Alex is the founder of 9Kilo Moving, which he started to help people easily find and choose the right moving company to make their move as stress-free and seamless as possible. He has spent over 20 years working in the moving industry, so he knows every aspect of the business and uses his knowledge to write about the industry and give moving advice. More on about us page
Moving homes is a challenge in itself and with the addition
of kids to the equation, this challenge surely amplifies. Even if you’ve
confidently moved around a couple of times in the past, you would agree that
moving with a toddler is a whole different ball game. This is mainly because
just like us, toddlers are creatures of habit. And it’s only natural for them
to start to feel uncomfortable with the move, since they will be shifting to an
entirely unfamiliar surrounding.
Your toddler may be accustomed to the way their room is set
and places where they can reach out for their toys and you. When the placement
of things changes, they remember the change overnight. It can take them by
surprise and sadly confuse them into feeling upset or agitated. When this starts
to happen, it is absolutely necessary to ease them into the moving process.
It’s not just about taking baby steps to let them take their time to settle in. But there are plenty of practical ways in which a parent can make them feel more calm and comfortable with the transition into a new environment. Don’t worry though, because we’re here to confront the issues that come up when moving with a toddler. So here are some tips on how to move with a toddler and transform it into a pleasant journey for your kid.
CALCULATE MY MOVE
See also: How Does Moving Affect Children
Attempting to move from your old home into your new one is
something that cannot be hidden from a toddler’s eyes. The sight of multiple
boxes lying around the house, with everything getting packed up is enough to
make them curious. It is possible to keep them occupied by building forts and
castles out of the boxes. But then again, ignoring the big elephant in the room
for long isn’t the ideal way to go about things. Hence, it is necessary to
start bringing positive associations with the move before the boxes come in.
Here are few tricks that you can use to do so:
Moving homes is stressful and the whole concept of
relocation can be a tough one for kids to process. However, there are simple
ways in which you can introduce them to what moving homes really means. One of
the ways to educate your tiny one about a move is show them picture books with
their favorite characters moving homes. A picture book that takes on the
storyline of relocation will be able to provide some context to your kid about
what it means to pack up and leave for a completely new home. By reading out
the book to them, they would slowly begin to grasp hold of the huge concept of
relocation. Fortunately, there are thousands of books out there curated to help
toddlers understand what moving is. Here is a list of few of the books that
we’d recommend getting:
Overall, by showing your kid sweet and fun pictures about
moving, they will be able to anticipate the chaos that comes with moving. Most
of these books have pictorial representation of the moving stress put across in
a fun and entertaining way. Overall, your kiddo would be less overwhelmed about
seeing so many cardboard boxes at home and also helps them understand why each
room is getting empty everyday.
Well, this mainly applies in cases where the move is for a shorter distance, all while having the opportunity to drive by your new place. You can then opt to make your kid get accustomed to the new environment. Show them their new room and explain to them that they get to pick the color of the wall or arrange their toys the way they’d like it to be.
See also: How to Pack Toys for Moving
You can also choose to drive them around nearby parks,
playgrounds and fun activity areas to
warm them up to the vibe of the new place. If you can’t really drive to
the new place, you don’t have to worry. You can still convince them of the
place by showing them pictures of the home and nearby areas. Try to build a
story around the pictures you show, so that your toddler is able to build an
image of the new room.
Depending on how your toddler is reciprocating to the
change, you could also consider taking them for a tour of their future
preschool. It’s possible that they could get excited about something as simple
as a sandbox they see on the preschool tour and that eventually gets them
feeling pumped about moving.
It’s alright to give your child some control of the move.
After you’ve announced the move, you can ask your toddlers inputs on certain
things. For instance, ask them about what they’d like to donate while purging
things in their room. If you’re brave enough to, you could also ask them to
pick out the paint color for the walls of their room. However, go easy with how
much involvement is required or you could land yourself in trouble for not
keeping the promises you make. Also, since you won’t be able to always keep
them company while you’re busy packing boxes, you must plan ways to keep your
toddler busy. You could perhaps ask them to decorate their moving box (when it’s
empty). Plan out some activities for them so you have your own space while
packing or even attending important phone calls.
