From designing your baby’s nursery, to moving into the first toddler bed and then upgrading into a teenager’s retreat, the many milestones of childhood are marked through our children’s changing needs. It may seem just a moment ago that you were carrying your newborn through the door and placing them down carefully in their first cot. Now, they may be toddling around the house, scattering toys as they go, or perhaps they are hiding out in their room as teenagers sometimes do.
Whatever age and stage your child is at, adapting to their changing needs by upgrading their room over time is an important rite of passage. Even if they don’t tell you, they will appreciate your efforts and it will make life easier for you too, ensuring they have everything they need as they learn and grow.
Here are some tips to guide you on your way:
1. Nursery – there is nothing more exciting than bringing your precious bundle home from hospital and tip-toeing through the door of their carefully designed room for the first time. When designing a nursery, consider the needs of both mum and bub. Less is sometimes more. The choice of cot is important. Consider if the sides easily slide down to take the load off your back when lowering and scooping baby up. Ensure the mattress is comfortable and of a good quality. Choose a breathable easy-to-remove, washable mattress cover and purchase two – one to wash and one to wear.
When decorating, choose a theme – there are so many beautiful nursery sets around. You can opt for traditional ‘pink’ for a girl and ‘blue for a boy’ or a gender-neutral theme and colour-scheme. Ensure you have a comfortable chair for nursing and a good night-light. A cosy rug that is warm underfoot on cold nights is a must.
2. Toddler Time – Bang, crash, is that your toddler coming down the hallway? In the blink of an eye it seems, they go from tummy time to charge-about time. Now the nursery is past its sell-by date, it’s time to upgrade into a toddler bed and invest in some decent storage for the endless amount of toys that need a home. Shelf units with doors or stackable cubes with lids are a good choice as they keep everything neatly hidden away so you can sort it and store it easily at the end of the day. You may also want to upgrade the theme of your toddler’s room, opting for a favourite character, such as Barbie, or entertainers, such as the Wiggles. From cars, to tractors, fairies and princesses, there are a variety of fun themes to choose from that will delight your toddler and make bed-time fun.
3. Pre-School – If your pre-schooler’s toes are touching the end of his or her toddler bed, then it’s time for an upgrade. A bunk bed is a good choice if space is short, plus it gives flexible sleep-over options. Likewise, a bed with trundle is a good choice for when little friends come to stay. Baby and toddler toys can be cleared out now to make way for new and to prevent overcrowding.
4. School time – going to school marks a major milestone in your child’s life. If they have outgrown their room theme, now is the time for a décor update. Take your little one with you when you go shopping or browse online together. They will feel so grown-up if they get to have a say in how their room looks.
5. Teenager’s retreat – all teenagers need a place to call their own, to spend alone or with a mate or two, hanging out and chilling out, plus ?studying for those all important exams. Give your teenager the opportunity to have a say in what they need to create their own ‘happy hang-out’ in the home. It might be that they need different zones in their room, in which case, opt for a screen, to create a work-zone or chill-out zone. Make sure there is plenty of storage to help them sort their stuff and avoid clutter, making your life easier too. Now is the time for them to have their own desk so they can study in the quiet away from the business of the main household. Again, involve them in the decision so they feel included, plus they’re more likely to get down to serious study if they love their desk.