We've been meaning to fix up the loft so LJ can have his own room, but I've really held back because safety was a big concern. He's still so young and the loft is pretty high up.
I've been letting him play up there for months but only when I was able to keep my eyes on him without distractions. He does wonderfully up there but I wasn't ok with him sleeping up there until we had a few things figured out.
Now that he can scale the ladder faster and with more confidence than I can, I felt we were ready to move forward.
Two issues here. The accordion door and the queen mattress.
Our first big problem was the door. This photo above was taken when we first got the RV and if you look, you can see the accordion door folded away on the right side of the loft opening. If LJ were to roll out of bed (which is rare), and roll over to the door, that little accordion door would not hold him in at all. It is, after all just flimsy cloth. I figured we needed a solid barrier to keep him from rolling out - and a proper door to the loft would also serve as a better sound barrier than cloth. I really wanted to use Tambour which is what they use for roll top desks, but unfortunately that plan didn't come together so well. We may still do it in the future but for now we just built sliding doors.
Marty built sliding doors.
The doors are on tracks at the bottom and top so they won't swing out. If you roll against these puppies, their solid and won't let you fall out. We put weather stripping on the sides and trim on the bottom to seal the light out. Actually we still need to add one last trim piece to the top on the outside here. We also notched out holes in the trim and put magnets in the door and door frame to hold the doors closed when we're traveling down the road. The magnets are really powerful, but LJ can still pull the doors open so that worked out really well.
The other problem was that queen bed. Ugh, that. bed... I really really really loathed making that bed. If you wonder why, let me challenge you to making any bed without actually getting off the bed for 75% of the making. And then having to do it crouched over for all 100% of the making because the head room is cut short. LJ is just way to small for a queen bed anyway. So we moved that mattress into the garage and stacked on top of the top bunk where it's up and out of the way. We don't use the bunks in the garage at all, they stay lifted up against the ceiling leaving loads of room to walk around so that was a good spot for the mattress. Should we end up needing it, it's still around.
Next we went to Home Depot and picked up some soft puzzle flooring that doesn't hurt your knees to crawl around on. The puzzle flooring is thin and by taking out the mattress we gained a pleasant amount of headroom up there. Well, LJ can sit on the floor or the bed and not have to worry about hitting his head, so it's really Marty and I that are excited about more headroom up there. We love reading stories at bedtime up there and the occasional moments of goofing off.
After the floor was finished we put his toddler mattress up there and toy box. For added safety we put one of our video/audio baby monitor cameras up there on the door until we were able to purchase door alarm dingers. The alarm doesn't lock him in the room, but notifies us in the middle of the night should he wake up and open one of the doors. We are so happy with this set up and more importantly LJ is over the moon for his new space. Even though he's been allowed to play up there for months, it was never super exciting to him until now.
I'd still like to add some extra touches, like curtains and maybe some little boy wall art, but for the most part, this is it.
I give you LJ's new room...
The cabinets and shelf in between are just extra places to keep his toys and drive his cars on.
The tote to the right is his toy box.
And here you have a small window into his imagination. Cars, cars, cars.