How to Go From Nursery to Toddler Room

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When we first put Killian’s nursery together we focused on simple pieces, that didn’t take up a lot of space. We also, only baby proofed what we thought he could reach as a baby.  Being a first time parent we didn’t realize how fast he would grow, learn to walk and even climb on things. Now that he is 14 months old he is in desperate need of a toddler room. This lead to the budget friendly update of his nursery to toddler room. With number two on the way I needed him to have his own space he could play in, safely. With a budget of only about $150 this is what we updated in his nursery to make a toddler room.

How to Go From a Nursery To a Toddler Room

The first step is to figure out what you are working with.  I am going to share before and after pictures of our nursery to show you what we updated.

Problem Areas

Take a good look at your nursery and try to imagine you are a toddler (I know that sounds absurd, but bear with me) and answer the following questions:

  • What can be climbed?
  • What can you reach?
  • Are there any cords, blinds, or outlets you can reach?
  • Can any furniture fall over on you?
  • Do you have a space for everything you need (toys, clothes, sleep, etc.)?

Once you identified the problems, make a short list of what you need to update in your nursery to make it a safe toddler room, safety hazards first!  I promise we will get to the fun, cute stuff in a second.

This was our list:

  1. Anchor the dresser to the wall.
  2. Cover outlets.
  3. Move humidifier, monitor and sound machine out of reach.
  4. Clear area under the window so there is no access to the windowsill.
  5. Remove the standing lamp and replace with something mounted.
  6. Make a space for toys that is age appropriate. 

Find Solutions

Many of our problem areas involved our son being able to reach and get to things he couldn’t as a ‘crawler.’  He could’t get behind his crib to the outlet there before, he couldn’t reach his dresser drawers, etc.  So, we set out to find solutions.

  • Furniture– I can’t stress this enough (at least in our case and in yours too I’m sure) our son is smart and strong! He can get into stuff so quickly and he is learning so quickly!  Furniture can fall over.  Especially tall furniture.  We ended up needing his dresser for baby 2 so he is getting my dresser which is a bit taller.  Mounting it to the wall was priority.  Accidents can happen so fast!  These furniture anchors are awesome and super easy to install.
  • Outlets– The next issue we had was outlets and more specifically cords.  When we put our son’s nursery together we used the traditional outlet covers for the outlets that were not being used. But since he can actually pull on things now we needed to toddler proof the cords that were plugged in so we invested in the outlet covers that kept him from the outlet AND plug.  Both of these items are great for making outlet safer and a great solution for this problem.

  • Moving “pluggable’ items out of reach– As you can see in the ‘before,’ photos there are a few items that have cords that he could reach and get into.  If you are having the same issue we opted to hang another small shelf to put things up he could reach.
  • Lighting– We needed to remove the standing lamp or mount it to the wall.  If you are like us and a have a standing lamp OR a normal lamp that could be pulled over, a wall light is a great option.  We bought one very similar to this one that is a cloud.  You can run the cord down the wall and pin it to the base board. The switch is right on the wall and there is nothing to be pulled over.<
  • A space for everything This is not necessarily a safety issue unless you are working with a small space (like us).  I wanted to make it so there was an area for everything my son needed.  This also ensured I wasn’t falling over things 7 months pregnant. Which leads us to the FUN PART, DECORATING!

Decorating a Toddler Room

Our son is only 14 months but he is walking, climbing and is pretty mature for his age so I wanted to make an area where he could play independently.  (But he also isn’t old enough for a toddler bed necessarily so I won’t be covering that in this post.)

I had to move some furniture around to make a corner but here is the before and after of the corner we converted for a okay area.

Lots of these items came from IKEA because we have one so close to us but there are similar products you could buy online to make the same look.

When we started to pick pieces for his room I wanted the following:

  • inexpensive (remember we had a budget of $150)
  • compact (for his small room)
  • colorful
  • and items he could use independently

For the decorating, which took place mostly in this corner we picked the following items (the links are similar items to what we bought):

Finished Product

We managed to stay on budget with a grand total of just under $110 after tax!

