You've transitioned your little one from bassinet to cot; from milk feeds to solids. Your wee darling is now walking, talking and exploring all on their own. As their independence and curiosity increases, it's time to create a space where your toddler will love to sleep and play.
Happening any time from around 18 months to three years, making the switch from nursery to big kid's room is a milestone. And it's a project you can enjoy together. Involve your child in the room design and decor to set up an inspired zone they'll love to call their own. Classic or modern? Themed or neutral? How will you adorn the walls and floor? How about bedding, lighting and storage for toys? Nurture your child's personality, desire to learn (and need for rest!) with these fun toddler room ideas and tips.
How do I turn my nursery into a toddler room?
Start with the main piece of furniture - the bed - then set about creating a stylish room around this feature. Moving into a big bed is a big deal for young ones, and it might take them a while to adjust. Include your child in the process to streamline this shift. Some baby cots convert to a bed; or you may need to choose a toddler bed. Make sure it's safe by having guard rails with no gaps, and it's small and low enough to avoid a falling hazard. Some people even choose a futon on the floor - just make sure it's away from the walls. When looking at beds, it's a good idea to ensure there's space for child and parent to snuggle up and read together.
What should be in a toddler's room?
Whether you're going gender-specific with a girl room or boy room; or prefer a more neutral concept, there are a few must-haves to consider for your design. Each of these items can be a toddler bedroom talking point too! Here are 10 items you'll need to decide on:
Keep it cute and practical. Children need to be safe and snuggly in their toddler-appropriate bed. If you don't want to risk a full-on themed bed like a space rocket or racing car; opt for themed bedding you can change up with the seasons or your kid's whims. A bunk can be a great option for space-saving, siblings and those upcoming sleepovers. Check out beds that offer storage with drawers underneath, especially if you're working with a smaller space.
Draw a floor-plan with your little one to work out what could go where. What would make the layout of their bedroom extra special? Once their big kid bed is in place, where should the rest of the furniture go? This should be one of their favourite rooms in the house, so your toddler's voice is important when figuring out kids room ideas! They might choose a desk and chair for arts and crafts, or maybe a W&D stone set to lounge on and move about as they wish. Take inspiration from your toddler's favourite activities and ways of play, then furnish the room around those ideas. If they love doing puzzles or talking with their soft toys, ensure the room decor is designed so their collection is close by. You'll be happy knowing they can merrily play in their bedroom with independence, freedom and fun.
As they grow, children gather a lot of stuff! The transition from baby room to toddler room is a good time to de-clutter. Minimise what is stored in your toddler's room to just those items that 'spark joy' or are in regular use. You'll need a little wardrobe, drawers and shelving. Montessori-style wardrobes are open, accessible and easy for a child to use. With your little one, organise larger items and special outfits on hangers, then fold away in-season clothing in drawers. Create display or tidy away spaces with careful shelving selection. Favourite books, toys and keepsakes can be given pride of place on wood bookshelves and stackable cubes are handy for stashing toys.
A lighting plan is essential to any interior design. For your toddler's bedroom, create ambient lighting through a ceiling fixture that sets the tone or makes a statement. From a simple suspended Edison bulb or a vintage shade, the choice is yours (and your child's). A nightlight or bedside light can be incorporated into your bedtime routine, making your little one's settling and sleepy time predictable and comforting. Add mood lighting with fairy lights; a pop of panache with LED neon; or experiment with a lightbox to suit your child's style.
We all know the importance of reading to a child's development. Toddler-age brings the move from board books to picture books, and the opportunities to turn pages and delve into imaginative worlds all on their own. Kids love space where they can feel safe and cozy, choosing to read with you or just their toys. Create a little haven for the joy of reading beneath a tent, below a window, in an armchair or snuggled up on a W&D shaggy bag . Ensure your toddler's books are on a low shelf nearby or regularly change-up different books from their collection in a magazine rack.
Children can teach adults a lot about the importance of kicking off your shoes and getting down on the floor. Provide enough space in your toddler's room for lounging on the floor, playing with toys or simply daydreaming. Here, the placement of a beautiful sheepskin rug can enhance the scope for your little one to learn, explore and play.
