You’re having another little one, but your other child is still young, and they’re going to have to share a room. You need to find a way to create a room that’s both toddler- and infant-friendly, with plenty of toddler toys and proper diaper storage, plus a comfortable space to change diapers and clothes. We’ve compiled some Shared Nursery and Toddler Room Ideas to help you design a space that meets both your children’s needs.
The room in this article might look cluttered at first, but placing the crib closest to the door makes it so the many furnishings don’t get in the way of your ability to care for the baby quickly and efficiently. This room has an eclectic nautical look, with thematic bedding and furniture that your toddler will probably love well into childhood. The deep blues create a masculine look that’s perfect for two boys sharing a room, so if you’re having a second boy, this may be the inspiration you need.
2) Larger and Smaller Drawers
Most bedrooms don’t have enough room for two dressers, so you’re probably going to have to put both your little ones’ clothes in the same dresser. This one from Amazon is a nice choice because it has different-sized drawers so that you can put the baby’s clothes and diapers in the top three smaller drawers. Then, put the toddler’s clothes in the bottom two drawers that’re a bit bigger. This should work out well since you’ll want diapers near the top where they’re easier to get to, and since baby clothes are smaller than toddler ones.
3) DIY Closet Nursery
Babies don’t take up nearly as much room as toddlers, so if you’re looking to use one room for both children, you could turn the closet into a separate nursery. This way, the toddler has plenty of room to play. You can model your closet nursery after the one in this video to make sure that you have everything you need to care for your infant in one compact space. There’s a little bit of DIY work here, but all you should need to put up the simple shelves they used is a screw gun or hammer.
4) Closet Organizer
Since you probably only have one closet, you’ll have to find a way for your two little ones to share it. You don’t want to be searching for things while trying to comfort a baby with a wet diaper or chase down a toddler to change their clothes, so ideally you’ll need their things to be separated and well-organized. This closet organizer would work well for two children since it has large bins, small drawers and cubbies, and dividers to keep clothes separate.
One issue you might run into with two young children in the same room is privacy. While generally, that’s not an issue for infants and toddlers, you’ll probably want to ensure that they have separate sleeping spaces so that they’re not waking each other up during the night. One way to do this is to get a canopy like this one to cover the toddler’s bed so that the two cannot see each other. That way, they’re less likely to wake each other up and you’re less likely to disturb your toddler when you check on the baby.
6) Use Wall Space
Since you have two children in this room, you’re probably going to be a bit low on space, and you’ll want to find ways to maximize it. One way to do that is to use wall space as much as possible because, unlike floor space, it doesn’t interfere with your ability to move around and care for your children. Try utilizing wall space by adding hooks or shelves as this family did in their shared nursery and toddler room.
7) Cube Storage
The needs of infants and toddlers change so rapidly that you could find yourself rearranging furniture often. Cube storage like these customizable cubes is convenient because you can make it any shape and size you want, and most soft cloth bins would fit inside the cubbies. With these, you can build the dressers or shelf spaces you want for each child at a much lower cost than what you’d pay for two traditional dressers. You can buy one set of these and turn it into as many shelves, drawers, or toy chests as you wanted.
8) City Rug
This rug from Amazon has images of an entire town with streets big enough for a toy car to drive down. Toddlers and little kids love playing on city rugs like these because they’re like premade playsets and all they need are toy cars or something they can pretend is a car. That makes this kind of rug perfect for a nursery because it’s something interesting for the baby to look at and fun for the toddler to play with. The great thing is that you can leave it out all the time and it won’t take up space.
9) Enriching Materials
With both a toddler and an infant present, a room like this can start to feel crowded. You probably won’t want to have a lot of decorations that take up room, but you do need to have some decor that’ll look nice and create an attractive and stimulating environment for you, your infant, and your toddler. One way to do this is to focus on enriching materials like heavily textured or colorful rugs, wood floors, and woven baskets like the ones in this nursery.
If you use this space as both a bedroom and a place for your little ones to play, it’ll probably become a playroom of sorts. After all, you have not one but two young ones playing in here. We found this sign that has a rainbow on it to brighten the room, along with the words “Playroom,” “laugh,” “imagine,” and “create.” The colorful sign will label this space and add colors and letters for your baby and toddler to enjoy.
11) Downsize Your Toddler
Since you’re adding a baby to this room, you’re essentially halving the amount of space your toddler can take up. While they may have access to more space than the baby does, you’ll need to cut down on the number of things they have. You can downsize their toys and clothes by getting rid of the things that don’t fit and only keeping the toys they actually play with, as Yareli Artea does in this shared room.
12) Their Names
Your infant and toddler are already sharing their space, so you’ll want to find a want to define what space is theirs. One nice way to do that is to get name decals like this from Amazon that come with your child’s name on them, along with a monogram letter of their first initial. Then, put the decals on the walls above their respective sleeping areas. You might even try getting two different styles of decals, one for each child. This way, they each have a space that’s defined for them.
