When we found out Baby Blair was on the way, we knew we’d have to do some rearranging. Previously, Colton was using what is now Blair’s room as his playroom. I didn’t want Colton to feel too displaced, plus I knew we’d all be spending a lot of time in the nursery anyway. So, I began thinking of how to design a sibling-friendly nursery…
How to Design a Sibling-Friendly Nursery
Although our kids don’t share a room, they spend a lot of time in each others’ rooms. When we’re playing in Colton’s room, I’m usually holding Blair or we have our DockATot nearby. As an infant, she doesn’t require a lot of entertainment!
Entertaining a 2-year-old in a nursery is much more challenging, though. We spend a fair amount of time each day in Blair’s nursery, particularly for feedings. [If you’ve ever had a babe go through cluster feeding, you know what I mean!] My post on how to entertain a toddler while breastfeeding a newborn is consistently one of my most viewed, so I know there are a lot of other mamas out there in the same situation.
Have Toddler Toys in the Nursery
Thinking of how to design a sibling-friendly nursery, my number one tip is to have toddler toys available in the nursery. Right now, one of Colton’s favorite items in the nursery is our play kitchen. We didn’t have one before Blair was born, however, Colton has always been a fan of play kitchens at friends’ houses and playgroups. So, I knew he would love having one of his own. Plus, I’m sure Blair will enjoy playing with it as she grows. I can’t wait to see the two of them playing side by side!
Plus, who can resist a farmhouse sink in a kids’ kitchen? Is it sad that I’m a little jealous of the design of my children’s kitchen? Don’t answer that.
While the farmhouse sink is my favorite feature, Colton’s is by far the ice maker. The kitchen comes with a couple of wooden “ice cubes” that kids can drop through the dispenser on the refrigerator door. Colton loves to bring me a “drink” [aka a cup of wooden ice cubes] while I’m feeding Blair. Seriously though, he’s such a good little caretaker. He really loves helping me take care of Baby and even tries to take care of me, too!
This particular kitchen is available in 3 colorways: white, grey, and pink. If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, it’s no surprise that I chose the white. I’m a sucker for monochrome, what can I say?
We also keep 2 canvas bins in Blair’s room to hold small toys and stuffed animals. At this point, because she is so young, they mainly hold toys for Colton. He loves digging through the bins to find something special when I’m occupied with Baby. Some of his current favorite small toys are these balls, this shape sorter, and the classic See n’ Say.
Keep Age-Appropriate Books Nearby
We have plenty of preschooler-appropriate books in Blair’s room, and Colton likes to switch them out regularly. When we are hanging out in Blair’s room, he’ll often bring me a book [or several!] and ask me to read. [Side note: is there anything better than your child asking to read on their own accord? Seriously makes me so proud!]
By keeping his books readily available in the nursery, he’s engaging with stories that are appropriate for his age level, not just “baby books.” Check out these 5 Easy Ways to Make Reading Fun for Preschoolers for more ideas on how to keep your little one interested in storytime!
Make Baby Care Supplies Available
Colton loves to help me take care of Baby, which, of course, melts my heart into a million pieces. I love when he asks to help pick out her outfit or assist with a diaper change. So, for example, I keep her diapers in a drawer low enough for Colton to reach. If she needs a change, I can ask him to help me pick out the diaper design. Not only does he get to help, but it occupies him for a bit while I can focus on completing the change [mainly because he also takes the opportunity to select the diaper designs for her next 100+ changes].
Similarly, her pajamas are hung on the bottom closet rod, so I can have Colton pick out her jammies for the night. Unsurprisingly, he always picks his hand-me-down dinosaur jammies for her. What 2-year-old doesn’t love dinosaurs? Plus, I told him that he used to wear that same outfit, and I think he thought that was super special.
Let Them Have Fun
The main key to keeping an older sibling happy and occupied in Baby’s nursery is to make the space fun for them, too! Keep lots of toys, books, and games around that will be entertaining for the big sibling as well. Involve them in baby care, if they’re interested. I love watching Colton play in Blair’s room already, and I can’t wait to see how the two of them interact as she grows!
Pin these ideas on How to Design a Sibling-Friendly Nursery for later!
Interested in more Baby + Toddler ideas? Check out how we potty trained at 7 months pregnant, how to entertain a toddler while breastfeeding a newborn, and how to grocery shop with a newborn and toddler!