Nora’s “Big Girl” Room Makeover

posted by Andrea | 12/12/2012

Yes, you read the title of this post correctly — Nora is now fully transitioned into her “big girl” bed in her “big girl” room.

It’s actually the exact same room she’s always been in, we just moved the crib out, brought a twin mattress in, and rearranged the furniture a bit.

To clarify, Nora sleeps in a twin bed because SHE wants to, not because we wanted her out of the crib. After many, many nights of screaming until she threw up, we simply gave in and got rid of the crib.

She actually slept in her car-seat for several months (from about 7-10 months) and then we could tell she was just getting too big so we brought in a twin bed to see what she would do.

Surprisingly, she climbed right up (the mattress is on the floor) and snuggled into the pillows.

SHE LOVED IT!

She still only takes one 15-20 minute nap each day (if I’m lucky), but she’s sleeping better at night and actually going to bed at a reasonable time without screaming for hours.

Thank you Lord!

Here are a few more pictures of her new room. (You can see how the old nursery was set up here)

The other day, I blogged about this simple photo collage.

At the time, her bed was under the photos, but when we moved furniture around, I thought it might be nice for her changing table to be close to the pictures so she has something to look at when I change her diaper.

So far, she’s being pretty good about not grabbing the pictures, but we might have to move the collage higher if she starts pulling the pictures off!

Here’s her bed area again — and yes, I do make her bed (it’s a crazy obsession of mine!)

I’m planning to make a few throw pillows out of coordinating fabric, and I got the sheets and blanket to match a quilt that Dave’s mom made Nora for her birthday.

I also used the photo bunting left over from Nora’s birthday party to “decorate” above her bed.

It’s high enough that she can’t reach it, but she sure loves looking at all the bright colors and pictures.

We also brought in a cute little corner cabinet from one of our upstairs bedrooms. The cabinet door on the bottom is childproof :) and the shelves are too high for her to reach (for now!)

Oh, and just because I know I’ll get loads of emails about this if I don’t explain — the small black thing is a heater, but it doesn’t get hot… so it’s perfectly fine to have in her room. We turn our heat down really low at night so we keep the heater on a low setting all night long so her room doesn’t get too cold.

More pictures on the blue cabinet shelves :)

And this is what her closet area looks like now…

Normally the laundry basket goes in the bottom — but I had a “helper” while I was taking these pictures!

As you can see, there are no toys or books of any kind in her room — because otherwise she would get up in the middle of the night and play instead of sleep. We keep ALL the toys in the living room for now.

So that’s her new “big girl” room. Crazy to think that she was already out of her crib at 7 months old, and then in a twin bed at 10 months… but I guess it’s not the end of the world (even though I spent all that time making her crib bedding… sniff, sniff).

I suppose now we don’t need to worry about making the transition later!

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36 comments

  1. Peitra

    12/12/2012

    Looks great and I love the decorations! We did something similar above our changing table as well. (BTW- Mattress on the floor is called “Montessori-style approach)

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  2. Melissa

    12/12/2012

    I wonder if that would work for my daughter. She is 18 months old and we did take the side of her crib off. But I wonder if I were to just take the crib down all together and put a twin mattress on the floor if she would sleep better. As you can see I have had many sleepless nights as well and it really is starting to get old. Especially when you have to go to work the next day!

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  3. Hilarie

    12/12/2012

    I think it’s great to have them out of a crib early. It’s very “Montessori” – letting them explore their world on their own terms. I didn’t choose that for my 2nd daughter – she absolutely refused to be in a confined space – from the day she was born! The nurse put her in the bassinet, and she screamed bloody murder right from the start! So she never slept in a crib or pack-n-play or anything. I think I prefer it that way after hearing about the crib battles some people have (transitioning)!

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  4. Diana

    12/12/2012

    Good momma instincts! Each child at their own pace. Mine were just over a year. Once they were able to “climb” it was safer to have them closer to the floor, and they were less likely to hurt themselves. BUT the flip side was they were able to explore SO much more. So we had to come up with ways to keep them in their rooms all night long (our solution was a baby gate on the door. They could “see” us (didn’t like the door closed) but couldn’t wander the house. Also baby proofing the rest of the house in case they did get through the first barrier, etc. The trick is to always assume they will figure out to be one step ahead of you. So if you have a monitor, what happens if I don’t hear her get up – gate on the door. What happens if she gets over the gate – kitchen needs to be a safe zone, bathroom door is locked, etc. etc. etc. Baby proofing sometimes gives parents a false sense of safety. All of those “proofings” are only obstacles to slow them time while you catch up – doesn’t prevent anything! :) Have fun!!!

