Fitting two little ones into one bedroom? A professional nursery designer shares how to combine a toddler room and a baby nursery into one space that's highly functional and all-around appealing.
MyRegistry contributing writer Lisa Janvrin is the founder of YouthfulNest, an e-design experience dedicated to room designs for babies and children. Learn more about YouthfulNest design services.
Going from one child to two? Doubling up two kids in one room can be a bit tricky. I’m going to walk you through setting up a shared room, breaking down the main points to consider when pairing up a toddler and a newborn: functionality and decor.
Pairing a toddler and a baby is actually pretty easy, since their bedroom needs are similar and so are the activities happening in the room. Both kiddos will benefit from having a glider in the space and storage for clothes, plus books and maybe a collection of plush toys.
One of the major functionality issues is storage. You’ve got books, clothing, and toys. As your child grows you want to encourage and support their independence. So having some book storage at a lower or ground level is going to be great for toddlers, making it easy for them to help select favorite books to read and help put them away.
Also, giving toddlers access to their own clothes is key. Give them that freedom by placing hooks lower on the wall and assigning the lower dresser drawers for their clothing.
Look for a dresser with stop mechanisms and soft-closing bottom drawers. These are safest for little ones as they learn how to navigate their bedroom.
When it comes to sleeping arrangements, determine if a shared room is a short- or long-term setup. If it’s going to be a longer-term thing, be sure and have room for at least a twin bed for the older sibling. Even if your toddler’s in a crib when the new baby comes home, they’ll be ready to transition to a big-kid bed before you know it. Bringing home a new baby is also an excellent time to bundle other big changes, like going from a crib to a big-kid bed. If your older child is ready, get them involved by letting them help build their new bed.
When choosing a bed, look for features like under-bed drawers for extra storage. If there’s room, consider a trundle bed, which will come in handy for future sleepovers!
If doubling up your kiddos is going to be a short-term thing, consider getting a smaller bassinet or mini crib to place in the room. You can go for a regular size crib once the baby is in their own room.
My best advice for decor in a shared room for two young ones is to skew toward the more mature, so the styling should reflect the interest and age of the older child. Just like in a solo nursery, a newborn doesn’t care what the room inspiration is.
Changing up the bedroom decor is another great opportunity to make this big change for the first child a positive one. Give them some input when it comes to artwork or paint colors. Of course, if you’d like to keep within a certain look, vet the options first. Then let them pick from the items you’re already good with, no matter what their choice ends up being.
If you’re placing a boy and a girl together for a long-term situation, keeping the style neutral will feel good to everyone. That doesn’t mean only neutral colors, just neutral inspiration—think animals, graphics, and pride of place. Introducing a personalized piece of wall art or signage will make the space more special for each child.
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About the Writer
Lisa Janvrin is the founder of YouthfulNest, an e-design experience dedicated to room designs for babies and children. A self-described design addict, Lisa worked in the design industry for more than 20 years before founding YouthfulNest, where she has helped hundreds of families prepare for their new baby with stress-free nursery planning. Lisa guides parents in creating the perfect nursery or kid’s room for their unique space, style, and budget by offering designs for full-sized and small-space nurseries, along with a range of product suggestions, from modern to traditional, high-end splurges to budget-friendly nursery finds. As a travel enthusiast and experience junkie, Lisa has lived and worked around the world, including NYC and Charlotte, NC, Florence, Istanbul, and Moscow, taking inspiration for the nurseries and children’s rooms she now designs for clients across the U.S. and beyond.
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