As your first born starts his first steps towards independence, you might decide to welcome another little baby. If your second baby is due while you are still potty training your first, you are justified in feeling a little overwhelmed.
Decorating the nursery is always a fun experience…as you have the liberty to do what you want with it. However, if the idea is of shared bedrooms for both, your toddler and baby, there will be some new things you need to be aware of.
Relax and ease those palpitations. Decorating a space that is equally appropriate for both baby and toddler can be just as wonderful an experience. Remember these Three Golden Rules for shared kids room design.
Golden Rule 1: Make the Room Safe
- Safe for Baby – If you are using the same baby crib that your first born slept in, you need to check it for any damages and wear or tear. Invest in a good baby monitor to help you keep track of happenings even when you are out of the room. A mosquito net will not just keep the bugs out, it will stop your toddler from throwing toys in or climbing in himself. Your baby will soon start copying the first born and his actions. Any toys bought for the toddler must be baby safe too.
- Safe for Toddler – When shopping for a toddler or twin bed for the shared bedrooms, pay special attention to the safety rails. Remember, he can now reach new heights. The decor hung or kept at baby safe distance need to be moved farther away. He can now climb onto the rocking chair – keep it away from the windows and keep the windows barred when you leave the room.
Golden Rule 2: The Room Must be Bright, Cheerful and Lots of Fun
- Fun for the Toddler – He has been used to having everything to himself…until now. In the midst of the excitement of the newborn, he might feel a bit neglected. Why not include him in the decorating process. Make it a fun adventure, buy some new furniture pieces for him – a small table and chair set are a perfect fit. Fun accessories will make the room a place your toddler would love to spend time in.
- Fun for the Baby – A soft area rug that defines the baby space (and another for the toddler of course) can be chosen in the theme for the baby. Give the space 2 distinct looks for each of the occupants in the shared bedrooms. This will give them a feeling of belonging – their own private space. Tie the two themes in with a common wall mural.
Golden Rule 3: Keep Cool and Expect Conflicts
- Calming a Cranky Baby – Babies will cry…especially when they need their sleep. Talk to your toddler and explain his responsibilities as an older sibling. He won’t always listen though. If he doesn’t sleep on time, either during naptimes or at night, why not let the baby sleep in your room. Once they are both asleep, shift the baby to his crib.
- Calming a Cranky Toddler – Used to being the center of your world, the toddler can get quite irritable when he needs attention and you are busy with the baby. Expect some ups and downs as both kids try to settle down and adapt to the new situation. Keep your cool and keep persevering…the kids will eventually learn to enjoy each other’s company.
As more and more western families turn to the trend of young children sharing bedrooms (a common trend in many countries around the world), we find that children not only adapt quickly to each other, they grow closer and enjoy a deep bond that later physical separation also cannot affect.