A couple months ago, we visited our friends in South Carolina. They have three kiddos, including a daughter who is 6 weeks younger than my own. While visiting, Eleanor fell in love with their daughter’s big girl room, especially her big girl bed. At that point, she was still sleeping in her crib (during nap time–she co-sleeps at night). After the trip, we decided it was officially time to pack away the crib and turn her room into a big girl bedroom. Our budget is pretty limited (thanks grad-school payments 😉 ), so we kept a lot of things the same and re-purposed several items from around our home. I love how it turned out and even better, she loves her room!
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Is your little ready to transition from the crib?
This is a question that only *you* can answer. Eleanor is a climber. She climbs on all of our furniture and counters. However, in over 3 years, she literally never tried to climb out of her crib. I have no idea why, but we were very fortunate that this wasn’t a concern for us. It’s also the reason we didn’t change out her room until she was almost 3.5yrs old. If she had started climbing out of her crib, we would have moved her to a big girl bed for safety reasons. I’m also the type of person who likes to do things once if possible. I didn’t want to move her from a crib to a toddler bed to a twin bed. We decided to go straight to a twin bed because it was more budget friendly, and I didn’t want to move her furniture twice.
IKEA MINNEN BED
For her big girl bed, we went with the IKEA Minnen bed. We don’t live anywhere near IKEA, so I was really excited because we found this on Craigslist! It was in near perfect condition (for a fraction of the price—score!!) and it seriously made my day. I had my heart set on this bed and it could not be more perfect for this space. IKEA makes a special sized toddler mattress that fits the bed and then the frame will also hold a twin bed. A regular toddler mattress or crib mattress will NOT work with this frame. It’s very sturdy and easily holds an adult & child. The frame has quite a few wood slats which eliminates the need for a box spring. I like that, because it makes the bed low enough to the ground that I don’t have to worry that Eleanor will roll out.
big girl bed mom hack
Another thing we do to help prevent rolling is that we put a pool noodle in her bed. What?! Yep, a pool noodle. We put it underneath the fitted sheet along the outside edge of the bed. It adds just enough of a barrier that when our crazy sleeper flops around, she stay up on the bed.
big girl bedroom artwork
We have a mix of handmade and purchased artwork in Eleanor’s bedroom. The two pictures above are both from Hobby Lobby. “You are my Sunshine” is possibly my favorite song of all time. I still remember my mom singing it to me and we sing it in our home quite a bit 🙂 I couldn’t resist this picture when I saw it! We also prayed for a long time for Eleanor. After nearly a year of trying, we finally got pregnant. I love knowing that God knew her long before I did and formed her exactly in His image. This piece of art is a sweet reminder of who He made her to be.
I’ve always been a crafty person. I like to make things and am a huge fan of diy projects. One of my favorite blogs when I was pregnant was the View Along the Way. When I saw her daughter’s nursery, I fell in love! It was bright and colorful and just plain gorgeous. I knew I wanted some kind of art installation in Eleanor’s nursery. When I saw Kelly’s pinwheel tutorial, I knew it was exactly what I was looking for. I found this scrapbook paper at Michael’s (I think?) and it was just the right weight. If you do this, make sure the paper has a design on both sides, and then follow her easy tutorial to make the pinwheels. I didn’t map out the placement; I just put the pinwheels where I liked them.
If you look closely under Eleanor’s bed, you’ll see a storage bin. I like that the Minnen bed is low to the ground, but also allows enough room for a bin like this one. We also have one of these cube storage units from Target. I like this brand because it’s a bit sturdier than basic cube units and comes in several color options.
Eleanor has a bit of an obsession with stuffed animals, so I knew I wanted her big girl bedroom to have storage specifically for that. We keep her larger stuffed animals in the striped canvas bin (also from Target), and her smaller ones fill the storage bin under her bed. I’ve tried getting rid of some, but she literally has a name for each and every one and plays with them regularly. The rope bins are from WalMart a few years ago and are similar to these ones. They hide all the toys that end up on the floor multiple times a day haha! Really though, I’ve found that using bins like this make it much easier for my 3 year old to help with cleaning up and keeps organization simple at this stage in life.
Her bow hanger is from Elle Belle Baby (my bow/bow tie shop) and more will be released in April! The cardboard mailbox is from Hobby Lobby and we decorated it as a Valentine’s Day craft. The unicorn night lite and gold wall decals are from Wall Stickers for Kids. I love the night lite because it’s on a timer and turns itself off after 15 minutes. It’s also a LED bulb, so it doesn’t get hot.
While Eleanor isn’t into baby dolls (with the exception of Baby CeCe from Doc McStuffins), she does love her stuff animals. I found the wooden baby crib at Goodwill for less than $5! I will do a post soon showing how I refinished it to make it fit her room decor better. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter, so you’ll get an update when that post goes live!
Find items with multiple purposes
My biggest piece of advice when planning a big girl bedroom (or any room in your home), is to invest in pieces that serve multiple purposes. Our home is right around 1400sq ft. Not huge, but definitely big enough for our family. We do have to be wise about how we use our space though, because it’s an older house with very limited storage.
This bedroom isn’t huge by any means, so when I planned her nursery, I knew we wouldn’t have space for both a dresser and a changing table. We found this dresser at Goodwill, and snatched it up right away because it’s just the right height that we could put a changing pad on top. Now, the changing pad is packed away, but we can still use it. That’s a total win in my book! I’ll have to keep digging to see if I can find the before pictures. We found the knobs at (you guessed it) Hobby Lobby. The basket on top houses her library books which keeps them from getting mixed up with the books we own.
And that’s our daughter’s big girl bedroom! We love that this room is updated. The transition from crib to bed has been significantly easier than I expected it to be which is a blessing. She also plays in her room a lot more frequently now. I think she takes a lot of pride in having her own special space! Thanks for reading along. Be sure to subscribe for more updates around our home!