The smallest people in your household can be the ones most affected by a relocation. While moving can stress most adults — even if it’s for an anticipated retirement, exciting new job or to a longed-for dream home — toddlers only know their world is being turned upside down and they’re not quite sure why.
If you’re a parent, naturally you want everyone in the family on board. The littlest guys and girls require a bit more attention during what’s often a hectic, jarring process, so peruse our list of pointers to help make moving with your toddler(s) easier.
Tell Them They’re Not Alone
Toddlers who know they’re moving to a new house might not understand their entire family is moving. Be clear that everyone is involved, including parents, siblings and pets.
Check Out The New House Before You Move
This is a great way to introduce toddlers to their new home. They get to see what it looks like, will know which room will be theirs and can explore fun things such as backyard swings. If you’re moving somewhere more than a few hours’ drive away, ask your real estate agent to send photos of the new home so you can share those with your child. Regardless, be prepared for negative reactions — change can overwhelm toddlers. If you can, try several trips to the new house to gradually introduce it.
Get Them Involved In Packing
Turn this monotonous chore into a fun exercise for your toddler. He or she can help you pack his or her belongings, even if it’s placing stuffed animals in boxes. This activity helps younger children understand that all their things are safe and staying together. Head off potential squalls or unnecessary trauma by keeping your toddler’s favorite toys, books and comfort items with you when you move.
Take photos of your family’s old home, particularly your toddler’s favorite spots. Add neighborhood locations to the list if you’re moving far away. This helps ground your child in the familiar, plus provides a fun stash to relive once they’re older.
Especially to little ones who won’t care that their new room might be larger than the one they’re leaving behind. As time-consuming as it sounds, walk through your current home and allow your toddler to say goodbye to each room. It’s important closure, and Mom and/or Dad can say goodbye too! Once you arrive at your new home, unpack the toddler’s stuff first. You’d rather search in peace and quiet for the boxes of pots and pans than soothe a child who’s fitting out because he or she doesn’t have the security of familiar furniture, clothing or toys.
Setting up the toddler’s room first means they have a retreat to quickly make their own. Next, set up the kitchen and bathroom since those areas are at the heart of many toddler (and adult) routines. Knowing they can go there and get what they want and need, adds security.
Be There If Needed
The first few weeks after a move can be stressful to a young child. Like you, they’re still settling in, and, of course, they don’t have mature coping skills. Dispensing a bit more attention and time can go a long way toward your child’s adjustment to the move.
Ready to relocate your family? ICI Homes can get the process started. Click here.