For everyone else in the family, moving may be a familiar event. But what about the newest member of the family? Here are some things to think about if you’re moving with a baby or toddler.
To start, try to have an extra person available to babysit. This person should not be expected to help with any moving activities – their only focus should be tending to the little one and ensuring they are comforted to give them their best shot at staying calm.
Fortunately, they themselves are compact and quickly portable, but their furnishings may not be. Take a crib for example – you likely can’t unassemble it before the day of the move. Instead prepare to wrap and cover it for protection, then move it as a whole. This way you will have it up until the very last minute at the old home, and it will be quickly deployable at the new home. You can however start repackaging their belongings, but remember to keep the important stuff easily accessible in case of an emergency or “meltdown”. Pack their space and comfort items last and unpack them first. During the chaos of the day, they can have a safe haven where they can remain calm and in a familiar space. This will allow those who are not watching them to make the most of their time, instead of stopping to tend to a stressed-out little one.
Even if you have someone else watching them, remember to pause on occasion from your move to give them some love and attention. They are less concerned with where their belongings are and instead comforted with knowing you are nearby. As you know, they crave your attention so be sure to give them some to keep them comforted during the move process.
Keep explanations simple. How much you explain to your little one about your move depends on how verbal they are. Remember to remain calm and collected when conversing with them so they don’t pick up on your stress and get upset themselves. They may have many questions, so give them a quick explanation and remind them you will take the time to explain more later.
Remember their needs during this evolution and things are more likely to go smooth with little stress for you and your young one.