Almost a month ago, we packed up our small apartment and moved into a house in Barrie, Ontario. It was a big move and something we have dreamed of for a while. Now that Mackenzie and Victoria are 18 months now and are walking and finding any chance they can to explore the world around them, we knew this would be fantastic for our family right now.
I will share everything you need to know about moving with toddlers in this post, and I will give you some great tips to make this massive transition smooth. Every child reacts differently during significant changes like moving, so making sure you are giving them extra snuggles and know that in time they will become 100% comfortable.
So, this all depends on your child’s age and their development because some children are just too young to notice and fully understand the whole picture. Some children who are closer to 2.5 and have many words may be more vocal about the move and show signs of anxiety towards it. If the second option sounds like your child, I can give you some ways to hopefully calm them down and help them understand what moving may look like for them, which can greatly help prepare them.
Just being there to support them and answer their questions can make a huge difference during a move, and I will share some great books about moving below.
Once the moving trucks are gone, and family and friends aren’t there helping you, unpacking will get hard, and you feel emotionally and physically tired, so be patient with yourself, I used to try and get through a minimum of three boxes/bags every other day, and that was just enough. On weekends or at night, we would try to unpacking or moving things around, and now we have a few boxes left, but most things are in place.
During this transition time, it is so important that your toddler(s) have their own play space that is safe and box-free. Try and include some of their favourite toys, books, or stuffed animals to make them feel calmer and allow them to play safely away from the mess.
Another important tip to help them settle in and feel comfortable in this new environment is to make sure your child’s room(s) has a similar setup to their old room. Once they are settled in, then you can change it up.
Lastly, if you’re in the process of weaning or transitioning, pause that first month. We were taking away the girl’s bottles and were down to the last one before we moved, so we paused the bottle weaning process until June and then we will start where we left off.
If you want to learn how we are weaning the girls off their bottles, click here on that blog post.
Each of these books is a fantastic way to start the conversation about moving, what to expect and allow for great open discussions of your child’s worries and feelings. These three books are also easy to read and have beautiful and simple illustrations.
During the move, one of the main things that I believed helped the girls feel comfortable and allowed them to transition as smooth as possible was once we got to the new house, it was around their bedtime, so we feed them their bottles in the car and set it up to their room first. We read to them and followed our same bedtime routine, and put them to bed. After they went down for the night, I cleaned up the house and set up for the big moving day that next day.
Having multiple toddlers can be stressful as is, but when you add the stress of moving well, it all can become very overwhelming. Having to find a safe space for the kids to play, unpacking everything packed, trying to spend time with the kids, and getting the new house in order, plus learning your new neighbourhood, is exhausting.
Moving to a new neighbourhood, city, or country can be scary for anyone but especially young kids. Making sure you are aware of your own emotions as well as your child’s emotions will help make sure that this a smooth start to your families next chapter. I hope that these tips will help prepare you and your child for the next adventure ahead and if you have any other tips that helped your child, please share them down below in the comments.
My answer: The girls were around 18 months old during our move.
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