Moving House With a Toddler

A couple with their toddler
Image source: Evgeny Atamanenko /

Moving house is a major milestone and can be even more daunting if you have a toddler. However, with careful planning and preparation, your relocation can be a smooth and manageable process.

From stocking up on toddler-friendly food to involving them in the moving process and creating a familiar atmosphere in the new home, this comprehensive guide will explore everything you need to know about moving house with a toddler. With love and flexibility, you’ll ease the relocation for your children, fostering a positive experience for the whole family.

Is moving stressful for toddlers?

Moving to a new house can be an exciting yet stressful experience for the whole family, especially when you have a toddler. Children thrive on routine and familiarity. Their home and nearby playgrounds are their whole known world and moving to a new house can be overwhelming for them. They may feel confused, anxious, or insecure about the changes happening around them. Additionally, toddlers may not fully understand why they’re moving or what it means, which can add to their stress.

That’s why you should be extra careful when moving house with a toddler. Providing lots of reassurance, maintaining familiar routines as much as possible, and giving them time to adjust can help ease the transition for toddlers during a move.

Stock up on healthy food for after you move

Usually, when moving, people rely on takeaways and precooked food for a couple of days until everything in their new home is in order. With a tenderling, this is not an option. You can’t feed your 2-year-old with cheeseburgers.

While your old kitchen is a mess and until you have completely arranged your new one, be sure to have a variety of toddler-friendly and easy-to-cook food. Good ideas include frozen vegetables, individual applesauce or different mashes, dried fruits, and fruit pouches.

If you need additional inspiration, you can always check out various articles around the web and consider which recipes can be cooked in advance and stored without losing their food value. Just be sure you will acknowledge your little guy’s food preferences. After all, you want to be on his good side during the move, and a favourite meal can help you.

Keep your toddler involved in the moving process

Even though your toddler can’t be really useful for the labour part using his help can and will boost their confidence. Showing him his opinion and skills are needed will make him more prone to accepting the house change as something positive.

He would probably love to be part of the packing process. Make the child pack his own box, ask him which toys should be put on top, and stuff like that. Keeping your kid involved may also affect how long it will take you to move house and, thus, reduce the overall amount of time for relocation.

Additionally, having your kid at close range while preparing for the move will save you lots of time which you would otherwise spend in stopping your preparation and checking what’s going on with the toddler.

Optimise your packing routine to match your toddler’s day schedule

When preparing for a move with a toddler, it’s essential to prioritise their routine and well-being. Plan your tasks around their sleep schedule, tackling activities that require your full attention while they rest.

After a nap, when your little one is fully rested, you can enlist their help with age-appropriate tasks. You can involve toddlers in the packing process by giving them a small box to fill with their toys and belongings. This will foster a sense of participation and ease any anxiety they may have about the move. Letting them decorate their box with stickers or drawings adds to their excitement and reinforces their important role in the transition.

Avoid disrupting their rest on the moving day by scheduling movers to arrive early, ideally completing the move before noon. This thoughtful planning ensures minimal disruption to your toddler’s routine, reducing stress and anxiety during this transition period.

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Make plenty of breaks when packing

It is important for your body and your mind to stay fresh. But the whole moving house can be stressful not only for you but for your toddler as well. He deals with the process in his own way, and it is vital to take his mind off it and share enough time with him. Show him your love for him won’t change.

Plan some small breaks during the packing days that won’t take much time and will be enjoyable for both you and your kid. Make a short visit to the swings, give the old neighbourhood one final lap, and visit a kid-oriented venue near you. Spend enough time with him.

Pack the toddler’s room last

Leave their room untouched for as long as you can. This will bring less stress for the kid as his fortress of solitude will remain normal until the last moment. Be sure to load your toddler’s box(es) last in the removal van.

This way, they will come out first at the new place. The kid’s room is a top priority when unpacking, so make it habitable on the same day you move. The toddler will feel more secure if he has access to his belongings as soon as possible.

Reassure the child nothing is going to be forgotten when moving house

Emphasize how your toddler won’t lose anything when moving. ALL toys will be taken, and ALL favourite cups and fridge drawings will find their place in the new house.

Take his most beloved possessions along with you in the car to make him feel more secure. Let him witness how every toy is packed in his special box. Don’t let any doubt in the toddler that moving houses will result in personal loss.

Allow the toddler to say goodbye to the old place

On the last day before the move, accompany your toddler on a short goodbye trip across every room. This might sound silly and time-wasteful to you, but it can mean a lot for your toddler. It will give him an opportunity for closure and will make the whole transition smoother for him. This was literally his whole world until now. It can also calm you, especially if you’ve spent a lot of happy moments there.

Accept any help when moving house with a toddler

Relocating with a toddler can be a big task, so don’t feel uncomfortable accepting any help offered. The best-case scenario is to get your parents over to your place while the removal occurs. They would love spending some quality time with their grandchild, and your toddler can form a stronger bond with his grandparents.

Plus, you can pack your home peacefully without worrying too much about the offspring. Alternatively, if convenient, you can send your child to them for the final few days. This way, he will find the new place already settled and not be confused with the mess a house removal presents.

If this is not possible for a reason, consider your neighbours and family friends. If your child is familiar and comfortable with them, they may take care of him during the moving day. An arranged play date could be the best thing to distract your little one’s mind when moving houses. Explore all options to ease the transition for your kid.

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“Buy” your toddler’s approval for moving

This may not be liked by some parents, and generally, it is not a good idea to buy your kid’s love with toys. But relocating your home is special, and exceptions might be made. Toddlers can be cranky without reason, so imagine how stubborn they can be when moving house.

But a new, much-wanted toy can be a game-changer. Depending on your child, you can play this strategy in two ways. You can either buy it before you move, so he can play with it without giving you much trouble. Or, you can promote it to him after you move.

This way, he will anticipate the removal with a positive attitude. Just don’t make false promises. Use the new toy not to confuse or distract him but to add a pleasant feeling in his mind regarding the home relocation.

How long does it take a toddler to adjust to a new home?

The time it takes for a toddler to adjust to a new home can vary widely depending on the child’s temperament, age, and the support they receive from caregivers. Some toddlers may adapt relatively quickly within a few weeks, while others may take several months to fully settle into their new surroundings. However, following the tips below can help toddlers adjust to their new environment:

Make the new home aroma familiar to your toddle

There is a pretty clever “hack” that we’ve noticed at Fantastic Removals, and it will help you make your child feel the new home more friendly. Start flavouring the aroma of your old place a few weeks before the move. Lavender, pine, or citrus, pick whatever the kid likes best.

Be sure they get used to the smell. Then, use the same aroma for your new house after you move. The smell will remind him of your old home and create a feeling of safety. This will ease him to accustom to his new home. An added bonus is that your place will always smell nice.

Explore new playing grounds as soon as possible

Finding new fun play spaces will help your little toddler adjust. Excite him by showing him all the parks and playgrounds near your new home. Going to new places and meeting new friends will make the child accept the new place quicker and enjoy the experience. You might be exhausted on a moving day, but consider starting this practice from day two.

Children adapt easily to changes. You shouldn’t have too many troubles when moving house with a toddler. Just keep them calm and be there for them. All they require at that age is love, compassion (and food occasionally). Moving with older children is a real worry. Just follow the advice you have read, be patient, and listen to them. Explain to them why you’re moving and give them plenty of time to get used to it.


Moving with a toddler can be challenging, but with a little extra effort and patience, you can make it a positive experience for the whole family. Remember to involve your toddler in the process, maintain their routine, and be understanding of their emotions. Before you know it, your little one will be settled and enjoying their new home.

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