We believe that now you must have at least some idea on how you can help your toddler embrace the relocation process in a more positive light. With that being said, let’s understand what else you should bear in mind while moving with a toddler.
Even before you begin the packing process, ensure that
you’re creating a safe environment for your toddler. You don’t want them to be
in a situation where they're running between your legs, while you’re emptying
out glass bowls and plates from your kitchen. Hence, chalk out a packing zone
in advance. You’re most likely going to need a functional kitchen to prepare
daily meals, so you could choose to pick an area that you don’t really use that
Keep in mind that you want your kid to stay away from the
packing area at all times, so make sure you've set some ground rules for your
toddler. When it comes to packing, another tip we’d like to share is to pack up
your toddlers room last. Simply because they might throw a fit about not having
enough toys around. Since you can’t really keep opening boxes for things they
are missing to calm them down, it is advisable to pack your little one’s room
Kids surely enjoy scattering their toys all over the floor.
Because of which, when it’s time to declutter your toddler’s room, you may find
yourself giving your back a really hard time. From sorting out the tiny lego
sets to the craft boxes and the comparatively larger game boxes, it can be
stressful to get around packing everything. Hence, it’s best to take a look at
one section at a time, and begin with things your toddler barely uses.
It could be toys they’ve grown to hate as well as clothes
that don’t fit anymore. Create boxes for donation and involve your child in the
items that you wish to donate. It’s alright to ask them what should go and what
should stay. Kids as young as 3 years love to involve themselves, and you’ll
probably be surprised at how much they would like to donate once they
understand what it means. It’s true that young minds have big hearts.
Books, toys and clothes may have a good chance of a second life so do give it a thought before tossing it away. Find local NGOs and charities in need of toys, baby clothes and more. Trust us, you don’t want to be carrying more weight on the rental truck, so it’s best to purge things that your toddler no longer would use.
See also: 5 Charities for Donation Pick ups
When moving day comes knocking at your door, you’ll most
likely be juggling a ton of things. It’s possible that you’ll feel like you’ve
stirred up a hornet’s nest and have no idea how to tackle everything at once.
Hence, even before moving day, save yourself the stress of managing your kids
and request a friend or relative to help you out.
Have a conversation with them about the moving date well in
advance so that they don’t feel like you’ve sprung up on them with this
request. Your friends and relatives may have work obligations and commitments
too. So, by giving them a heads up, you’re giving them some time to prepare to
help you too. If you have a babysitter your child is comfortable with, you
could also opt to book the sitter so that you can give your full attention to
It is necessary to pack an overnight bag with essentials
that would last you for 3-4 days, depending on how far your new home will be.
There’s a high chance of getting exhausted with the move and you won’t really
be unpacking boxes immediately. There are few things your toddler needs often
and must be kept separately in an overnight bag. Below is a list of items that
you should ideally pack in the essentials bag:
The essentials bag is to an extent a survival bag, until you and your family settle in the new space. Ensure that you’re packing separate essential bags for yourself too.
Also See: Tips for Unpacking With a Baby
After a successful move to your new place, your first
priority is to establish a sense of home and normality for your toddler. You
can achieve this by setting up their room first and helping them maintain the
same routine they followed back home. Try to stick to the same schedule
followed for brushing, taking a bath, having meals, storytime, sing song
session and playtime. You also take your toddler for a quick stroll around the
new parks and playgrounds to uplift their mood with the change.
Another tip we’d like to share is to place items in their
rooms in a similar fashion to their old room. For instance, place the night
lamp where it was placed before. Keeping familiar items in the same position
will surely help your kid adjust to the new room. There could be a chance that
your toddler no longer remembers where the bathroom or the kitchen is situated,
so allow them to take some time to figure things out.
