Moving can be a stressful event for anyone, but it can be particularly difficult when you have small children. Young children may not fully understand what’s going on or why they have leave their familiar comfort zone. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to make your transition to a new home as stress-free as possible for both you and your children.
Use books and cartoons
Sometimes simply explaining to your child that you’re moving won’t be enough for them to truly understand, especially for toddlers and preschool-aged children. Fortunately, there are many age-appropriate books and cartoons that can help you get the message across. “We Are Moving” by Mercer Mayer, “Henry and Mudge and Annie’s Good Move” by Cynthia Rylant, and “A Kiss Goodbye” by Audrey Penn are just a few children’s books that can help your little one with the transition. Additionally, children’s programs such as “Bob the Builder” and “Peppa Pig” have episodes that focus on moving. And “The Berenstain Bears” has both a book and an episode about moving!
Introduce them to their new home early
If possible, take your small child to their new home and let them explore the space. Getting to see their new room before the big day can help make the experience less scary. You can also let your child choose colors for the walls and other decorations to help make the space their own before they officially move in. If possible, take your child on a walk through their new neighborhood to check out the local parks and playgrounds.
Make important items easily accessible
Packing up an entire house or apartment can be overwhelming, and sometimes items can remain in boxes for several weeks or even months after the move. Your little one likely has many comfort items, such as toys, blankets, stuffed animals, and books. Make sure you label boxes with these items in a way that makes them easy to find once all of your belongings are moved to your new home. Use brightly-colored tape or markers to make them really stand out. This way your child won’t have to spend their first days and nights in a new room without the things that help them feel safe. You can also give your child a backpack to fill with a few of their favorite things so they can have immediate access to them.
Find a babysitter on the big day
Even when everything goes according to plan, moving day can be very hectic. In addition to leaving their familiar home behind, the chaos of the day can also add to your child’s stress levels. Having a little one underfoot can add to your stress as well! Having a friend or family member watch your child or hiring a babysitter will ensure that your little one is in a safe environment during the move and will even allow you to get their room set up with some of their favorite things before they enter their new home!
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