5 Quick Ways to Transition A Newborn Nursery Into A Toddler NurseryMay 26, 2016
Thank you to Munchkin STEP Diaper Pail for sponsoring this post and providing me with a STEP Diaper Pail for my review. All opinions are mine and based on use of the product in my home.
I would like to talk about my sweet baby boy's room...
and the disaster that it has become.
Gone are the days of the delicate, perfectly designed newborn nursery. There is no more art above the crib, the mobile I lovingly handcrafted has been torn to shreds and that side table I had to have when I was pregnant is now serving as a race car track. I hate to admit it, but I am mourning the loss of the newborn nursery. He's grown into a full fledged toddler with scraped knees and wild opinions and his room has shifted in order to
contain accommodate him. But here's the thing: we aren't quite ready to transition to a true Big Boy Room. Thankfully, our almost two year old hasn't realized he can climb out of his crib, still rocks diapers (to be clear, the jury is still out on if I'm thankful about that or not) and hasn't shown the slightest preference in how the space functions.
And I'm just not ready to transition my baby's Nursery into a Big Boy Room.
But it was becoming insanely clear that we needed to make a few changes to his space to ensure that our toddler wild animal baby was safe, entertained and so that I had some sort of organizational control over the chaos. As it turned out, we only made a few quick and painless updates to the Baby Nursery to transition it to a Toddler Nursery - if I had realized how easy the changes would be, I would have made them sooner.
And sentimental mamas, don't fret, none of the changes will ruin the overall look of your sweet nursery, so you can hang on to that little baby vibe for a few more months!
5 Quick Ways to Transition A Newborn Nursery Into A Toddler Nursery
1. The Bookshelf Shuffle
Our son's room has always had a wall of gorgeous acrylic book shelves stocked with millions of books, but they haven't always been hung at his level. When I first designed the room, I hung the shelves to be visually pleasing but now we have the lowest shelves at a height that he can reach. He loves to pick out books for bedtime and even sits in his room and "reads" on his own. I melt every single time I hear him say "the end!" when he's reading to himself.
It is worth noting that clearing off a shelf as quickly and destructively as possible is also one of his favorite activities, so we only hung two shelves within his reach. The rest are spaced a bit further apart (which isn't noticeable if you stock those shelves with tall books) and he won't be able to reach them until his next growth spurt or two. Keeping a few out of his reach means I'm not picking up 200 books all day long and thus is a good idea for everyone's sanity.
2. Rock It Out
Once we noticed that he would sit and read to himself, we created a little reading nook for him by adding a toddler size rocking chair right next to the book shelves. He loves to sit in the chair and rock while reading his books (what can I say, the kid knows how to relax!). Sometimes he even drags his chair to a new spot for better rock-ability. We found our toddler rocker at Home Goods and made sure to snag a gender neutral pattern and color so that it could live in either his room or the playroom.
3. Contain The Stink
Ok, we need to talk about this. Toddler diapers are not even in the same league as newborn diapers in the stench department. We've used the same diaper pail for two years and, in all honesty, the pail itself became, um, stained with diaper smell. No matter how often we took out the trash, his room would have a little odor and we couldn't figure out why. Until we realized the pail was the culprit. It was obviously time for an upgrade to something a little stronger.
We are now the proud owners of the Munchkin STEP Diaper Pail and things could not be fresher (oh, the word play!). I know everyone on Earth is familiar with Munchkin products because they can be found at Target, but the STEP Diaper Pail is newly redesigned and it is a toddler parent miracle.
Because you open it by stepping on a foot petal which means you can keep both hands on your toddler while they are on the changing table. I know I can't be the only proud parent of an alligator-like offspring who spends every second of a diaper change trying to violently twist himself off of our changing table. Please tell me that I'm not. Before the STEP, I felt like trying to trash all of the diaper paraphernalia was a risky move, but leaving it exposed to thrashing toddler feet and hands was also hazardous, so I never knew which move to make. Thankfully, my problem is solved and now I pop the STEP open with my foot, trash the goods and contain my darling dear in one move.
A pro move at that.
The STEP comes complete with an Arm and Hammer lavender scented baking soda pod and actually self seals once something is dropped into the can. Literally, it could not have more elements built in to combat smells.
As a bonus, the STEP Diaper Pail is incredibly low profile and blends in to his space without any sort of flashing "hey kid, come play with me!" details. To keep his fingers out of it, the mechanism to free the pail contents requires a little parent knowledge and, for that, I am grateful. I have no desire to clean up the contents of a diaper pail that has been ransacked at the hands of my toddler.
4. Lock and Load
Now that my babe is completely mobile (and oddly both nimble and clumsy at the same time), we made the move to lock down the largest piece of furniture in his room. We bolted his dresser to the wall with straps that will prevent the dresser from tipping if he somehow managed to attempt to climb it. I'm sure we've all seen those terrifying videos of toddlers and small children becoming trapped and crushed under the weight of a large piece of furniture that has tipped on them and I just couldn't shake that visual. For just a few bucks you can snack a two pack of straps and they take only a moment to drill into the wall. And now I can move on to worrying about other things!
5. Give Away Bins
Ok, maybe this is me, but as the baby grows, I am less and less attached to each piece of clothing that he wears. In fact, I feel like I can hardly keep him in clothes long enough to even notice if they're cute or not! One week he seems to gain weight and the next he seems to grow two inches - keeping him stocked in pants that are long enough is basically impossible. As he burns through outfits, I've found that I really need to up my closet organization game or getting him dressed becomes a game of "let's hope this still fits". And anyone who has ever attempted to dress a toddler knows you do not want to take even one second longer than you need to or all hell will break loose. I've always kept bins in his closet that are labeled "too small, keep" and "too small, give away" but now I'm rocking a much better system. Our Keep bin is in tact but we now have separate bins for items to donate, items to sell and items to hand down to family. All of his newborn clothes are safely stashed away in a giant Tupperware - far, far away from the donate bins but those toddler clothes are on the move!
I snag all of our bins from the Target Dollar Aisle and never add permanent labels so that they can be re-used as our needs change.
If you'd like to see the nursery as a newborn nursery (and in the Maine house), click here.
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