Creating a Room for Two (Toddler and Older Child)
Your little one is finally sleeping through the night (most of the time) and seems ready to join her older sibling in one room. Use these tips to make the transition to sharing a room a little easier—and learn how to give your children a fresh and functional space.
1. Separation of Space
Sure they love each other, but kids also need some personal space. Carve out a zone for each child within the same room with their beds and bed placement. • Bunk beds are handy for creating a feeling of two separate “floors” within a room. • Twin beds don’t need to be placed side by side. An “L”-shaped configuration gives kids a little more distance. • A loft bed over a play or study nook could be paired with a crib if your children are further apart in age.
A shared room means more clothes, toys, and belongings to store. Some thoughtful organization now should make your daily routines easier for years to come. • Foster independence with low dressers and hanging rails that both kids can easily access to dress themselves. • If your children will also be using their room for study or arts and crafts they will have to have a workspace with adequate lighting and storage. • Rotating books and toys on display helps minimize clutter and also helps keep things interesting for your children. Make sure to swap things out twice a month or more.
Your older child may be able to play with a wider variety of toys and likely has far fewer safety concerns while your little one may still require serious babyproofing. The trick is to find a balance to keep both happy in their room. • You’ll keep their bedroom safer—and considerably less cluttered—if you store most games and small toys elsewhere. • Limit bedroom toy storage to things that can be safely played with by both children (like stuffed animals). • Babyproof the room by covering exposed outlets, tethering furniture to the walls so dressers and bookshelves won’t topple, and cushioning sharp edges. • If your children tend to want to jump on beds, reduce the temptation by getting foam (and not inner spring) mattresses.
The theme of your children’s room depends on their sibling dynamic. • Try neutral themes for mixed gender siblings (beach, forest, or travel). • For two brothers or sisters, try boy themes or girl themes that seem appropriate to the age mix (avoid anything that will seem too babyish in a year or two).
Always keep practicality in mind. While you want your children to learn to take good care of their belongings, you also want their furnishings to hold up to everyday use. Even though your big kid might not have accidents anymore, he could sneak (and spill) a beverage in his room. Expect the unexpected and make sure all surfaces are washable and built to last!
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