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  5. Kristin

    12/12/2012

    Every child is different. My daughter was always a good sleeper, in her bassinet, crib, pack n’ play and when she was a few weeks shy of 2 we moved her to a twin mattress on the floor because I was pregnant with # 2 and knew we would need the crib. I didn’t want to sleep train a toddler while 9 months pregnant so we started early. She did great and is still a great sleeper. My son was more like Nora. He hated the bassinet and crib. The only two places he would sleep were in our bed or in his pack n’play that had the swaddler attached to it (like a little nest on the top) and that only lasted until he was about 5 months old. He’s 2 now and has been in a toddler bed for a loooong time. We didn’t want to buy him a twin bed yet so we converted the crib and that seems to have helped him. Of course it means he can get up and move around when he wants to and he frequently ends up in our bed and we have to take him back to his. We’re planning on letting my daughter move to a bed room upstairs (I think our house is layed out similar to yours and its just as old!) and she can have the double bed and he will then get the twin she has.

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  6. Megan C

    12/12/2012

    We transitioned my son to the bottom of a bunk bed with his sister on top when he was 14 months old. I think a lot of times it’s easier to do it when they’re so young because they know they’re expected to stay in bed and often they don’t even try to get up. We also removed all toys from the kids room (they had some books). It made it a safe environment for sleep and rest. Glad Nora is doing so well in her big girl bed! She seems like a very independent little girl.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Megan, Nora gets out of her bed ALLLLLLLL the time and sits by the door and cries — but she will usually go back to her bed eventually (or we go in there and put her back in). It’s not perfect, but it’s better than cleaning up puke every single night and having her scream for hours on end! Whatever works I guess :)

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    Stephanie Reply:

    Was starting to get jealous thinking that she stayed in her bed all night! We moved my son to a bed 6 weeks ago, and I’ve only had a handful of nights sleeping all the way through. How do we keep them in bed without tying them down?! :)

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    Andrea Reply:

    haha — you’re asking the wrong person Stephanie! Nora hasn’t even come close to sleeping even ONE full night without waking up. She wakes up at least 2 or 3 times every… single… night and usually will not stop crying until we go in there. Some day :)

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  7. J.C.

    12/12/2012

    Would you please share the brand of the heater? My boys’ bedroom gets so cold, but I haven’t found one yet that’s approved for kids’ rooms. I definitely want to get this for the winter! Thanks! :-)

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    Andrea Reply:

    It’s a “Touch Point Baseboard” Heater. This one looks like the newer version of what we have! I don’t know that it’s necessarily “approved for kids’ rooms” but it doesn’t get hot so we figured it was a good choice for her room :)

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    J.C. Reply:

    Thanks! I’ll have to look into that. I’ve never seen (felt?) one that doesn’t get hot, so now I’m optimistic about finding something to take the chill out of my boys’ bedroom. For some reason, theirs is the only room in the house that doesn’t get warm unless we crank up the heat to the point that everyone else is roasting! BTW, I *love* how you did her room (& the rest of your house you’ve shared, for that matter!). I’d like to try a lot of your ideas when we have a little girl!

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  8. Jen

    12/12/2012

    Perhaps when she is a bit older and can understand more, you could start having her do a “quiet time” in her room, where she could read, play, etc. It wouldn’t be a “nap” but may give you a quiet break for a bit each day.

    I think you’re doing great! Good on ya for doing what’s best for Nora, even if it’s not the “norm”.

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  9. Rhonda High

    12/12/2012

    Hi Andrea, several weeks ago (I think) I stopped being able to view your pictures on your blog. If I go back to an earlier time I can see all the pictures. Do you have any ideas of why this might be? I so love your blog and all the pictures and feel like I’m missing out. :) I tried right clicking on the individual picture (the x in the left top corner) and hitting show picture but nothing comes up. I also tried refreshing the page numerous times but nothing helps. Thanks in advance for any help. :) ~Rhonda

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    Andrea Reply:

    Rhonda, I have absolutely NO idea why you wouldn’t be able to see the pictures — what internet browser are you using? So far, I haven’t had anyone else complain of not being able to see the pictures — and I have a feeling people would complain if the pictures weren’t coming through!

    It might also be something with your specific computer — have you tried reading on other computers? Sorry, I can’t think of anything else right now!

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    Becky C. Reply:

    I have the same problem on my work computer, but I can see the picts on my home computer. It must be some kind of setting, but I haven’t been able to figure out which yet.

