An Uncomplicated Life Blog: Moving Your Toddler Out Of A Nursery

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Moving Your Toddler Out Of A Nursery

My boys have moved into their big boy room and out of the nursery to make room for the twins! Here's what we did and how we did it

My kids have room shared since Otto was three months old. My husband thought for sure this was a disastrous idea; that the baby would wake the toddler and that our early rising toddler would wake the baby and nobody would ever get sleep, ever. I wrote this post on why my kids share a room, despite having plenty of bedrooms in our home. And I'm happy to report that just like most things baby-raising-related, I was right: the boys don't wake each other, don't bother each other, and in fact, their experience seems to be just like mine when I was a little girl with my sister who's only 18 months older than me - they LOVE being together! They sleep in their own beds and stay there all night. They comfort each other. Sure, every now and then we'll have to pop in and tell them to go to sleep, but overall it's been very successful. Since the twins are close to arriving and we needed their toddler beds converted back to cribs, we decided to move them out of the nursery and create a "big boy" room for them. Both my husband and I were a little worried about this transition, but it went incredibly smooth too! Here are my best tips on moving your toddler out of a nursery and a look at the boys' big kid room.

Bunk bed from Ikea - the only one we found with the bottom bunk set on the floor and the top bunk not more than 3.5 feet off the ground, perfect for toddlers!

My kids were confused as to why they had to get a new room. I think the best place to start is telling them why in terms they'll understand. For us, it mean explaining that mommy has two babies growing inside her, and when the babies come, they need to sleep in the cribs because babies sleep in cribs. This simple message was one they could understand and get behind! 

Once they understood that babies sleep in cribs and that two more babies will be joining our family, their next question was, "But where will I sleep?" This is the fun part! This is also the critical part for a smooth transition. This is when you position the new room as a special treat for getting older/becoming a bigger sibling or to celebrate moving into a new home. Whatever your circumstances are, it's important that you make sure your child knows it's a promotion, not a punishment for something.

The monograms I hand painted them were carried over from their nursery, as were most of the blue, green and white details

One way to make it more of a promotion/celebration is to include the child in picking out new items for the room. Yes, even my two year old got a say in what went into his new big boy room with his brother! Both boys really enjoy planes, and Otto picked out the new plane sheets. I found some new artwork with historic plane models that were perfect to replace the safari animals that had been in there. My four year old got to pick out what toys we'd move into their new room.

A shelf that was also in their nursery that holds framed first birthday invitations for each of their parties and their own piggy banks

I liked having a really good balance of new things that made the move exciting for them, and old things that made it comfortable and familiar. We bought new beds, bedding, and a storage unit with a built in bench, but most of the artwork and knickknacks were carried over from their former nursery. This helped to make it exciting but kept it "their room." My husband was a bit shocked when I told him we'd be doing a whole new theme for the twins nursery, but I think it helped curb any jealousy the boys might feel over "their" stuff, because they get to keep their stuff.

Monogrammed Pottery Barn Kids chairs and a small storage unit for toys (they have a playroom so I didn't want too many toys in their bedroom! Plus, it's the smallest room in the house, formerly an office, so they don't need the added clutter of excessive toys

I think that's really key: make sure your older kids' stuff is still THEIRS. Make their new bedroom exciting without being unfamiliar. Re-do nurseries so that the older child isn't jealous that 1) the baby is in their former room and 2) that the baby isn't using everything that was once theirs. The separation of material things sounds trivial, but it's actually more symbolic than it is materially important. It shows that while there will be new additions to the family, or major changes, that their original value remains with the family. They're still a part of it. What was once theirs is still theirs and the new siblings are getting their own, new things.

Airplane sheets Otto picked out and the comforter has embroidered planes on it (that don't photograph well!) Of course as soon as the boys heard me in their room, they jumped in on a shot. Hashtag momlife. Also, while that electrical outlet had child protective covers over the plugs, it's since been removed from the wall altogether, so chill.

Transitioning your toddler out of their nursery is intimidating! Especially when it's because you're bringing new babies home soon. But if you make sure to involve your toddler in the process, giving him or her the autonomy to select some of the new items for the room and continue to use some of the things that make it feel like its theirs so that they don't fell replaced, moving your toddler out of a nursery will go much smoother. For everyone!


  1. The transition for my son was harder on me than on him. He was ready to be a big boy and I wanted him to keep being my baby.

  2. I love the bunk beds and the little reading area! They are both such a fun addition to a "big boy" room!

  3. Their room is adorable! I never thought to move our daughter out of her room though lol we're hoping to have a second baby sometime next year and our daughter's room is her room. We bought a convertible crib that goes all the way to a twin size bed so in our home, there's no need to move everyone around. But I remember a similar transition when I was growing up when my youngest sister was born!

  4. My sister literally just accomplished this. After 2 and a half years she slept all the way through the night.

  5. Awesome bump beds! I love all your little details, so cute. We're moving our 2.5 year old out of his cot soon, I'm already dreading it! ha x

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