Here is what the after looked like for our little guy!

This is how we went from a nursery to toddler room on a budget.  What did you need to change in your babies room to make it toddler appropriate? I would love to hear about it in the comments!

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The Ultimate Baby Carrier

The Ultimate Baby Carrier
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When it comes to researching baby products there is So. Much. Information.  When I was looking for products when I was pregnant I relied heavily on Pintrest and other mom reviews. So I wanted to share with you my opinion on the best baby carrier.

When I was putting together my baby registry I fell in love with the Moby Wrap.  It had so many great reviews, moms raved about it, and it was all over Pintrest. All of that was good enough for me so I excitedly added it to my registry.  When I got it at my shower I was over the moon!  After our shower I went home and tried to learn how to tie it.  I wasn’t very good at it but I told myself I would learn once baby was here.

My son was born a month after our shower weighing in at 6 lbs 12oz.  I got home excited to try my Moby and realized he was so small and I could not tie it tight enough to support him.  I was super bummed.  I had done all the “research,” why wasn’t this wrap AMAZING?!

The first issue was my son was small. The Moby carrier is good for babies 8-30 lbs.  By the time we were home from the hospital my son was closer to 6 lbs than 7.  So I set out to research yet again a carrier for a smaller baby that didn’t require so much tying.

The Baby K’Tan Carrier!

This carrier was hands down one of the best products that I bought as a new mom.  I could get so much done while wearing my little one.  Here is us on the first day I bought it.

The Ultimate Baby Carrier
First time carrying K in his carrier.

There are so many reasons why this carrier worked so well for us.

1. The weight limit

Almost all the cloth carriers I could find had an 8 lb weight limit, which is great unless you have a small munchkin like we did.  With our sons weight being 6 lbs I wanted to make sure he was safe.  This carrier allowed us to support him even though he was a smaller baby.  I could adjust how snug is felt just by folding the fabric on my shoulder.  This made me feel so much better wearing him while he was so fragile.

 

2. It was cheap

By the time we realized we didn’t have a carrier that would work, our baby shower had come and gone.  Our little human was already here so we didn’t have hundreds of extra dollars to drop on a carrier.  Baby K’Tan has a few different wraps you can buy the one pictured above was $49.95 on their website.  That is half the price of a lot of the carriers I found online or in the store.  On Amazon I have found it even cheaper than that at times.

 

3. It traveled well

Because the Baby K’Tan is made of amazing cotton material it can be folded up and shoved in your diaper bag.  Convenient right?! Who doesn’t like easy to grab items for baby.  I could keep this in the house for house work and then just throw it in our bag when we were headed out.  It was way more convenient than taking the stroller everywhere.  I loved having a way to keep my son close even when we were at the mall or out for a walk.

 

4. Options

We bought the Orignal carrier when our son was born but when he was about 4 weeks old we had my family reunion in Tennessee.  It’s always in June and our first carrier was black. I was so worried my son would get too hot so we ordered the ‘Active’ carrier.  It’s made of this super breathable material.  But those are not the only ones they have.

The Ultimate Baby Carrier
This is us walking in our home town parade in 90° heat. I wore him in the active carrier and it kept us both cool.

The Original

This was our first carrier.  It comes in a few colors (we have the black one).  It is made of really soft cotton material that feels like a broken in t-shirt.

 

Active

 This was our second carrier that we bought.  We bought this carrier for the breathable material.  It is awesome for summer.  It kept my son and I cool in the summer heat.

 

The Breeze

They also have The Breeze.  We have not bought this one (yet..) it’s half jersey knit half mesh knit.  I can only assume it’s amazing.

 

 

 

5. It’s Easy!!!!

If you read my previous post What I Wish I Would’ve Registered for and What I Regret, then you know that I registered for the Moby because you can wear it in multiple ways.