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    Stacey Reply:

    I dont get to see them on my work computer either.. I think it must be a setting but I dont mess with it!! lol

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  10. Julie

    12/12/2012

    We did the same thing at about the same age. Only I have twins. We put a double mattress on the floor and they slept on it horizontally, the opposite way an adult would. I also put pillows around it and they would fall out of bed every.single.night! They never woke up, but if I was still awake I would hear the little thud and and go in and put whoever it was back in bed. I also make the bed! I can’t stand an unmade bed in MY house, its one of the chores my kids have to do every morning before they can eat. When my third child came along (22 months later), she also slept on the floor on a single mattress. They slept that way until the oldest were almost 5 years old. I also did the same thing when my last child was born.

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  11. Jen

    12/12/2012

    I think it’s great. There’s this very bizarre expectation in our society about how babies “should” and “should not” sleep. The cold, hard fact is that the best way for a baby to sleep is however they will do it, safely. Whether that’s in a crib, car seat, swing, bouncer, big bed…as long as they are safe and sleeping, you are doing it right.

    We co-sleep, which has been the right solution for us and for our particular child. But when we move next year and our son has his own room, we TOTALLY intend to do the twin mattress on the floor. I think it’s a great solution.

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  12. Kristen

    12/12/2012

    Kids have a funny way of telling us they are ready to grow up, don’t they? I’m sure you’ve already done this, but I nearly learned the hard way – be sure the book case and the dresser are bolted to the wall. Kids are AWESOME climbers and can surprise you with their prowess. And as for the getting up and sitting by the door – she’ll be okay. She’ll eventually stop getting up and it’ll all be downhill from there!

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  13. JD

    12/12/2012

    Our daughter did the crying until vomiting thing. Yikes, everytime she threw a tantrum. Sob. I am surprised we all lived through it!

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  14. Shelia

    12/12/2012

    my daughter transitioned to the same set up when she was 11 months old! :) it was strange at first. and people thought we were crazy. but it’s what worked for Amelia :) and if they sleep better, by all means!! let them sleep in a big kid bed :)

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  15. Shannon

    12/12/2012

    Good for you and Nora! Do what you think is best for your child – don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. You do whatever you need to do to get everyone some sleep! BTW – love the little pennants made from the paint cards. Brilliant!

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  16. Dianne@Baking4Six

    12/12/2012

    I have 4 children… they all kind of do their own thing and as long as it works for us a family since we all live together then that’s what we do. Think ahead if this was another child of yours, it’s very difficult to have a “screaming” baby/child when you have other children who are trying to sleep and be rested for school the next day — I became very creative/flexible with the more children that we had. (Only baby #3 was a “decent” sleeper. — AND even he had his favorite place to nap – downstairs, on the floor, in the middle of the highest traffic area in the house.)

    We all know that people are different so it’s interesting that “society” expects babies/toddlers etc… to all act the same. The only reason most adults act the same is because we have to, to fit into society but we all choose how we do this. Hopefully, my children won’t worry so much about parenting and, for the most part, just do what seems to come natural for their children.

    Meanwhile, every once in a while my 9 year old (youngest) gets out of bed & will sleep on the cold, hard floor by his bedroom door? I always feel bad when I find him there :(

    Also, I am likely in the minority – but my oldest is 1/2 way through her sophomore year in high school. It’s been years since we “put” her to bed (although, she also gets up in the middle of the night sometimes, too – still) but I’m really going to miss her in 2 years when she’s not here and I’m sure I’ll feel this way about all my babies….. so I really try to cherish each moment that I get to be a mommy – even the not so pleasant times. I am also SO very thankful that my children are all “relatively” healthy. That they are home with me and not in a hospital. I only mention this, because I know how difficult it can feel when you are up in the middle of the night with a crying child, cleaning throw-up and exhausted. That is when I pray to go to give me strength and thank him for blessing me with the opportunity to be my child’s mommy — and I tell myself that there are parents who are praying just for their child to come home so they can take care of them through the every day things. It really puts the moment in perspective for me and helps me to get through it with a much better attitude (in my sleep deprived state of mind). – On the same note, do not think bout all the other parents who are sleeping snuggly in their beds while you are up in the middle of the night….
    Also, I played classical music lullaby music for all my children at bedtime & as they fell asleep. It didn’t always calm them (but it worked more than it didn’t) – but it calmed me, too.
    All 4 of my children eventually slept through the night, only to stop during the toddler stage & they would come wake me up & I (or my husband) would have to put them back to bed. Hopefully this doesn’t happen to you, but just want to let you know that you are not the only one going through this. Also, my oldest wasn’t much of a napper & my youngest was not a napper at all – he was born screaming. (Gosh, he hasn’t stopped either at 9 years old. He goes from happy to blowing his top.)