13) Dual-Sided Dresser
Two dressers are a lot to fit in a single room, so there’s a fair chance that your infant and toddler will have to share one. If that’s the case, a dual-sided dresser like this one could be the perfect way to store both their clothes and belongings separately. You can use one side for each child, or use the top for one and the bottom for another. If you do so, the top drawer would be the best place for diapers and things that you’ll need to reach more often since it’s the easiest for you to access.
If you’re worried about conserving space in a room that’s already small, there are a few ways to save space. While it might not give you the most walking room, you can utilize the space in the center of the room by placing the crib and bed side-by-side the way it is in this shared nursery and toddler room. This way, you can check on both children at the same time without having to walk around the room. It might also be the only way to fit the two together if you have an awkwardly placed closet.
15) Divided Closet Organizer
When we saw this idea, we thought it could work well since it has the variety needed to cater to two different-aged children with different needs. You can outfit your closet with a hanging organizer like this that’s divided up in several ways to allow for all different side clothes and items. You can use things like the twelve-sections drawer in this organizer to store diapers and tiny baby clothes, then use the larger drawers for your toddler.
16) Baby Station
Babies are much easier to contain in one place than toddlers, and toddlers are likely to take up the entire room. To avoid tripping over one child’s things while caring for the other, you could create a baby station by putting all the baby’s things in one spot. We found this convenient station on Amazon with a crib and changing table combined so that you don’t have to wade through your toddler’s belongings to move around when caring for your baby; everything’s in one place.
17) Closet Space
If you only have one closet, you’ll have to decide how to give space to each child. Should the toddler get more room since they’re older, or should there be a special section for the things you need to care for the baby, such as diapers and burp cloths? This family chose a simple route that’ll continue to work no matter how older the kids get. You can simply divide the closet in half and give each child half. Anything you use to care for the baby or toddler goes on their side.
18) Two Night Lights
Night lights are a nice way to keep a room illuminated enough so that you can check whether the baby or toddler woke up during the night. You can keep them on all night without causing the kids to wake up, and some are bright enough that you can get the child back to sleep without ever turning on an overhead light and waking up your second child. Try getting a pair like these and adding two night lights, with one closer to each child’s sleeping spot.
19) Dual Sides
If you’re worried about one child waking the other, one way to deal with that could be to put the toddler and baby on opposite sides of the room as this family did. You’ll probably want to put the crib nearest the door as they did since you’ll probably have to check on the baby more, and they’re more likely to need tending in the middle of the night or during nap time. Since the two are separate, they can’t wake each other up as easily.
20) The Right Bookshelves
There are different kinds of bookshelves, and you’ll want to make sure that you get ones your toddler can pick books from. These shelves from Amazon are designed to show the front cover of the book instead of the spine writing since toddlers can’t read, and the colorful pictures will entertain your infant. It’s nice to have a bookshelf like this for an infant, but since a toddler is old enough to pick books, they must be able to see the cover to choose one they’re interested in.
Many children have trouble sleeping in a room with somebody else, and your infant and toddler will probably have to adjust to sleeping together, particularly if one of both are finicky sleepers. Even if they’re not, there’s always a chance that they’ll wake each other up if they wake up during the night. Blackout curtains like these ones are a good way to reduce disturbances by making sure they can’t see each other and there’s no light to wake them.
22) DIY Bookcase Divider
Keeping cribs and toddler beds separate might help keep your baby and toddler from waking each other up during naps and at night, but if you’re not sure it’s enough, visual separation might be key. Try putting the crib and toddler bed on opposite sides of the room to reduce the noise that they’re each hearing from the other, then divide the room with something tall like the bookcases in this nursery. This way, they can’t see each other, and a lot of sounds will be blocked, also.
Two packs may be helpful if you’re having to replace a lot of your toddler’s belongings. After all, many organizers and furniture they have will be designed with one child in mind and may take up too much space now that they’re sharing a room. You can get a two-pack of things like these closet organizers so that each child has the same amount of storage. You can even organize each one similarly so that you don’t have to remember two layouts.
24) Slumber Pod
If your baby or toddler is very fussy and you’re trying to keep the two separate while they sleep, this slumber pod might help. It’s designed for travel but is the perfect way to keep your two children from interacting when they’re supposed to be sleeping. This way, neither one will keep the other one awake, and your toddler or older baby can have a completely calm and dark space to rest through the night.
25) Space Sleeping Areas Apart
The way you arrange your furniture is probably the most important thing in this shared nursery and toddler room, though there are plenty of other things you’ll need to consider. More than anything, you’ll want to make sure that the sleeping spaces are set up so that both children will be able to sleep. The best method is often to make sure each child has a separate area of the room, and use a couple of the tips in this article to help them both sleep.
