10 Tips and Ideas for Decorating Your Toddler's Roomby Katlyn Joy | February 4, 2012 9:35 AM
It's time for baby to move out of the crib and into a real bed, whether one of the toddler, twin or double variety. Perhaps it's also time to switch the theme from circus or teddy bear to something more toddler-appropriate.
While you'll want to find an attractive decor for the room, there are other equally or even more important considerations such as practicality, price, safety and your child's wishes and tastes.
1. Take inventory. Some nursery room furniture is meant to transition into toddlerhood or beyond. If that's the case, consider those items your key pieces to build the room around. Will that baby dresser work if you remove the ducks and bows stenciled on it? Can the green curtains stay? Once you know what you have on hand, you can begin to figure how to alter things to fit or find dcor that incorporates that style or color or theme.
2. Make sure it's safe. If you opt to furnish the room via a second-hand shop or from friend or family member hand-me-downs make certain they are not recalled. You need to make certain there are no protruding screws or nails, no cracked or splintered pieces, and that safety standards are met.
3. Consider your child's age and tastes. If your child hates the sailboats you paint on the wall because Junior is suddenly fearful of water, getting him to sleep alone in his newly decorated room may be a tough sell. While she may love some particular princess or storybook character this week, will she be happy with it next week let alone next year? You want the theme to appeal to the child but you need to be able to determine whether your child will likely love the room for the next couple years at least.
4. To avoid constant redecorating, choose a fairly neutral background and add specific decorating touches that can be easily changed. For instance, go with a blue and cream color scheme and add trains for the decorative touch. When your son later switches to an obsession with planes, trade out locomotives and replace with jets.
5. Add child-friendly pieces. Make sure all furniture is sturdy and not pieces that the toddler can pull over on herself or can climb onto and out the window. Child-sized chairs and tables are better than a student desk or a loft bed. It makes the child safer and feel more secure.
6. Establish a budget and decide what the main purchases will be. If the crib needs replaced with a bed for the toddler then start your budget with that major and necessary purchase and build the budget from that point.
7. Let your child be a participant in the decorating process. Let your child make footprints with paint on the floor for a special touch, or let your child help you decide where to put items. When a child is involved a sense of pride and ownership are evoked.
8. Don't erase every item of the old room when decorating. Having some continuity is likely to help your child feel like it is still her room even though it looks different now. Keep a picture hanging in the same spot or allow the rug or a blanket to make the cut in the new dcor theme.
9. Show your child what the room is expected to look like by cutting out photos, or looking at rooms on the computer. By allowing your child to see the room's overall design ahead of time, you may avoid some meltdowns when reality moves in. Plus you might find out some things the child is afraid of, hates or has otherwise strong feelings about before you plunk down cash for something your toddler will revile.
10. Have fun. Enjoy the process by expecting setbacks, headaches and surprises. Don't let the decorating get to you. Nothing is permanent and if nothing else, you are making a memory as you go.
Decorating Themes for Toddlers
- Transportation. Planes, trains, ships or cars make fun themes for toddlers. Or opt for a racetrack or airport.
- Animals. A favorite of little ones forever, consider horses and ponies, puppies and kittens, or zoo animals. This theme can be made to look a bit older than similar nursery themed items by choosing a background that isn't too juvenile.
- Space. Easy to create night sky stick on stars, or a border of moon and stars work well.
- Butterflies. It's so easy to decorate this theme, you may have a butterfly garden indoors.
- Castle theme. Depending on the style, it may be more geared to little princesses or young knights.
- Rainforest. Jungle vines, flowers and exotic animals can inhabit your toddler's room.
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