    Good Luck :) Her room is adorable!! Nora’s a lucky girl <3

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  17. Alana @ The Bliss Diaries

    12/12/2012

    We did the same thing with our son, mainly because I didn’t want to “waste” money on a toddler bed. It seemed to work well for us and I pray it works for your precious little one as well. ;)

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  18. Five4Five

    12/12/2012

    I say it all the time, it’s all about surviving the baby years! Mamas do what they have to do.

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  19. Lisa

    12/12/2012

    Love the cabinet so neat pretty room my kids never slept allnight either ur not alone.lol

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  20. Holly

    12/12/2012

    We co-slept with our daughter, and she soon got adept at climbing down off our bed, she hated being in a cot, as she couldn’t climb out. We didn’t transition her to a single bed over winter, as finances were tight and it was an extra room to heat. But once the weather broke she had her day sleeps on her own bed, and has started sleeping there at night. She doesn’t stay there the whole night. She has her first sleep, then wakes up, gets up, picks up the battery powered lantern outside her door, and comes into our bed. In the new year I’ll start trying to get her back into her bed for the rest of the night. She’s only 16 months now, has been in her own bed for 2 months, would have been about 3 months earlier but for winter.

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  21. Katie

    12/13/2012

    I just love your floors and woodwork!

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  22. Heart and Haven

    12/13/2012

    It’s so funny how every kid is different. At 8 mo. old, we just transitioned our baby from his bassinet to a crib (he’s really little and never tried to get out of the bassinet, so it worked til now). I was planning to put all three kids in the same room, but finally decided I wasn’t ready for my 4 & 5 yr olds to have bunk-beds (which is the only way all 3 beds would fit). So for now, we decided to keep the crib in our room.

    My baby only cat naps twice a day for about 1/2 hr each time. I’m lucky he sleeps well at night though (usually just gets up once to nurse, then goes right back to sleep)

    My kids went through a stage where they would have trouble getting to sleep and wake up mulitple times at night. We gave them each flashlights they could use to “scare away the monsters”, and it worked! They were a bit older around 2 & 3 though. Does she have a night light in her room? Perhaps this would help.

    Another thing my 5 yr old prefers is having soft music playing while he’s going to sleep. I bought an italian instrumental music CD to use as background music for a romantic Valentine’s dinner at home I did for my hubby a couple years ago. This CD is one of my 5 yr old favs! lol!

    Did Nora ever get her acid reflux controlled with the meds? When my 5 yr old was younger, we found out he had lactose intolerance and acid reflux….once we were able to find a way to treat this, made things a lot better for him.

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  23. Jelli

    12/13/2012

    You know, this isn’t such a bad idea! My husband and I have our bed on the floor like this, and our 14 month-old girly loves to climb up and play there. I just found out that I’m pregnant, and with one borrowed crib to work with, this JUST might be a solution for our family later on next year when baby arrives. Thanks for the idea!

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  24. ariana M

    12/14/2012

    thanks for showing the bed on the floor… somehow I hadnt seen anybody else doing this (everybody else seems to be all about the cribs), and my little girl just WONT put up with cribs or pack n plays for sleeping… i’ve been trying to figure out a bed option for her, and I’d been thinking about a mattress on the floor, and then wondering if i was nuts to think of that for a 9 month old!

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  25. amy

    12/15/2012

    What great spunk! She looks so young to have such a strong opinion :-) My kids would’ve used their cribs for EVER except the next baby needed it or we needed the space.

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  26. Lys

    12/31/2012

    Yay! Another Mommy who decided to not listen to everyone’s “suggestions” and help her little one sleep the way they want to! Thank SO much for posting this. My daughter is 15 months and has co-slept until about 4 months ago. Out of nowhere, this week she is hating her crib and will cry just like Nora did. I felt silly thinking we could put a twin mattress on the floor and she would be much happier – but you’ve just made me realize my instincts are right! Thanks again!

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  27. sarah

    01/03/2013

    Oh My Days! ROTFL Your little darling sounds fun :) Good for you guys for going with your gut. Everyone needs a good peaceful night sleep sounds like you guys are getting closer to a full night too if they haven’t already started.

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  28. Laura G

    07/04/2013

    What a lovely room! My son also sleeps on a floor bed and we too having nighttime temperature worries so I was so pleased to see your baseboard heater recommendation. I googled and some models seems to have been recalled in march of this year due to over heating- I just wanted to let you know in case it was the model you have and you had not heard.

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