Climbing Out of the Crib? Tips for Updating Your Toddler’s Room

By: Jessica Perry.

It seemed like any other summer morning. The sun hadn’t risen yet, but I lay in a half-awake stupor appreciating every child-free moment. Suddenly I heard a thud and crying. The kind of cry that immediately lets you know something real is wrong, not just your average everyday fussing. I rushed into my baby daughter’s bedroom and found her laying on the floor. She was fine, but she had climbed over the railing on her crib and fell. I loved that crib, but what was once one of the safest places to keep Kyla now had to go. My little girl was no longer a baby, she was officially a big girl.

Once your baby outgrows the crib, it’s time to transition the bedroom to fit your toddler’s burgeoning taste. You can incite your child’s imagination with whimsical, creative touches that will make it a place where she can spend hours, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. A child’s bedroom is an integral space for your little one to flourish in; take the time and care to create a wondrous place that both you and your daughter will cherish.

Color and Designs

When it comes to color, the best solution is to choose a base color that your daughter can live for 5 or more years. Paint the room a serene hue, one that evokes a calm, tranquil ambiance. Lavender, eggshell, pale pink, primrose and sky blue are subtle, sleepy tints to color the walls. You can enhance the wall color by adding decals to border the room — floral designs, animals, or perhaps the alphabet. These decals can always be removed at a later date and you’ll still have a great color to redesign around.

You may also decide to choose a theme for your daughter’s room. This theme should revolve around one or two colors or a central motif. Doll-house, teatime, princess or garden/floral themes are tried and true options for girls, but you know your daughter best and you should build it around a subject that she has always responded to.


To make the most of your square footage, arrange furniture against the walls so that a large space for playtime will remain open in the center of the room. Colorful window blinds or fabric curtains are a simple way to control the quality of light in the room. Install a bookcase to encourage reading and fill the shelves with fun stories to read to your daughter every night. Utilize cubby holes for storage and to promote cleanliness and orderliness. Stock them with arts and crafts supplies or any odds and ends.

To make the space a place where your daughter will want to spend alone time, consider a desk or small table for a place to create artwork. Store pencils, markers, paper and other crafty items in the desk’s shelves or in the cubby holes. Hang up your daughter’s creations on a clothesline wire or in a clear frame. This will give your little one a sense of accomplishment and stimulate her to continue creating works of art.

You can also create a reading nook in the corner with either a petite comfy couch or beanbag chair. Hang some drapes around the corner — every little girl loves having a small space for her sole use, especially if she has older siblings who like to tell her what to do. This is her domain!

Play Area

Populate the toy box with all sorts of playthings to spark and foster your daughter’s rich imagination. Building blocks or Legos, her favorite dollies, stuffed animals and dress-up clothes are just some ideas on what the toy box can contain.

Safety First

If you have a little one on the move, you have probably already taken steps to create a safe environment. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to cover electrical outlets and keep cords hidden or affixed to the wall. You’ll also want to fasten dressers and freestanding cabinets to the wall. Keep window blind cords out of reach as they may be a strangulation hazard. Always ensure that both a smoke and carbon monoxide detector are in or near the child’s room.

Other Fun Ideas

Growth chart: Avoid etching marks on your wall with a ruler and get creative with your toddler’s growth chart. A giraffe, long-necked dinosaur or tree will make for a clever theme to chart your daughter’s growth.

Coat rack: Mount a fanciful coat rack on the wall for hanging an assortment of items from coats and jump ropes to hula hoops and sports gear.


Jessica holds a degree in interior design and has her own small firm in the Southwest. She loves helping people incorporate their personalities into their living spaces.

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