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Parenting Q&A: How Do I Make Room For Baby?

Parenting Q&A: How Do I Make Room For Baby?

Question: I have a 16-month-old daughter and am expecting my second child in September at which point my daughter will be 23 months. We have a three bedroom house and are going to give the kids their own rooms. My daughter currently has the much smaller room which is ideal for the nursery and we are thinking about switching her to the bigger room just before her brother or sister is born.

The switch would be ideal for us as we would be able to move some of her toys and other things out of our already crowded living room into her larger room and make way for all the baby things that we will be pulling out of storage. My concern is that this will create too much change for her and she will view it as the new baby taking her room. Do you think we should just leave her in the small room or is it okay to make the jump?

To see Lonna's answer,


Answer: Run, don’t walk and change her room. At eighteen months her focus will be on her things and your positive attitude. If you place all of her things in the same spot and do not make the switch into a production, she will adjust just fine. Avoid phrases like “Big girl room,” “Now you’ll have more space” and certainly do not reveal the plan to put the invader from outer space, into her old room. Do not verbally explain to her the change, simply wake up one morning and make it a simple and positive move. Assure her her crib and toys are going there with her. While toddlers hate change, they can power through as long as the change is simply presented and they are assured mommy and daddy will be right there. Do check in with me in September. This is the easy stuff.

— Lonna Corder

Parenting expert and Montessori school director, Lonna Corder has been doling out advice for 25 years as a teacher, parent/child consultant and on television. For more information, visit

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Greggie Greggie 8 years
I've also heard the term "big girl" can then make them more jealous that a baby took their place as the little one. I wouldn't avoid using it when a child is moving into a new bed in general, just when a baby is coming. I asked about the crib because I know that we wouldn't have been able to get a second crib if we used them, so I didn't know if the person asking was keeping the older child in one in her new room or keeping it in the other room for the baby.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
The child in the pic looks precious.
MaggieLei MaggieLei 8 years
Someone once told me that using phrases like "big girl" can get you into trouble when they are too small for something. For example you tell them they are in the "big girl" room and then they get to a park with toys for older kids and you have to explain that those toys are for the "big kids." I'm not quite sure if I their logic goes that far, but that piece of advice has made me aware of how I speak to children.
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
why would you avoid the term "big girl room"? i don't see why that would be a problem.
luckyme luckyme 8 years
We are in the process of doing the very same thing. The baby is due in June and we have already set up her new room. She's not sleeping in new big girl bed all the time just yet, but she has napped there a few times. We're not pushing her with it a whole ton. She does know that the new room is her room and she loves to spend time in there...we're not pushing her too hard because we will more than likely co-sleep for the first six months, or so. Anyway, I didn't really give you any advice, but just wanted to let you know you're not alone :).
SweetnLow SweetnLow 8 years
Here's what I did when it came time to make the switch: I moved all the stuff over and left the other room fairly bare. Then I left the choice to her- I asked whenever it was sleep/nap time which bed she wanted to use. The crib or the big girl bed? The first two times she chose the crib, but the third time she chose the big girl room and never wanted to go back.
Greggie Greggie 8 years
Will her crib be going with her, or is she changing to a toddler bed? I agree to make the change all at once and at least a few months before the baby comes.
skigurl skigurl 8 years
agree, do it quickly and do it NOW! if you wait and do it JUST BEFORE the birth, she will be older and wiser, but she will also view it as the baby invading her space if you do it NOW, by September she won't even remember the old room was hers and therefore won't realize the new baby took over her nursery
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