One of the exciting parts about preparing to become a parent is creating your child’s bedroom. But when you’re becoming a parent via adoption, creating a bedroom for your child isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. How personalised you make the room will depend on what stage you’re creating it.
Some adopters start on their child’s room once they’re approved. That’s what we did. We knew the room needed quite a bit of work so didn’t want to leave it until the last minute. We kept it neutral in terms of colours, although my mum did paint the most amazing mural on one of the walls of Peter Rabbit. It is stunning and nine years on, my daughter still loves it.
I spent a lot of time in the room while we were waiting to be matched. It helped me believe I was going to be a mum. And as odd as it sounds, I felt like I was connecting with our child when I was in there, even though we hadn’t even been linked at that stage.
Children who’ve been in foster care for any period of time will already have their own room. They’ll have likes and dislikes, favourite toys and characters, and hopefully some treasured possessions from their birth family. You’ll need to find out from the fosters carer what their bedroom is like so that you can have some familiar things in their new room.
So, with all of that in mind, I thought it would help to give some tips about how to create your child’s bedroom.
Colour scheme and theme
Picking the theme and colours is a good place to start with the design of the room. If your child is old enough and it’s possible to do through their foster carer, find out what colour they’d like their new bedroom to be. Whether this can be done will depend on how matching has worked for you. Some people have contact with the foster carer direct, some will do several “bump-in” visits before Panel.
If your child loves a particular theme, you could keep paintwork neutral and have a feature wall either in themed wallpaper, or stickers. Buy plain furniture that can be accessorised with soft furnishings and removable stickers. This will help you create a themed room your child will love, that isn’t overwhelming and won’t cost a lot to change if they suddenly decide they prefer superheroes to pirates!
If you’re creating the basics of your child’s room before you’ve been matched, keep everything neutral. Plain walls and soft funishings can easily be added to once you’ve been matched and know all about your child.
Creating a child’s bedroom with accessible storage
Getting the storage right at the start will save you a headache in the future. Kids need a lot of storage if you want them to be able to play in their room. So, if possible, keep that in mind and create enough storage for the future too.
Storage solutions don’t have to involve big cupboards and drawers. Be smart about adding discrete storage to places that don’t take up additional floor space. A bed with a drawer underneath or seating with storage are great ideas for a child’s bedroom. The space can be used for bedding or the next age of clothes and toys.
If you have got storage in cupboards, using different coloured boxes and labels with a picture and the word of what’s inside can help keep everything tidy and make things easy for your child to find. Make sure your storage solutions are easy to use for your child to use and encourage them from an early age to put things away.
Create somewhere special for items from birth family to be kept that are easily accessible. It’s a balance though. You want to make sure the items aren’t damaged, but your child needs to be able to see and talk about them whenever they want.
Having a big window in a child’s bedroom is great for letting in light and fresh air. But particularly when your child is young, make sure the window dressings block out the light for naps and bedtime.
This can be done using blackout blinds or curtains. If you can’t get blackout curtains in the design you’re looking for, a plain blackout blind may be the solution. This can be fitted behind your themed curtains.
Also, think about ventilation to keep the room cool during the summer months and how you can achieve this without things like flies and moths getting in. There are several different types of insect screens or blinds that are relatively cheap and easy to install.
Future proof the design
Creating a room design that’s easy and cheap to change, isn’t the only way you can future-proof your child’s bedroom. Think ahead and put in things like extra sockets so your child can use a computer/games console/sparkly lights all at once when they’re older.
Make sure there’s somewhere in the room that can be turned into a study area in the future. You could use a desk or table as a doll changing station or lego building area when your child is younger. And transform it into a study area when they’re older.
Invest in furniture that will last and grow with your child. Plain wood or metal works best that can be updated with stickers or paint as your child’s tastes change. A cabin bed can have a play den underneath when you’re child is younger, that converts into a study area when they need it.
Create a child’s bedroom that’s easy to clean
When you’re at the design stage, consider how easy it will be to access all areas of the room and clean it. Your future self will thank you if you make it a design that allows you to clean easily!
A cabin bed, even a low one, is a great space-saving idea. But you need to be able to change the sheets easily (until your child is old enough to do it themselves!). Are you able to get onto the bed easily?
Use washable and wipeable paints on the market which means sticky fingerprints or marks can be easily removed. Use soft furnishings, including curtains, that can be put in the washing machine to clean.
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