Moving can be a stressful event, especially with small children in tow. Yet lots of little ones relocate every year. In fact, approximately 20 percent of Americans who move are between birth and age 4.
Small children may find change unnerving, so plan ahead with the following tips to make the process as smooth and tantrum-free as possible.
Keep calm … and carry on
Your attitude about moving will influence your children’s feelings. Even if you feel overwhelmed, take a deep breath and maintain a positive attitude when talking to kids about the move. Organization is the key to managing your own stress level and maintaining the routines that make children feel secure. Begin by understanding that it’s hard to accomplish any task quickly with small children underfoot. You don’t have to take care of everything at once. Start planning early and break the moving process into manageable parts. Arrange help as needed. Remember, your Herlihy moving consultant is always here to answer questions and arrange for services.
Maintain baby’s routines
When it comes to moving, infants are usually the least affected, as long as they are comfortable and their routines are relatively undisturbed. For best results, try to maintain feeding, bathing and bedtime rituals before, during and after the move.
Know when (and what) to say
Toddlers don’t understand the difference between a minute and a month, so they only need to know that the family is moving soon. To calm fears of being left behind, reassure your young ones that they are moving with the family. You might want to read some picture books about moving with your children.
All parents know that patience is vital in raising young children, but it is especially important during times of change. Be tolerant of disturbing symptoms you may see in your child, such as regression to earlier patterns of behavior or loss of potty-training skills. Give your kids a little extra attention.
Involve your kids in the moving process
Keep your children around you as much as possible while preparations are being made so they feel engaged in the process. Let each child pack a few of his or her treasured possessions. Assisting in small ways can help strengthen feelings of security, a sense of belonging and importance.
Using a professional moving company can greatly minimize your responsibilities, so you can devote more time to your children. You may also want to hire a babysitter on the day of move-in, so you can focus on the move. If you don’t know anyone at the new residence to hire as a babysitter, have one parent or adult take charge of the children and another parent or adult handle the move.
Clear the area
Toddlers can get underfoot in a busy moving atmosphere, so try to have them in an area away from the movers. Choose a room that the movers won’t be going into or go play in the backyard or a park until the move-in is complete.
Pack for the road
Prepare for an event-free trip to your new residence by packing essential supplies, equipment and toys. Here are some items you might want to take with you:
- Safety-approved car seats.
- Easy-prep food such as dry formula that does not need refrigeration, shelf-stable jars of baby food and bottles of fruit juice.
- Bottles of water, as abrupt changes in the water supply can cause some children to have an upset stomach
- Bottles with plastic throwaway liners, nipples and pacifiers
- Can and bottle openers.
- A first-aid kit with a thermometer, baby pain reliever, other medications your pediatrician recommends and a small hot water bottle that can double as an ice bag.
- Disposable diapers and a diaper bag. To prevent accidents, consider using pull-ups for recently potty-trained toddlers.
- Pre-moistened towelettes or paper towels.
- Baby toiletries, such as wipes, powder, lotion and cotton balls.
- Favorite toys and activities. Pack a small backpack or overnight bag with special items like a favorite cuddle toy, blanket, books and other toys that they can play with on the car trip or plane ride.
- A collapsible stroller and portable crib or pack-n-play.
Like a Sunday drive
If you are driving by car, allow enough time for a leisurely trip from your old residence to the new. Small children need to move around, stretch their legs and visit the potty every hour or two. Taking regular breaks also allows you to remain on schedule for feedings and to keep your child’s routine as close to normal as possible.
Prepare for a peaceful night’s sleep
A good night’s sleep is imperative to a baby’s or toddler’s happiness. If you need to spend the night at a hotel, call ahead and request a baby crib or bring a portable pack-n-play.
Looking for professional and reliable Columbus, Ohio movers? Contact us today to experience the Herlihy Moving & Storage difference. Since 1920, we have moved thousands of Ohio families and businesses around Ohio, across the United States, and around the world. As a locally owned and operated agent of Mayflower Moving, we have the resources to move you, no matter where you need to go.