How To Stay Sane When Moving With Toddlers
Moving is intense. It's exciting, stressful, invigorating, overwhelming, all wrapped into one. But doing that with a two-year-old, eight months pregnant, on little sleep amplifies that intensity to a whole other level. Yup... that’s what I did last year and let me tell you, it wasn’t easy. Let me share with you a few tips that really helped my family or things I wished I would have known before we packed our bags.
Pre-Move: Talk about the move in a positive way and talk about it often. Emphasize how beneficial it’s going to be, yet still, let them feel loved and secure if they have some big fears lingering. We found a few children’s books on moving and started to read some of them before bed talking about the move and the new home. Our hope was that the more we could talk about it and familiarize her with the idea of moving the less shell shocked our daughter would be when it was time to move. It's important to reinforce that their things will be coming along and that she won't be leaving the things that she loves the most behind.
Stick To Your Routine Before, During & After The Move. This goes a long way when they are in a new environment that isn’t familiar. Not only did we take on a renovation and move while pregnant but we decided to move into our new home 5 days before Christmas. (I don’t recommend this but sometimes that’s how your situation plays out and you make the best of it). Understand you won’t unpack everything at once and that is ok. You will want to take lots of breaks for your little one whether it’s for bath time, dinner time, some playtime or a snuggle before naps. The boxes can wait and trust me, you’ll appreciate the breather too!
Visit the new home and area as much as possible before you move in. We were very fortunate to take possession of our new home and then renovate it prior to moving in. This gave us three months of site and progress visits with our little one. It started to become a fun activity for us to do together as a family, to go and visit our new home and familiarize her with it every step of the way. I know not everyone can move this way but even a weekly drive by your new home prior to possession or visiting the nearby parks and walkways can help your little one start to warm up to this upcoming change and get excited about what will become their new normal.
Moving Day - Hire A Sitter! This day can get chaotic! We utilized grandma and grandpa and daycare on moving day to have as much time as possible to try and get the home somewhat comfortable for my daughter to return to. As soon as our movers came and left my first and only priority was setting up my little one's bedroom and unpacking her closet so she could have a safe and comfortable space to play and sleep in while we unpacked the rest of the house and I tried to set up Christmas ?. She was transitioning from a crib to a toddler bed at this point so I had a few new lovies and bedding mixed in with her old favourites which made for a fun reveal while still incorporating all her old comforts from her old space.
See The Move Through Your Child’s Eyes - they are going to need more soothing, patience, and assurance now than they usually do. Schedules are great to abide by with little ones but understand that things won’t go exactly as planned when moving so flexibility and patience will go a long way for everyone. Things will be back to normal and on track before you know it.