Gone are the days when we were limited to painting a toddler's bedroom pink or blue. Choose a colour scheme and a theme for your toddler’s room that suits them and you! Walls in crisp white or neutral paint can add longevity and timelessness. Then you can add colour pops or muted tones with stylish decor and soft furnishings to complete the picture. Feature-walls can be created with blackboard paint or wallpaper, bringing more of your child's personality into the room design. Add lush fabric blinds or curtains, then the space will really become your toddler's room.
Comfort and coziness
Now you have chosen the layout and key furniture items together, it's time to ensure your toddler bedroom has maximum warmth and style for your little one. A bedside rug can literally soften the transition from nursery cot to toddler bed, helping your toddler hop into nap time calmly. Keep your toddler content in their room for longer with the welcoming feel of wool underfoot or next to their skin. Browse the W&D collection for designer floor rugs, baby sheepskin rugs, shaggy bean bags, cushions and foot stools.
Whether going for a traditional girl or boy room, something more modern or neutral, parents can include their child in adding bespoke inspiration to a toddler room. Create a little solar system on the ceiling, hand-craft a cute wall hanging, frame your child's art, find space for a doll's house and/or racing car set, build a Lego pit or add a photograph of your family to a stylish wooden frame... how you pull together your perfect toddler room is up to you.
Child-proofing your toddler room needn't be an afterthought. As you plan your toddler room ideas, make sure you have plug coverings in place, tip-able furniture is fixed to the wall and you know how your baby monitor will fit into the room design.
How do I style my toddler's room?
You've checked off your ten key items and it's time to style your big girl or boy room. You might have a Pinterest page, some fabric swatches and sample paints dedicated to your toddler room ideas. Once you've got your layout locked and loaded on paper, involve your child in the purchasing or renovating of furniture. Kids will love to help assemble flat pack items (start them young with this skill!), paint a stripe of test pot colour on the wall, and find the perfect position for art and soft furnishings. Let them trial the toddler bed or bunk bed during a day nap if they've been sleeping in your bedroom until now. If your baby is at daycare, you might update their nursery room to a toddler room while they are there, or instead make it part of your play-time together. Whether it takes a few days or you create the space over a gradual evolution, the room decor and design should allow plenty of time for fun and play.
How do I make my toddler room cozy?
The toddler bed and bedding is a primary place to bring coziness into the toddler's room. A new toddler bed may still fit your cot sheets, or you may need to update the bedding with a new set of linens and comforter / duvet cover. Don't forget the mattress protector as the change from baby room to toddler room might bring in some unsettled nights (and bed-wetting!). Lighting, window dressings, rugs and favourite toys will make the bedroom space extra cozy.
How do I make my toddler room fun?
Creating a space for your growing little one can be made super-fun by involving them in each stage of the design process. This will also help with the psychological transition to toddler's room. Once everything is in place, spend quality time with your child in the space, having fun together, testing out the different zones like the bed, reading nook and rug, admiring the art and decor, creating happy memories in the room together.
How do you decorate with a toddler?
This is messy play with a practical outcome! As much as you can have your kid as a little helper, have them see, touch, feel and smell the bedroom undergo its transition. Maybe they can set up the reading nook while you make the toddler bed. Perhaps they can paint part of the feature wall with you. Put a family photo into a frame for the wall. Organise their best outfits in the wardrobe or colour code their books on a shelf. Make it fun, and when you need to do some heavy lifting without your kid, decorate while they are napping.
How do I teach my toddler to fall asleep in their new room?
Baby whisperers offer various methods for easing your little one's transition into a new room. Expert Dorothy Waide says good sleep routines take Time, Acceptance, Consistency and Touch (TACT). After you create a stylish, modern toddler room, take time to continue those loving routines and sleep cues you have set up. Snuggle, read stories, sing songs and/or pat to sleep as works for you and your wee one. Cherish these moments you're creating with your toddler (whether peaceful or challenging!) in their very own room.
How do I stop my toddler from leaving the room at night?
The little one is in their new toddler bed, and your bedroom ideas have finally come into fruition. It's a tiny paradise of carefully curated design. How to ensure they stay snuggled up for the night? That all depends. On your parenting style, your child and your approach to sleep training. Because toddlers by definition toddle, and often out of their bedroom because of FOMO, they may hop over the safety guards to see you. But if they feel safe and cosy in a stylish space they've had a hand in designing themselves, here's hoping that unwelcome exits will be minimal.