Wednesday, August 14, 2013

From Nursery to Big Boy Bedroom: Trains, trains and more trains

We made the transition! Well, Quinn did, actually. He’s officially out of a crib and moved into his new Big Boy Bed in his new Big Boy Bedroom. The transition was actually… dare I say… easy. Yeah, I’m shocked, too. Quinn really feels like a big boy now. He loves his new room and can’t wait to go to bed. It’s sort of magical. I’m sure this spell will be broken someday, but for now Hubs and I are going to revel in it!

The ease of the transition could partially be attributed to how much Quinn LOVES the train décor. First, let me tell you that finding train décor that is NOT Thomas the Tank Engine themed is difficult. I spent months decorating his room in my head and creating an extensive Pinterest board full of ambitious ideas.

I started with the bed sheets, and of the surprisingly few non-Thomas train sheets I found, I liked the Ryder Train bed set from Pottery Bard Kids the best, and believe it or not, it was the least expensive.

I didn’t like the comforter or throw pillows that came with the Ryder set though, so I ordered a reversible comforter from Kmart that is solid red on one side and navy on the other. Q thinks it’s fascinating that his comforter is reversible. And I found this adorable train throw pillow by Olive Kids on Amazon.

We went with a twin size bed instead of a toddler bed since we figured we would have to upgrade to the twin bed pretty soon anyway. (And converting the crib isn’t an option since Baby Dragon’s lease on my womb is about to expire, and he will need somewhere to sleep very soon.) I took photos of Q’s new bedroom before we installed it, but rest assured, Q now has a guard rail on his twin bed to ensure he doesn’t fall out.*

The standard sized pillows are too big for Q, but Mommy and Daddy need them when we lay in bed with him to read stories. Before we leave the room, we put the big pillows on the floor near the foot of the bed in case he falls out that way, and he keeps his toddler-sized pillow in bed with him. We started using this pillow when he was still in the crib so he could have something familiar to take with him (along with his blanket and Lovey Dog and 17 other stuffed animals), and he loves it. Q doesn’t keep the covers on or stay on the toddler pillow, he thrashes all over the bed throughout the night, and usually he ends up laying sideways or at the foot of the bed, but he stays in the bed and that’s all that matters.

For wall décor, I found these four awesome Gil Reid train prints on eBay. They look like real trains and not cartoons, and Quinn really likes them. They’re pretty large, 16”x20”, so I was nervous about putting glass in the frames. (Although earthquakes are rare, they do happen in Cali, and toddlers crashing into and banging on walls happen every day.) Rather than have Q end up covered in shattered glass, I just took the panes out. So the prints are unprotected, but at least Q is. Someday when I feel like spending a bazillion dollars, I might get the frames fitted with acrylic panes, but I’m sure Hubs is hoping I just leave them as is.

Speaking of things falling off walls, I had grand plans for creating an awesome gallery in Quinn’s room, covering his walls with train pictures and other adorableness like in the images I pinned, but I decided against it. There isn’t a lot of wall space in Q’s small bedroom except for around his bed. Even without glass panes, I really don’t want frames or anything to fall on him at night. So I went with a couple simple train decals instead. The wall looks a little bare, but after hearing him kick the wall for thirty minutes every night before he falls asleep, this has proven to be a wise choice. I might get some more decals in the future to help fill the space.

However, I did find these tin signs for railroad crossing, train parking and “to trains” that Hubs hung over Q’s reading nook. So fun!

Quinn loves his reading nook! We found these forward-facing shelves in white at IKEA, and now Quinn can reach all of his books and see the book covers. I got a simple red bean bag chair for him to sit on, which he loves, and we stuck little red tap lights under the top book shelf. Q had a great time helping Hubs install everything. He loves every opportunity to use his plastic toy toolkit.

I really wanted to paint trains on the walls, but I’m resisting the urge knowing that Q won’t love trains forever. I thought trains would look really cute across the bottom of his closet doors, so I compromised with peel-and-stick chalkboard paper. I bought a roll, drew the train shapes on the back and cut them out. They stick to the doors really well and make a very cool train silhouette. However, I don’t think I’ll tell Q they’re chalkboards. The material feels very vinyl-like and I can’t imagine the chalk erasing very well, although I haven’t tried it.

On top of his dresser sits the “birthday crossing” train signal I made for Q’s second birthday party, which also had an awesome train theme. I want to get him a train lamp or cover the current lamp shade with a train fabric, but I haven’t made a decision on that yet.

My favorite part of the train themed Big Boy Bedroom is that Quinn’s train table and his toy bins are now in his bedroom and out of the family room. This means the family room is marginally less cluttered, and Q has his very own space where he loves to play.

*One of my favorite child development blogs, Moving Smart, wrote an excellent post about helping your child obtain a greater sense of space and reduce the risk if him falling out of bed. We used these tips with Q before he slept in the bed, and I think they really helped. He’s never once fallen out, and he hasn’t even climbed out of bed when he’s not supposed to. Like I said, magical.

UPDATE, 6/1/2014: I added a long train wall decal over Quinn's bed, and he loves it! Check out that blog post here. Also, if you love the train wall decals I've created but don't want to make your own, please visit my Etsy shop, AWideLineDesigns. I'd be happy to customize your chalkboard paper wall decal (of trains or just about anything else!) for you. Contact me via Etsy. We'll talk.