Tips for Moving with Small Children
The ultimate moving guide for parents of young children
Moving with small kids is challenging. Honestly, doing almost anything with small kids has its challenges, but moving is undoubtedly at the top of the list when it comes to overwhelming activities as a parent. Young children may not have concerns about switching schools or fitting in, but they still are affected by significant changes and will miss their familiar home and friends. As a parent, you can help your young child prepare for the process and plan to make the big day easier for the whole family by considering these valuable tips:
Let your child feel included in the process
Toddlers can be stubborn and certainly like to feel in control. Your life will be easier if you help your child feel like they have some say in what is happening. While you certainly don’t need their permission to move, you can explain simply what is going on and why. When little ones are involved in the more minor decisions, they feel empowered and excited about the changes to come. You can ask for their help deciding what toys to pack last and what color they might like on their new bedroom walls. Have them fill a special box of toys and activities to keep with them during the moving process. You can also pack a “box-of-fun” with little treats and surprises to present on moving day as a reward for good behavior and distraction when needed. Children love to draw pictures of their dream room to give their parents ideas and make scrapbooks with friends’ photos. You may also want to share information about the location you’re moving to and ask which activities your child might like to try or areas to explore in the new community. Each of these tasks will help your child keep busy, feel involved, and create a sense of excitement for the adventure ahead.
Ask for and accept help
If you have family, friends, or special babysitters who can assist with the kids while you’re preparing for the move and especially on moving day, don’t be afraid to ask for and accept their help. A trusted babysitter can make all the difference, particularly if you have an infant. You need time to pack the daily essentials infants require, and you need someone to give that baby all the care he needs on moving day. You don’t want to be dividing your attention between children and movers constantly. Also, children can easily get injured when furniture and appliances are being moved, and dangerous items such as sharp scissors or chemicals might be left out. If someone is willing to help watch your kids, accept graciously and pay it forward someday.
Relax the rules
While you need to keep your children safe during the relocation process, don’t be afraid to relax your rules a bit for your sanity. Taking a break from potty training or eating unhealthy fast food off paper plates more frequently is not the end of the world. A little more time in front of the tv or on the iPad might help keep kids occupied during those crucial moving days. If you forget something, don’t sweat. There is probably a store nearby where you can get the necessities. Give yourself permission to make mistakes and be flexible when necessary.
Help your child settle in
Set up your child’s bedroom as soon as possible and include many familiar items. Now is not the time to transition from a toddler bed to a big boy bed. While some new decorations and layouts are exciting, we all find comfort in our old favorite toys or pictures. More significant changes can be made more slowly when you have the time and energy.
Although it may be a struggle at first, you and your child will benefit from getting back into good sleep patterns and a familiar routine. Hopefully, some of those community activities you discussed earlier are available, enabling you and your little one to make new friends and get to know the area.
Experienced and reliable movers will help make the entire relocation process seamless and stress-free for parents, enabling you to concentrate on the kids. The less you have to worry about the details of the move, the more you can help your entire family settle into a new home, where you can continue making memories together.