A Stress-Free Guide to Moving with Babies and Toddlers
28% of Canadians move every 5 years. While this may sound like a lot of moves, it’s a whole different ball game when you’re taking a baby or toddler along with you.
Whether you’re moving to a new neighborhood, city, or state, moving with toddlers can be stressful. We’ve found the top tips to reduce the stress and ensure your move goes as smoothly as possible. Read on to learn what they are.
Top Tips for Moving With Toddlers
Moving can be unsettling for kids and stressful for parents. Don’t forget that your kids ultimately had no say in whether you would move. This feeling of powerlessness can cause anger in frustration in children of all ages.
Luckily, the way that you handle the move can help turn those negative feelings into more positive ones. Here are some ways you can make moving to a new house easier for all involved:
Prepare Your Kids
When your kids are prepared, you’ll be able to alleviate both their stress and your own. Approximately a month before, start talking to your kids about the move. If you’re selling your house you may need to prepare them a little earlier.
Kids need routine and familiarity, so be sure to tell them about the things that will stay the same. Let them know that all of the things in your home (especially in their room) will be coming with you.
Give Them Control
When children move from familiar surroundings into an unfamiliar house and neighborhood, they’ll often feel powerless. While you’re moving, give your kids as much control over small things as you can.
When you’re packing up their room, ask them what type of box or color tape they’d like to use. Let them decide which toys come in the car with them, and which are moved to the new house.
It’s also a great idea to let them pick the color of their new room and ask them how they’d like to decorate it.
Moving day can often be chaotic, and the more organized you can get before the move, the more smoothly it will go.
If you can, give yourself at least 2-3 months to plan the move, pack, and hire movers. Make a list of everything you’ll need to do, and divide those tasks up so you’re making that list shorter every week.
Now’s the time to get rid of some of your junk. This will also make it much easier when you’re packing. Clean out your closets and remove clothes that you and the kids never wear. If you’re planning to get rid of some of your kids’ toys, make sure you don’t do it when they’re around, as this can be a recipe for tears and tantrums.
Let your kids say goodbye to their home and take photos of their favorite spots in the neighborhood. If possible, take your kids to their new neighborhood before you move in. Show them the house and introduce them to things like the local library, playground, school, and ice cream shop.
It’s also a good idea to do the same thing yourself. Throw a party or go out to dinner with friends. Walk through your neighborhood and relive some of the memories with your kids.
Keep it Friendly
On moving day, introduce your kids to your drivers and movers. This will help them feel better about their favorite toys being taken away on a strange truck.
While it can be tempting to try and get the kids out of the way, let them see that all of your things are going on the truck as well. Take the time to answer their questions, and reassure them that they’ll see all of their prized possessions in the new house.
Moving can be exhausting. It’s easy to neglect your own health and needs and go without sleep. Remember: You can’t pour from an empty cup. It’s difficult to make sure your kids are handling the move well when you’re stressed out and exhausted.
While you may assume that you’ll be ready to cook as soon as you move into the new house, give yourself a break instead. Order a pizza or visit a local restaurant in the area. This will be a nice treat for both you and the kids and will give you a night to relax before unpacking.
Stick to a Schedule
Once you arrive at your new house, make sure you unpack your kids’ rooms first.
Make it as familiar as possible with their favorite bedsheets, and ensure they have their stuffed toys within reach.
Keep the same sleep schedule and routines at night. This will make it easier for them to feel comfortable enough to fall asleep. Let them see where you’ll be sleeping, and reassure them that you’ll be right there. Even if your kids no longer need a nightlight, this may be a time to use one again for a few weeks.
Once all the moving and unpacking is completed, your kids will need to settle in. While moving can be exciting, now is when young children will realize that they’re not going back to their old house.
Play lots of games that encourage your kids to explore the new house. Tag and hide-and-seek both work well.
Expect tears and tantrums over the first few weeks and months. Young children may regress into younger behavior as they deal with the stress of the move. Let them talk about their feelings, and ensure they’re meeting lots of kids their own age.
Moving with toddlers is very different to moving alone. You’ll often be dealing with your own mixed feelings if you’re leaving friends and family members behind. By using the above tips, you’ll be able to reduce the stress involved and make the move go smoothly for the whole family.
If you’re moving house, we can help. Get in touch today for a free moving quote or to learn more about our services.
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