- Get a babysitter to look after your toddler for viewings if possible – it will be really confusing for them to look at lots of different houses that they might move in to.
- Wait until around a week before you move to tell your toddler, if you tell them too far ahead of time they wont really understand due to their lack of understanding of time.
- Take your toddler to the new house just before you move so that you can explain where you will be moving, where they will be sleeping and most importantly where you will be sleeping.
- Tell your toddler how great the new place will be, find things that you will be able to do in the new place that make it special and exciting.
- Keep to your toddler’s routine as much as possible, if you don’t have a routine consider setting one at least a few weeks before the move to give them consistency.
- Get your toddler involved – pack their things with their help, let them pack your things, give them a screwdriver, let them write on boxes, anything that helps them feel involved.
- Unpack their bedroom first, put up their curtains and make sure they have their favourite bed time book, bear, blanket or comforter.
- Keep the same bedding as pre move for a few days – the familiar smell may help them settle better. You could pack these in a box or bag that will get unloaded first.
- If you can afford to, hire movers, a cleaner and any other useful person to take the stress out of it, leaving you to look after and reassure your toddler. If you can’t afford to hire those people beg your friends to help and call in all favours owed!
- In the weeks leading up to the move batch cook and freeze a few meals so that you don’t have to worry about cooking on busy days – but don’t make too many, your fridge freezer has to be switched off for 24 hours after being moved so plan your meals to use up anything from your freezer.
- Do an online shop ahead of time to your new address for the day after the move (remembering about your fridge freezer of course) so that you can get unpacked and avoid dragging an unsettled and probably overtired toddler around a supermarket.
- Let your toddler help unpack things, ask where they would like their toys and give them time to play.
- Take a couple of days off work, so that your toddler is reassured you will all be staying together (and so you can unpack the mountain of stuff you forgot you had)
- Do as much as you can online, trying to have phone conversations about closing or setting up accounts is very difficult with a toddler around. From energy companies to council tax to tv license, insurance and car registration, most can be organised online.
My biggest piece of advice is to be patient, calm and understanding. By moving house you are essentially turning their whole world upside down and taking them away from everything they know, there are new souìnds, new smells, new sights, new people, new everything and they have no idea why it’s all happening. They need stability, reassurance and comfort more than ever, of course boundaries still need to be in place, but if the toddler is acting out they probably just need a cuddle and to be told once again what is happening, why, how and that everything is going to be ok.
If you have any tips feel free to leave it in a comment below, or if you’ve any questions about my experience, please do ask and I will try my best to answer.