Changes are never easy. To a small child, his home and nearby playgrounds are his whole known World. That’s why you should be extra careful when moving house with a toddler. Packing and boxing all of your belongings is stressful enough as it is, but when a toddler is involved, things can get overwhelming. It’s important to have a plan, know exactly what to do and when to do it and still be able to take proper care of your young one.
Here are our 11 tips on how to ease your toddler when you are moving away:
1. Stock Up On Health 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 simply 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 are going to 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.
2. 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 to you, but to 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, visit a kid-oriented venue near you. Spend enough time with him.
3. Accept Any Help When Moving House With A Toddler
Relocating your home can be a big task, so don’t feel uncomfortable to accept any help offered. The best case scenario is to get your parents over to your place while the removing occurs. They would love spending some quality time with their grandchild, and your toddler can form a stronger bond with his grandparents.
Plus, you will be able to pack your home in peace, without worrying too much for the offspring. Alternatively you can send your child to them, if convenient, for the final few days. This way he will find the new place already settled and won’t 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, maybe they can take care of him during the moving day. An arranged play date could the best thing to distract your little one’s mind when moving houses. Explore all options to ease the transition for your kid.
4. “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 a special occasion and exceptions might be made. Toddlers can be cranky without a 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, there are two ways you can play this strategy. You can either buy it before you move, so he can play with it, without giving you much trouble. Or, you can promise 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.
5. Optimise Your Packing Routine To Match With Your Toddler’s Day Schedule
This involves some simple planning. Do the tasks that require your full attention while he sleeps. Use the kid’s help after a nap, when he is fully rested.
Never make him skip his rest, just because you are removing every item you own. On moving day, try to arrange the movers to come as early as possible. In the ideal situation, you could be over even before noon. This way you won’t change the little one’s schedule.
The main point here is not to stress the toddler by changing his day-to-day routine drastically.
6. Keep Your Toddler Involved In The Moving Process
Even though your toddler can’t be really useful for the labour part (at least not legally), using his help can and will boost their confidence.
By showing him his opinion and skills are needed, he will be more prone of 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, stuff like these.
Monitor his reaction when they open their own box at the new place. This might be one of the first important tasks a child accomplishes in his life. Don’t forget to make tones of photos.
7. 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 removals van.
This way they will come out first at the new place. The kid’s room is 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.
8. Make The New Home Aroma Familiar To Your Toddler
There is a pretty clever “hack” to make your child feel the new home more friendly. Start flavouring the aroma of your old place a few weeks prior the move. Lavender, pine or citrus, pick whatever the kid likes best.
Be sure they gets used to the smell. Then, after you move, use the same aroma for your new house. The smell will remind him of your old home and will insert a feeling of safety. This will ease him to accustom with his new home. An added bonus is that your place will always smell nice.
9. Reassure The Child Nothing Is Going To Be Forgotten During The Removing
Emphasize how your toddler won’t lose anything when moving. ALL of his toys will be taken, ALL of his favourite cups, ALL of his 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 a personal loss.
10. Allow The Toddler To Say Goodbye To The Old Place
On the last day before the move, accompany your toddler on a short good-bye 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 a closure and will make the whole transition smoother for him. This was literally his whole world until now. It can calm you as well, especially if you’ve spent a lot of happy moments there.
11. Explore New Playing Grounds As Soon As Possible
Finding new fun spaces to play will definitely help your little toddler to adjust. Excite him by showing him all the parks and playgrounds that are nearby your new home. Going new places, meeting new friends – this will make the child accept the new place quicker and he will enjoy the experience. You might be exhausted on the moving day, but consider starting this practice from day two.
Children adapt easily to changes. You shouldn’t have too much troubles when moving house with a toddler. Just keep them calm and be there for them. All they require at that age is love and compassion (and food occasionally). Moving with older children is the real worry. Just follow the advices and remember to take breaks when packing. Or better yet, why not call us? We will take care of it all.