Except with the Moby there is a lot of tying and pulling.  The K’Tan on the other hand is sooooo easy to use.  The carrier is already tied so you simple follow the first these steps for the kangaroo hold.  Every position starts with steps 1-4 and then all the steps after are for each specific position.

 

The Ultimate Baby Carrier

The Ultimate Baby Carrier

Once your little own is able to hold their head up there are so many ways to wear this carrier.

You can check out all the different ways on the K’Tan website. 

Conclusion

I wish I would’ve registered for this carrier to start with but I’m so glad that I found it even if it was a little late.  This carrier helped me get so much done. Not only is baby wearing good for mom and baby.  It was especially good for us having a super cranky baby (you can read more about that here).  When our little one was screaming this was about the only way I could get anything done around the house.  This was also our go to for leaving the house.  We much preferred to wear him in the grocery or while out walking around then hauling the stroller or his entire car seat.

Don’t make the same mistake as me, register for the K’Tan from the start.

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The Best Diaper Bag

 

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The Best Diaper Bag (In my opinion)

Like most new moms when I found out I was pregnant I went into research mode.  Most moms do that right. . . okay so maybe not all moms are crazy like me and research everything.  But I do and boy did I research diaper bags.  I wasn’t super picky about what I wanted.  My check list was as follows: gender neutral (yes we were those crazy parents who didn’t find out the sex) daddy approved, not to backpacky, lots of storage, something that would keep things organized, oh and DIDN’T cost an arm and a leg.  So, I set out on my journey to find the PERFECT diaper bag and nothing less.  And like most moms I hopped on Pintrest, where else, am I right?  I found so many bag that I LOVED! and every. single. one cost an ARM and a LEG.  I was getting really discouraged I wouldn’t find a bag I actually liked and that I would have to settle on one that, ‘would just do.’

Until. . .

I decided to check amazon ( the next best thing to Pintrest).

After clicking through some other bags I stumbled upon the bag for us……

Diaper Dudes Convertible Backpack

I went through my check list to see how it measured up.

Gender Neutral

(update:  They did away with the color we have 🙁 but they came out with a really nice brown neutral color) This bag comes in a really cool textured dark grey color.  It would look really cute for a boy or a girl (boy in our case).  This was something I had struggled finding in other bags.  I always felt pressured to pick between bright girl colors or boring boy colors.  It was a relief to find a bag that came in a nice neutral color.

Not to ‘Backpacky’

One of my favorite features of this bag is that you can wear it as a back pack OR a messenger bag.  To convert from one style to the next you simple have to run it through the silver ring in the middle.  This was a huge selling point for me.  I knew having a diaper bag I could wear on my back would come in handy but I didn’t like the look a diaper bag that looked like my first day of kindergarten.  Wearing it as a messenger bag has come in handy when I have my son in his baby carrier and I’m out alone.  All I have to do is load him up and then cross the bag over my body or wear it like a purse.

Daddy Approved

It was really important to me that my husband didn’t have to carry around a diaper bag that looked like a purse or a mom bag.  He didn’t care either way but I wanted to make sure if he was out alone it looked masculine enough.  The proof is in the name “Diaper Dude.” This bag looks great on my husband as a backpack and messenger bag.  It’s not too masculine or feminine.  So moms and dads can carry it and feel comfortable.

Lots of Storage and Organization

Organization is key as a mom.  OR at least trying to be when we can.  This bag has lots of pockets and places for specific items.  Take a look…

AMAZING RIGHT?!

All Limbs in Tact

This bag is so amazing but the price was even better, for less money than a date we had found an amazing diaper bag.  No arms and legs were sold to carry our tiny humans belongs around with us.

My son is now 9 months old and this bag has held up amazingly.  There is so much space for everything we have needed through all the stages of tiny human-hood .

So there you have it the BEST diaper bag out there.

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