How to Setup a Child's Bedroom!
As we all may know, children can be a handful! Whether it’s a tantrum-prone toddler or an angsty pre-teen, giving them a space of their own can save a lot of headaches when it comes to keeping them indoors. As such, this guide should provide a handy template of how their bedroom should be laid out to ensure that you and your child are happy.
Bed Size and Placement
When it comes to the namesake of the bedroom, making sure that the bed you buy for your child fits both theirs and your needs is vital. As such, we would recommend a good king single bed frame as the starting point for your search as to what to get. This is due to two main reasons, growth and space! Children grow faster than you’d expect (and the years go by quicker also), so giving them a bed with more space than they need means you can save yourself the headache of having to get them something bigger later, because later might be when they’re teenagers, and no one wants to fight that battle.
Furthermore, we’d recommend a bed frame compared to say a box bed as they provide extra storage for any assortment of items. Whether it’s toys, backpacks or just another area to play under, a bed frame means you can better utilise the surface area of where the bed is to great effect. The other benefit of purchasing a slat bed is they can be easily disassembled, so that when time comes for your child to upgrade their sleeping setup, the slat bed can easily be broken down and placed into storage or transported with no worries.
As to where to place the bed, we would say against the wall to provide as much floor space as possible. Children like to play, either with toys or within their imagination, so giving them as much space to play however they’d like can keep their mess out of other rooms in your house while also meaning that they better have to face the consequences of their eventual mess. Placing down a decorative rug can also help enforce a playspace by creating a soft sectioned area perfect for ground-based activities such as legos or toy cars (also keep in mind, the now infamous road map carpet is still available if your child is particularly fascinated with cars.)
A small hack to keep in mind as parents is to have the child’s bed positioned where you can view from the door, especially for younger children. This means you can check in on whether your children are actually sleeping and not staying up past their bedtime. So placing the head of the bed where you can view from the door cracked ajar can stop you from rudely interrupting when your child is actually sleeping.
When it comes to a home for clothes in your child's bedroom it’s worth considering two things: 1. children’s clothes are small, so you can fit more in a drawer, and 2. Children are constantly growing out of clothes, so they’ll never need a lot of clothes. As a result, if you have two children sharing a bedroom, then they can easily share a set of large drawers with some smart planning and agreement on who gets which drawer.
When it comes to actually purchasing the drawer, the main points we’d say are cheap and durable. Children will want to customize their furniture, whether it's a sticker or crayons, these drawers are going to get a new look no matter what. So purchasing something that can reliably handle the chaos of the kids while also not being a catastrophic loss if damaged is important. As such, we would recommend a good set of pine drawers as they are both well built while coming in at a low cost.
If you are in a smaller house that doesn’t have the privilege of a rumpus room, we would also recommend a place for storing their toys! Giving children a home to place their toys into can set in good habits of “placing things back where they belong”. Something as simple as a blanket box can provide a great home for stuffed animals among other toys, and remember when we mentioned about getting a slat bed for creating an extra space for storage? These low-profile containers are great for holding toys such as action figures or legos and slide neatly underneath the bed worry-free.
As for bedside cabinets, we would maybe skip the conventional style cabinet and either go for a small bookcase or some form of more “open” storage. Children don’t really need the features of the bedside cabinet, and would benefit more from having more places to store items such as books or plushies. We would avoid placing too many items like toys in this location as children aren’t the best at holding their restraint of deciding when’s bedtime and when’s playtime.
Extra Items to Consider
Considering the age of your child or their interests, a good small desk could be a good investment as they start to get homework or focus more on their drawing. As such, a small desk can provide a great home for them to properly focus on the work at hand without the distraction they may get working in the main lounge or dining room.
If you live in a colder climate, it may be worth also getting some wall-mounted coat hangers if the room doesn’t already have anything like it. In general, having places for your child to place items once they’re done with it is always a great idea, whether it's shoes, dirty laundry or even larger toys that might not fit within conventional storage.
It’s Their Room Too…
While it may be easy to get carried away thinking of different ways to style the bedroom, keep in mind it’s also your child's bedroom and they deserve a say. Let them decide which toys get full display and which can hide away until playtime. You can even let them have a say on what furniture goes in, although we recommend filtering their choices so they at least match the look you’re looking for.
When it comes to decoration, your child's tastes and preferences are going to constantly change, so make sure that the room is able to keep up with these constantly changing likes. A pinboard can create a great place for the child to put up images of their favourite interests (especially since a colour printer can provide plenty of quick and easy posters) but it can also house drawings and art they’re particularly proud of. A child's bedroom should be an extension of their personality, so allowing them to express it how they’d like can ensure that they can fully grow out their tastes and interests.
By the end of this blog, you should have successfully created a space for your child to play, grow and hopefully go to sleep. Remember, a child’s bedroom is an extension of their personality, so don’t be disheartened if the setup you worked so hard to create gets wiped clean in couple of years (months even!), this just means your child and their needs are changing. Instead, take a mental snapshot as your kin goes through their childhood, one bedroom setup at a time!
Should I Keep Devices in my Child’s Bedroom?
In the 21st century, we are surrounded by screens and technology at all times, so it’s important to try separate screen time with sleep time. As such, we would definitely not place anything such as a television and games console inside your child's bedroom unless you want to be awoken by the sounds of Crash Bandicoot at 3 in the morning. Devices such as tablets and phones we’d also try to keep out of the bedroom before it’s time for bed as these can interfere with your child's circadian rhythm and as a result affect their sleep.
This advice also goes to the parents and teenagers also, blue light can affect the state of how your brain’s in, so while a late-night Netflix binge might send you to sleep, replacing that with reading a chapter of a book might provide you a better sleep overall.
Is It Smart to Keep Toys in my Child’s Bedroom?
In short, not really! Our brains are all wired in mysterious ways, and as a result they learn to associate areas with activities. This is why you get hungry in the kitchen and feel relaxed at home, your brains telling you what it thinks you should do in this scenario. As such, having your child play where they sleep can be detrimental as it sends mixed signals about what to do in the chosen room.
However, theory often doesn’t coincide nicely with reality. You may not have enough space in your house to have a dedicated “play area” for your child and that’s ok! In most instances, any activity that may leave your child wired will probably extend outside their bedroom as they want to run and play to their heart's content. Thus, we would recommend play like this extends outside their bedroom, and more relaxed play with items such as legos or action figures stays in the bedroom.
Should my Children Share a Bedroom?
If you have multiple children in a small home, it can definitely be tempting to try lump them into the same room for the sake of convenience. Then you can have another room dedicated for anything else, such as an office or dining room. However, this should be common knowledge, but ideally, you should put your children first, even if you really want a hobby room.
But say your children have to share a space, whether it’s too many heads for the number of rooms or you genuinely need to keep a room separate for your at-home business. Then we’d definitely recommend pairing the two children that are most similar in age, or atleast the two youngest. This is just a piece of future-proofing for when the oldest child eventually becomes a teenager, and as a result, will want their own space. Whether it’s hanging out with friends, studying, or just taking a break from being social, teenagers can be extremely moody so denying them a space where they can get some alone time can lead to some heinous teen temper tantrums.
Pairing children of similar age also means you can more easily share things within the space, such as rules and toys. It’s easier to enforce a bedtime for the younger two children if they’re in the same room or to get them to share the same toys.