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Moving With Kids

Tips for Moving with Kids

Moving is stressful for adults, but it can be even more so for children. Moving with kids requires extra planning and preparation so that everyone stays calm throughout the process. The first step to moving with kids is knowing how to move efficiently and stress-free.

We just moved to a new community about six weeks ago with our three year old and it went much better than I would have expected. In this blog I’ll share my tips for how to make moving with kids as easy as possible.

Pack the kids’ rooms last.

Packing a child’s room is an emotional experience. If you can manage to avoid it until after all other packing is done, then you’ll have more time to get through the process without too much distress on your part or theirs. Packing toys and books with your children can help them feel involved in the move and excited about their new home. It may also be helpful for your child if they’ve picked out toys they want to take with them on the commute. This way they won’t feel like everything has been taken away from them overnight!

Involve your kids

Let your kids pick out a few things for their new room. Involve your children in the moving process by letting them help pack and unload boxes, or even just sort through clothes with you before they go into boxes. This will give them a sense of ownership over their new space, which can be very empowering for younger children who may not understand why they’re moving or where they’re going next!

Unpack the kids’ rooms first.

You’ll want to start with the kids’ rooms. Unpacking their things will help them feel more secure and establish normalcy as soon as possible. You can also use this time to help them adjust by talking about what you expect from them at night, what it means for their lives, and how much fun they can have together once everything has settled down again.

Get help with the move

Hire movers if you can. If you don’t have the budget for this, consider asking family members or friends for help with the move out and move in days.

We are fortunate that my husband’s employer hired movers for our recent relocation. I could not have imagined having to pack everything, load it all into a truck, then unload it all at the new house while tripping over a toddler who is demanding 1000 snacks.

Have a solid bedtime routine before the move.

Children thrive with consistency and the bedtime (and naptime) routines are an essential part of setting up consistent sleep expectations.

As you’re planning for your move, it’s important to have a solid bedtime routine in place. A bedtime routine offers predictability and comfort. Your child will benefit from knowing what comes next and will feel secure, even once you move into your new home.

Talk about the move with your kids.

One of the most important things you can do when moving with kids is to talk to them about it. Let them know that it is a new adventure, and that you are excited about it.

Talk about the move often, about what packing means and how all the things from the old house will be going on a big truck and then being moved into the new house. When kids know what to expect they feel more secure and less overwhelmed.

Ask them what they are excited about and listen to their answers without judgment or correction. Then ask them what they are worried about and listen, again without judgment or correction. Knowing what your child is looking forward to and what makes them worried will help you to know how you can support them each step of the way.

Make a big deal about the things they are excited about. My daughter was excited to have more space to run around in at our new house so one of the first things we did when we moved in was ran races. It was pure joy and allowed our first memories in our new house to be so positive.

Help your child overcome their worries. If they are nervous about their new school, ask to get a tour before they officially start attending to help ease anxiety. If they are sad to leave their friends, try to meet new people in your community by signing up for extracurricular activities or joining a local moms group.

Don’t make other big changes until you have settled into your new home.

If you have a toddler who is ready for a big kid bed, save transitioning them from the crib into a big kid bed until after you have moved. This WAS our plan! We were going to wait about a month before swapping out Carolina’s crib for a bed. Toddlers tend to get upset when they feel like their environment has changed too much at once!

However, I am going to be hypocritical on this one. Carolina made the move to her big kid bed on the first night in her new room. Our purchase agreement included a queen bed to be left by the sellers which we had intended to be for Carolina when we were ready. But Carolina was so excited to see this big bed and was insistent that she wanted to sleep in that bed because cribs are for babies. So we went with it. You can catch how that transition went in my “Big Kid Bed” highlight on Instagram. In a nutshell…it went surprisingly well!

My advice for you would still be to make that big transition after things have settled down. Unless your child has very strong sleep skills, is at an age to fully understand invisible boundaries, and you feel confident navigating sleep if the transition doesn’t go well, I wouldn’t do it the way we did!

If you are ready to move baby to their nursery or to get your kids sleeping in their own beds, wait until after the move. At least until you are unpacked so that you don’t overwhelm your little one with too many changed at once.

Play in the new room to foster a positive attachment to it and help your child feel more secure.

Play in the new room as soon as you move in. The more you play, the more secure your child will feel. Having positive experiences in their new room will help them build a positive attachment to their new space. Ask your child to help decorate the room with their favorite toys and posters, or even just talk about it together!

Moving with kids can be a stressful experience for everyone involved, but it doesn’t have to be. By planning ahead and making sure your kids are part of the process, you’ll make the transition easier on everyone. Have realistic expectations about how things will go and be patient with your littles.

In our experience, talking about the move for weeks ahead of time really helped Carolina to fell part of the process and to understand what was happening once the movers showed up. We’ve been in our new house for six weeks now and it’s been smooth sailing for the most part. She will still tell me that she misses the green house (even though our new house is also green). I just tell her it’s okay to miss it and let her talk about what she misses about it.

But above all, having very strong sleep skills is what made all the difference in this move. We have all slept better than ever in our new home and it just proves to me what I already knew to be true – you can never underestimate the power of establishing healthy sleep habits for your kids!

If you are planning for a move soon and are don’t yet have those strong sleep skills in place, let’s work together now to get those established so that sleep is one less worry during relocations!

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