check your baby proofing
Now that your toddler is no longer confined to the safety of a crib, it’s time to double-check your baby’s proofing in their bedroom.
While it’s nice to think you’re always going to be up before your toddler, you will soon find out that this is not always the case.
Therefore, when transitioning from nursery to toddler room it’s important to make sure that you didn’t miss anything when you did your initial babyproofing.
For extra support, you can check out my detailed baby-proofing checklist that covers how to baby-proof a toddler room in addition to baby-proofing other rooms of your home as well.
Reevaluate your storage system
When designing a nursery, it’s typical to use the closet and spaces around the floor for storage. However, once you make the transition from nursery to toddler room you have to reevaluate your storage system.
For example, instead of having books on the dresser or closet shelf you may want to add in some floating bookshelves that are at toddler level AND even install a stuffed animals net to keep their fluffy besties stored neatly when they are hosting tea parties or snuggling.
Create a cozy space
Just like your nursery, you want your toddler’s bedroom to be associated with relaxation. It’s a place for them to sleep at night, take naps/relax during the day, and enjoy exploring.
To create a cozy space in your toddler’s bedroom you could do a DIY reading nook OR purchase a popup tent and add in some pillows.
Let your toddler have some say
We all know that toddlers are very opinionated.
When it comes to transitioning from nursery to toddler room encourage their opinions.
It’s their room, their comfort space, so let them pick out some new bedding, select a new paint color, or whatever else will help them express their personality in their room.
The goal is to have their bedroom be their safe space where they can go to relax, explore, and of course sleep.
Add in an Alexa Echo Show
If an Alexa Echo Show wasn’t a part of your nursery essentials when creating your nursery I highly recommend adding in one now.
It serves the purpose of allowing you to drop in when they’re sleeping (to make sure they’re actually sleeping) AND it can be used to play some of their favorite tunes (yes, they can listen to Gracie’s Corner in the bedroom without you having to install a tv).
Plus, as they get older they can use some of the other functions themselves. Just make sure to set up parental controls to make sure they don’t accidentally stumble across some non-age-appropriate content.
Closing thought on transitioning from nursery to toddler room
Transitioning from nursery to toddler room shouldn’t be hard or stressful. It should be a fun experience for both you and your toddler to create their perfect toddler room that they will enjoy making memories in with you.
These are great tips for sure and I loved transitioning my kids rooms. I wish I had this post to reference to when I did… great tips!
This is such a big step for little kids. It is good to be prepared with a plan.
These are amazing tips, thanks for sharing them with us.
wow! With your advice changing the nursery will definitely be easier and more fun!
I think that including allowing your toddler to have a say in what they’d like in their room is such an important step. It’s good to let them know they have a voice and that it matters, early on!
Love this! We just transferred our baby from the nursery to her big girl room for her 2nd birthday!
What a really great tips you have here! Specially making sure that they had a clean and cozy place.
You are so right that this should not be a stressful time. It is such a wonderful transition and should be celebrated. How fun!
Making sure the floors are clear is so important! Toddlers are just way too busy to be around anything that can topple over.
These are great tips. I painted the nursery for my last two kids with a bug theme and the teen still sleeps with the bugs.