Be prepared for a couple of odd times when they want to go
back to their new home. Remember to remain open to hearing things out from
their perspective. Work towards creating a play space that is comfortable and
cozy, so that they feel at home. And preparing comfort foods that they enjoy
most are some of the other tiny ways to make your toddler grow into loving
their new space.
We sure do know that this tip might defeat the purpose of
reducing screen time for your kid. But it really can be tough to unpack and get
administrative tasks completed, while your toddler is bored. With the help of
the internet and TV, you could probably get some more time to deal with other
things that need your attention. It can also keep a bored child busy for a good
period until you finish other time sensitive tasks.
You could plan for this by getting your cable and internet services installed immediately after your move. Depending on where you’re moving, it might take days or weeks to find the right internet provider and TV services, so try and do a little research on this. The more this gets delayed, the more pressure you would have to find ways to keep your child busy. The internet is truly a lifesaver to keeping toddlers distracted (to an extent) and it could also help you complete your tasks with ease.
Moving homes with a toddler is not a child’s play, but there are different solutions to keep kids comfortable and entertained with the move. It is important to be there to comfort them and their feelings. Take adequate time and measures to make the move favorable and safe for your child. Things won’t entirely be trouble-free, but by breaking down the complications that come with moving with kids, you would be able to feel more confident about your child adjusting to the big move.
See also: Tips for Moving with Kids
moving affect a toddler?
Moving can affect a child’s emotional well being and social world as the child will have to adapt to a new place altogether. The child may feel sad to leave the previous school and friends and this can cause anxiety problems. That’s why you have to prepare your child by getting him/her acquainted with neighbors or by throwing a housewarming party.
moving stressful for toddlers?
Moving can be stressful especially
for toddlers and may affect their emotional and social behaviours. The
atmosphere around them is likely to influence their mood and behaviors. That’s
why parents have to be calm during the move and get the child acquainted with
the new place. One of the best ways to do this is by involving the child in the
moving process like asking the child to help you pack the toys.
do you move house with a toddler?
The first thing you need to do is
talk to your child about the move in advance. To help your child get acquainted
with the move, you can sort out the toys with the help of your child. It’s good
if you have some relatives around to help you so that the child sees familiar
faces and you also get some extra helping hands. On the day of the move, make
sure you don’t leave your child alone at any time. Don’t forget to pack an
essentials bag with your child’s snacks, water, toys and medicines.
do toddlers react to moving?
Toddlers may feel really helpless
while moving as the very experience of leaving their home, neighbors and
friends can be really traumatic. There are a lot of things that you need to
take care of during your move, especially on your moving day. Any slight change
in the routine may affect your toddlers and so you need to pay special
attention to them.
moving as a child be traumatic?
Moving can be really traumatic for a
child especially if the child is not familiar with the different things
involved with the move. The unfamiliar faces, packing and moving of things and
new environment can really overwhelm the child. So it’s important for parents
to talk to their child about the move well in advance.
moving often affect a child's development?
Moving can affect a child’s
development, especially the emotional development as the child has to learn to
leave familiar surroundings and people. Then they also have to learn to adapt
to a new city, social circle, school, friends and even neighbors. This can make
the child angry or anxious and affect their social skills. That’s why parents
need to talk to their children and be patient and calm while the child
expresses his/her feelings about the move.
do I prepare my toddler for a new home?
One of the best ways to prepare your
toddler for the move is by making the move sound exciting by telling fun
stories about the new place. When you start packing the things, assure your
child that you are moving them to a better place and not throwing away
How do you settle a toddler into a new home?
One of the best ways to help your child settle in a new home is by sticking to the child’s routine. You can first sort your child’s room and help the child get comfortable with the new place. Make sure that you have sorted and arranged all your child's belongings, especially the toys. You can take a tour of the new home with your child and get acquainted with the neighbors. Throwing a housewarming party will also help the child get familiar with your new neighbors and friends.
See also: Tips for Moving Homes with a Newborn | How To Babyproof Your New House
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