RV Life with a Toddler: Sleeping Arrangements

When we were searching for our RV, the whole question of “Where will Calla sleep?” was probably our biggest consideration. All 3 of us are light sleepers, and she had been in her own crib in her own bedroom since she was 6 weeks old. We knew we were in for a change in our sleeping arrangements. Here’s the process we went through and how we ended up where we did.

Considering a Bunkhouse Model

When we were looking at RVs, we only considered those 40 feet in length or less (the one we ended up with is 38 feet). None of them had more than one bedroom, but a lot of the models have a bunkhouse (in the model number it is usually abbreviated “BHS”). A bunkhouse is not really a seperate room, but it is one or two small bunk beds tucked away in a hallway, separated by a curtain you can pull across. In 90% of cases, they’d be across from the bathroom, so we felt that even if we had a bunkhouse, we would still wake Calla up, considering the divider is only a curtain. We also knew we’d have to modify the bunkhouse to make it more crib like for safety, but that is a project we were willing to tackle.

We also considered a RV layout that had a large closet in the bedroom. We were going to change the closet into a sleeping area for Calla. This left us with a lack of a closet (which may have been okay as long as there was enough other storage).

Ultimately though, we ended up choosing a layout that is slightly different from the bunkhouse or the closet idea.

Example of a Bunkhouse – Not our RV!


Current Sleeping Arrangements for Baby

We chose a layout that had a large sitting area in the back  of the bedroom. The previous owner had a rocking chair and footstool and used it as a reading nook. We took measurements and realized we could fit Calla’s crib back there and add a curtain for privacy. We were happy that her crib fit- it was one less renovation/modification for us to make, and we were glad we could at least keep her sleeping space somewhat consistent. Plus we really like her crib and think it’s good quality, and a timeless, simple design (thanks to Uncle Jake for buying it for her)!


Trudy pre-renovation. The rocking chair from the old owner is in the crib area.


Crib in the Bedroom


Curtain Partially Drawn


Curtains Closed – Goodnight, Baby (Yeah Right!)


We bought the curtains and the curtain wire at Ikea. The curtain fastens on to the clips, which move really easily on the metal wire. It’s a very smooth open/close, but that does also present a problem, because Calla can easily open the curtains. In fact, she does this almost every time before she goes to sleep. We have found that propping the curtain up onto the bed keeps it out of her reach, and it’s been helping. We close the bedroom door after we put her down for nap/bed, so there really isn’t much to see anyway, and she gives up eventually. It’s more so she doesn’t wake up in the middle of the night and go “oh, there’s Mom and Dad” and decide it’s party time.

A couple other additions to the crib nook: a white noise machine and the baby monitor. This is essential for us since she is a light sleeper. It allows us to slip into bed undetected, and provides some sound insulation from whatever noise is going on outside. We are so happy with this white noise machine that we have bought two since Calla has been born.


White Noise Machine


We also love our  video baby monitor and although we can hear Calla from anywhere inside the motorhome – and let’s face it – we can hear her from the outside too – sometimes you want to creep on your child and see what they’re up to. Thanks, modern technology! We have it propped up on this random basket that we brought with us but never used for storage. Whatever works, right?


The Camera in the Corner


So, there you have it – a summary of sleeping arrangements with a toddler in the motorhome. She’s in our room, but (mostly) behind a curtain. She has her crib that she’s always slept in, and the white noise machine to block out the sounds of daily life. As I said before, we are all light sleepers – so even when we had a house and Calla was in a separate room, if she woke up and cried, we woke up and cried. Haha, only kind of kidding about that one.  So all of us being in the same room really isn’t any different in terms of quality of sleep. If she starts snoring though – then it may be time to trade Trudy in for a bunkhouse!


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