7 Simple Tips For Moving With Young Kids
Moving alone is stressful. Moving with kids sucks. I have literally been on one side of a box putting items in, while Lily was on the other side pulling stuff out. She was finally occupied though you see, so I didn’t stop her, instead I just tried to pack faster than she could take stuff out. It’s insanity. First decided to downsize, then we had a yard sale, then we downsized more, and then finally we packed and moved ourselves and while it was miserable, here’s a few tips that helped us get through it with kids.
1) It’s never too early to start packing and cleaning. Don’t know when you’re moving yet? Who cares, just start packing whenever you get the opportunity and actually feel like it. Later when you are moving, you will have neither the opportunity nor feel like it.
2) Give your child a task. I set a big tote in my toddlers room and told her to fill it with toys for the new house. To my surprise she happily did. Sure they were in zero particular order, but it kept her busy, got stuff packed, and let her know all her stuff was coming with us.
3) Be gradual if you can. We were able to ease our kids into a new place by having the two homes overlap. So every day I’d bring a few new boxes to the new house and the kids could become familiar with the place and see their familiar objects being brought over and unpacked.
4) Have something that makes the new place special. My daughter will do just about anything for a juice box and/or cheese sticks. So I put a pack of both at the new house, and every time we stopped by to drop boxes off, she got to have one. Before long she was excited to go to the new house and would run to fridge. Not once did she throw a tantrum about going there so when it came time to stay there permanently she wasn’t upset at all.
5) Make their room special. We we worried about our kids being afraid to sleep in a new house/room. We tackled this several ways.
- A new/cool decoration: Our toddler was overjoyed to have her ceiling decorated with glow-in-the-dark stars. She couldn’t wait to go to sleep the first night to see them all lit up (*side note-spend the extra $ and get the good ones that glow awhile).
- “New (to them) pet:” We decided to move our already existing fish tank to the kids room. This simple act killed many bird with one stone. The filter provided a white noise to help cover new sounds, the volcano light made a perfect nightlight, our toddler was SO EXCITED to have the fish in her room she was oblivious to all other potential anxieties. She is more than happy to take one the “big responsibility” of feeding them every night too. We even went to the pet store and let her pick out one herself to add to the tank so now she spends her time searching for “her” fish.
- We put both kids in the same room: At the old house they had separate rooms and my toddler was just getting into the phrase on wandering into our room at all hours of the night to not sleep alone. While we have enough rooms at the new house to continue to give them their own room, we decided to put them together. At the time we did this our kids were 12 months and 34 months old. We thought they might be comforted by having someone sleep in their room with them. Turns out it worked. Our toddler has yet to wonder into our room, and the few times the baby woke up, I was able to go in and nurse her back to sleep without waking the toddler. There’s definitely been a learning curve on getting them to fall asleep at the same time but it seems as time goes on they get more and more used to each others presence and sounds.
6) Accept some setbacks. Prior to even starting to pack my toddler was a solid 2 months potty trained. Much to my shock and pride she was even dry all night! Few weeks into packing and all that went out the window until about 3 weeks after being settled into the new house (so about 6 weeks total). Having a regression is potty training was unbelievably frustrating. It wasn’t an occasional accident either, but a complete “I’ll pee right here and now” consistent abandon of the toilet. Once we’d been moved for a few weeks and days became more consistent, she started to make the switch herself back to using the potty. We’re not 100% there yet, but I’m glad to see this was more of a temporary moving setback and not some long-term change.
7) Utilize the “Need Space” activities. Select the menu tab “Need Space” or just CLICK HERE. There you’ll find several activities for young kids that they can do independently, therefore buying you some much needed “space” to get some packing done!