child's room with teepee

Converting Your Baby Nursery into a Toddler’s Room

Time flies when it comes to kiddos. Feels like only yesterday you were struggling to decipher the directions to assemble your baby’s crib—now as a toddler, your little one just tries to escape it most nights.

Ready or not, sounds like the nursery you worked so hard on is due for a bit of a makeover. As your baby enters his or her toddler years, it’s time to start thinking about how best to convert the nursery into a more toddler-friendly space. Change can be challenging for children but these nursery to toddler room ideas and tips could help make it a smooth transition.

When to Convert Your Baby Nursery into a Toddler’s Room

Most people agree to start thinking about transitioning from a baby room to a toddler room anywhere between 18 months and three years. If your child is still enjoying the crib, you may not want to rush the process of transitioning to a toddler’s room.

What’s important to keep in mind as you explore toddler room ideas is that there will be some element of trial and error. What might work for some kids, won’t work for all. Some organization methods could succeed, while others fail spectacularly. With some patience and these helpful tips, you’ll be ready to start moving your toddler to their new room.

Transitioning from Crib to Bed

To cut costs and save you the headache of shopping for new items, consider converting some baby furniture into toddler-friendly fixtures. Some cribs can be turned into a toddler bed by replacing one side rail with a lower safety rail, meaning your toddler can get out of bed on his or her own.

If you can’t convert your crib, you could consider a toddler bed before upgrading all the way to a twin bed. Toddler beds typically come with built in guardrails and are usually lower to the ground than twin-sized beds. This means built in safety features for your child as they get used to sleeping in their new bed. An added bonus? The frames often fit the crib mattress you have on hand already. Some toddler beds have themed-designs or fun shapes that could help encourage your toddler to go to bed.

Alternatively, if a toddler bed is out of the budget (they can run over $100 ), you could consider transitioning directly to a twin-sized bed. When skipping the toddler bed it’s worth taking additional steps to ensure the safety of your child, like installing guardrails to prevent falls.

Change can be difficult for toddlers. One way to limit the change during the transition from nursery to toddler room is to use some of the same bedding. Letting your child use his or her crib blanket could help create a familiar environment as they adjust to their new bed, which could potentially make the transition a little easier on your child.

If you’re moving your toddler to a new room, try to make the transition gradual. Start by making the new room seem exciting and transition some of his or her favorite toys into the space.

Get your child involved in decorating so they feel involved and are hopefully more excited to have this be their new space full time. As you move your toddler into the new room, keep the bedtime routine the same, or as close to normal as possible.

Maximizing Floor Space

Make sure you’re converting the room with the toddler’s needs in mind. Remove large furniture, even the rocker you might’ve loved, in favor of additional floor space. Your toddler will want to crawl around and explore the room on his or her own—make that as easy as possible by maximizing floor space and removing any unnecessary furniture.

Take out items you no longer have a use for, like a diaper pail or chairs and swings. Start to focus more on the ground level experience—where your toddler will be crawling around, and what your little one might interact with at that level. Throw down a cozy carpet that’s crawl-friendly, and a toddler-sized chair that can promote some independence.

Encouraging Independence and Learning through Design

As you transition from nursery to toddler room, think about how you can promote independence and encourage learning for your toddler. Make sure they can access storage spaces, so they learn to put away toys.

Create a reading or play nook for your toddler, an area where imagination can come to life. This could be a reading nook, craft table, or special chair, just as long as it’s something your toddler can access without your help.

Updating Decor

It might be time to rethink the alphabet letters hanging on the nursery wall, or the baby-themed motifs scattered throughout your child’s room. Of course, your child is still young, but consider updating the room for a more mature feel.

A fresh coat of paint can make a big impact on a room without a large price tag. Perhaps you could add new wall hangings that feel decidedly more toddler-centric. There might be an animal or color your toddler just can’t get enough of that could lend itself to the space. You could turn redesign into an art project for you and your toddler, by creating art to hang on the walls.

Safety First

Most new parents go through a baby-proofing craze early on, but double check your child-proofing. You can bet your toddler will be using all the open space to crawl and explore, so childproofing can give you peace of mind.

Install outlet covers, bolt bulky furniture to the wall, and install a safety gate if the toddler’s room is on the second floor. Safety is key when it comes to creating a space a toddler can explore and enjoy.

The Costs of Converting

Just like planning for the cost of a baby, toddler room conversions can be challenging to budget for. If your toddler is outgrowing the nursery at a rate faster than you can afford, you could consider a home improvement loan to help cover the costs.

You might have other home remodeling projects on the horizon, making it tricky to cover the cost of all your needs at once. To help you plan, you can take a look at our home improvement cost calculator to get an idea of how much common remodeling projects cost.

A personal loan can often have a lower interest rate than some credit cards, meaning you’d likely pay less in interest in the long run. You can easily fill out an application for a personal loan online with SoFi, and have access to customer support seven days a week. Plus there are no fees required. You can find out if you prequalify for a loan, and at what rates, in just two minutes.

Learn more about how SoFi home improvement loans can help you cover the cost of home improvement projects.

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