One issue that many people whose toddler and infant share a bedroom run into is sleep. Sometimes young children sharing a room can wake each other up, which is problematic if your baby or toddler is already a light sleeper. When you design this room, you’ll want to help them sleep as much as possible. One way to aid them is to get things like this dreamcatcher that’ll help capture bad dreams and keep them from waking during the night.
27) Keep Toys Separate
One problem with having a shared nursery and toddler room is that you might run out of space, or the two children might crowd each other. This family has a solution; don’t keep toys in the nursery or toddler room. Toys take up a lot of room, and by moving them to a different area, you open up more space for sleeping and caring for your little ones. There’s also evidence that sleeping and playing in different rooms help children sleep, and you’ll want to reduce nighttime wake-ups since there’s a chance that one child will wake the other.
28) Letter Rug
Toddlers are old enough to begin learning some letters, so you might want to start incorporating them into the room, but you’ll want to keep the room entertaining since the letters will mean little to the baby. You can get things like this play rug that both children can play on. The black letters on the white rug will look like a pattern to the baby and you can use them to show the toddler letters, such as the letters in their name.
29) Modern Gender Neutral
If you have a boy and a girl, you probably don’t want to have a gender-themed room since dividing a room into two themes can be a lot of work and might not look good in the end. Instead, you can try a gender-neutral theme. A modern gender-neutral theme like the one in this nursery may be ideal because modern decorating is fairly clean and can be done in a minimalist way that doesn’t waste a lot of space. After all, space is probably at a premium in this shared room.
30) Convertible Crib and Toddler Beds
Convertible cribs and toddler beds can save a lot of money, but they also make decorating easier since you don’t have to rearrange furniture much. Since the toddler bed is the same as the crib, you can more easily convert your baby’s crib to a bed without rearranging the room like you would when you bought a new bed. This also means you don’t have to store the old crib when your baby grows out of it. You can get a convertible crib and toddler bed like this for both children to make bed shopping so much easier.
31) Noise Machine
If your baby and toddler have a habit of waking in the night, you’ll want to put some safeguards in place to keep them from waking the other child. That way, you’ll only have to soothe one child to sleep and not two. One way to help soothe babies and toddlers is to get a noise machine like this that can calm them and help them sleep. The noise will hopefully cover any sounds that one child makes and help the other one remain asleep, too.
32) Minimalist With Color Theme
If you have a small room to work with, you’re probably going to have to find a way to cut down on the space each child takes up, and one way to do that is to reduce decorations. You can decorate the room in a minimalist style as this family did, but babies and toddlers need a stimulating environment if they’re going to play and spend a lot of time here. To create that environment, you can rely on making the space colorful rather than adding decorations.
33) Two Lamps
Lamps are an excellent idea for a nursery or toddler room since you might need to check on your baby or toddler during the night. With a lamp, you can only turn on the light you need, making it easier to get back to sleep when you’re done changing the baby or helping the toddler get back to sleep. With a pair of lamps like these, you can put one next to each child’s bed or crib so that you don’t wake the other one up with an overhead light.
34) Double Hamper
While having children is a blessing, there are difficulties, too. One of the nightmares that come with having multiple young children is sorting clothes, particularly when one child outgrows something and the next one inherits it. To make laundry day easier, you can get a double hamper like this one so that the baby’s clothes go on one side and the toddler’s go on the other. Then, you can take the liners out and wash each child’s clothing separately to save you from having to sort it.
35) Crib Location
You might have decided that you’re going to keep the two sleeping areas together so that the baby and toddler can bond or that the bed and crib need to be far apart so that each child can get restful sleep. Once you know that, you’ll want to pick the crib’s location first since the baby will need more of your time. Since you’ll need to check up on the baby more, you’ll want to place the crib near the door like this family did so that you can look in on the baby without waking the toddler.
36) Colorful Letters With Animals
Letters are more important to a toddler than a baby since the toddler is beginning to get old enough to learn their own name, at least. This makes letters a good nursery and toddler room decoration, but you’ll want to find a way to make them entertaining or attractive to the baby, too. We found this decal set with all the letters of the alphabet accompanied by cute animals and made in bright colors. This would be the perfect way to teach letter sounds and also entertain a baby.
37) Dual Door Organizers
Door organizers are a good way to use all your available space since the walls and floors can quickly become crowded with enough furniture, decorations, and shelving for not one but two children. These over-the-door hanging organizers would be perfect for a nursery and toddler room since they come in a pair so that each child can have one, and the pouches are small enough for baby and toddler clothes or other baby care items such as diapers.
What else could we have put on our list? Is there anything you plan to do in your shared nursery and toddler room that we haven’t included? Please tell us in the comments below!